Unspecified: Vice President, Engineering

March 24, 2009

ROSS is helping an unspecified company look for a Vice President, Engineering:

Reporting directly to the CEO, and serving as a key member of the Senior Executive Team, the Vice President Engineering will drive the strategy and vision of our client’s product development in alignment with our client’s overall goals.​  The successful candidate will have solid experience in working with young technology companies, and in building process oriented structure, which facilitates the delivery of products.

Working closely with the senior management team, the successful individual will direct the growth and development of the product in alignment with the strategic direction of the Company.​  The focus of this role will be on evolving their technology to meet current and future requirements while implementing strong processes and disciplines within the Engineering team.

The company sounds suspiciously like Bluecat Networks.  Frankly, if it’s not Bluecat, then someone’s cribbed from a Bluecat posting somewhere, as it’s very much couched in the same language.

The Good
It’s a senior role at what seems to be a private company (so I can’t really tell you much about their finances).  There are also few opportunities to get involved in lower-level development in Toronto, so what they’re doing might be appealing to some of you.  They claim to be looking for someone with experience in Agile.

The Bad
Many of you won’t have the right mix of experience to qualify for the position: Software Development, networking and low-level development, hardware, and tech management.  Then again, if you do have the experience, you probably won’t find a lot of people competing with you who do.  It also sounds like the engineering department is a bit of a mess, given the call-to-action:

This role is a challenge! You’ll be walking into an environment that needs a good clean-up; this isn’t for the faint at heart or someone just looking for maintenance!! Our client needs someone to take their Engineering Department to the next level.

What’s Missing?
Is this really bluecat?  Why are they hiring a VP during a downturn?  What’s their financial position like?  What’s the compensation like for this role?  Where do you fit in the overall organizational structure?  What’s the size and composition of the engineering team?

The posting seems to be pretty up-front that this is a challenging role in an environment that needs significant change, rather than simply to manage the status quo.  Not everyone is looking for that kind of challenge, and you’d want to be sure that the company really has the appetite for this kind of change.

Assuming it’s Bluecat, they’re at Yonge/401, they’re a little far north for someone coming from the east or west, or living in the core, but they’re not bad if you’re up in mid-town, uptown, or highway commuting.  They’d be awful for someone who’s taking the GO train.

In Summary
If you’ve got experience in tech management as well as Java enterprise development and low-level, networking and hardware, then you’re probably in a fairly small set of people who’s well-suited for the job, and you may want to drop a line to ROSS to get put in touch with Bluecat.


TD Bank: VP Engineering

March 21, 2009

Toronto Dominion Bank is looking for a Vice President, Engineering:

Vice Presidents (VP) at TD Bank Financial Group are strategic, responsible and accountable members of the Bank’s leadership team. Collectively, these roles contribute significantly to the overall reputation of TD as an excellent investment, a highly customer focused organization, a top employer and an exemplary corporate citizen. Executives set the ethical, organizational and performance standard for the teams they lead and exemplify how an effective performance and development culture functions day to day. A VP is expected to guide his/her team, collaborating as appropriate with TD partners, to deliver superior results in both the short and long term.

Reporting to the SVP of Infrastructure the VP, Engineering is accountable for the design, build test, and implementation of the banks data center based technology infrastructure. The position is responsible for the development and implementation of technical business strategies in cooperation and alignment with our business partners. The position holds overall responsibility to ensure robust infrastructure solutions are in place to ensure optimal service and security for all customers and partners. The department is made up of over 500 IT professionals.

Lead the overall Engineering team across various functional areas which include: Servers, Mainframe, Operating Systems, Storage, Database, Security Technologies, Directories, Middleware, Email/Collaboration Infrastructure, IT Tools Engineering as well as Infrastructure Project Management, Dev/Test Environment Support and Production Acceptance Testing.
Contribute to the creation of a North America organization ensuring talent workforce and succession management is in place to support TD’s NA growth goals and to win in the war for talent within the technology industry.
Effectively manage an operating budget in excess of $ 215mm as well as a pipeline of projects focused on quality, time to market and cost effectiveness.
As a member of the Infrastructure Senior Executive Team, continuously optimize the technology capability of the bank, guide infrastructure priorities, improve our organizational capability and manage the risk profile of the bank’s IT infrastructure.

The Good
It’s a very, very senior role at a very $35B market cap bank.  An operating budget of $215M.  A lot of responsibility.

The Bad
Well, for starters, I’m guessing that many of you couldn’t get this job if they really, really wanted it.  I’m pretty sure I couldn’t.

