Software Engineering Director - London

  • Engineering Manager
  • Permanent
  • London, UK

We're looking for a technical Software Engineering Director who loves helping software engineering teams be as effective as they can be, and wants to apply this valuable skill in a business with a with a strong and vital purpose - creating the software for a revolution in computer aided biology.

The project

Named by the World Economic Forum as one of the world's 30 Technology Pioneers 2016, and one of Gartner's 'Cool Vendors in Life Sciences' 2018, Synthace is completely revolutionising biology in a way that has never been done before!

This is made possible through our revolutionary cloud based platform for designing biological experiments, simulating them, translating instructions for automated lab equipment, and visualising complex data sets from the results. All of this is done by Antha, which is already impacting how scientists work with biology in major companies like Microsoft, BASF, Merck and GSK.


Antha lowers the level of entry for scientists wanting to introduce automation to their work, while allowing specialist technicians to get even more out of the existing equipment in the labs. It is directly contributing to faster, more efficient research into hard to cure diseases such as Cancer.

If social impact is important to you, it doesn't get much better than this.

The role

Reporting to the VP of Engineering, you'll manage and coach 10-15 software developers within our growing team (likely to be ~40 engineers in 2020). You will have primary responsibility for the functioning of the team, its priorities and productivity. You will have delivery responsibility for certain projects but are likely to be often working cross-functionally with other parts of the engineering team to deliver on our roadmap.

About you

You will have come from a development background but have recognised that you get a kick out of achieving results by bringing teams together to solve complex problems.

You will be serious about supporting and empowering engineers to be as good as they can be. We have a culture of trust, empowerment, transparency and teamwork. It's not about individual heroics, it is about enabling the team to perform. If this is also your philosophy, we would like to hear from you.

You should be an experienced engineering manager (following a successful development career) in a technically complex space - preferably delivering business SaaS solutions. You need to be able to earn and keep the trust of accomplished senior engineers and also develop more junior talent. You need to be comfortable giving engineers the space to make technical decisions, while providing support and guidance when needed, helping them to take control of their own development and unlocking their potential.

You do not need to understand 'computer-aided biology' but it will be important that you have an interest in ongoing learning, and that you see the opportunity to grow your abilities in a new area as a serious attraction to the role. We take our work very seriously and we want you to develop the same passion

What you'll do:

  • Help us to nurture and encourage the existing friendly, inclusive and collaborative culture, in which people can do their best work
  • Hire, grow and manage a great software development team
  • Guide, coach and mentor software engineers through regular 1 on 1s and professional development plans
  • Support tech leads within engineering teams to get the most out of individual contributors
  • Provide project management and technical leadership when needed
  • Work with VP Engineering and product management to develop, refine and communicate the roadmap
  • Do detailed resource planning and allocation; make the case for recruitment when needed
  • Work with other engineering managers, tech leads and VP Eng to promote consistent software development standards and practices across the engineering team
  • Work with the engineering team to design technical solutions
  • Work with customers and partners where necessary to develop solution specifications and plans
  • Build solid relationships with your partners (biology team, business development) to ensure all are up to date on project status and issues
  • Commit to and accomplish project goals

Your background:

  • You should ideally have around 5(ish) successful years as an individual contributor developer
  • You have spent at least 3+ years as an engineering manager in a technically complex environment
  • Experience coaching and enabling engineers in a high performance culture
  • Exposure to Agile methodologies would be useful (we don't strictly follow any one specific methodology)
  • Exposure to product management methodologies would also be a huge plus
  • You are comfortable and experienced at interacting with customers and external partners
  • You are commercially minded and able to guide the engineering team on making commercially smart technical decisions

Bonus points for:

  • Exposure to science-based business domain
  • Background in cloud computing
  • Product experience that includes physical devices (e.g. robotics)
  • Exposure to our technology (React, Typescript, Go, Google Cloud Platform, Kubernetes)

Why join Synthace:

  • Work with genuinely extraordinary people
  • Open, collaborative, and friendly culture
  • Challenging, groundbreaking and exciting work
  • Chance to be a part of the 'fourth industrial revolution', helping us to create tools and systems that allow scientists to do things like cure Cancer faster!