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Lead Software Engineer (Curriculum)

Job Description

Posted 3 months ago

Description

This is a remote position.

Coders Connect are partnering with Skiller Whale who are on a mission to change what people are capable of. Skiller Whale train professional software developers in new technologies and to be more proficient with the technologies they already use.

They’ve found the most effective way to accomplish this is through challenging, realistic exercises that can be explored and tackled in their interactive teaching model. The majority of developers who use Skiller Whale give overall satisfaction ratings of 5/5, and they’re committed to keeping this level of user love. This requires the development of demo apps and code examples that get to the heart of a topic, challenge learners, and demonstrate interesting edge cases. To create these, they need to quickly learn, deeply understand, and clearly demonstrate new concepts and technologies.

That’s where this role comes in. We’re looking for a smart, experienced software engineer to lead a team of software engineers in extending and enhancing the learning that Skiller Whale provides.

Unlike most software engineering roles, you won’t be spending most of your time working with one stack - instead, each week you might be learning and working with new languages and frameworks on the backend. That's likely to include Golang, Python and C# in the immediate future, and could easily include Java, Kubernetes, SQL Server, Ruby on Rails and Rust before long.

You will become their go-to expert in a number of these technologies, overseeing all development of curriculum in that technology, to ensure that it is accurate and that it will provide excellent learning. More than being a fast learner, they are looking for people who are fast to grok - to quickly reach a point of intuition with a technology. That means more than just being able to write a "Hello World" app, or even a full application; it means understanding a technology's edge cases and gotchas, and being able to predict its behaviour in unusual conditions.

This means that you can expect to be learning new technologies and skills at a much faster pace than you would elsewhere: if you prefer to stick with the tech you already know well, then this job is not for you!

Because they’re still small and scrappy (10 people at the moment), you would have a huge role to play in shaping Skiller Whale as a company, and in their future success.

What you can expect to work on

  • Leading a team: You will lead a team of smart engineers, overseeing and reviewing their work, and ensuring that it meets their high standards. You'll be involved in planning future curriculum, and managing delivery to keep internal stakeholders up to date.
  • Code Exercises / Teaching Design: Ultimately, most of your work will result in focused 1-hour long ‘modules’ that consist of code examples and accompanying written material to explain the related concepts. This will often involve working with external experts, where your team's job will be to learn from them, and help to structure and improve the material they produce. You won’t need to have experience in everything that’s being developed (that’s what the experts are for), but you’ll need to learn fast, and be good at logically breaking down ideas once you understand them.
  • Research Learning: The core of the curriculum team's role is about learning. Since the topics they teach are largely led by their customers’ demands, they end up covering a wide range of things. When this involves new skills, you will be reading books and articles, working through online code examples / courses, experimenting, and studying documentation for the awkward edge cases that might trip people up. You'll guide your team in producing curriculum that passes on what you've learned effectively, and you’ll also have lots of opportunities to learn from the external experts they work with.
  • Explaining Concepts: In addition to the code examples, their sessions include accompanying written explanations. These should be concise, with concepts introduced in a logical order that makes complex ideas easier to understand. If you’re strong at technical writing yourself then great, but it's essential that you can recognise when a concept has been well communicated. You'll be responsible for the quality of material produced by others.
  • App Development: They deliver their sessions through the app, which comprises several services. You may well spend time working alongside the Skiller Whale app development team, particularly on the code related to delivery of their teaching material.
  • Other Things: as with all small start-ups, there will be opportunities to work on many other things, and grow your own skills. Depending on your experience and interests, this could include teaching, developing their web app, writing articles/blog posts, customer development, or many other things they haven’t thought of yet.
  • Requirements

    Designing good teaching requires a wide range of skills. As well being able to quickly understand new things, you’ll have to combine creativity with a well structured way of thinking, and the ability to clearly communicate your ideas. You don’t need to have a background in teaching or pedagogy, but you will need to be interested in it, and have the desire to learn and improve their methods.

    Essential

    • Ability (and desire) to quickly learn new things, and deeply understand them.
    • The ability to clearly explain difficult technical concepts.
    • Good communication skills, both written and verbal (expert/native English).
    • High competence in at least one of Go, Python or C#.
    • A broad understanding of concepts in computer science (data structures, algorithms, databases, networks etc.).
    • Passion for learning.
    • Creativity - designing instructive interesting exercises is hard!
    • Proactive and fast moving - willing to get stuck in and make an impact.
    • Nice to Have

      • Teaching or mentoring experience.
      • Experience leading delivery in a software team.
      • High competence in at least one statically typed language and at least one dynamically typed language
      • High competence in at least one imperative language, at least one functional language, and at least one declarative language
      • Computer Science degree or another degree that involved some software engineering.
      • Benefits

        • Flexible work options.
        • Equity in the company.
        • Fully remote work, forever.
        • 33 days holiday (total).
        • Generous parental leave.
        • As a very early employee, you’ll be part of the growth journey from 10 people to 100, to... 10,000 (?).
        • You’ll have a huge impact in building and shaping the team, strategy and culture as we grow.
        • Work with smart, interesting people who love learning new things as much as you do.
        • Learn something new every day: in this role, you’ll be learning new things at a much faster pace than most engineers could hope for.
        • Skills

          Designing good teaching requires a wide range of skills. As well being able to quickly understand new things, you’ll have to combine creativity with a well structured way of thinking, and the ability to clearly communicate your ideas. You don’t need to have a background in teaching or pedagogy, but you will need to be interested in it, and have the desire to learn and improve our methods. Essential Ability (and desire) to quickly learn new things, and deeply understand them. The ability to clearly explain difficult technical concepts. Good communication skills, both written and verbal (expert/native English). High competence in at least one of Go, Python or C#. A broad understanding of concepts in computer science (data structures, algorithms, databases, networks etc.). Passion for learning. Creativity - designing instructive interesting exercises is hard! Proactive and fast moving - willing to get stuck in and make an impact. Nice to Have Teaching or mentoring experience. Experience leading delivery in a software team. High competence in at least one statically typed language and at least one dynamically typed language High competence in at least one imperative language, at least one functional language, and at least one declarative language Computer Science degree or another degree that involved some software engineering.

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