Director of Software Engineering

RCG Talent Solutions - New York, New York or Remote - Full time

Company Description

Founded in 2014, APDS’s mission is to prepare every justice-impacted individual for a living wage job. APDS is the career readiness platform for all justice impacted individuals to attain a living wage job. APDS has proven success through its “Whole Human Framework” which is a proprietary curriculum delivering assessments and plans that motivate, engage, educate, and equip these individuals in their pursuit to empower themselves and strengthen society. APDS leverages innovative technology to create a managed learning environment that fosters growth and certifies career-readiness.

APDS is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) and certified B-Corporation, with a business model that never charges incarcerated individuals or their friends and families for its technology or services. Currently, APDS products and services are deployed in over 150+ facilities across 17 states -- and growing.

You can learn more about APDS work by visiting: 

The Opportunity

The Director of Software Engineering leads the design, definition, development, and delivery of APDS’ software. This is a senior-level technology and user-experience strategist who has a proven ability to evaluate the needs of customers and other end-users, the goals of the company, the requirements of external stakeholders, and the capabilities and capacity of the software engineering team to deliver software that delight the users and build the business.

The Director of Software Engineering builds and leads a diverse, high-performing team of creative and innovative technologists, including software design, software development, quality assurance, and analysis roles. The Director of Software Engineering works closely with product management, sales, and marketing teams to understand the market, and other technology teams for technology roadmap, infrastructure, and organizational issues. More than just a technologist, the Director of Software Engineering is able to understand the needs of a market, envision innovative solutions that meet those needs, and lead the teams that design, build, and deliver those innovative technologies that drive differentiation, create organizational efficiencies and support revenue and outcome goals.

The Director of Software Engineering reports to the Chief Technology and Product Officer (CTPO)

First Year Goals

  • Make key improvements to the development process, including 100% adherence to style and linting rules, review and explicit approval of pull requests, implementation of build testing and CI/CD best practices
  • Measure predictability (with a benchmark of 85% delivered against planned) and increase sprint velocity in order to increase our speed to market with new features
  • Develop and advocate for technology roadmap that will allow us to deliver our software roadmap and accomplish our corporate objectivesDevelop, publish, and maintain an enterprise architecture diagram and plan
  • Lead the QA function in APDS and ensure our product is of the highest quality

Job Responsibilities

  • Work with CTPO, Director of Product, marketing leadership, sales leadership and other stakeholders, to develop and own a coherent software development strategy and technology roadmap spanning a variety of user experiences and user personas (including administrators, learners, families, and regulators).
  • Balance improvements to existing software and platforms with potential innovative new software concepts.
  • Translate software strategy into actionable software development initiatives.
  • Communicate strategy and software performance across the organization and outside the organization as necessary.
  • Stay abreast of relevant technology, business, and educational trends and evaluate their implications for APDS software suite.
  • Lead the research and analysis of third-party technical solutions that can contribute to APDS software suite.
  • Define a tablet/device software strategy that accounts for a broad range of use-cases.
  • Build and lead a software engineering team within a broader technology department led by the CTPO.
  • Perform management fundamentals of hiring, goal-setting, performance management, mentoring, career development, and day-to-day management, all with the goal of building a diverse, cohesive, high-performing software engineering development team.
  • Develop a culture of innovation, inspiration, and collaboration that’s dedicated to rapidly delivering high-quality software that delight users and produce results for the business.
  • Lead Software Engineering staff (both onsite and offsite/offshore teams) to develop and deliver APDS’ software in a timely, high quality, and efficient manner.
  • Work with the team to allocate staff and technical resources, establish clear priorities, and track progress to meet established milestones.
  • In collaboration with other technology experts, analyze, recommend, and implement technology platforms and architectures to support software and technology strategy.
  • Manage the development cadence and software scope to ensure software innovations anticipate market needs and meet release timelines.
  • Introduce and enforce sound software engineering development practices such as source code control, integration practices, code reviews.
  • Continually measure the effectiveness of software and the performance of the development team.
  • Manage and report on the performance of software to KPIs.
  • Use measurement insights to develop software engineering plans.
  • Interact with APDS’ leaders giving status updates and detailed thoughts into the options we have for each release.
  • Work with other technology department leaders, manage software engineering budget to meet operational targets, while identifying investment opportunities to build the business.


  • 10+ years of technology, software development, or software engineering leadership experience, including experience at a director level or above.
  • Deep understanding of software engineering lifecycle, including strategy, design, usability, and implementation, preferably in user-centered, agile development environments.
  • Fluency in diverse aspects of digital software technology, including front-end technology, back-end technology, user experience, web services, database administration, and mobile applications.
  • Practical or contributor experience in one or more of the following disciplines: software development and engineering, business analysis, user experience design.
  • Outstanding written, spoken, and presentation communication skills, including exceptional ability to present to internal and external audiences and represent the product and the organization in a variety of contexts.
  • Proven experience demoing software prototypes and products and explaining the value to a wide variety of stakeholders, including end users, customers, business partners, and regulators.
  • Experience with Agile software methodologies.
  • Formal training in one or more recognized Agile methodologies (Scrum, XP, kanban, etc.) and toolsets (JIRA, VersionOne, Rally, etc.) preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in computer science, engineering, math, or related field is preferred.
  • Belief in APDS’s mission to reduce recidivism and improve the life chances of incarcerated learners and returning citizens.

Location and Travel

  • New York City or remote (APDS has a NYC office and roughly 30% of APDS team members are NYC-based.)
  • You can expect to travel 2-3 times per quarter. Additional travel may be required for applicants outside of NYC.

Salary and Benefits

  • Salary Range $180-200k
  • APDS offers competitive compensation commensurate with experience and a generous benefits package.

Equal Opportunity Employer

APDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and firmly believes in creating a workplace that respects and values diversity of cultural, ethnic, and experiential backgrounds. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply. As an organization committed to the successful reentry of justice-impacted persons, we strongly encourage candidates who share the life experiences of the citizens we serve to apply.

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Experience Level

Senior Level

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