VP of Engineering, Starfleet at Protocol Labs (Remote)
About Protocol Labs
Protocol Labs drives breakthroughs in computing to push humanity forward. Protocol Labs is a product-development lab, but behind the protocols and tools we build, behind the research and implementations, are passionate people, teammates, and community members. Most teams in the Protocol Labs Network are fully distributed and work remotely around the world. Engineers, researchers, and operators work in the open to improve the internet — humanity's most important technology — as we explore new advances at the intersection of many exciting fields (crypto, networks, distributed systems) and cultures (startups, research, open-source, distributed work).
The PL Starfleet VP of Engineering will lead engineering and research development team growth, execution, and organization. To help propel our 100+ team of engineers, operators, and researchers forward, we are looking for an inspirational technical leader ready to break new ground in web3. A successful candidate has significant people management experience, sharp business acumen, big-picture strategic vision, an innately collaborative style, and strong technology fundamentals. And since Protocol Labs is still a fast-growing startup, we’ll need someone with a track record of building something from nothing—hiring, developing processes, and reorganizing to fit business priorities.
Key areas of responsibility:
Build a world-class Engineering organization
- Embody and evolve the PL Starfleet engineering culture as the team reaches scale (from our current 100+)
- Plan and build the team’s capabilities
- Develop the 2-3 year vision for the team, and translate this into viable 6-12 month plans and roadmaps, working closely with the larger Leadership Team
- Determine necessary headcount/skills/structure to achieve current and future goals
- Recruit at a world-class level—actively network, reach out to candidates, and conduct other activities to attract top talent
- Help engineers understand why their contributions are valuable and how they tie to business impact
- Coordinate closely with people/recruiting team on hiring strategy
- Lead the development of interview process for ICs and managers alike
- Instill a hiring culture on the team, including adhering to the hiring process and maintaining a high bar
- Build an Engineering employee brand: speak on panels, encourage Open Source contributions and blog posts about non-proprietary aspects of our technology architecture and usage
Manage the Engineering organization
- Manage / coach Engineering Managers and other senior engineers
- Ensure everyone on the team has the resources and opportunities to learn and grow — formal/informal training, mentorship, stretch goals, attendance at conferences
- Create and apply engineering-specific development expectations; use these to provide regular feedback
- Reorganize and effectively manage change as needed to best fit with the business needs
- Collaborate with the PL Comp WG on compensation and employee rewards
- Manage team dynamics and employee relations issues and be accountable for resolution
- Develop the staffing logic and execute it, factoring in engineering preferences and professional development
- Instill norms, cultural values (i.e. collaboration, async first, self-direction, etc) and lead by example.
Drive Engineering team execution / delivery
- Achieve results and hold teams accountable to deliver on their own goals
- Regularly evaluate team structure to ensure the organization can move quickly
- Devise methods to measure output and effectiveness week over week and present findings and bottlenecks
- Inspire and motivate the team to strive for excellence
- Develop and promote processes which ensure timely delivery of products
- Fill in the blanks and verify that the engineering team has the right tools, technology, and processes to build quality, scalable and reliable systems
- Codify and disseminate best practices (i.e. testing, code reviews, pair programming)
- Innovate and experiment to optimize team output
Collaborate with PL Starfleet Leadership Team
- Represent the Engineers and Researchers as a member of the Leadership Team
- Communicate plans, challenges, and updates to other functional heads
- Seek to understand challenges facing other teams or the company at large and provide input, advice and/or possible solutions
- Nurture Engineering’s strong relationship/alignment with other orgs and teams
Characteristics of a successful candidate:
- 10+ years of experience, with a strong track record of success in great companies: been consistently promoted up the chain of responsibility, ideally at multiple companies so they have more than one perspective on technical leadership. Experience in systems/technology or other highly technical industry would be helpful.
- Produced at scale: built and delivered products that have scaled in the marketplace with a proven track record of shipping high quality products on tight timelines; designed and executed processes to make this happen
- Strong technology fundamentals and the ability to make high impact decisions about the long term viability/scalability of technical solutions. Communication via system design diagrams and ability to toggle between breadth and depth
- People management / coaching: recognized and helped recruit amazing people, learned how to effectively manage non-performers, views feedback as a gift, has courage, and developed their team members into successful leaders in their own right
- Humility and empathy: made mistakes—even very public ones—and can speak openly and humbly about what happened and how the problem was solved
- Business-minded and collaborative: spent time working across an entire organization, and built relationships to understand the ins and outs of the whole business
- Inspirational followership: speaks externally on a regular basis to help build the brand of a company or product; has a ready roster of high performing engineers who would quit their jobs to work for them
- Naturally effective communicator: structured, clear, great listener, can boil complex concepts into straightforward ideas; also knows whom to involve, when, and how
If you’re passionate about the future of computing and a more democratized internet, we want to talk to you.
GDPR for Job Applicants and Candidates
When you apply to a job on this site, the personal data contained in your application will be collected by Protocol Labs, Inc. (“Protocol Labs”), which is located at 427 N Tatnall St #51207, Wilmington, Delaware 19801 and can be contacted by emailing legalrequests[at]protocol.ai. Protocol Labs’ data protection team can be contacted via legalrequests[at]protocol.ai. Your personal data will be processed for the purposes of managing Protocol Labs’ recruitment related activities, which include setting up and conducting interviews and tests for applicants, evaluating and assessing the results thereto, and as is otherwise needed in the recruitment and hiring processes. Such processing is legally permissible under Art. 6(1)(f) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation) as necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by Protocol Labs, which are the solicitation, evaluation, and selection of applicants for employment.
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