Technical Director / CTO Designate
This is an outstanding opportunity to join, and become an instrumental part of the future of one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative airline Technology start-up businesses.
5 years after inception, they continue to develop as one of the most entrepreneurial and forward-thinking Tech businesses in their market. Recent Private Equity investment from a leading US investment firm, further cement that position and accelerate their future growth.
Award winning and genuinely innovative in their sector, they are able to offer a unique cloud-based product suite to their client base using a broad mix of services including EC2, Elastic Cache, Cloud Watch, Lambda, SQS, RDS, and X-RAY, giving them a robust, global, agile and scale-able platform to meet their customers’ needs.
Their innovative product has already won them recognition and an international client list. Unprecedented innovation, achievements, growth and award wins set this disruptive business apart from their competitors.
With exponential potential demand for their product, their future is even more impressive than their still brief history. With offices in 4 continents, their foundations are already strong.
A critical element to continuing and increasing that growth and success, is the recruitment of a highly influential Technical Director; an inspirational, commercial leader, service orientated member of the leadership team, bringing class-leading intellectual firepower along with operational, efficiency, innovation and technical/technological management qualities to further secure a bright and profitable future for this already market leading group.
This is a Strategic Leadership Role. The role as Technical Director is an outstanding opportunity to not only take a key role in an exciting, market leading, award winning Business Services group, but to be a key part of, and benefit from, the business’s future.
Reporting to the CEO, this executive appointee will take full responsibility and ownership of the software engineering and delivery of solutions to customers. They will take charge of the systems application roadmap and technical strategy to deliver the business goals at an appropriate cost, speed to market and with an acceptable level of risk.
The Technical Director will be asked to shape the development and delivery processes, choosing the most suitable agile methods. The technology is all cloud based, hosted with Amazon Web Services, using a mix of Elastic Compute and Serverless code environments. A technical leader, who is close to the detail and can give good technology direction will be able to make a big difference in this role.
The Technical Director will head up the Software Engineering and Delivery function. This involves leading 20 FTE (with plans to grow to 30 by end 2019) staff across the Software Engineering, Testing, Operations and Support teams. These teams are responsible for producing innovative travel platforms targeted at Airlines, Airports and Travel Technology Companies. The platforms themselves are in the form of e-commerce sites backed by robust operational mid-tier platforms.
Direct team responsibility will include Software Engineering Teams, Testing Teams and Support Teams.
The Technical Director will be a proven and highly motivated leader with a background in software development and can demonstrate experience of managing commercial software development, testing and support teams. They will lead multiple teams to fulfil the delivery of software products to clients, including the ongoing operational support of those products.
Taking full responsibility for the application development roadmap for the full suite of developed software products, delivering change on time, to budget with a high level of quality. Establishing a suitable and well communicated enterprise architecture for the applications in use. The Technical Director will always take a pragmatic technology agnostic view as to which technology provides best value to the business.
This role will require the appropriate management of staff across multiple locations, and some management of outsourced development teams. As such some travel will be required, though the use of video conferencing and similar technologies is encouraged to keep travel down to a minimum.
Relationships, and the leadership of the technical resource across the business will be at the centre of this role, as will ensuring the delivery and efficient technical performance of the company as they continue to up their impressive exponential growth curve. This still young, still lithe and still ‘maverick’ business is dominated by the strength of its team. As the team numbers continue to grow, the leadership of that team, performance and quality of delivery will become ever more critical.
- Leadership of the 'engine room' of this tech business
- Full ownership of the systems application roadmap and technical strategy to deliver the business goals at an appropriate cost, speed to market and with an acceptable level of risk.
- Accountable for the full solution delivery programme and ensuring there is an integrated programme plan, representing all the businesses delivery activities.
- Ensure that the appropriate team and leaders are in place to fulfil the software engineering, testing and operational support capabilities of the business.
- Define and maintain clear, effective, well communicated development, testing and delivery process.
- Provides first class technical leadership of the teams including clear and concise technical guidance.
- Collaborate closely with:
- UK CEO
- Senior Technology Leadership Team
- Head of Product
- Senior IT leaders within current and prospective customers
- Improve scalability and performance for transactional systems keeping cloud and third-party licensing costs down where possible.
