TIL : Across all our Canadian offices, (Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Waterloo) Shopify needs to hire over twenty lead and senior lead devs.
Instead of creating job postings for all those roles, we're going to post just this one. It’s an edited email exchange between Jean-
Michel Lemieux (our SVP of Engineering) and Doug Tetzner from our Talent Acquisition team. In the interests of transparency, it was actually written a few years ago when we started looking for this type of eng leader but it’s held up pretty well, so we're reusing it.
We have though made a few edits here and there to better reflect current openings. Take a read, and if you're intrigued, please reach out and apply.
From : Doug TetznerSubject : Eng LeadsTo : Jean-Michel LemieuxHey Jean-Michel,As we launch into our Eng Lead and Senior Lead searches for our Ottawa and Montreal offices, I thought it would be good to send you an email to confirm my thinking on this and pose a couple of outstanding questions (hopefully both in status and quality).
I am planning to publish this (and your response) as the job posting instead of the typical boring "must have X years etc" type that is so prevalent these days.
The ideal background : I find there is a key differentiator in the type of person we need to find for these roles. We need people who are first and foremost product builders, who can be involved in technology decisions and can be hands on enough to have credibility with the team but are also solid people leaders and managers.
I think the priority order of these two skills is essential as I am finding that often in engineering careers people reach a crossroads where they need to either stay technical or take the "people leadership" route.
I think we might be unique in that we want someone who first and foremost continues to be technical and primarily focussed on building but is also able to motivate and manage the team.
Thoughts? Location : As always, we’re going to hire the best people, wherever they are in the world. It’d be great if they were Canadians, but we can support visas and relocation from anywhere.
Do you think it is essential that people have seen our scale and similar approach to software development? If so, that might inform where we focus our efforts.
SF for example) Why should people consider us? I have my own thoughts on why joining Shopify at this point in time is a fantastic opportunity which I will be sharing with people when we speak but was curious to see what sticks out in your mind as it pertains to where the engineering organization is at and is headed.
What would you say to someone who was happy where they were but were considering starting a conversation about opportunities with us?
Happy to get the nod to tackle these searches. While we have historically grown the majority of our Engineering leaders from within, I think there is a massive opportunity for the new leads and senior leads to make a big impact on Shopify and the 700,000+ merchants we support.
Rgs, Doug From : Jean-Michel LemieuxSubject : Re : Dir EngineeringTo : Doug TetznerHey Doug,I also hate the job description "must haves" as we are looking more for mindset than experience and we are finding it’s rare combination.
But we both know they exist because we have a great crew already and have hired some exceptional folks over the last year.
Given that I’ve hired the wrong type of engineering leader before to fill a slot; I'm not going to make that mistake again and that’s why I'm more patient than people may expect.
Ideal background Exactly. At a lot of other companies, senior eng leads end up doing middle management stuff and become pseudo-
product managers and lose their edge with technology. Great companies have great technical engineering leaders who can motivate a team and win hack-
days once in awhile : ) We need those. Location Yep. Doesn't matter where they come from. We just need great people who really appreciate the mission and the opportunity here.
We've obviously a Canadian company, so let's not forget some of the best talent in the world is here or is Canadian. Why should people consider this?
Besides being on a massive growth trajectory, we have 20+ years of roadmap. We’re looking for leads at the moment across Financial Solutions, Shipping, Core, International and Channels.
You want a challenge related to scale, new product development, fintech, international expansion and more? We’ve got you covered.
Oh, and we need people yesterday : ) No pressure.Best,JML That was 2016. It all still makes sense in 2019. We've grown massively in scale in those three years but our core values have stayed the same.
Here’s a more detailed description of the product lines where we need leads and senior leads. If you apply, let us know if you feel a particular affinity towards any of them.
It’s a critical, but often overlooked, part of the merchant and buyer experience and our dev teams are working hard to build out a best-in-class solution.
And that’s without even starting on our international expansion plans.