Patty McCord, co-creator of the Netflix culture deck, said that, “a business leader’s job is to create great teams that do amazing work on time. That’s it. That’s the job of management.”
Few things are more professionally gratifying than assembling a team of engineers to do the best work of their careers. As a coach at Help Scout (that’s what we call managers), your mission is to bring out people’s best. Working with product and design, you will also ensure that they have whatever they need to effectively make their product area successful. Coaching a remote team isn’t easy, but the impact you can have on your team, in addition to the 9,000 Help Scout customers in 140 countries, is going to be well worth it.
The engineering team is currently 42 people and accounts for just over half of the headcount at Help Scout. Our teams work in two-week iterations, communicate mostly via Slack and video and are committed to remote, agile development.
About the role
- The biggest reason we’re a remote company is so that you can cultivate a truly world-class team. Your goal is to optimize for talent, values and team needs, and keep raising the bar. You’ll be a champion for our company values (helpfulness, excellence and ownership) and corresponding exceptional engineering attributes.
- People on your team will be members of cross-functional groups that are working on various projects. You’ll partner with product and design leads to help engineers identify risks, estimate remaining work, determine milestones, and generally improve their craft. You’ll be a passionate catalyst for changes that result from your team’s iteration and project retrospectives.
- Drawing from your own experiences, you’ll help the engineers on your team balance the competing demands between adding new capabilities and paying down technical debt to ensure our long term goals are not at risk.
- Ultimately an engineer’s success within an autonomous cross-functional team is a measure of your success as a coach. When they are doing their best work, and you provide thoughtful coaching and mentorship without being too hands-on, that’s how you know it’s working.
- You’ll be working with product people that challenge you to grow every day including leaders in design and product. The founders and leadership team are technical and committed to creating a magical experience for our customers.
- Everything is secondary to the customer experience. We expect every engineer to have a keen sense of how their code will impact the experience in terms of performance, high availability, security and usability.
- Given we have remote team members based in the EU through Seattle, we prefer that your regular work hours are around 9AM - 5PM ET so that you have several good blocks of overlap time with your team.
- You’ve managed engineering teams before and are no stranger to what it takes to help your team achieve great things.
- You are an excellent active listener with great humility and empathy. You naturally build excellent relationships with your team, and peers. You often debate the other side of issues and try on other people’s perspectives.
- In the past you’ve been a successful engineer. However, your real passion has been leading, mentoring, and coaching people to accomplish great things. Your other passion is helping your team evolve to the next stage in their careers.
- You are an outstanding communicator, both verbally and in writing. In a remote team, your writing skills are critical to your success in the role. You naturally document proposals and plans, so that our fully distributed team and our future employees can quickly get up to speed.
- You have excellent judgement, and through the years have made many difficult decisions by collecting information and weighing various trade offs. You are quick to admit when you have been wrong, and are comfortable being vulnerable relating stories about what you learned in the process.
- You relish team and project challenges and enjoy figuring out how to make things better. In stressful situations, you are the calm, steady voice of reason.
- When needed, you lean in to having difficult conversations with people to resolve a situation and do what is right. You understand the value of direct, transparent, respectful feedback and know that it’s a gift your teammates can use to grow and develop their super powers.
- You’re really good at connecting big picture goals to the day-to-day work of your team and making sure they understand how their work makes a difference. When you have to make tough asks of your team, you effectively communicate the context and urgency.
- You are extremely thoughtful when it comes to hiring people for your team, and work actively to identify your team’s weak spots. You prioritize hiring someone that is a long-term compliment to the team versus someone who works and thinks like everyone else.
- You believe diverse teams are critical for high performance and understand the value of fostering an inclusive environment for your team to thrive. You understand the important impact you can have as a coach on D&I efforts in hiring and promoting team members.
- You believe remote teams are the future of work, or are at least excited about the idea. You have experience working with remote teams or can adjust your work/management style to be remote-friendly.
Who you'll work with
- Megan Chinburg, VP of Engineering - You’ll be reporting to Megan, and partnering with her to strengthen our remote engineering culture, remote agile process and cross-functional teams.
- Adrianne Hersrud, Brian Sensale, Jarek Rozanski - Coaches for our cross-functional teams.
- Denny Swindle, CTO - Denny is a co-founder, and is intimately involved in all areas of our product architecture and strategy.
- Ben Henderson, Dir. of Product - Ben partners with Megan to craft our product discovery playbook and leads the product team. You’ll partner with him and his team to make sure the business goals of any project are met.
- Nick Francis, CEO - Nick is a co-founder and is still hands-on with the product design and development process. You’ll be working with him regularly.