Comverse: Director – Development

March 11, 2009

Comverse is looking for a Director – Development:

Responsible for the development of products and applications including design and implementation guidance for web based products.​ Provides prototypes of key functional implementations and oversees and provides leadership for all technical approaches.​ Provides technical leadership and mentoring to the Front End development team on technical implementations including web server and portal based multi-tier applications.

  • Work closely with the Product Architecture and the FE Design team to define technical architecture.
  • Responsible for design, development, and testing of applications and products
  • Provide decision making for software engineering and development, sensitive to the constraints and needs of the business.
  • Monitor technology trends such as emerging standards for new technology opportunities
  • Work within software engineering plans/​schedules, providing technical designs and guidance.
  • Ensure adherence to technical architecture standards and practices to ensure reproducible development and high quality.
  • Engage in hands-on, in-depth analysis, review, design and implementation of applications
  • Provide employee coaching and mentoring.

The Good
Sounds like a pretty senior position at a telecom company with a 1B market capitalization.

The Bad
Ultimately, the fact that Comverse is down very significantly in stock price year over year is a bit of a concern.  The markets haven’t been kind to anyone, but Comverse looks harder hit than many.  The financial results restatement may have had something to do with that, based on a quick scan.  You might want to do a more detailed probe into their financial health and ask some probing questions of your potential employer.

They’re looking for someone with good Java and C++ experience; this is a fairly rare combination these days, although certainly there are some of you out there with both.  That said, given that it’s a director-level position, they’re probably looking for someone with enough experience to lead well, rather than someone they expect will be writing C++ and Java code.  And, far as I’ve seen, Java ‘portal’ technology is a bit of a dead end, so I’m surprised it still comes up.

What’s Missing?
Is this position located at University and Dundas, which is the only location I’ve found for Comverse in Toronto?  What’s the technology mix like?  What are the sizes and composition of the teams that you’d be directing, and what products and solutions does Comverse build in Toronto?

Although I’d say that most senior tech positions require decent negotiation skills, the fact that this opportunity calls it out so directly implies that you might have a struggle ahead in terms of conflicting priorities.  I’ve worked in environments where the biggest challenges were getting a set of product priorities in place, and it can really distract from the effort of building the product.  Your mileage may vary as to whether or not this is something you want to take on.

The Location
Comverse seems to be located at University and Dundas, which isn’t a bad little neighbourhood.  There are a pile of Chinese restaurants to the west, a fair number of restaurants on both University and Dundas, and it’s not far to Queen.  There’s not a ton of shopping right there, but the Eaton Centre’s not far, and likewise Queen street.  The subway’s right there, although it’s a bit of a walk from Union if you’re taking the Go, and it’s not a great area for parking.

In Summary
If you’re interested in being a director of development and you’ve got a background in telecom, this might be the opportunity for you.


RIM: Hiring Frenzy

December 16, 2008

Rogers isn’t the only one on a hiring frenzy.  It seems as if RIM’s decided to hire a pile o’ people out in Mississauga:

These positions don’t seem quite as senior as the positions Rogers was offering, and it’s in Mississauga, but if you’re interested in working for RIM, this seems to be a good time to go after a position there.  This is apparently a good time to get a telecom job.

Oracle: Senior Director of Enterprise Development

December 14, 2008

Oracle is looking for a Senior Director of Enterprise Development:

Oracle’s Communications Global Business Unit (CGBU) is looking for a Senior Director of Software Development for its Communications Platform organization. This position will report to the VP of Communications Platform and Technology and reside in Toronto, Canada. This position will be responsible for delivering and supporting a robust platform of architectures, software, standards and services that enable the rapid delivery of innovative, high-quality business applications for the CGBU based upon the Oracle Fusion vision and strategy. The ideal candidate will apply their leadership, knowledge, vision, experience, innovation and drive working with key stakeholders to translate critical CGBU business objectives, needs and requirements into results.

The Good
Oracle is a pretty big and successful organization, and this is a pretty senior position within Oracle.  They’re looking for you to recommend process change, manage management, manage development teams.  Oracle seems to be doing well enough on the markets, and is probably a relatively stable employer in tougher economic times.  For that matter, the sector this part of Oracle services, telecom, is another sector that seems to be weathering the crisis well enough.

The Bad
For a position this senior, there’s a lot of information missing, which means you’re going to have to start the conversation with them before you really get a sense for whether or not this is something of interest to you.  The posting on the Oracle iRecruitment site doesn’t add anything significant to the posting on Workopolis. 

