Director Of Software Engineering

The Art Of Education University

Date listed

3 months ago

Employment Type

Full time



Remote Director of Software Engineering | The Profession |

The Art of Education University (AOEU) is seeking a Director of Software Engineering.  The Director of Software Engineering will be tasked with the vision, strategy, and ongoing development of the organization's software engineering products.  Products include custom-built SaaS professional development and curriculum products, and Learning Management and Student Information Systems. 

AOEU is a unique type of University with a unique tech stack to support our innovative work. We’ve pushed WordPress in some creative ways: building a custom SIS and incorporating many custom API integrations to leverage the best platforms possible in order to provide a seamless customer experience on the front end. 

We believe products should be so simple and beautiful they speak for themselves in a sales demo. We believe in simple back end solutions to make it as easy for customers and our team to use our products. We are wary of feature creep, but always seek continual improvement. 

We are seeking a proven leader who can understand where we’ve been and bring new and creative ideas to build what doesn't exist for the future. We are on a rapid growth trajectory. We need a leader who can grow a dev team from scratch and pave the way for more innovation and solutions as we grow and scale. 

The Art of Education University | Who We Are |

Our mission is simple, driven, and inspiring: We grow amazing art teachers by providing rigorous, relevant, and engaging professional development at every stage of their career.

AOEU is an innovative and fast-growing institution of higher education serving art teachers around the world. In 2019, we became the first homegrown graduate university in the state of Iowa in 50 years and the world’s first “University For Life,” serving art educators throughout an entire lifetime of learning.

The Art of Education University serves tens of thousands of students, readers, and customers around the U.S. and in over 40 countries. Our Magazine is read more than 800,000 times each month, our events are attended by over thousands of art educators annually, and we serve over 2,000 graduate students each year. 



The Details | Director of Software Engineering |

As a department head, the Director of Software Engineering is in charge of a broad scope of product-related activities: 

Essential Functions

 Leadership and Management

  • Lead engineering efforts to deliver software on time, within a budget and in a way that is aligned with the institution’s mission. 
  • Responsible for end to end technology stack. 
  • Build and manage an internal development team. 
  • Collaborates with 3rd party developers. 

Process and Quality

  • Establishes and maintains software development practices (Agile/Scrum), processes (DevOps), and policies (CM/QA). 
  • Actively drives the development life-cycle from requirements analysis, feasibility estimates, design, code, documentation, testing, implementation, and support. 
  • Drive continuous improvements of existing and new products, including quality and security assurance. 
  • Build roadmaps and lead prioritization of all development activities. 


  • Collaborate with product, architecture, and content teams to help refine concepts as well as anticipate future needs. 
  • Work alongside senior and peer leaders to continuously improve engineering standards, processes and architecture. 


  • Other duties as and responsibilities as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Feels strongly about building good software and making that software achieve its operational goals.
  • Ability to communicate the big picture vision to leadership while seamlessly communicating detailed technicalities to developers. 
  • A self-starter, self-educator can navigate dependencies and resolve roadblocks independently.
  • Experience with leading the development and use of digital platforms and technology products. 
  • Experience growing and leading teams of software developers
  • Experience with the tools of the trade, including a variety of modern programming languages  and open-source technologies
  • Ability to create a vision and also execute on the day to day implementation. 
  • Experience with engineering management approaches, such as Agile. 
  • Understanding Wordpress is a plus! 

Work Environment

The duties of this position are typical of those performed in a home office setting with normal ranges of temperature.  The majority of tasks will be performed while sitting at a desk.


  • Position requires considerable concentration and focus throughout the day.
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time
  • Ability to lift items such as laptops, monitors, and the like.
  • When traveling: 
    • The ability to lift or push your suitcase.
    • Ability to carry/lift up to 25-50 lbs of presentation materials for customers or for conference presentations, etc.


  • Ability to view computer screens for significant periods of time.  The Art of Education University is an online university.  Therefore 95-98% of one’s time will be on or using technology.
  • Ability to use a laptop keyboard with accuracy.
  • Ability to hear at normal levels and through electronic devices such as laptops, earbuds, phones, and the like.

Position Requirements


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is required.


  • Product management experience in a SaaS or Cloud-based company.
  • 8+  years of hands-on experience developing enterprise software applications. 
  • Expert in Agile methods. 
  • Expert in LAMP stack development.
  • GIT and Unit-Testing a strong plus
  • Demonstrated success managing projects and processes
  • Five or more years managing software development teams. 
  • Experience in Cloud-based Server Administration strongly preferred.
  • Experience in software architecture and design. 
  • Experience with vendor contract management and management of distributed development teams
  • Experience working in a remote capacity is strongly preferred.

Compensation and Benefits


Structured as a full-time, exempt, and salaried position, this individual will report directly to Derek Balsley, Founder and CEO.  Compensation is commensurate with education and experience.  Payroll is issued on a monthly basis paid on the 15th of the month.


Group healthcare plans are available.  The Art of Education University will contribute 100% for full-time health, dental, and vision, employee-only coverage.  Family coverage is available at an additional premium.

The Art of Education University offers participation, upon hire, of a 401K plan with up to a 4% match of employee contributions.

Appropriate and up-to-date technology is provided.

Unlimited self-managed PTO is offered to full-time members of AOEU.  Extended vacations must be pre-approved.  Flexibility exists so long as responsibilities are fulfilled and careful planning and communication are evident.



Persons interested in applying should complete the application form linked below.  Applicants are required to submit a short 1-3 minute video explaining why they would like to be considered for the position and why they are uniquely qualified.  Failure to submit a video will automatically eliminate you from the application process.

Candidates who make it to Round 2 of the Application process will be required to complete a packet for review, prior to their scheduled interview time.  

Finalists will have one final culture interview with the President of the University.

The Art of Education University is committed to taking the time to find the right fit for our positions.  This process may be more rigorous than you are used to.  We have set up several interview steps to make sure this will be mutually beneficial to both our institution and our next new team member.  We hope you take this journey with us!


  • Interested applicants should complete the Application and upload a current resume by July 31st, 2020.
  • Candidates selected for an interview will be notified as applications are submitted.
  • Anticipated position start date of August 15, 2020. 

How to Apply | This Is Me | 

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