Director, Software Engineering

· New York, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor

Job Title: Director of Engineering

Location: Newark (NJ), New York City (NY), and Chicago (IL)

Employment Type: Full-time

Start Date: ASAP


The Challenge

In America, we’ve promised that hard work and ambition will be met with equality of opportunity. The reality is that we have a quiet crisis on our hands. Before COVID-19, an African American with a BA was twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterpart, and a Bachelor’s degree holder from a low-income background started their career earning only two-thirds as much as those from higher-income backgrounds. While education has the potential to be the great equalizer, only 25% of our country’s 1.2 million first-generation or low-income college enrollees are predicted to land a strong job after graduation and be on a path to the American Dream. And with the COVID-19 crisis upon us, now more than ever, college students from humble beginnings need to be prepared to compete for strong jobs.

Our Vision

We believe that our country’s next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere, but they need a talent strategy that matches them in strength and diversity. We envision an American Dream Team—100,000 diverse leaders-in-the-making—prepared to access and thrive in strong first jobs after college graduation.

Theory of Action

Braven supports untapped students from college to career by partnering with universities, employers, and college success organizations to offer a two-part experience that begins with a credit-bearing college course followed by a post-course experience that lasts through graduation. Fellows emerge from Braven with the skills, experiences and networks they need to land a strong first job and get on a path to economic freedom. Braven has worked with more than 2,300 students at four campuses at Rutgers University-Newark, San José State, Lehman College, and National Louis University to date.


Braven Fellows across the country are persisting in college and achieving exciting levels of internship and job attainment. 

  • 95% of our Fellows are persisting in or have graduated from college. 
  • 73% of Braven college graduates have at least one internship during college, compared with 49% of first-generation seniors at large state universities, and Braven Fellows outpace the national average for strong job attainment. 
  • Within six months of graduation, 71% of Fellows secured quality full-time jobs worthy of their Bachelor’s degree or enrolled in graduate school, compared to 56% of all students and 49% of students from similar backgrounds.

We believe Braven is a solution and we are on a mission to scale it, equalizing access to the American Dream.

The Role:

Braven is seeking a Director of Software Engineering to join us in building online experiences, tools, and services to help students get strong first jobs. You will join a small and empowered team to build and improve the platform on which our students rely. We want students using our platform to feel empowered, connected, and engaged. To accomplish this, we aggressively prioritize which projects we work on, aiming to provide the most value in the simplest way possible. We constantly iterate to improve our services as we see what works and what doesn’t. We’re agile and we like to have fun!

You will play a crucial role in our mission: prototyping new features, helping your team grow through code reviews, learning new technologies, and re-architecting systems that are past their prime. Braven is entering an exciting growth phase in which we need to balance agility to develop new features against discipline to ensure we use software engineering best practices.  We have projects that span the spectrum of software engineering: feature development within existing products, prototypes for new product discovery, data warehousing/ETL systems, and learning DevOps technologies to help us deploy/test/troubleshoot faster.

To be successful at Braven, on the Tech Team, and in this role, you must demonstrate Braven’s core values, be comfortable with ambiguity and constant evolution, and welcome constant feedback and learning. We are a team that likes each other both in and outside of work! Do you have a strong bias to action and enjoy making the complex simple all while driving and owning all aspects of your projects from conception to completion?  Come join us in shaping the next generation of leaders!

What You’ll Do:

  • Work primarily with a React/Ruby/Apache/Postgres stack
  • Manage and coach the software engineers on your team
  • Demonstrate technical leadership by using best practices in industry and modeling the steps, processes, and communication required for a healthy engineering team
  • Manage projects of substantial technical and logistical complexity, demonstrating thorough understanding of the user experience and how that should interact with our data models
  • Write high quality idiomatic code that colleagues use to further their own development
  • Demonstrate a mastery of computer science fundamentals and design patterns (OOP, data structures, MVC, REST, etc)
  • Review pull requests promptly (< 2 days) and give thoughtful feedback often going the extra step to refer to outside resources (such as books) or principles (e.g., Law of Demeter)
  • Proactively communicate progress, dependencies, and blockers to stakeholders

Experience and Skills:

  • Must be authorized to work for any company in the US
  • Must live within commuting distance from New York City
  • Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of such by the date of hire. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. Exempted individuals will be subject to weekly testing if they engage in any in-person work activities.   
  • 7+ years of software engineering experience
    • Intermediate to expert level knowledge of Rails and SQL
    • Beginning to intermediate knowledge of React
    • Intermediate knowledge of Selenium
  • 2+ years of excellence in managing software engineers, leading to strong outcomes and a robust culture of learning and development
  • Experience with agile project management
  • Proven track record of close collaboration with product managers, designers, and quality assurance analysts, providing estimates or product ideas to influence the roadmap
  • Task Management – You drop very few balls. You fully own the resolution of your tasks and projects and are able to prioritize amongst a large body of requests big and small. 
  • Strong Judgment: You exhibit strong judgement on when to act alone and when to seek input to make decisions. You demonstrate discretion in understanding how much to share and when.
  • Communication – You lean towards over communicating, ensuring that your team is aware of the issues you are seeing, progress you are making, and overall priorities you are following. You also have very strong writing skills, able to convey technical guidance in everyday language to non technical folks with an empathetic tone.
  • You lean in - When you see a system that needs improvement, a role that needs to be filled, you jump in and address it and work with the right stakeholders to find the right long-term fix and the right ‘home’ for the issue at hand.
  • Scrappy – you’re willing to get your hands dirty and do whatever it takes to achieve your end goals, you recognize that no day will be like the day before and are flexible enough to jump on the highest priority project even if you didn’t see it coming

Total Rewards Philosophy:

Braven is committed to attracting and retaining extraordinary, diverse leaders who believe deeply in our mission and uphold our core values as organizational leaders and stewards within and outside of the organization. Braven provides a “total rewards package” that encompasses comprehensive and competitive benefits, compensation, recognition, and career development. Current benefits include: Braven covers 85% of health care costs, has unlimited vacation time, matches up to 5% of your 401K contribution starting your first full month, a paid sabbatical after 4 years on staff, and competitive base salaries based on the midpoint of the market among not-for-profit organizations of similar size. We believe in compensating staff members fairly in relation to each other, their qualifications, and their impact on behalf of the organization and take internal equity seriously. Staff who are meeting expectations generally receive an annual 3% increase. Braven conducts benchmarking every other year; based on this external data, some salaries may also receive market adjustments to keep pace with relevant competition in similar roles. Braven reserves the right to change benefits at any time.

The salary for this position depends on your prior work experience and the starting range for this position will likely be between $144,400 and $180,500. Please be advised, you will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the application process.

In typical times where social distancing is not in place, Braven teammates gather in the office four days a week. Each teammate can use one flex day of their choosing per week to work remotely. We believe in the magic, connection, and collaboration that happens when people work together face-to-face and we believe in giving people flexibility to focus, balance personal priorities, and save themselves one commute per week. Therefore, we require teammates to live within commuting distance of New York City, NY

Braven is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected factor.  We encourage talented individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

Thank You

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  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience