Qualcomm: WebKit Rendering Lead

January 8, 2010

Qualcomm is looking for a WebKit Rendering Lead:

Our Web Technologies team is looking for candidates who have a passion for enhancing the web experience with rich multimedia and graphics. Extend your experience in audio, video, imaging, and graphics technologies as you accelerate the web with HTML5, Javascript, browser plugins (Flash) and CSS. We are preferably looking for ‘webkit committer’ or ‘webkit reviewer’ who can take a lead role optimizing WebKit eye candy.

As a member of the Web Technologies team you will be involved in creating the next generation mobile web experience by leading an engineering team to design and optimize the WebKit rendering engine for power and performance. Build open web standards (W3C) into the Webkit engine using open multimedia and graphics standards such as Khronos OpenMax IL, OpenVG, and OpenGL ES. Realize your innovations by collaboratively integrating the solution with product, systems and integration teams

The Good
WebKit has been a leading browser engine for some time now — it’s the engine at the core of Chrome, Safari, iPhone and Android.  HTML is increasingly moving into supporting more rich experiences, and it sounds like you’d be working on the leading edge of that.  If you’re already a committer or reviewer, it sounds like you’d have a big leg up, and this would be a chance to get paid to do something you might currently be doing as hobby.  This is also the kind of work that is pretty difficult to find in Toronto, in my experience.

The Bad
Although a job doing WebKit work is pretty  exciting, if that’s your goal, you might prefer doing Android/WebKit in Waterloo, Safari/iPhone WebKit in Cupertino, or Chrome/WebKit in Mountain View(?).  While you’ll be working on a leading browser engine and a leading area of that browser engine, you won’t be working for one of the most exciting companies in that area.  Qualcomm’s interest in this is probably LiMo, although you’d have to talk to them to get a better sense of what they’re doing and why.  Still, that isn’t a massive downside.

What’s Missing?
Almost everything other than the work.  What does Qualcomm get out of WebKit dev, is this to power LiMo, or for some other reason?  What’s the compensation like?  Who would you be working with at Qualcomm, on what team, in what division, and how many of the other people are in Toronto?  Where’s this office located?

Your mileage might vary when it comes to the location, or to some of the specifics that Qualcomm has thoughtfully left out of the posting, but if this is the kind of work you want to do, you’ll probably be talking to Qualcomm anyway.

The Location
It looks to be at Qualcomm’s office up by Buttonville Airport / Markham / 404 & Hwy 7.  This is a common tech area, but it’s definitely “out of the way” for people who aren’t already up north of the city, or highway-commuting from the east end.

In Summary
There are probably two categories of people who would read this posting.  Those who have the interest and experience to find this a really interesting opportunity and those who don’t.  In the former case, you’re probably going to want to lwarn more no matter what I say. In the latter case, you might find the posting interesting, but you probably can’t get the job even if you wanted it, so it’s only interesting in passing, and you’ve already moved on.


Rypple: Software Engineer / Developer

May 21, 2009

I haven’t talked about Rypple since they were a stealth startup looking for a ‘star software developer‘ and, later, a ‘star developer and front end ninja‘.  They’re no longer stealth, and they’re looking to hire a Software Engineer / Developer:

If you have a proven track record of building successful software (e.g. people love what you create), then we want to talk to you. If you don’t think its crazy to build both scalable, high-quality applications and release early and often – then you’ll like it here.

At Rypple, you’ll:

  • Join our dev team to design and build our online apps and the infrastructure we run our business on.
  • Regularly deal with users, customers, and our industry partners. You’ll be expected to come up with new ideas to create value and then implement and improve on those ideas
  • Be a generalist with technology but a specialist with building world class applications.
  • Be highly adaptable to technical challenges and thrive in an adaptive environment.
  • Be disciplined and get stuff done.

The Good
The founders are entrepreneurs with a good track record at Workbrain, and I found them to be impressive in person.  They believe in agile processes.  Their product is in an interesting space and a space they know well.  Initial feedback on their product seems to be positive.  Because it’s a public application, you can take a look at it and see if it’s something you’re interested in being a part of, which is always a big plus.  The technology stack is a good one — GWT, REST, Hibernate.  They claim to be agile.

The Bad
Workbrain had a bit of a reputation as a sweatshop.  I haven’t heard the same vibe from Rypple, but ultimately that’s something you’d want to assess for yourself.

What’s Missing?
What’s the size and composition of the team, and where would you fit into it?  What’s the compensation like, from ‘generous pay’ to vacation and benefits?

When last I spoke to the Rypple founders, they were believers in Peter Thiel’s hypothesis that low pay is a predictor of startup success — that members of a startup need to be hungry and committed to the success of the company, and that high pay prevents that from happening.  It’s an interesting hypothesis, but your mileage may vary when it comes to the specifics of how much Rypple is willing to pay you to join the team.  You won’t know if you don’t talk to them.

Your mileage may also vary when it comes to working for a startup.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

And finally, I’m increasingly irritated by job descriptions that mention things like ‘nunchaku skills.’  I know it’s intended to be humor, but my mileage does vary.

