VP of Engineering
The world urgently needs smart, visionary government. We’re here to accelerate governments’ transformation.
Every other sector has been transformed by platforms. Government is the final frontier for technology-enabled sharing and connecting. Closing the government knowledge gap was important before Covid-19. It is now existential if we are to preserve and develop free, fair, and peaceful societies.
Following recent investment and the board appointment of two world class business and technology leaders, Apolitical is looking to hire an engineering leader to scale Apolitical’s knowledge sharing and communication platform to serve millions of public servants and drive progress on the world’s hardest challenges, from climate change and migration to cyber security and fake news. McKinsey has put a value on solving this challenge, calculating that if city and national governments just did what was already working in other countries it would unlock $3.5 trillion annually.
Leading the technology strategy at the highest level, and part of our impressive and diverse leadership team, you will work directly with the exec, the board, advisors, and other global influencers, to tackle complex, social challenges using technology as the key enabler for social good.
Our mission is to make government work for all people and for the planet. Our moonshot is to accelerate the adoption of better skills and solutions in government, so that 1% of governments’ $30 trillion annual budget is spent 50% more effectively, unlocking $150 billion each year for society.
As our VP of Engineering, your role will be to build a high performing engineering team and culture that is able to support a large-scale dataset and microservice architecture to enable the platform to scale to securely serve millions of users.
Apolitical currently has a rich policymaking community platform, using the best of machine learning technology to proactively get members to the knowledge, skills, and connections they need. We are launching our first subscription learning product in Q4 2020. Over time, using our unique network and datasets, Apolitical will build a range of sophisticated tools and products that help governments design, due diligence, and implement world-changing policies, improving the planet and the lives of citizens everywhere.
- A rich community platform, using the best of machine learning technology to proactively direct users to the solutions and connections they need. The paid subscription model product will launch in Q4.
- 70k+ users across 170 countries, growing at 8% a month. Members range from numerous mayors and ministers to government CTOs, CIOs and CDOs.
- 25% monthly active users
- Government customers include departments in Canada, the UK, Australia and the UAE.
- Technology: NodeJS APIs and React frontend, Python, Kubernetes & GCP.
The ‘GovGraph’ is the underlying data and technology asset that Apolitical is building, spanning the people, problems, solutions, and flows of money in government. This dataset and technology is the ‘brain’ that will power a wide range of disruptive products – from policy due diligence tools to trends modelling and predictive analytics. The GovGraph will rapidly serve up answers to questions like “Which countries have implemented carbon pricing and what are the success factors?”
You as a person
As both a hands-on engineer and visionary leader capable of inspiring your colleagues and network, you will be passionate about the problem you are solving and how to deploy technology to do this. Whilst previous VP of Engineering roles are not essential, you will have both internal management and outward-facing components and have tackled comparable challenges in other companies. Growing, leading and mentoring a world-class team within a forward-thinking, product-led business. You will be pairing on the delivery of great code, designing strategy and promoting the mission and approach publicly and globally.
More about you
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong sense of personal accountability and commitment to transparency
- Open to productive, intellectually stimulating debate; strong critical thinker
- User-centric thinking will come naturally to you, and you’ll want to really understand our network
- Empathetic and genuinely interested in the welfare of the team
- Curiosity, creativity and flexibility – be ready to take initiative and get your hands dirty as we figure things out together
- Calm under pressure: in start-ups, you can’t sweat the small stuff
- Deeply motivated by making the world a better place; impact should drive and inspire you
Your experience and background
- Have managed an engineering function – not necessarily at VP/CTO level, but at least as a Head of Engineering with a substantial team beneath you
- Have driven a high quality of code execution, documentation, and constant improvement
- Demonstrated commitment to the welfare of your team
- Exposure to a company that has scaled quickly
- Experience with platforms in product-first companies, ideally including a start-up
- Exposure to government or related sectors e.g. education/health would be a major plus, but at the least you should be extremely motivated by the mission of supporting public servants and policymakers globally.
What You Can Expect At Apolitical
Our core values are public service first, optimism, openness and internationalism, trust, and delight. Our operating principles are:
- First serve the global public service: For any new idea or decision, always ask: What will most help the people working in government better serve society?
- Figure stuff out: We are disrupting an industry; there is no playbook.
- Get the right things done: Startups live or die by velocity. So be ambitious about scope and timing but rather do a few things well than many things badly.
- Own your power: Take on responsibility and take responsibility. Remember leadership is a behaviour not a position.
- Assume the best of people: People live up to your expectations of them. So, trust then verify.
- Live by our values to earn trust: Apply the New York Times Test: could you hold your head high if your conversations and actions were described on the front page of the New York Times?
- Look for win-wins: Startups have limited resources, so look for leverage opportunities and win-wins across the company (we generally try to avoid buzzwords!).
- Learn voraciously: Embracing professional development is part of everyone’s job description. And sometimes mistakes are your best teachers. Analyse them. Most mistakes are forgivable; failing to learn is not.
- Design for joy: No one is going to change the world if they’re exhausted and miserable. So, take breaks. Get sleep. Play. Find ways to make work fun, for you and others.
Perks & Benefits
(In addition to working with smart, kind people on one of the most important challenges of our time)
- Stock options: Our employee options plan gives you a stake in our vision.
- Flexibility: Everyone works differently. Whether it’s early mornings, late nights or a day at home, we support what gives you energy and makes you effective.
- Holidays: Unlimited holidays, trusting people to take what they need when they need. As a restorative reboot, we give everyone on the team the last Friday of every month off.
- Office: Based in the beautiful Public Hall, in the heart of Westminster and overlooking the River Thames. Our Berlin office is in the fun Mitte district.
- Maternity, paternity, and adoption leave: Generous maternity, paternity and adoption leave
- Development: Learning and development budgets for books, conferences and courses. We also offer learning days.
- Socials: Monthly board game evening (yes, we are a bit wonky) plus a range of other fun team events. We’ve taken these online since lockdown!
- Knowledge-sharing: Every Friday we have talks in the office — from team members sharing their work and from their public service members, often when visiting London from around the world.
- Wellbeing: We have registered for the UK’s Cycle-to-Work scheme, so you can buy a bike and cycling accessories tax-free. We have a fresh fruit bowl in the office. We have a subscription for all employees to HeathAssured, a leading workplace wellbeing provider.
- Library: We have a constantly growing library, to which every team member contributes their favourite book. There’s also a bigger library in Public Hall.
This is a unique, career-defining opportunity to shape and build a pioneering company with global reach and impact – putting pioneering ideas and invaluable connections at the fingertips of government leaders in 170+countries, helping to improve the world we live in.
For more information, please apply or, connect directly with our talent advisor, Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org
Apolitical care deeply about diversity and consider each application with care and responsibility.