What’s Missing?
A ton of things.  But, to be honest, for a leadership position this senior at such a big company, that’s to be expected.  If you’re interested in the position and have the experience to stand a chance, then you’ll want to have detailed conversations with TD about the challenges, the team, the role, and so forth.

Although banks haven’t been doing that well in the last year, Canadian banks seem to be relatively healthy still.  It’s probably still a challenging time, but challenge can also mean opportunity.

The Location
A senior position at TD Bank probably means Bay street, financial district, the TD Tower.  I’m just guessing.

In Summary
Probably most of you don’t qualify for the position.  I’m guessing TD Bank is really only going to seriously consider people in VP/Director positions at relatively large companies already, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to have a connection at TD Bank.

Call Genie: VP Product/Software Development

March 19, 2009

Call Genie is looking for a VP of Product/Software Development:

Call Genie (www.​callgenie.​com) is looking for a client-facing/​business-focused/​hands-on Product Development Executive to inspire and lead a global development team through the object-oriented design and development phases of creating, enhancing and delivering Call Genie’s CG Suite of current and future generation of solutions that utilizes enterprise level Java, web, speech recognition, SMS, mobile, advertising and database technologies.

  • Take sole ownership to ensure successful development of all Call Genie’s products/​solutions with our customers as per the expected profit margins.
  • Sit on the Steering Committee on all solution delivery engagements.
  • Act as a single point of contact for Call Genie’s Development Teams, and other stakeholders such as CILs, the sales organization and clients by establishing a close relationship with both technical and business primes with all parties.
  • Champion and actively promote the use of development best practices, methodologies and standards throughout the global development organization.
  • Ensure and lead as required, collaboration between the development leaders, Product Managers, Infrastructure Architects, Data Architects, QA Architects and Customer Implementation Leaders to gain understanding of customer requirements and features.
  • When appropriate (or if required) be prepared to lead the global development team(s) through product development challenges for vital accounts.​  This would include hands on work, coaching, mentoring and/​or actions to:
    • Assist with the analysis and architectural design of Call Genie’s commercial applications and translate them into proven Java based solutions.
    • Provide strong technical, hands-on leadership and oversight to developers working on development and implementation projects.
    • Lead the planning of development activities and work with the team to create and maintain estimates of efforts required to meet development and implementation objectives.
  • Develop and maintain a broad theoretical understanding of current hardware and software technologies.
  • Develop a high performance culture with pillars of professionalism, respect, performance, team work, quality and client satisfaction.

The Good
It’s a very senior role, as vice president in charge of product development / software development.  They’re purportedly an agile shop.  The technology stack seems reasonable from what I can tell, and the voice-recognition side lends some interesting technical challenges.

The Bad
CallGenie looks like they’re facing some hard times, financially.  They’re down to a $0.07 stock price from $2.50 around mid 2007, or $0.67 a year ago.  That’s a pretty steep decline, even in the current market.

What’s Missing
What’s happening with CallGenie’s finances and stock price?  How are they reacting to the current market situation?  What does the software and product development team look like (size, composition, breakdown), and how will you fit into it?  What are the immediate and the long-term challenges facing someone in this position?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to joining a company that’s having such a tough time when the economy seems like it might still have some bumps in it.  Then again, challenges are opportunities, and this might be an opportunity to make a real difference in Call Genie’s trajectory, and in so doing, your own career trajectory.

Your mileage might also vary when it comes to filling both the product development and software development side of the role.  These can have some pretty orthogonal concerns.  I’d want to know that there is at least one senior person who can take the lead in each of these areas on your team, since I’m not sure that one person can do a great job of championing both at once.

Finally, you may or may not be excited by their product line.

The Location
CallGenie is located northeast of Scarborough town centre. It’s basically out of the question for someone not already in the east end and, most likely, driving.  If you were in Scarborough, Markham, or points east, this location might not be terrible, but many candidates will discard this opportunity on that basis alone.

In Summary
If you’re looking for a role this senior, you’ve got a background in product and development, and you’re willing to work out by Scarborough Town Centre, this might be your opportunity.

FollowUp: Unspecified, VP of Software Development

December 10, 2008

The unspecified VP of Software Development Job that I listed in October is still making the rounds in truncated form.  If you’re VP material with skills in video, VoIP and OLAP, then by all means.  It seems to be that they’re looking for a pretty rare set of skills.

