Director, Software Development
Who We Are
Bridge partners with governments, donors, and parents to ensure that every child has access to an education that develops her full potential and creates the foundation for prosperity for the country. We are dedicated to supporting teachers, empowering school leaders, and ensuring every child has the learning support needed to master the national syllabus and have the confidence to succeed in a competitive world. Each of our project or country teams are supported through expertise and programming from additional offices around the world, combining world-leading expertise in core design areas with locally resident leadership and execution. We leverage experts, data, and technology in order to support and scale every aspect of quality education delivery. Bridge managed and supported schools are technology enabled and data driven to ensure accountability in the classroom for both teachers’ performance and children’s learning.
The Bridge model delivers significant learning outcomes at large scale by combining technology and customized learning materials. At Bridge, we believe innovation and technology can transform learning. Our model – which uses technology to deliver thoroughly researched and carefully designed daily lesson guides to teachers in our academies – is proven to increase learning outcomes for children. We are a solutions-driven, implementation-focused organization, using design principles to work in varied and often highly constrained contexts to ensure learning outcomes and positive development for children. Working in regional and national scales is important to us, as empowering entire generations of children with core knowledge, skills, and confidence is what builds the foundation for a peaceful and prosperous future for us all.
Our mission is to provide our pupils with a life-changing education and we believe that every child should have a right to world-class education regardless of her family’s income. Core to our approach is the conviction that every child can learn, as long as the school she attends is committed to her development and puts her needs to learn at the forefront of all decisions. We have seen teachers and children transform and excel in both government and private schools that we support and manage.
We invite you to join this incredible endeavor that is having world-changing impact across multiple continents. You will join a team of dedicated change-makers committed to ensuring that each decision we make keeps a child’s experience of learning as its guiding principle.
Technology plays a critical role at Bridge in enabling us to provide education at massive scale and low cost – it's one of the key elements that gives us the ability to deliver what no one else can. Tech spans several key functions, from the hardware and software that our academies use to run all aspects of teaching and management, including mobile payments, to the systems that enable our country headquarters to manage massive local operations, to the data backbone that informs all of our strategic and tactical decision making. It’s a lot of custom software development and a lot of back office systems.
We've got a ridiculously ambitious mission at Bridge, and it's a place where passionate technologists have a chance to directly change the world. No kidding.
Software Development Department, Technology Group
The software development department handles all aspects of delivery related to our custom software applications and services - everything that it takes to turn an idea into working software and delivering value to our users. The department is structured into cross-functional, self-organising teams that work together on projects, short and long, alongside product designers and key business stakeholders.
About the Role
Technology at Bridge is a highly complex, vertically-integrated affair, with systems supporting an ever expanding range of functions and countries, and crossing between software development, IT operations, academy operations, and logistics/supply chain. At the same time, our teams run lean and things change fast – governments make policy decisions that affect us, launching new countries is a frenetic affair, and we still need to evolve our core technology offering.
This role is about ensuring that the software we develop at Bridge combines equal measures of delivery excellence, business relevance, and innovation. It means balancing the tactical needs of what needs to be built with the strategic technical vision of robust, distributed systems that support our ever expanding portfolio, across multiple markets. It’s about working with our self-organising, autonomous teams to ensure they’re delivering what the business needs now, and also years from now – both in a mentoring capacity and in a hands-on capacity, helping to design and deliver key components of our platform.
Over the past several years, the software team has been on a journey to transform itself into the lean, highly-leveraged team necessary to support Bridge’s ambitious expansion plans – adopting continuous delivery practices, a microservices platform, and cloud-based architecture. But we need to keep pushing – expanding automated testing, data feedback loops, and innovation at the intersection of hardware and software. Think facial recognition, OCR, adaptive curriculum, fraud detection… but keep in mind that most of our schools lack power, reliable connectivity, or technically sophisticated users, so the challenge for Bridge everywhere and always is to innovate at a world class level in highly constrained environments.
This person will report to the CTO as part of the core technology leadership team, alongside directors owning the IT Operations, Product Management, and Programme Management functions.
What You Will Do
- Ensure delivery excellence across the software teams
- Build (hire) multiple software delivery teams
- Enforce software development best practices
- Oversee software design and innovation
- Develop the skills and practices of the delivery teams
- Lead key new technology exploration
- Drive a culture of continuous improvement and quality
- Bachelor's degree in related field with superior academic performance
- 10+ years commercial software development experience at the enterprise level
- Experience working across multiple delivery teams
- Extensive knowledge of core software patterns
- Passion around the testing pyramid – from unit tests to e2e tests, including both TDD and BDD
- Experience developing mobile applications, esp. offline Android apps
- Knowledge of .NET platform, esp. with .NET core
- Experience developing APIs, esp. including hypermedia considerations (e.g. Richardson Maturity Model)
- Deep understanding of continuous delivery practices, including frequent commits, fast feedback, team autonomy, blue-green deployments, and monitoring (reduction of mean time to response)
- Preference for knowledge of contract testing, both consumer-driven and provider-driven
- Understanding of cloud-based architectures, esp. for deployment to Azure and AWS
- Bonus for understanding of containerisation, especially in .NET
- Comfort with multiple types of persistence layers, from SQL to NoSQL to event sourcing
- Experience migrating brown-field platforms, esp. monoliths to micro-services
- Understanding of high-performance, distributed architectures, esp. microservices and CQRS
- Track record of advocating for (and contributing to) open-source technologies
- A detailed doer – You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a startup or other rapid-growth company
- A creative problem-solver – Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in often fragile, sometimes volatile low-resource communities and with complex government systems. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand
- A relentless advocate – The children we serve and teachers we empower never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent’s hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their benefit, experience, and value
- A malleable learner – You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you’ve missed things or failed today
- A data-driven decision-maker – When making decisions, you don’t rely your intuition alone. You collect data, you analyze it and make decisions with clear justifications
- A curious investigator – You ask why a lot. You don’t just take what you see and accept it. You wonder why it is that way, and are aware that the world we see is created by human choices and actions – and it could be different. You wonder, and see the world as wonderful even when you want to change a part of it that is unjust