7 - Director of Engineering

Overall

As Director of Engineering, you’re responsible for functional slices of the Tech team, leading engineers across multiple squads.

You're not generally expected to write code on a day-to-day basis. You should, however, have a strong technical background and spend some of their time researching new technologies and staying abreast of trends in the tech industry. You will be expected to help debug and triage critical systems and should understand the systems you oversee well enough to perform code reviews and help research problems as needed. You should contribute to the architecture and design efforts primarily by serving as the technically-savvy voice that asks business and product questions of the engineers on their teams, ensuring that the code we are writing matches the product and business needs and can scale appropriately as those needs grow.

Responsibilities

You're primarily concerned with ensuring the smooth execution of complex deliverables. To that end, you focus on ensuring that we continually evaluate and refine our development/infrastructure standards and processes to create technology that will deliver sustained value to Glossier. You’re responsible for creating high performance, high-velocity organizations, measuring and iterating on processes as we grow and evolve as a business. You’re the leader in recruiting, headcount management and planning, career growth and training for the organization. As necessary, you will manage vendor relationships and participate in the budgeting process.

The impact of a Director of Engineering should reach across multiple areas of the technology team. You’re responsible for creating and growing the next generation of tech leadership and management talent at Glossier, helping them learn how to balance leadership in both technical and people areas, as well as management. You’re obsessed with creating a high-functioning, engaged and motivated team, as of the owner of retention goals on the Engineering team. You’re also responsible for strategically balancing immediate and long-term product/business focused work with technical debt and strategic technical development.

You and Your Team

You’re a strong leader and set the example for cross-functional collaboration across Tech teams and with other areas of the company. The goal of this collaboration is to create a strategic and tactical roadmap that tackles business needs, efficiencies and revenue, as well as fundamental technology innovation. This roadmap is jointly owned by the Engineering technical leadership (the Senior Engineers and the Staff / Senior Staff Engineers) and the Tech Directors.

You’re a very strong communicator and can simplify technical concepts for non-technical partners.Likewise, you can also take business direction and explain it to the Tech team in a way that inspires and guides them. You contribute to a positive public presence for Glossier Engineering and can sell the company to potential candidates.

Due to your breadth of exposure to both technology and business drivers, you’re responsible for guiding the planning process for your team, helping them articulate goals that support business initiatives, technology, and organizational quality.

It’s important to note that you may have specific responsibilities given your area of oversight. For example, the Director of Core (until we have dedicated DevOps) is ultimately responsible for all critical infrastructure (databases, servers, etc.) and must ensure continued support and uptime of these systems. Whereas the Director of Growth has specific responsibilities for the development and management of systems that support our portfolio of growth products and features.

Example skills and behaviors

  • Implements effective processes to ensure the broader Engineering team’s health
  • Improves Engineering team’s approach to compensation, reviews, and growth
  • Makes improvements to the hiring experience, both for candidates and interviewers
  • Tracks the overall velocity of the Engineering team; identifies and implements improvements that increase velocity
  • Helps ensure teams are appropriately balanced with the right level of Engineering expertise so that they’re setup for success
  • Drives long-term initiatives to completion
  • Works with leaders across Design/UX, Data, and Product to ensure product being built satisfies business objectives
  • Creates processes to improve communication between engineers on different teams
  • Evangelizes for engineering concerns across the organization
  • Is a model for inclusive and transparent communication
  • Improves the recruiting pipeline; helps bring more candidates into the funnel, and levels up the experience for candidates and interviewers once they’re in the funnel
  • Seeks to understand and systematically address cultural problems on the team
  • Develops leadership talent within the team

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