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.


Trapeze: Python/Django Developer

September 12, 2008

Trapeze Media is looking for a Python/Django Developer:

As far as I know, they’re still looking for a Director of Application Development as well, so if the company and work sounds interesting but you’re looking for a more senior role, then perhaps that’ll fit the bill.

The Good
Django just went 1.0, and has a pretty good reputation for people who like dynamic languages and are willing to look beyond Ruby on Rails.   There aren’t a lot of Python or Django jobs in Toronto, so if you’re excited by this, your choices are limited.

The Bad
There’s so little information here that it’s impossible to get much of an idea of why you might want this job, unless, in fact you’re anxious to work on Python/Django.   I can’t possibly recommend it on any other basis, but I know there are Python fans out there who’d be at least curious to learn more, so … here we are.

Trapeze is an agency, and not everyone likes the agency environment.  Their location is a little off the beaten path, at Esplanade and Sherbourne, which won’t work for everyone. 

In Summary
If you’re looking for Python/Django work in Toronto your options are pretty limited and you probably want to talk to Trapeze, but you’re going to need to ask them a lot of questions.

Canoe: Director of Development

July 29, 2008

CANOE is looking for a Director of Development for Toronto:

The Director of development will be in a position to ensure that development work in Toronto is properly analyzed, documented, executed and rolled-out into production. This person will have strong analysis capabilities that align with one (ZEND) or more development frameworks and lots of experience with hands on development. They will be comfortable working inside of a standards based development team and will ensure that best practices are followed all the time. This person will be able to provide strong integration with the development team in Montreal and Chicoutimi to ensure that development tasks across the company are not overlapping but complementary.

This person will also ensure that the Develop Team understands that they are going to be measured on *doing the right thing, in the right way, the first time*. A culture of steady progress that makes few errors will need to be instilled from day one to achieve the best results possible.

The Good
CANOE is part of Quebecor media, which is a publically traded company (Google Finance), so it’s easy to see that while they’re off from their highest share price, they’re not doing horribly financially either ($428M first-quarter profit).   Basically, senior role in a big company.

Also, CANOE is pretty visible, so you’ll be working on things that your friends can see much of the time, and they have enough different properties that there might be a fair amount of variety.

The Bad
The role seems to emphasize for managing, assigning, measuring, verifying skills.   These are all probably relevant skills for most managerial roles, but I guess I prefer companies that emphasize the role of a manager in making sure that the work gets done, that customers and employees are happy with the results, team growth and mentorship, and so forth.

I’m also a little suspicious of a company that can use RUP, CMMI and Agile all in one sentence without feeling like they need to explain a little.  RUP can be light-weight if implemented a certain way, and CMMI can be used to ensure that a team is using mature practices, but both are often used to bludgeon projects and project teams into limp submission with reams of paperwork.

So, it’s not clear how much I should read into these elements about the work environment, but it might be hierarchical, and heavy-process, it’s hard to say.

It’s not clear what the compensation might be.

Quebecor is a pretty large company, with a 1.6B market cap and 52,000 employees.  Even though this is a relatively senior position with CANOE, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that you may still end up being a bit of a cog in the overall machine.  Some people are looking for a place where they can really stand out, make changes.  In my experience, in a company this big, it’s rarely possible to stir more than the local waters.

CANOE seems to be a mostly PHP company.  In this role, it seems unlikely that you’ll actually be writing much code, but sometimes it can be helpful to know the code that the developers with which you’re working will write, so that may be a factor for some of you.

The location is a bit off the beaten path at King/Parliament.  There isn’t a lot in the area, so if you’re not already somewhat east of the downtown or coming in by car, this location might be a bit of a downside for you.  On the other hand, if you’d like to walk up to Vistek to look at camera lenses at lunch, you’re well-placed for that, or to stop off and visit the Dominion pub.

In Summary
Managerial role for a pretty big and visible company taking charge of PHP developers for Toronto and keeping in contact with development teams in Quebec, on the east end of the city core.  Could be interesting.

Autodesk: Software Development Manager, Industrial Design

June 10, 2008

Autodesk is looking for a Development Manager: Industrial Design to lead “a top-notch, global engineering team engaged in the development of next generation software solutions for Industrial Design” by:

• Project Task Estimating and Scheduling.
• Manage cross functional relationships.
• Software Implementation.
• Team Management and Team Building.
• Communication.
• Organizational Savvy.
• Staff and Career Development.
• Global Engineering Team.

The Good
Generally, Autodesk does a decent job with their postings.  The role is laid out, there’s a decent, if not detailed, sense of the work.  Autodesk itself is well-known, and so are a number of their products.  Their financials have been pretty stable, with a little movement around revenue prediction adjustments, but nothing that leads to the sense of instability.

The Bad
There’s basically no description of the compensation (other than ‘exceptional’) and process.

The way ‘organizational savvy’ is described makes me consider if the role is in a politicized, charged environment.  If so, then that’s something that some candidates would see as an interesting challenge, while others might avoid.

The location seems to be in the King and Sherbourne area, which is quiet, and moderately central, but neither exciting nor close to the subway lines.  Certainly better suited to someone who is vehicle-commuting or in the central or east end.  The nearby George Brown campus would allow for all sorts of extra-curricular learning, I guess.

The underlying technology, which is less important for this role, I imagine, is C++.  Since Toronto’s mostly a business-programming town in Java and .NET, this may be a problem for some of you.

The global engineering team aspect is hard to read.  Autodesk is a big company, and a bit of distributed teams is probably to be expected, but it’s possible this masks a development model that might not work well, so you’d want to inquire.  The desire to have someone with experience working with software engineers in China may play into that.  That said, Toronto has a sizeable portion of Chinese developers, so if you’ve got a Chinese background, this might be a strength you can leverage.

In Summary
Basically, Autodesk is a big company making recognizable products, so if the rest of the position fits, it may be worth learning a little more about the work and the compensation.