Head of Frontend Engineering at hx
Remote-First organisation - London HQ
What do all of these things have in common? hx!
To reimagine technology to transform analytical decision-making, helping our customers make smarter decisions faster.
Who we are
The most interesting scaleup you haven’t yet heard of! Our product, Renew, lets users build and iterate complex mathematical models with the small, sparse and fragmented datasets that are used to drive critical decisions in many businesses. Such models are used to help answer questions like:
- What are the chances that SpaceX’s next launch will fail?
- How often will a company like TalkTalk have a cyber data breach?
- What would happen to the property in Silicon Valley if there was an earthquake?
- What are the chances of Kanye West cancelling his sell-out tour?
This sort of analysis has recently been neglected in favour of big data/analytics, but we are on a mission to change this. Our product has applications across multiple industries – we are focusing on speciality insurance to start with, but we believe our software has far further reach (including beyond the financial sector).
Why is this role special?
- It’s one of the most influential roles we will ever hire in Engineering
- You have the opportunity to lead a capability with responsibility for the people, technology and methods within it - operating with significant autonomy in a high trust, high expectation environment
- You will be able to shape your team as it scales by 15+ people over the next 12-18m
- You will encounter Hard* engineering challenges and will make critical, load-bearing decisions that will shape the future of hx
* capital ‘H’ intentional – we do some cool stuff you won’t see elsewhere
What does Engineering mean at hx?
Our Engineering team is front-and-centre in our mission to help our customers make smarter decisions faster. Building Renew has challenged us to solve many interesting problems, including:
- How to run arbitrary customer code securely, whilst controlling for indeterminism without accidentally trying to solve the halting problem
- How to produce a rich web-based development environment complete with IDE, version control, package management, tests, deployments and hosting... For non-developers
- How to produce a UI that’s familiar to Excel users without actively tying us to Excel
We’ve historically solved these problems with hard work and smart thinking, but we've reached the ‘two pizza limit’ and need move from ‘zero to one’ in places and ‘one to many’ in others so we can confidently solve more problems in parallel - problems like:
- How will we reach our ‘north star’ of deploying on-demand whilst ensuring the safety, security and correctness of our product?
- How do we safely move from one team to many and how should we divide the product domains?
- How should we optimise our systems to run larger models, more quickly, for less overall cost?
- How will we thoughtfully add 50+ people to the Product Engineering organisation over the next 18-24m without lowering our standards?
- Which systems need to be rewritten, refactored, removed or simply polished?
- How do we produce a UI component toolkit for our users that looks great and works brilliantly – irrespective of the weird and wonderful ways they’re assembled
Who are we looking for?
A Head of Engineering who will own, operate, grow and define our entire frontend capability. Your capability will be a pivotal part of a larger Product Engineering organisation along with groups from Backend Engineering, Product, Quality, Reliability and Security, and you’ll be part of its leadership team.
You must have:
- Leadership experience as a Director/Head of Engineering who has led through others, ideally at a fast-scaling technology organisation
- Significant experience developing advanced cloud-native applications and services with React and TypeScript
- Excellent knowledge and experience of fundamental CS/software engineering principles, including algorithms, data structures, complexity, testing, design patterns and architecture
- Strong understanding and significant experience working with and implementing modern software delivery practices including agile, lean, Kanban, organisational design and product engineering
- Demonstrable experience of strategic planning combined with effective delivery
- Proven experience attracting, motivating, developing and inspiring talented engineers
- Proven experience establishing principles, patterns and ways of working that eliminate friction and help teams deliver more than traditional thinking says is possible
You must be:
- Someone who’s smart, kind and gets stuff done
- Confident communicating clearly up, down, to the side, inside and outside an organisation
- Organised, proactive, self-motivated and reliable, and must thrive in a high trust, high expectation environment
We additionally appreciate:
- Knowledge of adjacent and/or complimentary domains such as platform, backend, product, reliability, security and/or quality
- Community contributions through meetup/conference talks, blogs or open-source
- Insurtech or fintech experience
- Prior B2B SaaS experience
What will you do?
In your first week:
- Meet everyone at our weekly company breakfast
- Get set up, get to know hx and your team
- Start learning about our past and present so you can define our future
- Attend your first hx Engineering Forum, where we discuss and debate all things tech
- Wrap the week at our all hands Show + Tell
Within one month:
- Take the reins of your capability and responsibility for its success
- Have understood and prioritised the people, technology and method challenges you want to tackle now/next/later and be developing a strategy to address them
- Add new perspectives to our thinking through our design/ideation sessions
Within three months:
- Have developed and agreed your strategy and will be actively delivering it
- Have landed your first hires and be working with our Talent team to keep the pipeline full and flowing
- Be working with your peers across Product Engineering to establish new cross-functional delivery teams
- Be sharing our story with the world in a way that suits you
Within six months:
- Have made your capability your own - with your people, technology and methods aligned to your strategy and direction
- Be accelerating innovation across hx directly through your capability and indirectly through your network and influence
- Be working with the CTO to identify and deliver additional strategic initiatives, tactical workstreams and/or special projects
- Understand our market, product, and value streams intimately
- Be thoughtfully influencing the broader product strategy and roadmap
What do we offer?
- Competitive salary + very staff-friendly EMI share options
- £5,000 annual learning & development allowance
- 33 days annual leave (inc. public holidays)
- £250 gadget-for-the-office budget (on hiatus due to COVID19)
- Top-spec equipment (choice of Apple or Dell laptop, mechanical keyboards, screens, etc)
- Huge opportunity for personal development and mastery as we grow together
- Regular remote hackathons, lunch & learns, socials and games nights
- Team breakfasts and lunches, snacks, drinks fridge, fun office @ the Peckham Levels,
- Annual team trip somewhere warm (sadly on hold due to COVID19)
hx is different and so is our hiring process. We want to see you at your best, so we let you customise the major stages – essentially a “choose your own adventure” hiring process that adapts to your individuality.
- Initial call with our Talent team to kick things off
- Introductory call with your future manager (with your choice of questions)
- Practical skills assessment with your future colleagues
- Meet the Chiefs
- Meet the team (with your choice of who) + Meet the CTO + Meet the CEO
- We offer!
Diversity @ hx
We are committed to diversity and equal opportunity. We’re a talented and high-energy, but low-ego and kind team who believes that the more inclusive we are, the better our work and culture is. We are not yet where we want to be in terms of balance, but it is our mission to build a team that represents a variety of backgrounds and perspectives and we are working hard towards that goal.
If you like the sound of this role but you’re not totally sure whether you’re the right fit – please apply anyway and we’ll let you know either way. Remember: you miss every shot you don’t take!
PS Our new blog is now live!
Check it out at https://medium.com/hyperexponential
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