Chief Technical Officer
Who We Are. What we're hiring you to do
Frontline is an award-winning social enterprise that helps our users run automated messaging workflows. These range from simple surveys and RSVPs, to complex long-running projects with external data dependencies and specific reporting requirements. Our team works closely with companies, non-profits, and governments to help them turn messaging into a key component of their internal and client-facing workflows.
At the heart of this is the Frontline product suite, a set of tools that allow people in any country in the world to send, receive and automate SMS. Our main product is FrontlineCloud, a Groovy/Grails webapp hosted on AWS. The primary focus of our dev team is improving, maintaining and documenting FrontlineCloud, and the workflow automations hosted on it.
Frontline is built with the the ambitious goal of ensuring that every use case for SMS automation can be provided by our tools in a user-friendly and intuitive way. Implementing this is the job of our inquisitive and skillful dev team.
That’s where you come in.
As Chief Technical Officer you will lead our Nairobi-based technical team in design, implementation and maintenance of our key existing products, FrontlineSMS and FrontlineSync, and provide technical guidance in the expansion of our team and product suite. As the senior-most technical team member, you will work closely with colleagues in complementary roles to design, prioritize and execute a product roadmap, and will have full control over implementation and architecture to ensure Frontline is always available for the critical services that rely on us.
The FrontlineSMS tech team not only builds all of our tech suite, it is also responsible for deployment, user support, and feedback into prioritization for future improvement. Your role at the head of this team is therefore a key element in building not only the tooling, but the culture and image of FrontlineSMS to our employees, users and wider community. As the senior-most member of the Nairobi office, you’ll also ensure your colleagues in the dev team and beyond are set up to succeed, and maintain the Frontline team culture among current colleagues and future hires.
The Things You’ll Do
You will ensure Frontline continues to provide the best-in-class messaging management and automation tooling, by designing, prioritising, implementing and maintaining features across our product suite. You will take input on product design and prioritisation from the company’s other functions, and sole responsibility for product security, scalability and high availability.
- Lead our dev team in their day-to-day work using our Agile tools and methods, including Kanban, daily standups and retrospectives, Jira, Trello, GitHub and Slack, amongst others
- Act as our senior-most developer in building our FrontlineSMS platform using the Groovy & the Grails framework, and our complementary FrontlineSync Android app
- Ensure FrontlineSMS satisfies the requirements of all SaaS platforms, with focus on scalability, high availability and security, by maintaining and improving our AWS-based cloud hosting infrastructure
- Lead in our DevOps efforts: maintaining and improving our continuous integration and delivery approaches and AWS infrastructure
- Recruit, hire, mentor and manage all members of the Frontline dev team
- Oversee the quality of scoping discussions, implementation and testing within the dev team, to ensure our ambitious, iterative platform improvements result in as few bugs as possible, high-quality and up-to-date documentation, and eliminates other forms of technical debt such as inflexible code architecture or poor scalability
As the CTO, you will ensure that we are prioritising the correct features, and that feedback from our users results in continuous improvement of out platform’s capabilities and usability.
- Take input from the CEO, COO and other roles to ensure our product and roadmap are focused on the most relevant needs of our users
- Through estimation, measurement of delivery and detailed reporting, provide a predictable momentum of implementation work, allowing for scheduling of client-funded work around our team deadlines
- Ensure the design and implementation of all user-facing functionality upholds a high standard of consistency, accessibility and ease-of-use
- Work with the COO to provide responsive and thoughtful technical support to our users, and ensure the feedback from our users is an input into product roadmap prioritisation
- Maintain excellent user- and developer-facing documentation, ensuing a culture of continuous documentation improvement is upheld within the developer and user support teams
Senior Company Management
Our Nairobi office is where most of our staff work, and you’ll be the most senior voice in the room. You will be part of our senior management team discussing and inputting into a wide variety of company areas including strategy and planning.
- Work with the CEO and COO to deliver the operational requirements of our Nairobi office, ensuring we provide a productive, comfortable and inclusive environment for all our staff
- Maintain the Frontline company culture of adaptability, experimentation, common goals and integration between our business units, and inclusivity, both within the Nairobi office and our larger international team
Qualifications (Our Wish List)
- Experience leading dev team(s) in some sort of Agile software development environment; we are aware that there are many good agile setups and prefer someone with strong practical knowledge or opinion in effectively using Scrum or Kanban
- Experience acting as a line manager and mentor of developers
- A strong coding background, with grounding in statically/optionally-typed, object-oriented programming
- Java or other JVM language experience is a major bonus (extra bonus points for already knowing Groovy/Grails)
- Strong knowledge and past experience in building zero-downtime, high-availability, scalable and easily maintainable web services
- Experience deploying and maintaining software on cloud hosting services, with particular focus on Amazon Web Services’ Beanstalk (EC2 + ELB + RDS), S3, CloudWatch and related services
If this sounds like you, we’d love to talk to you! Email us at email@example.com with
- An introduction to who you are and why you’d be a good fit at Frontline
- A CV (Tip: we prefer CVs that are only 2-3 pages at most, focusing more on projects and achievements, rather than those featuring large lists of acronyms and certifications - this way it’s much easier for us humans to read and understand just how great you are!)
Compensation is competitive (and commensurate with your experience) and so are we.
LOVE THIS ROLE BUT NOT RIGHT FOR YOU?
Networks are powerful and we’d love to reward anyone who shares this job advert with someone that is perfect for this job. If you refer someone who joins us in this role we’ll say thanks with KSh50,000 when they pass their probation.