Chief Technology Officer

at Skimlinks in London

Skimlinks is the world’s leading content-to-commerce platform, helping publishers monetize their commerce-related content, and retailers & brands find people who want to buy their products.

Skimlinks helps publishers earn an incremental revenue stream by automating the process of earning through affiliate marketing. By aggregating 24,000 merchant affiliate programs from over 55 affiliate networks, 4.5 million websites are able to earn commissions and gain an understanding of the shopping behaviours of their audience. Clients include Conde Nast, HuffiPost, Business Insider, Buzzfeed and Refinery29.

Skimlinks then uses the data collected from this affiliate service to create the world’s largest data co-op focused on shopping intent data. With data from 1 billion shoppers on the products they are reading about, clicking on, and buying, Skimlinks helps retailers and brands target and personalize based on these shopping behaviours. This means we have one of the world’s largest sets of AI training data around shopping intent, which attracts some of the greatest people to work at Skimlinks and build something truly great and impactful.

Our mission is to help publishers be rewarded properly for the role their content plays in creating shopping intent, providing a much needed funding model for the internet. We are also driven by creating a culture for our team that celebrates learning and growth, while caring for each other.

About the role

The primary role of the CTO is to provide strategic and hands-on architecture leadership, guidance and mentoring to Skimlinks Engineering teams and to ensure the delivery of high-quality, robust and scalable solutions to our customers.

Architecture and solution design
Set a vision and strategy for how Skimlinks can (continue to) be the best big data platform for shopping intent in the world, and lead in its execution
Responsible for platform and product architecture and solution design, so we deliver initiatives that are scalable, robust, and deliver results in line with business strategy
Lead and coach engineering teams as they design features, products, and platform components. Guide them through the process, asking the right questions, and providing insight and experience, to get to solid, thought-through designs that align with company strategy and provide for scalability and a minimum of tech debt
Provide a holistic overview across all engineering teams of architectural design, ensuring there is consistency, interoperability, and optimisations between teams
Actively manage tech debt, keeping it logged and a schedule of improvements built into our roadmap

Team & culture
Be an inspiring and motivating leader for our engineering team
Attract and recruit top engineers, setting up a hiring and interview process that continues to find and excite top talent
Foster an engineering culture based on excellence and discipline (not mediocrity or complacency), delivery and output (not just effort and input), thoughtfulness (not just ticking off tickets), and collaboration and shared knowledge (not fiefdoms or egos)
Mentor and develop engineers, helping them grow professionally and personally, and feel they have a development path within Skimlinks
Communicate and reinforce the company strategy and goals to the engineering team, ensuring they understand the context and background to their work
Share (or encourage your team to share) the tech team’s vision and progress to the wider Skimlinks team, so there is shared knowledge and excitement about what your team is working on

Development and delivery of quality scalable products
Lead the engineering team as they build complex and scalable products and features, ensuring adherence to designs and best practises
Maintain coding standards and quality assurance, with an eye on the code and designs being worked on to keep us to the highest of standards
Help the teams solve roadblocks and development challenges, balancing the need for quick turnaround of solutions with the need to coach and develop engineers
Flag potential issues or delays early, ensure exec stakeholders are alerted, and work actively to address and deliver solutions
Maintain a roadmap that includes maintenance, support, and ongoing iterative development for products and features across the company
Ensure our engineering team build products that are robust, future-proofed, extensible, and address commercial and operational requirements

Costs and efficiency
Monitor our hosting and tech delivery costs, ensuring they are within budget
Identify opportunities for bringing efficiencies and innovations into our hosting strategy, with better data management solutions or adoption of new technologies or providers
Assessing the engineering team’s output and performance, making necessary adjustments or improvements, to be sure our investments in engineering are delivering the requisite return

Executive leadership
Be a part of the Skimlinks executive team, reporting to the CEO, and working alongside our other C-suite leaders
Contribute to company strategy with input on how technology and product can influence our value and our growth
Take shared ownership of the financial and strategic success of the company
Work with the CEO and CPO in defining the future vision of Skimlinks’ technology and products

Customer and partner communication
Talk and meet with clients and partners, where appropriate, on technology strategy and assessment discussions
Represent Skimlinks at external events and meetings, helping grow our brand and reputation as a trusted and reliable leader in big data and technology
Constantly assess external technologies and solutions, staying abreast of innovations, best practises, industry trends, and applying them where relevant to improve efficiencies and product delivery

Balance roadmap delivery with longer term investments and explorations in technologies and solutions that can be a source of growth for the company
Give opportunities to engineers to work on R&D projects to develop them professionally and motivate them personally
Assess R&D projects analytically to identify those that can be turned into opportunities, and work with relevant teams to see this through to fruition

About you
Skimlinks is a technology company, with a human heart. We are looking for a leader who can bring their technology knowledge and experience to the table, but can also enhance our culture and make it an environment that attracts and develops the best engineers.
Bachelor’s degree or more in Computer Science or a related field
Experience as a CTO, Chief Architect, or similar architectural leadership role, in a complex and fast-paced tech company with at least 20 engineers
Hands-on enough to still code, but strategic enough to add value at exec team
Recent and in-depth experience working with big data or real-time ad tech solutions
Knowledge and experience dealing with large data sets and developing analytic software using SQL, NoSQL and statistical tools
Extensive experience leading on solution designs and architectures that are highly scalable and enterprise-grade, i.e. billions of daily events, hundreds of millions of users
A passion for developing engineers and creating cultures of excellence and delivery
Open-minded and collaborative approach to leadership
Ability to balance warmth with discipline; nurturing and supporting your team but applying discipline and accountability
Knowledge of ad tech industry a preference, but not essential; experience building and scaling enterprise-grade big data systems is essential
Ability to flourish in a fast-paced and entrepreneurial environment, with many concurrent projects and interdependencies

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Published at 24 Nov 2017
Expires on 24 Jan 2018