[Jobs] lokku - need an engineering lead and manager to build a new team and product
astle at lokku.com
Fri Jan 16 19:35:34 GMT 2009
** About Us
Lokku Ltd. was founded in April 2006 by two founders and has grown to a
team of 10 including 4 full time software engineers and several other
technically oriented staff. Our product is the Nestoria property search
engine which we operate in the UK, Spain, Italy, and Germany. Lokku
Global HQ is in London's Covent Garden. Our team very international in
outlook and composition. Many of us have worked previously for big
internet names like Yahoo and Amazon and other startups in the US and
Europe. Lokku is a strong believer in free and open source software and
is an active sponsor and contributor to several groups and projects
including the London Perl Mongers, YAPC::Europe, and OpenStreetMap.
** The Product
We are building a new product. Its nature is not a government secret,
but we do not want to discuss its details in a public posting such as
this. We can tell you that it will be presented as a web application
involving search, have a modern AJAX interface, rely at least partially
on document indexing, and require a complex and highly-custom data
processing system and feedback cycle. There will be math involved and
automated performance optimization. Almost all Lokku development to
date has been Perl and mod_perl applications running on Debian with lots
of MySQL. We are open to introducing new techniques and technologies,
with a strong preference for building on free and open source software.
** The Role
This position is really three roles in one. We need someone to head the
technical efforts around our new product throughout its lifetime. This
can be considered in three phases:
1. Architect. You will work closely with a product manager to finalize
details of the product's specification. That done, you will create a
detailed technical plan for the product's development. This will
include choosing a technology stack, designing the system and software
architecture, and determining how to host and serve the application.
This phase is expected to take about 3 months.
2. Manager. A important part of the planning process will include
working out the best way to scale up our engineering resources to make
the specification into a working product. You will be required to
survey the available options and make a proposal. We are open to a
variety of alternatives including additional full time hires in the UK,
full outsourcing, or something in between. Once a plan is agreed upon,
you will recruit additional engineers or form relationships with
suitable partners. We expect this phase to take about 3 months.
3. Lead Developer. You will manage the development effort of our new
product. This includes responsibility for meeting deadlines and day to
day management of new recruits or outsourcing partners. You will be
writing code with one hand and managing with the other. Main
development is expected to take no more than six months and includes a
post launch refinement period as the product settles in.
There will be some intersection among the phases and the timeline is not
written in stone. For example, recruitment can start before the design
is complete and managerial tasks will continue during development. There
will be limited formal structure in this position, but you will not
operate completely without supervision. Plans and decisions will be
validated by other members of the Lokku team against the sometimes
conflicting goals of low cost, ease of management, and product quality.
After the first year, you may continue to manage the team and product
maintenance and further development or change to working on other
initiatives within Lokku. This 3 phase scheme is not a one year
contract, but just the first step in a long and productive contribution
to our team.
You will work primarily from London for at least the first three months
of employment. This will be necessary for training and rapid
communication during product design. Lokku will arrange and pay for
appropriate transport and accommodation. Subsequently, this role may
move. Should we decide to build a new team of Lokku employees, you will
be expected to lead that team from wherever it is based. This may be
your country of current residence, the UK, or elsewhere. We are open to
a variety of models. Choosing how to proceed is part of the job. The
financial details of any relocation will be discussed during the
** Obligatory Bullet Points
The person we are looking for >must<:
* have experience managing other programmers.
* have designed a 'large' software application.
* have at least 5 years experience writing software and at least two
years experience building applications for the web using GNU/Linux or
BSD, Apache, relational databases, and Perl, Ruby, Python, or PHP.
* have a proven ability to work effectively with a minimum of structure.
* be legally allowed to work in the UK.
* be able to commit to work exclusively for Lokku for a minimum of two
* be and able to work full time in Central London.
* be able to communicate in fluent English.
Bonus points go to candidates that have experience with:
* managing offsite programmers.
* selecting partners for outsourcing efforts and manging relationships
with those partners.
* forming and/or managing relationships with vendors and service providers.
* managing a budget and project deadlines.
* web crawling, document indexing and classification, and efficient
searching of structured and unstructured data.
* building user interfaces for the web with AJAX.
* Unicode, UTF-8, and the general problem of efficient software
localization in the context of web applications.
* applying mathematical techniques to high-dimension optimization
problems with variable constraints.
Further bonus points if you can:
* speak additional European languages.
* are a recognized contributor to the world of free and open source
Lokku believes that compensation should reflect the market value of the
individual and that employees should be financially rewarded for the
overall success of the company. We will discuss all aspects of
compensation during the interview process.
** Next Steps
You can learn more here:
See our product here:
And send your CV here:
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