The Location
Yonge and Eglinton.  It’s not great if you’re coming from far out of town, in particular by GO, but it’s pretty accessible by Subway from most parts of the city.  There are lots of restaurants and shopping, particularly if you include Bayview Village and Mount Pleasant.  It’s neither the perfect location nor a bad one, to my eye.

In Summary
A development position for one of Toronto’s more visible startups.  If doing Java development for a startup sounds interesting, then you should probably talk to Rypple.

Ganz: Java/J2EE/Ecommerce Developer

December 11, 2008

Looks like Ganz is trying to find a Java/J2EE developer using Craigslist (although possibly through a recruiter).  There’s not a ton of detail here, and I can’t be absolutely certain about the employer, so I won’t do a full-workup.

That said, assuming this is Ganz/Webkinz:

  • The technical stack seems reasonably solid, but I’d want to understand the mix of Java/PHP/Flash.  
  • They have a visible, well-known product that is used by tons of children.  
  • Reports from insiders imply that there are some management/culture issues.

Cornerstone: Application Development Manager

September 14, 2008

Cornerstone is looking for an Application Development Manager

Our Information Services department designs, develops and/or supports a number of sophisticated in-house and third party software packages used by our staff and our Clients.

  • Provide architectural and design leadership and support in all phases of development life cycle.
  • Provide technical and business leadership in advancing Cornerstone technology solutions that support business initiatives. 
  • Perform high-level analysis and design.
  • Propose technical solutions to meet defined business needs.
  • Provide estimates for the development resources of projects.
  • Recommend software development tools and language(s).
  • Review and refine architecture as needed.
  • Provide leadership and mentoring to staff members involved in account coordination.
  • Extensive experience in developing large scale Microsoft .Net solutions.
  • Experience in architectural design and development of web based solutions using Microsoft technology.
  • Experience in designing efficient database schemas for large scale data solutions.
  • Minimum of 5 years experience in the following technologies: Microsoft development platform, .NET, C#, C++, Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. 

Unfortunately, their information services department doesn’t seem to include proofreaders, as the first paragraph above appears twice in a row in the posting.  Basically, an application development manager for a .NET shop.

The Good
Senior role, the role itself is reasonably well-defined.   The location, Yonge and Eglinton, is good for those already uptown or coming down the Yonge subway line, and it’s not a bad neighbourhood.

The Bad
Cornerstone is in marketing, all right — they say the right things without being too specific.  They talk about compensation but they don’t say what they’re paying.  They talk about software products without telling you what you’d be working on.  What’s the process?  How big’s the team?  What will you work on?  How much do they pay?

Not everyone wants to work for a direct marketing database company.  You may not get tomatoes lobbed at you, but direct marketing is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.

In Summary
If you’re a .NET lead with some managerial experience and you’re not afraid a little direct marketing, this might be interesting.

Informiam/Genesys: Java Developers, Intermediate and Senior

August 26, 2008

Informiam / Genesys is looking for Java Developers, Intermediate and Senior:

As a part of our team of software developers you will be a contributor to the design and implementation of Genesys/Informiam’s rich interface web-based applications and products.

We are looking for developers with strong Java skills, good understanding of data modeling and relational database fundamentals, object-oriented design, a creative software design sense, and enthusiasm to build our complex and rich internet applications — real-time business intelligence and reporting analytics products used by some of the largest IT companies in the world.

The Good
A friend works there, and I know at least one other developer there has a good reputation via friends and colleagues.   Having a good team counts for a lot, so having two future colleagues with good reputations goes along way with me.

The technology mix is also interesting, for the most part: “Java 5 + 6, Spring 2.5, Spring Security (Acegi), Restlet, ActiveMQ, Maven 2, GWT, and Hibernate/JPA on a daily basis”

The Bad
I can’t personally summon much enthusiasm for what Informiam produces and sells.  The location is also pretty awkward for many of you.  Unless your house is North of the 401 and/or somewhere near uptown Yonge street, the location might be a bit of a problem.  There’s a fair amount around, but it’s not a commute that I’d be looking for.  It’d be nice if they talked a bit about the work you’d be doing, your role, the process, the compensation.  There’s also very little about who Informiam is, and why you might want to work for them.

They mention ESB; that either means that Informiam has some very tough technical challenges ahead, or they like to adopt complex and painful technologies.  You decide.

I’m under the impression that they offer reasonable but unexceptional compensation.

In Summary
If you’re north of the 401 and looking for a job north of the 401 that isn’t out at Buttonville Airport or for someone huge like IBM, Informiam might be a good fit.  If you do take the job, lemme know and I’ll tell you  who you can trust.  😉

Unspecified: Application Integration Manager

July 22, 2008

A contract ‘manager’ role is a little unusual, but this posting for an Application Integration Manager has its good points:

We are looking for an outstanding professional contractor to work for our client on a six month contract. You will be working for a major player in the telecommunications arena. In this role you will be managing the relationship with extremely important clients through your adept skills and the breadth of your knowledge in relationship building, software development projects and integration.