Unspecified: VP of Product Management

November 27, 2008

There hasn’t been many interesting detailed posts lately, so I’m going to look at a few positions that I might not otherwise.  Robert Half is helping an unspecified company look for a VP of Product Management:

Our client located in the financial district of downtown Toronto is seeking a VP of Product Management to lead their product strategy and service delivery activities in the mobile commerce space. The ideal candidate will define the product strategy, tactical direction and roadmap to support our three lines of business: over-the-air payment services, Near Field Communication (NFC) services and mobile wallet services. 

This could be this initiative?  Or Enstream?  Hard to say.  Not much to go on, but it’s a senior role in an emerging space, so it can’t be all bad.

Unspecified: VP of Technology and Product Development

October 17, 2008

The People Bank is helping an unspecified company look for a VP of Technology and Product Development:

TPB Office is currently recruiting for our client in the GTA who is seeking a VP of Technology and Product Development. This person is a key member of the executive team and will have tremendous impact as our client continue to scale the organization and expand into the U.S. You will be responsible for all facets of technology and product development in the company. Your immediate focus and key contribution will be in leading the software team in the development of enhancements and integrating new functionality for our enterprise class software. 

You will be responsible for:

•Managing and accelerating the continual enhancements and development of our existing application AND leading the development to modularize and productize the application for further integration and licensing opportunities.
•Working as part of the executive team to establish a product vision, prioritize business objectives and requirements and establish accurate, comprehensive development requirements and planning to meet those objectives.
•Communicating and educating all stakeholders in the functionality, benefits and possibilities of our products and services and keeping them ahead of the competition. 
•Adhering to industry recognized processes and development guidelines to ensure first-rate product quality and stability and a timely delivery.

The Good
Sounds like a pretty senior role, and if this company is expanding into the US, it could be at an inflection point in terms of growth (at least, if it’s the kind of business that can survive a downturn). The technology sounds like it could be interesting, although there’s not a lot to go on.

The Bad
I’m a little wary of their desired skills — .NET, OLAP, Video, SaaS, Chat, SOA, Agile, VoIP.  Often companies that are looking for such a broad range of skills have unrealistic expectations, either about you or about the product they’d like to build.  That my not be true here, but the tone occasionally gives me that vibe.

Although Agile rates a mention, it’s only a mention.  Is this lip-service or is the company really agile at its core?

What’s the company, the compensation, the location?  What product(s) do they have?  What team’s already in place?  What’s the management team like?  What are these supposed expansion plans?  What would be on your plate in the first year?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to what is presumably not a very hands-on tech role.  Then again, if you really wanted hands-on, why would you be reading this far into a ‘VP’ posting?

They’d like a .NET background, and your mileage may vary when it comes to arguing that the technology specifics are less important in a less hands-on role.

In Summary
If you’ve got the experience and the interet to be a VP, and a background in .NET, Video, OLAP, SaaS and others, this could be your gig.  Inquire to find out more, like the company in question.

TD Bank: AVP Infrastructure Engineering

September 8, 2008

Not very many of you are likely to have the qualifications to be an Assistant VP of Infrastructure Engineering for TD Bank, so I’m going to keep this pretty short.  That said, the job sounds reasonably interesting, more so than I’d expect for an AVP position at a bank, and the pay range quoted on one of the listings I saw went up to $150k, so it seems safe to suggest that if you have the qualifications for this position, you might want to take a quick look:

Infrastructure Engineering is responsible for the build, test, implementation and third-level support of all infrastructure technologies for the bank. The Software Engineering team will be assembled from a set of existing groups within Engineering, and will fulfill that mandate for all software components of our infrastructure, including: database, security, directory, messaging, mobility, middleware, content management, development tools, test tools, and production support tools.

Reporting to the VP, Engineering the successful candidate will oversee an annual plan of approximately $50mm and a team of 143 FTEs spread across five campuses: Scarborough, Mississauga, London, Toronto and Lewiston, Maine.

The role is accountable for leading the teams in Security, Directory, Software Engineering and Database and ensures this North American team is aligned with ITS strategic initiatives.

Working with internal, the incumbent will require an in depth understanding of their business needs while identifying and leveraging synergies across the partners. Leads the team to deliver solutions in assigned functional area, meet SLA’s, Interface with IT, finance, audit, business unit management and other areas of our client to ensure integrated processes, efficient introduction of new technologies, retirement of obsolete technologies and support for business-led initiatives requiring the capabilities of this infrastructure.

The original TD posting is pretty old, but headhunters seem to be carrying the torch now, so if you’re interested, you’ll want to work with them: Brainhunter on Working in Toronto, Modis on Higher Bracket.

In Summary
Very senior role for a bank, and yet, not deathly boring.  Seems like it’s well-compensated.   What else could you ask for?