What’s Missing
Although Oracle says “local candidate to the Mississauga area”, it would be nice if they made reference to a particular location.  I’m guessing that you’d be working near the 403/401 at Hurontario and Brittania.  Having some sense of the compensation would be nice.  It would be nice to understand a lot more about the Communications Global Business Unit, what they do, what products they offer.  It sounds like they offer solutions for the telecom industry (OSS, etc.) via the product lines they acquired from Portal Software and Metasolv.  It would also be good to understand a lot more about the management structure you’d be working on – what are the multiple layers of management you’d need to manage, and what are the number, size, location and composition of the teams under them?  Why is this position open, and what are the challenges and goals you’d be facing?  Some of that kind of information are things they probably don’t want to publish, but there’s a lot of room for information that they should be happy to publish.

Your mileage may vary when it comes to working with remote and off-shore development teams.  But then, if you want to be in technology management for a big organization, I think that’s probably something you’re going to need to come to terms with anyway. 

I’m going to assume that this isn’t likely to be a role that’s very hands-on with technology.  But I’m assuming that if you’re interested in being a Senior Director of Enterprise Development for Oracle, you’re ok with that.

In Summary
If you’ve got experience with management in a technology organization and you’re in the Mississauga area, this could be an interesting opportunity to pursue.  It’s probably best if you have telecom experience and/or good experience with Oracle’s product line.

Rogers: Hiring Frenzy

December 2, 2008

Rogers is conducting a hiring frenzy, but, sadly, it’s all in Brampton.  If working in Brampton isn’t out of the question for you and you’re looking for a senior role at Rogers, this seems to be a good time to make that happen:

I’m not going to go through these all in detail.  Suffice it to say that if this is your sort of job, it seems like this is a great opportunity to get noticed at Rogers.

Rogers: Director, IVR Channel Applications

November 25, 2008

Rogers is looking for a Director, IVR Channel Applications:

The purpose of this specific position is to direct the overall activates for the Rogers’ Channel Service Delivery platform within the Information Technology department. The responsibilities include:

  • Manage the Channel/Web development integrated platform, its technology and evolution
  • Be accountable for the design, development, and management of related application software activities to meet business needs. Assess the success of each project against business objectives
  • Manage and evolve the tools and processes within the organization to deliver on-time, on-budget, meeting and exceeding business and IT expectations in an agile manner.
    Transition the current development methodology from waterfall to a supported iterative development process
  • Build out the delivery team to meet the newly defined IT organizational model
  • Act as mentor to the Managers with regards to development of their staff, hiring of new staff, performance issues and compensation decisions
  • Establish career development plans to support enhanced individual performance and succession planning with the I.T. group
  • Perform vendor management of external vendors including working with their senior management on strategic systems issues to systems/technology directions
  • Provide status reports to senior management
  • Define future projects, resources, timelines, and projected costs
  • Prioritize projects and allocate overall recourses in accordance with IT commitments, goals and objectives
  • Manages project budgets and makes decisions on matters that may involve a large expenditures of money

The Good
Sounds like a pretty senior role at Rogers, and Rogers is a big telco that’s been doing fairly well lately. It also sounds like an opportunity to be a real process-champion at Rogers, bringing them into the world of Agile development.

The Bad
Rumors from friends-of-friends insiders imply that Rogers has typical big-company tech problems, and that it’s not exactly a haven for great software development. That might be something you can change, or the rumors might be false, but it probably behooves you to try and get a better sense of that before joining.

It’s in Brampton. I don’t even usually bother listing jobs in Brampton, because they’re really only applicable to a much smaller subset of people and aren’t really that interesting to me personally.

What’s Missing
For all the words in the posting, there’s still a lot missing. Where in Brampton? What’s the compensation like? What kind of work does ‘IVR Channel Applications’ cover — what will you be working on? What’s the size and composition of the team? What’s the current process in place, and what does the desired agile process look like? How do you and your team fit in with the rest of the company organizational structure, and what’s the process like in working with the rest of the company? What are your near-term, medium-term and long-term goals? What’s the technology stack like? What is the ‘newly defined IT organizational model’? And so on.

Your mileage may vary when it comes to dragging Rogers kicking and screaming into the world of Agile. The posting implies a desire to change, but that doesn’t mean that everyone (or anyone) on your team will agree, or knows what that really means. Change can be painful, and you could be leading the charge. That’s either a great opportunity or a big headache, and that’s for you to decide.

In Summary
This is interesting if you’re willing to work in Brampton, and you fancy the challenge of championing Agile within Rogers as a Director.

Unspecified: Mobile Application Testing

October 27, 2008

Innovoice is helping an unspecified company look for someone who can help them with mobile application testing:

The successful candidate will be experienced with wireless technologies and specifically with an understanding of the application technologies that reside in mobile handsets and other wireless devices. The candidate should also be able to assess these technologies from the perspective of company business objectives and strategies, and not just a technical standpoint. 

