Head of Engineering

  • Anywhere

Data has the power to radically transform construction and keep existing structures in our cities safe against climate change and environmental risks. BKwai is building a platform to deliver insights to engineers in the construction industry using research and applied data science technology. Our platform brings together data from the latest in sensors, satellites that can measure millimetres of movement from space, and environmental data. We want to harness the power of data-driven insights to make smarter, safer decisions and predictions.

The company is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge and backed by the university and Octopus Ventures, with strong market traction in a huge potential market. Our Founder has worked internationally in the fields of construction, asset management and satellite data and she is well connected within the sector.

What we’re looking for

We are looking for a motivated and high-achieving Head of Engineering based in London (or willing to travel up to a couple days a week) to join the team. This is a full-time role with significant opportunities for personal development and progression into a senior leadership position.

You would join and lead our Engineering team with primary responsibilities for People, Delivery and Technology. This is a high responsibility role in our company and has potential for a large impact. You would have support from the Engineering team, but also our Heads of Data Science and Product.

Our platform infrastructure is mostly serverless, using ECS (Fargate), EC2 and RDS (Postgres) sitting on AWS, and our data platform is using S3, Athena, AWS Glue, and Lambdas, on the frontend we have a react web application, making use of Mapbox and deck.gl that has recently been ported to typescript. We have strong advocates for infrastructure as code (using terraform), continuous integration, continuous delivery, maintaining high test coverage, and implementing best practices within all engineering and data science disciplines.

What you’ll be doing
  • You will be responsible for leading a cross functional team of engineers working closely with the Product Management and Data Science team
  • You will be accountable for both predictable delivery and high-quality output of your team and will measure the success of your team through the frequent production of high-quality code and fast pace of delivery to our customers.
  • You will own the technical roadmap and work closely with the Head of Product to align this with the product roadmap and wider company vision
Technical and Data Science
  • You will be responsible for architectural and structural decisions, and ensuring that the team produce and work to specifications and designs
  • You have an interest in being hands on in understanding what the team is working on, will be involved in review and may occasionally write code for important, high-impact components.
  • You can clearly explain the pros and cons of architectural and tech decisions to non-technical people
  • You acknowledge technical debt and advocate to proactively eliminate it in a continuous way while delivering product features.
  • You will work with the Head of Data Science to implement machine learning pipelines, data architectures and frameworks to support this function
  • You will be responsible for the development of your team through coaching, mentoring and implementing personal development plans.
  • You will also support our ambitious growth plans through direct involvement in hiring.
  • You will be able to communicate both at a technical and non-technical level, but also be able to communicate problems, blockers and risks with an understanding on how they impact customers, strategy or commercials
Your Experience
  • Have considerable experience in managing and/or leading an engineering team, and willing to mentor other Engineers
  • Capability in leading continuous improvement to improve the team’s delivery capability and enable the team to scale
  • Thorough understanding of computer systems at a broad level: data flow, distributed systems, numerical computing, frontend, web applications
  • Be engaged, curious and passionate about people and growing a high-performance company delivering great products
  • (Desirable) Have experience in building data-driven technology and SaaS with an understanding of the broad fields of machine learning, statistics and mathematics
  • (Desirable) Capability to plan and execute complex and sizable projects
  • (Desirable) Background in Mathematics, Computer Science, Software Engineering or a related technical field
  • The opportunity to join a fast-growing, agile, and diverse team passionate about innovation and making a difference
  • Share option scheme
  • Company pension scheme
  • 25 days paid holiday + bank holidays on top of that
  • Access to lifestyle benefits from Heka
  • Flexibility on working hours to help with family and other life commitments
  • Hybrid office-home working (some time with your team, some time working from home)
  • Opportunities for continued learning and self-development, including courses and attending events/conferences
  • Team catch-ups, town halls and knowledge sharing presentations
  • When COVID permits us to be in the office, we have a space in central London, with snacks and beverages (the engineering team particularly enjoy the ability to play table tennis at lunch)
  • Regular team socials
  • Importantly, we have a great team of smart, fun and inspiring colleagues, who work well to support each other
Application process

Our interview process consists of:

  • A chat on the phone about yourself and to learn a bit about us (make sure we’re not wasting anyone’s time)
  • Ideally, we’d have you spend some time in person with our team, but in the event that we’re working under COVID-19 restrictions, we’ll have half a day online – this would include technical and experience interview questions, but also a chance to see what we’re working on and meet the team (including the Engineers you’d spend most time with)!

We are looking to add to our culture with people from diverse backgrounds who are motivated to make a positive change, and to do so with integrity and an open mind. We support equality, diversity and inclusion, and encourage applications from all sections of society – and we mean that in more than words. Our company has a gender balanced leadership team, covers many different cultures and nationalities, a spectrum of ages and works with people of different physical abilities.

If this job speaks to you but you’re not sure that you “tick all the boxes” then please apply anyway. If we can help with any special accommodations for your application or interviews, just let us know.

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