Principal Software Engineer

Updated: 3 days ago
Location: Boston, MASSACHUSETTS
Job Type: FullTime
42851BR
Principal Software Engineer
Harvard Medical School
------------
USA - MA - Boston
Information Technology
Full-time
HMX / Office for Online Learning
059
00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
As a member of the HMX team in the Office for Online Learning, the Principal Software Engineer will have an opportunity to make a difference in shaping an innovative educational experience. This role oversees the technical aspects of the delivery of HMX’s innovative, high-quality online educational modules (see onlinelearning.hms.harvard.edu/hmx). 
The Principal Software Engineer is responsible for the development and delivery of the HMX online learning experience, overseeing all aspects of HMX’s Open edX online education platform to ensure that the project plan, schedules, feature set and quality standards are met.  Reporting to the Faculty Director of HMX, the Principal Software Engineer will write platform code and work closely with the curriculum development and media leads and with external technology vendors.
As a member of a small team in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, the ideal candidate should feel comfortable both coding and working closely with tech-savvy, forward-thinking colleagues to conceptualize, find, develop, and deliver optimal technology solutions to support learning.  Curiosity, creativity, and initiative are a must, along with a desire to develop superior educational products and services that effectively contribute to online learning and engagement. Strong Python experience is a requirement; experience with the Open edX platform is a plus.  
Applicants should include links to their code at GitHub or another repository hosting service, as well as a cover letter describing why this position interests them and how it fits their experience and interests.
As Principal Software Engineer, you will be responsible for:
  • Leading all aspects of development on an Open edX based learning platform
  • Contributing as a hands-on developer, including leading the writing of software in support of all platform components
  • Serving as the main point of contact for external contractors
  • Working with HMS Online Learning leadership to define product features and roadmap for courses
  • Working closely with the content/pedagogy and media teams to enable creation and delivery of world-class course content, as well as back-end workflow
  • Maintaining HMX platform configuration, security, data backup, code and documentation in an effective and timely fashion
  • Installing, configuring and maintaining systems/stacks in support of HMX development projects, primarily on AWS
  • Working across the project team to identify options and opportunities for leveraging of third party applications and services, when required
  • Collaborating with the operations, content, and media teams to respond to user feedback and prioritize new feature requests
  • Developing new interactive educational tools, for example for Xblocks implementing innovative assessment types for the Open edX platform, including managing the associated technology and platform requirements
  • Managing creation of the front-end interface from provided design concepts, using HTML5 and JavaScript frameworks and libraries, and ensuring that the platform functions well on mobile devices
  • Designing and building or adapting technology workflows and solutions for collecting data from the online platform and performing data analysis
  • Overseeing design and development of dashboard/visualizations for learning analytics
  • Overseeing a small internal team as well as contractors
7 years of technology-based work experience or BS in Computer Science/related field with at least 5 years of technology-based work experience. Hands on experience with both front end and back end development. Demonstrated experience programming in Python. 
Previous experience in web software development and more specifically with the Open edX platform in all aspects. Expertise in Python, along with strong knowledge of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and modern UI frameworks is expected.
   
The ideal candidate would possess most or all of the following:
  • Experience in development of platform/tools for online learning, particularly Open edX
  • 5+ years of experience designing, developing, and implementing web applications, including experience developing e-learning applications
  • Expertise in the following technologies / frameworks: Django/Python; web front end / client side languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript / jQuery, AJAX, JSON); NoSQL (e.g. MongoDB) and traditional SQL database systems (e.g. MySQL); experience with visualization libraries (e.g. D3.js, Raphael, Processing.js) is a plus. Knowledge of AWS is beneficial.
  • Strong knowledge of both server side and presentation layer development technologies, including prior programming experience in with one or more language(s), e.g. JavaScript and/or Python
  • Previous experience as technical lead in an engineering team
  • Full life cycle development experience (technical design through implementation) and experience with agile development practices
  • Experience in vendor and third party management, including managing relationships over extended periods of time
  • Enthusiasm, sense of humor, and a love of creative product design for extending the possibilities for online learning   
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, and written/verbal communication skills

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We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.
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