The candidate will be a member of the Terminal Certification Lab and, as such, will develop, maintain and execute the test plans pertaining to applications on our PCS and iDEN product portfolio. He/she will also contribute to the development of processes, methodologies, testing techniques and product development. 


• Conduct the execution of test plans for client applications and services; 
• Develop and evolve the test plans pertaining to the handset client applications (e.g., MMS, WAP, content download/streaming, Java™ ME, Video, LBS); 
• Contribute to the development and evolution of testing methodologies – execution, verification/validation, reporting (e.g. automation, centralized issue management); 
• Contribute to the development and evolution of the processes and procedures required to integrate with multiple functional groups; 
• Assist in the early evaluation of candidate handsets for suitability in entering the certification cycle; 
• Stay current with testing methodologies and standards relating to the wireless industry; 
• Stay current with wireless technologies associated with service offerings (e.g., MMS, WAP, content download/streaming, Java™ ME, Video, LBS); 
• Assess and prepare test materials relating to new technologies identified as necessary for implementing new service offerings; 
• Operate computers, servers, test equipment, diagnosis software and test automation software, as applicable to the execution of the test plans and methodologies. 

Although the company is unspecified, a quick google search implies that this might be Telus.  In which case, it might be interesting to note that Telus is opening a new office at 25 York Street, right by Union Station.

The Good
Mobile has been a growth area for some time and it seems like it’s likely to remain one in the years to come.  It could be both interesting and technically challenging, and it sounds like this is likely to be with one of the big carriers, if not, in fact, Telus.  Working out good ways to test location-based services, video, Java applications, messaging and so forth is a pretty wide range of activities that could be challenging and varied.

The Bad
The technologies they mention specifically, CDMA and iDEN are not the technology on which Bell and Telus seem to have pinned their long-term hopes.  As Telus and Bell start migrating away from CDMA, will your role need to shift, or are you being tied to the technology they’re looking to replace?

They’re not looking for much experience; does that mean it’s not a particularly senior role and won’t be well-compensated, or does that simply mean they’re accepting of a wide range of experiences and willing to pay accordingly?  It seems like they’re open to people with advanced skillsets, so I’d hope the latter.

What’s Missing
What’s the company, is it Telus, or something else?  Where would the job be, at 25 York Street, Scarborough, or somewhere else?  Who would you be reporting to and working with?  What would the local organization structure around you be?  What’s the compensation like?  What’s the process?  How serious are they about test automation — are you likely to be spending a lot of your time manually testing handsets?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to working in testing; when I last ran a role survey of my readers, there weren’t many looking for testing/qa roles.  Then again, if I don’t post interesting testing roles when I find them, it’ll stay that way.

In Summary
If you’re interested in a testing role, this sounds like an interesting and varied role that might be worth further examination.

Telus: HSPA Mobile Device Platform & Services Architect

October 15, 2008

Telus is looking for what they’re calling an HSPA Mobile Device Platform & Services Architect.  In essence, Telus is rolling out a new technology platform along with Bell, and they’re hiring to fill some roles, including this one, which seems to be largely a planning and liason role to work with vendors, standards groups, and Telus to create roadmaps and strategize about this platform:

TELUS is looking for an individual to fill a Terminal Planning role, a position within the TELUS CTO Office, reporting to the Manager, Terminal Planning. The position is responsible for defining the 18 months to 5 year Terminal roadmap and strategy for the enablement of wireless services on mobile devices. The position will support TELUS plans to launch innovative and future friendly services over our next generation mobile devices while ensuring alignment with TELUS core and access networks.

Your enthusiasm for learning, love of a challenge and leadership capabilities will be keys to your success.

It sounds like this role requires a pretty solid background in Telecom, and my background in Telecom is probably not strong enough to pick out all of the good and bad points in this description.

The Good
Telus is a pretty big force in Canadian telecom. and from what I can tell, HSPA is the future for at least Bell and Telus, so this could be a pretty significant role in a pretty significant company in Canadian Telecom in a future-facing technology.  

The Bad
Some aspects of the role are well-described, others less so.   Where will this job be, out at Scarborough Town Centre, where much of Telus’ work gets done?  Is there a lot of travel involved?  Who will you be working with?  What’s the compensation package like?  What kind of process would you be following?  What kind of goals will you have in your first few years, and how will you be measured?

This role sounds like it’s mostly about planning, strategy, liason — talking to people, connecting people, reporting status, making plans, and so forth.  If you’re looking for anything vaguely hands-on, this is probably less interesting.  Not everyone can feel good about their work and productive when they spend the day in and out of meetings and Office documents.

In Summary
If you’ve got a background in telecom and you think that working the strategy/planning side of a major technology rollout for a major Canadian telecom carrier sounds like fun, then this is probably a gig worth looking into.