Autodesk: Java Architect – Enterprise Cloud

June 1, 2011

Autodesk is looking for a Java Architect – Enterprise Cloud Software:

We are currently looking to hire software development rock stars to help us move the processes of our design customers to the cloud.

 Will design, architect and implement an enterprise grade cloud application
– Development of multiple web-based applications
– Active member of a highly skilled and motivated agile development team
– Work closely with product design and product management to collaboratively define and build elegant user interfaces
– Collaborate with other developers and colleagues to validate your designs
– Drive adoption of standards and common UI components across multiple teams

If you don’t have enough experience to position yourself as an architect, you could try for their Sr. Java Developer or Java Developer positions, also for their Enterprise Cloud.

The Good
Autodesk is an established player with a big client base. If you build something good for them, it will probably get used by lots of people. It sounds like a reasonably senior position. They’re willing to make lip service to agile at least — although there’s no detail on that point.  Cloud technologies can be interesting, although they don’t talk much about what Cloud means to them.

They certainly believe their compensation package is a good one:

Autodesk provides one of the most exceptional compensation and benefit packages, including stock options and employee stock purchase plan for all regular employees, RRSP matching program, generous vacation policy, ongoing employee training and development, flexible work hours and more!

The Bad
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I find the ‘elite’ metaphors for technology positions to be annoying. They’re not looking for a rock star, they’re looking a Java architect. If you’re looking for a really great one, make that clear, and make it clear that you’re willing to pay accordingly, otherwise you’re just “fluffing.”

What’s Missing
More detail on almost all fronts. Where’s the Autodesk Office? What does Autodesk pay a Java Architect, and what’s the net effect of all their compensation programs? What does cloud mean to them — AWS? Rackspace Cloud? Or just “a client-server system we can sell to our clients as ‘the cloud'”? What’s the software they’re trying to build? What does agile mean to them? Why do they want both GWT and Struts/Tiles?

The Location
Although Autodesk doesn’t mention the location, their primary Toronto office seems to be near King and Sherbourne. It’s not a terrible area, moderately central, walkable (although far) from Union Station, accessible via the King Streetcar and not terrible to get to via the highway. If you’re in the Beach or Leslieville (hi!), it’s probably a pretty great location, but if you’re north or west, it’s probably just ok. There are good shops and restaurants around the St. Lawrence Market, and over to Yonge, although it’s not as close to the shopping core as many central offices.

In Summary
If ‘Java Architect’ sounds like something you’d want to be, then a Java Architect for Autodesk’s Cloud is probably appealing. And if you’re not sure that you can pull off Architect, it sounds like they’re hiring for the rest of the team too.


I Love Rewards: Java Ninja

April 20, 2009

I Love Rewards is looking for a “Java Ninja”:

We want great Java Ninja’s [sic] to join our rapidly-expanding development team. You want to work on hard problems and be recognized and rewarded when you go above and beyond (which is often!). You want to work for a small company big on attitude and character, and you’re motivated by making an impact. Most importantly, you want to be in a place that’s full of people like you- A players who are fiercely intelligent, share a passion for their work, and know how to have fun!

  • Write code from scratch that builds major features and squashes convoluted bugs for the _I Love Rewards Express_ web platform
  • Optimize and refactor our services using Amazon’s EC2, S3, and EBS cloud based architectures
  • Work with passionate and talented individuals in a startup atmosphere, producing customer facing functionality in short iterations in an Agile environment

The Good
I Love Rewards is a relatively well-known and fast-growing company in their space, as far as I can tell. They’ve got lots of listed awards for things like ‘top employer’, ‘fastest-growing’, etc. They’re obviously doing something right.

The technology is both decent (Spring, Hibernate) and interesting (Amazon web services). They claim to be agile. The posting seems to be written by someone who understands technology.

Rumor has it that vacation policy may be four weeks.

The Bad
Word on the street is that their pay scale is decent but not spectacular, and most of the team is pretty junior. If you’re interested, you can verify some of those facts for yourself.

What’s Missing?

What are they expecting to pay? What’s their process really like? What’s the size and composition of the team, and how would you fit into the organizational structure? What is the generous vacation policy?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to what you’ll be developing. Having worked on loyalty and incentive systems before, I have to say that it’s a slight detractor for me. That said, if everything else is right, it wouldn’t be decision-dominating.

Your mileage may also vary when it comes to being called a ‘Ninja’. To be honest, I’m happy to be a technologist or software generalist, I don’t need to be a ninja, a rockstar, or any of the other “trying too hard” cool titles that some companies throw around.

I Love Rewards projects the image of ‘having fun’. Sometimes, companies that try hard to project that image give of a faint ‘cult’ vibe, which ILR does for me. That said, it probably is a fun place to work.

Some companies that say things like “Nine to Fivers need not apply” are basically just trying to make it clear that they’re looking for people with passion for the work, who aren’t just there to clock in and out and get paid. Others are trying to make sure you’re up for hard slogs, long hours. Your mileage may vary, although you’ll want to probe to understand what they’re looking for.

The Location
This is one of the bigger stumbling blocks. I love rewards is buried deep in Liberty Village. Basically, if you’re not already in the west, or possibly south-central, or driving in from the west and/or north-west, then this might be a deal-breaker. Getting out to Liberty Village from the east end or after taking a GO train is probably not everyone’s cup of tea — it’s not mine.

In Summary
Interesting technology in the west end, with decent vacation and possibly a fun working environment.

Devver: Ruby Developer

December 11, 2008

Devver is looking for another developer to add to their team, working on “cloud-based tools for Ruby hackers”:


Devver is building cloud-based tools for Ruby hackers – tools that tell you more about your code and make you more productive. We’re looking for a top-notch Ruby hacker to help us build the next generation of developer tools. 

Devver was funded by TechStars in the summer of 2008. We recently closed a funding round that included a major San Francisco VC firm as well as a group of stellar angels. 

We are looking to add another developer to our team. We’re located in Boulder, CO but are comfortable working with a distributed team. This is a full-time position. 

This job will require you to solve new and interesting problems on a daily basis. You’ll help us do everything from fixing bugs to building features to refining our architecture. 

In return for your hard work, you’ll be rewarded with a significant piece of equity along with a competitive salary. 


The Good
The Cloud is at the very least an interesting technology challenge, and possibly the future of development.  Ruby on is at the very least an interesting languages, and possibly the future of  … ok, well, I wouldn’t go that far, although I know some that would.  😉  They sound like they’re focused on getting stuff done, and doing so in a test-driven, iterative way, which is a great thing if they’re serious about it.  One of their tools sounds like it might be distributed-testing-related, which could be interesting.  Mostly, it just sounds like an interesting and funded startup doing interesting things.

The Bad
They’re comfortable with a distributed team, but does that include those of us in Toronto, or just a distributed team in the states?  Boulder is, I gather, a nice place to live if you’re not opposed to move in the long term.

What’s Missing
What’s does Devver consider a competitive compensation?  What’s their funding history — how much money do they have, and what’s the burn rate and revenue?  Is the team already distributed, and if so, how do they manage the distributed work?  What’s the size and composition of the team?  What other tools are they considering building?  What’s the ‘cloud’ they’re using?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to remote work.  I know it’s not my first choice, but for the right company I’d be willing to try and make it work.   Your mileage might also vary when it comes to Ruby, but if that’s true, you probably don’t want this job.

In Summary
If you’re looking for a role in an interesting Ruby startup, and you’re willing to convince Devver that you’re worth the hassle of working with a Torontonian, could be just the thing for you.