Director of Product Development at APDS


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About APDS Founded in 2014, APDS’s mission is to prepare every justice-impacted individual for a living wage job. Through its career readiness platform, APDS has proven success through its “Whole Learner 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 provides its technology and services at no cost to incarcerated individuals and their friends and families. APDS products and services are currently deployed in over 150+ facilities across 17 states and growing. 

You can learn more about APDS work by visiting:

About the position 
The Director of Product Development leads the design, definition, development, and delivery of APDS products. 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 product development team to deliver products that delight the users and build the business.

The Director of Product Development builds and leads a diverse, high-performing team of creative and innovative technologists, including product design, software development, quality assurance, and analysis roles. The Director of Product Development 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 Product Development can 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 Product Development 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 to increase our speed to market with new features.

 Develop and advocate for a technology roadmap that will allow us to deliver our product roadmap and accomplish our corporate objectives develop, publish, and maintain an enterprise architecture diagram and plan.

Job Responsibilities:
Management Working with CTPO, Director of Product, marketing leadership, sales leadership, and other stakeholders, to develop and own a coherent product development strategy and technology roadmap spanning a variety of user experiences and user personas (including administrators, learners, families, and regulators.) Balance improvements to existing products and platforms with potential innovative new product concepts.
Translate product strategy into actionable product development initiatives.  Communicate strategy and product performance across the organization and outside the organization as necessary.
Stay abreast of relevant technology, business, and educational trends and evaluate their implications for the APDS product suite. Lead the research and analysis of third-party technical solutions that can contribute to the APDS product suite. 
Define a tablet/device product strategy that accounts for a broad range of use cases.
Build and lead a Product Development 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 to build a diverse, cohesive, high-performing product development team.
 Develop a culture of innovation, inspiration, and collaboration that’s dedicated to rapidly delivering high-quality products that delight users and produce results for the business.

Lead product development staff to develop and deliver APDS products 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, and analyze, recommend, and implement technology platforms and architectures to support product and technology strategy.
Manage the development cadence and product scope to ensure product innovations anticipate market needs and meet release timelines.
Introduce and enforce sound product technology development practices such as source code control, integration practices, and code reviews.
Continually measure the effectiveness of products and the performance of the development team. Manage and report on the performance of products to KPIs. Use measurement insights to develop product plans.

Skills Required

Ability to lead onsite and offsite teams through completing key capabilities that will help drive and support APDS’ business. Be a leader of all managed team members gaining the respect of all while promoting a fun, delivery-oriented environment. Interact with APDS leaders giving status updates and detailed thoughts on the options we have for each release. Working with other technology department leaders, managing product development budget to meet operational targets while identifying investment opportunities to build the business.

Outstanding writing and speaking skills. Ability to understand the needs of the business and then relay that information to the appropriate business and/or technical resources. Excellent team and people management skills, with the ability to build, coach, and manage high-performing, diverse, and missioned-aligned teams exceptional judgment, and strategic problem-solving skills.

10+ years of technology, product development, or engineering leadership experience, including experience at a director level or above. Deep understanding of software product development lifecycle, including strategy, design, usability, and implementation, preferably in user-centered, agile development environments. Fluency in diverse aspects of digital product 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, product management, business analysis, and user experience design. Outstanding written, spoken, and presentation communication skills, including the 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.) is preferred. Bachelor’s degree or higher in computer science, engineering, math, or a related field is preferred.

NYC/REMOTE (APDS has an 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. 
Compensation and Benefits
 APDS offers competitive compensation commensurate with experience and a generous benefits package.

APDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and firmly believes in creating a workplace that respects and values the 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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Applications are now closed