HandyMetrics: Technical Lead

May 20, 2012

HandyMetrics is looking for a Technical Lead:

  • The Technical Lead has primary responsibility for overseeing all development activities related to the products and will provide guidance for members of the development team. In addition, this individual needs to be a talented developer who can take initiative and spearhead challenging projects. Working with the other members on the development team, this individual will help to ensure all software deployed meets a high standard, delivering on business and reliability requirements. Ultimately we are looking for someone who is passionate about making a difference with the skills and experience to contribute to the company’s development, while growing professionally themselves.
  • Our systems are currently implemented using Rails 2.3, with plans to move to Rails 3+. Using Sencha Touch 1 mobile application framework with plans to move to Sencha 2+.

The Good
The technology mix sounds reasonable to me: Ruby on Rails, Sencha Touch, AWS. They claim to use agile methods. Their product seems to be meeting with some acceptance: “Our products are already in over 100 hospital sites and we are expanding internationally.”

They have apparently been nominated as “Startup of the Year” for 2012 by York Technology Alliance. That doesn’t mean a lot to me, but it’s probably better than no-one noticing you.

You can dig into the background of some of the people already involved.

Your mileage may vary when it comes to being part of a startup within the University Health Network (UHN), it might  feel like a startup with a big brother to lean on, or it might feel like a cash-strapped enterprise. It seems like they’re looking for a jack of all trades — unix server administration, development, leadership, information visualization, front-end HTML5/CSS work

It sounds like they’re a very small group — that could either be a great opportunity or be something you’re not into.

The Location
It’s hard to say, but it looks like they’re on hospital row, which means there isn’t a ton of stuff right there at your fingertips, but you’re also not very far from Dundas, where you can go east to lots of restaurants and shopping, or west to Chinatown, Baldwin and Kensington.  There’s lots around if you’re willing to go a little farther afield. They’re easy to reach by TTC, but would be a pain by car and require a subway trip from Union.

What Should You Ask?
What’s it like to be part of a small group within the University Health Network (UHN). Does it feel like a startup, or part of a large organization?

What’s the compensation like — and given that this is a startup, what’s the salary/equity formula?

In Summary
If you’re looking for a lead role on a Rails project, or you’re  looking for an organization where you value the work, this seems like it might be an interesting opportunity for you.


University Health Network: Java Programmer/Analyst

February 5, 2009

The Unversity Health Network (UHN) is looking for two Java Programmer/Analysts:

The Systems Engineering team at SIMS makes software to serve the health care community. We work directly for a large partnership of Toronto area hospitals, community and long term care organizations, understanding the needs of front line caregivers and tools to make them more effective.

This is an entry level position, appropriate for new graduates through roughly three years of industry experience. You will get broad exposure to enterprise systems development in the health care environment, and the satisfaction that your work is directly improving peoples’ lives.

Candidates must be able to program in Java, with J2EE and/or web application development experience a plus.

The Good
It’s health-related, which I know interests some people; UHN is a joint effort of several hospitals of pretty high reknown.  They’re in the top employer list for the 6th year in a row.

Health, and particularly e-Health, is expected by many to be a growth field, particularly as the baby boomer population ages.

The technology list also seems relatively sane, and possibly even interesting, although there’s not really much there to latch on to.

They’re also looking for more than one candidate, which helps to increase your odds.

The Bad
They’re not looking for much in the way of experience — they’re willing to take new grads, and the upper end of their experience range is three years.  That’ll knock a lot of you potentially out of contention.  Then again, if you’re new to the field, this might be an interesting position.  Rumor has it that UHN isn’t a terribly well-paid gig, although that’s third-hand, so I imagine that if this is of interest to you, you should talk to them and get a better sense for the pay yourself, if that’s a potential concern.  But then, if you don’t have much experience, then pay might not be the immediate concern.

What’s Missing?
All sorts of things.  What would you be working on?  What’s the compensation like?  Are you going to be on a team, and if so, what’s the size and composition of the team?  How does the technology list break down; is it mostly Java, or is there a fair amount of the mentioned dynamic languages as well?

They’re not looking for much experience.  Your mileage may vary by the experience you have — if you’ve got a lot, this might not be the right fit. 

The Location
Looks like it’s basically behind Toronto General, on Elizabeth, by  University and Gerrard (or College, if that’s easier).  It’s not a bad location, pretty central, pretty easy to get to by transit.  It’s not ideal if you’re driving or taking the GO. 

It’s not a total wasteland, but it’s also not a hotbed of great restaurants and food.  Then again, it’s not too far to walk to Baldwin, Chinatown, and the Eaton Centre could be reached without too much of a walk, so it’s not totally out of range either.

In Summary
This is probably most interesting if you’ve got a Java background, not a ton of experience, and you’re interested in doing something related to health.