What you will do:
-Perform client facing tasks ensuring client satisfaction through effective delivery
-Engage client as warranted to develop deliverables and manage expectations
-Lead the integration of client’s application with hosted middleware platform
-Implement the ecommerce application according to guidelines, budget, reqs etc
-Contribute to project estimation and planning phases

The Good
Notably, the pay.  $78/hr max should mean that you get paid $78k for the six-month contract.  That’s not mad money, but it’s not bad for six months work.

The Bad
Very little detail in some areas.  “Major player in the telecommunications arena” could mean a lot of different things.  What’s the work, what’s the process?  Who will you be working for and with?

Contract’s not for everyone.  You may be making more than $78k already, and have benefits.  To take this job, you have to quit, with only $78k promised, and even that might not pan out.

On the other hand, you can take your 78k, live frugally for the rest of the year, and relax, or start a startup, or find another job.  The world is your oyster.  Whatever that really means.

In Summary
If you have the freedom to take a contract right now, and you’re making less then $78/hr, this could be interesting.

FreshBooks: Software Developer

July 22, 2008

FreshBooks is looking for a Software Developer.  Normally, I’d segueway right into a description of the job here, but there’s a pleasing backstory here that’ll set up the rest of this post.  A few months ago, I wrote about the job of Agile Web Development Manager for FreshBooks, and Corey Reid saw that posting, responded, and got the job, which he seems to be enjoying.

Now that he/they are looking to grow the team by adding a Software Developer, he’s come full circle by letting me know there’s another job at FreshBooks open, if I’m interested in posting about it.  And, indeed, I am.  Partly because of the backstory: A toronto technology jobs reader gets one of the posted jobs, then comes back to suggest new postings for the new company.  But also, because I’m impressed by FreshBooks.

Here’s what they’re looking for:

We need fresh-thinking, disciplined developers who don’t sneer at scripting languages but also know their enterprise-level design. In return, we supply a stable, creative environment (want a Mac? got Ubuntu? No problem!) with a competitive compensation package, and the sort of collaboration that comes out of just wanting to get things done, not from the latest IEEE-mandated “best practice”.

[D]esigning and developing our popular online application and the tools we use to run our business behind the scenes — you should be able to figure out what that entails. You’ll learn hands-on about our industry and our customers, and you’ll be figuring out how to make them happy, and then going ahead and doing it.

  • 3 years’ experience building online applications
  • 2-3 years experience with object-oriented development
  • Serious SQL chops
  • Communication skills like whoa (you better be able to talk to customers on the phone (yes, we talk to our customers on the phone))

FreshBooks describes themselves this way:

Love the fast-paced and creative environment of a start-up, but could do without the stress and chaos?  FreshBooks has been around for more than five years now and has a fanatical fan base of over 400,000 people who use our groundbreaking Web 2.0 application.

Personally, I’ve used FreshBooks’ product, found it easy to use and more than capable for the simple tasks I threw at it.  I think they’ve done an excellent job getting potential customers in the door through the freemiuim model, and then potentially getting revenue as their little fish grow in the way they use the product.  I’m inclined to believe that if FreshBooks keeps at it, they’re almost certainly going places (although perhaps they’re already “getting places”, I can’t say.

The Good
First and foremost, I think FreshBooks is an interesting company that stands a reasonable chance at success.  And, although I’ve only had a few conversations with him, Corey Reid seems like a nice enough guy, with a sense of humor, but also an earnestness about making a difference.

Secondly, because their application is public and easy to access, you can try the thing out before you apply for the job.  That’s rare, in Toronto.  Using it and building it are different, but it’s nice to get some sense of what you might be working on.

The Bad
Well, it’s a startup, so even with reasonable funding, there’s a question as to the compensation.  Although “competitive compensation package” implies it might not be awful, that also doesn’t mean it’s good.  They’re not looking for tons of experience, so that might be another cue with respect to the salary.  You’ll have to talk to them to sort this out.

And, despite some gentle prodding from me, there are still things I don’t know about the job, some of which might matter to you.  For instance, there’s limited references to specific technology.  Last I heard, this was a PHP shop, but there have been occasional Ruby references, so it’s hard to feel like I’ve got a concrete story to tell you in that regard.  The role, company and work seem to get reasonable descriptions.

The location‘s probably good for some, bad for others.  At roughly Glencairn and Dufferin, I’m inclined to say that it’s not ideal for a TTC commute.  If you’re not already midtown, uptown, or in the burbs, that location’s probably both inconvenient and lacking in the little touches that a great neighbourhood can offer.  That said, if you’re vehicle-commuting, or not too far away from that location already, it might be a good fit.  Besides, in your lunch hours, you can do some shopping for design stuff on Castlefield and deals up on Cartwright and Orfus.

Working in a startup’s not for everyone.  If you’re hoping for the kind of environment where you can spend a week surfing Slashdot before someone notices you’re done the last thing they asked you to do, you want to work for a bank, not FreshBooks.  I’m not going to go on and on about the differences between a startup job and an enterprise job, but they exist, and there are both good and bad sides to the coin.

In Summary
If this sounds good to you, and the location works, then I’d be happy to recommend you drop them a line.  I’ll let Cory Reid know when this post comes up, so if you have questions you want to fire off here, feel free to post a comment, and I’ll see if I can get him to respond.