- To provide vision and clear leadership on solution delivery of complex systems, developing an architecture which covers internal application, third party systems and the cloud. Will seek optimal value-based solutions which leverage the best of all the technologies involved.
- Lead multiple teams across multiple sites, some international and outsourced, each contributing to the overall portfolio of applications.
- Provide a high-quality development cycle and an efficient and successful working environment.
- To establish clear KPIs which clearly demonstrate the performance of each development team that also encourages and rewards high performance.
- To provide accurate status reporting and risk management to ensure visibility and transparency of development progress, risks and issues across the business.
- To maintain a software asset register that shows clearly the lifecycle of each of the software assets. To ensure all software assets are under source control, can be built, deployed and are backed up.
- Provide an effective environment for development of skills, competencies and knowledge sharing, and establish a framework and tools to promote this.
- Establish career development plans and training for direct reports and provide appropriate mentoring and coaching to cultivate a culture of high performance.
- To develop the teams to achieve their potential, both technically and to include the ability to accept and deliver successfully delegated projects.
- Stay up to date with technology developments and techniques that provide commercial advantage.
- Ensure that where Intellectual Property is created that the value is protected and maintained.
- To ensure that appropriate software development guidelines and policies are in place, covering but not limited to:
- PCI Compliance
- Data Protection
- Application security, as per OWASP guidelines
- Technology appropriate coding standards
The appointee will be a technically aware leader, a quick-thinking individual, educated to degree level, in a relevant IT/technological discipline; ideally to a Post Graduate level.
- Proven experience and skills demonstrable at the level of CTO, Technical Director, Head of Development or similar.
- Has extensive experience in the leadership development teams of between 30 and 50 FTE, with between 4 to 8 direct reports.
- Solutions based on cloud architectures, with Amazon Web Services experience being a plus.
- Real world experience of Agile based processes and successful adoption within teams.
- Has previous experience of delivering projects and complex programmes of work.
- Can demonstrate experience in setting application architecture, development roadmaps and delivering good business value.
- An excellent track record of building relationships with & influencing non-technical stakeholders.
- Has real world experience in multiple development technologies and techniques, providing a good breadth of experience to draw from.
- Experienced leader of people in a multi-function environment.
- Experience in building transactional systems and thoroughly understand the related challenges and how to navigate them.
- E-Commerce platform related development experience.
- Real world skills in multiple development methodologies, from traditional formal approaches to the current agile approaches, with real world experience of when to use each for the best results.
- Experience of software development within the travel industry, with airline ticket sales technology experience being a plus.
- Has lead project, support and testing teams.
- Has worked within a business which delivers and operates software products on behalf of customers.
- Has worked within a commercial software house environment at a senior level.
- Cloud Based Architectures and Platforms, preferably Amazon Web Services
- Agile development and delivery processes
- Opex budgeting
- Software Development
- Technical Excellence
- Business Awareness
- Strategic Thinking
- Attention to Detail and Quality
- Problem Solving and Decision making
- Adaptability and Innovation
Working with other members of the executive team, the Technical Director will influence, coach and develop processes, procedures and staff to raise the capability and confidence of their department, the delivery of the product and in turn, across the business.
Candidate profile and chemistry fit is critical for this pivotal role. Working within a fast-paced, innovative, entrepreneurial environment, attitude is as important as experience. The person is everything. The Technical Director will be instrumental in setting the tone, energy and culture for the business, internally and externally... and in turn design its success. The gravity of success is all about having the right attitude, underpinned with demonstrable experience.
Suitable candidates will be high achieving technical professionalswith a strong ethos in supreme service delivery and background in creating and managing a culture of success internally and in turn, among clients.They will have some customer facing exposure behind them, but will more so possess a highly structured, service delivery and technical performance focus, aligned to demonstrable leadership and operational capability.
The appointee will constantly strive for excellence and demonstrate personal drive and resilience, with a mature approach to set-backs. They will be obviously self motivated & able to work on their own initiative whilst putting company needs before their own and possess the ability to think flexibly and laterally.
They will be a team player, as both leader and member, working together with other directors for the common good and future performance of the company. Crucially, they will have flexibility and a capacity to adapt to the changing demands of the job.
Alongside their technical ability, the successful candidate will have significant entrepreneurial ability and desire, and be hugely excited by a very high paced environment, thick with USPs – where technical, creative strength is underpinned by a real “Just Do It” attitude.