Head of Engineering

London
Product Engineering
Permanent

Paws is disrupting the global pet industry, bringing game changing innovation and customer wow to the way we love and live with our pets. Worldwide, 57% of consumers have a pet, it's a $100bn dollar global industry. Yet caring for an animal isn't always affordable or easy. We're changing that.

We believe that with all the benefits of the digital age, nothing can beat a familiar wet nose or wagging tail, and that the relationships between pets and their owners are some of the deepest and most positive on the planet. Paws is also dedicated to helping less fortunate pets, by supporting shelters, plus encouraging and educating pet owners in new and engaging ways.

You’ll be joining our founding team of experienced, successful startup high flyers and entrepreneurs (multiple £100m+ exits previously), in our state of the art HQ near Exmouth Market - and you can bring your dog to work of course!

ROLE OVERVIEW:

Paws is seeking to appoint a hands-on Head of Engineering who will be tasked with crafting a sustainable technology approach centred on the creation of an in-house subscription first e-commerce platform, capable of supporting the business as its customer pipeline grows tenfold and beyond. Working hand-in-glove with the Director of Product (Igor Micov), the Head of Engineering will form a key part of the leadership team and will be responsible for end-to-end technology strategy and delivery.

The Head of Engineering will take overall responsibility for all aspects of technology in the business and will deliver a best-in-class scalable platform capable of supporting to the highest standards, product discovery, purchasing and fulfilment. It is also critical to capture the right data so that the platform can be capable of supporting sophisticated product and marketing driven optimisation.

The current technology platform consists of a  rails api back end a react, redux web app and a react-native app. The remainder of the technology stack is yet to be defined. The incoming Head of Engineering will be tasked with this.

The Head of Engineering will also be responsible for building an in-house web technical team and be expected to manage, structure and scale this team in-line with the needs of the business. As a result of the current size and stage of the business, the Head of Engineering will need to introduce and embed an agile development methodology, drive the roadmap and release schedule and to be very hands-on in whatever way necessary to ensure the timely and efficient delivery and iteration of the platform.

The Head of Engineering will work closely with Igor to continually iterate on the product experience. They will take a lead in driving a culture of product innovation and discovery which will serve to position Paws as an innovator, attracting top talent.
This role is broad and suited to an experienced, critical and growth-focussed technologist. The opportunity ahead is significant, and the incoming candidate will have the chance to build a truly different E-commerce service that has the backing to truly build a £1bn+ business in the pet space.

SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES:

    • Build things and ship stuff. He or she will be hands-on with writing and submitting lines of code on a daily basis.
    • Define the overall technology strategy and budget, leading the architecture and delivery of an in-house, scalable, subscription e-commerce platform.
    • Ensure scalability and robustness of the platform, identifying and driving continuous improvements.
    • Ensure company technical challenges are resolved in a timely and cost-effective manner.
    • Hire, direct, coach and inspire a high-calibre web technical team taking a hands-on approach where necessary e.g. conducting code reviews and driving release schedule.
    • Embed an agile software development methodology, taking a lead to ensure a culture of continuous iteration and collaboration flows through the entire organisation.
    • Participate as a key member of the management team to define and deliver product strategy.
    • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of technology standards, trends, emerging technologies and software development best practices.
    • Ensure that technology standards and best practices are maintained across the organisation as it starts to scale.
    • Share knowledge, mentor, and educate the organisation’s investors, management, staff and stakeholders with regard to the company’s technology vision, opportunities and challenges.
    • Reports to shareholders with detailed monthly presentations on technical progress and data integrity.

PROFILE OVERVIEW:

    • DEEP AND BROAD HANDS-ON WEB TECHNOLOGY EXPERIENCE - A very strong and credible technologist, with a background in hands-on software development and demonstrable experience of architecting and delivering transactional web platforms and applications. Will be innovative, challenge the norm, and will be immersed in the latest technologies and methodologies.
    • GROWTH EXPERIENCE ​– Will have previously scaled and managed transactional technology platforms; will know how to mitigate for the future and will be able to operate effectively in a very fast-paced, constantly changing environment.
    • STRATEGY AND EXECUTION ​– Will demonstrate strategic thinking and the ability to understand the ‘bigger picture’ alongside a willingness and preference for being hands-on and detail oriented where necessary.
    • E-COMMERCE / TRANSACTIONAL BACKGROUND – Will ideally have experience of building / scaling robust eCommerce platforms.
    • PRODUCT SENSIBILITY / APPRECIATION FOR ENGAGING CONSUMER PRODUCTS – Will ideally have a strong understanding of end-user needs and experience of working hand-in glove with product management. Will be focused on using technology as an enabler to deliver an exceptional digital customer experience.
    • TEAM LEADERSHIP, RELATIONSHIP AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Capable of operating successfully autonomously and with small teams. Then scaling the team as needed. An inspiring and engaging communicator and colleague, able to build positive working relationships with ease. Never says ‘it’s complicated’ without explaining why.



VALUES & CULTURE FIT:

- Failure 'breeds' opportunity
We retro everything, learn from our mistakes and are candid with one another about how to improve.

- 11x
Spinal Tap took it to 11 - so are we. We have a grand vision, a superteam to execute on it, a brand new swanky office near Exmouth Market, significant funding and a culture of never thinking small. Great just isn't good enough.

- Love the customer
At the heart of our purpose is the customer. If they aren't thrilled with everything we do then we just aren’t fulfilling our vision and purpose.

- We take everyone on the journey
All meetings, notes, off-sites, socials,  conversations are open. There is no hierarchy here. Be seen and be heard regardless of your role.

- Think beyond yourself
Enjoying the journey is a must. We spend most of our lives at work so it has to be enjoyable. We are kind, considerate and a sociable bunch. We have weekly socials, regular team lunches, and bi-annual parties.

To live these values we look for people that are,

Thoughtful, entrepreneurial, ambitious, down to earth, positive, self-starting, creative, challenging with the ability to push back, execution focussed, high integrity, fun, transparent, high energy, able to think strategically but also roll up their sleeves. Above all, scrappy with a sense of humour.