Software Development Lead

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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position, include your salary requirements, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. If possible, please include a link to your electronic portfolio/dossier as part of your resume.

What You'll Do

In this position, you will be empowered in a highly autonomous role to provide technical and product leadership for the innovative software platforms created by the Center for Academic Innovation. Help create and evolve applications to support productive team collaborations (Tandem), coach students to success in foundational courses (ECoach), and support data informed decision making for courses and majors (Atlas). Establish technical vision for product direction and application architecture across our exciting portfolio of impactful projects and technologies. The individual selected for this role will serve as part of the Educational Technology Leadership Team to advise on organizational priorities and direction. This role will serve as a team leader, providing technical guidance and supervision to the highly skilled and creative software developers within the Center for Academic Innovation.

Who We Are

About the Educational Technology Team

The Education Technology includes Software Developers, UX Designers, QA Analysts, DevOps Engineers, Data Scientists and Behavioral Scientists. We work collaboratively to apply our expertise to create innovative solutions, tools and technologies to the big challenges in education, enabling innovative learning and personalization at scale across the U-M community and beyond.

About the Center for Academic Innovation

The Center for Academic Innovation is where creativity, excellence, and the University of Michigan’s aspirations for societal impact combine to reimagine the future of higher education. Through curricular innovation, educational data and research, and educational technology, we position U-M as a global leader in academic innovation to create and inspire change in higher education and to reinforce an engaged and informed society.

Who You Are:

  • You are a self-driven technical expert who enjoys conceiving and implementing solutions to complex real world problems. You think in terms of abstraction, modularity and reuse. You architect your projects to address the situation in front of you and optimize for future flexibility. You know how to work backward to address a problem rather than accept a solution.
  • You are known for your forward-looking mindset, anticipating needs and opportunities before they emerge. You believe in iteration and think in terms of efficiency and sustainability, pursuing automation and reducing points of failure. You take pride in the work you deliver and are known for the quality of your releases. You set ambitious goals and realistic milestones.
  • You are an effective leader, able to communicate vision and translate goals into action. You are a skilled listener and problem solver, able to align the goals of projects and team members. You are empathetic and motivating and recognize the deep value of coaching and feedback. You lead by example through the values of productivity and positivity.
  • You are valued as a team member and thought partner. You are comfortable presenting your ideas to your team and stakeholders. You are a skilled and enthusiastic collaborator who works well in team settings, knowing where to listen to the expertise of others and when to lead with your own.
  • You think from the user perspective and challenge yourself and your collaborators to think about impact and design solutions to identifiable challenges. You care about usability, functionality and presentation of the applications you design. You have experience creating something new and helping projects realize their potential.

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, the University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

  • Generous time off, including vacation time, sick time, holiday and season days
  • A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses

For additional Benefits and Wellness details, see


Application Architecture & Development

  • Leads project development for high priority applications
  • Lead software development projects in line with requirements and project timelines
  • Design and evolve application architecture & data models for production applications
  • Work with User Experience Designers to help build interfaces using JS/HTML/CSS and accompanying libraries and client side frameworks
  • Configure interoperable solutions with campus and partner infrastructure using protocols such as SAML/OIDC Single Sign On (SSO), LTI, and OAUTH2
  • Maintain technical familiarity and expertise with the evolution of mainstream and emerging technologies
  • Develop, deploy and configure applications for scale using cloud and container solutions
  • Oversee access and security protocols and implementations for production applications, databases and user data
  • Conduct performance profiling, load assessment and security evaluations Team Leadership & Strategy ? Provide organizational leadership and supervision for a team of Software Developers and DevOps Engineers
  • Represent the organization in strategic decision making with partner information technology units
  • Provide technical guidance for the Software Development Team on complex implementation and infrastructure projects
  • Works closely with faculty partners and coordinates day-to-day operations for employees
  • Determine organizational technical infrastructure strategy and product mix by evaluating industry and technology trends 

Required Qualifications*

  • At least 5 years of professional software development experience
  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, a related field or an equivalent combination of education and relevant experience
  • Enterprise development and production experience working with Python or Ruby and the Django or Rails framework
  • Strong project and team leadership experience
  • Experience mentoring junior colleagues and technical personnel
  • Production experience working with relational database platforms (e.g.: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle)
  •  Experience designing application architecture & data models for deployed production applications
  • Production experience developing and deploying applications at scale
  • Experience working with the modern JavaScript frameworks VueJS or React
  • Production experience converting designs to HTML5/CSS
  • Hold strong attention to detail and concern for information accuracy
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to work well in a multicultural and collaborative environment

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience supervising software developers
  • Production experience deploying applications using Kubernetes and Docker

Additional Information

  • This position will report to the Associate Director of Application Architecture at the Center for Academic Innovation
  •  This role is intended as a hybrid role (some amount of time in-office in Ann Arbor, some remote).
  • This position must be based in the United States

Salary Information

The expected salary for this position begins at $95,000. Candidates can expect to be paid a competitive and equitable salary. Factors used to determine salary include experience, knowledge and skills for the position and internal equity within the unit. All candidates are encouraged to discuss salary questions to honor alignment and transparency throughout the recruiting process.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

Decision Making Process

Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.

Selection Process

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) is committed to inclusion in our organizational work, culture, climate, and the products we create. We strive to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse team as a reflection of our commitment to our work designing equitable and inclusive learning and work environments that are necessary for the university community to make progress on solving societal challenges. CAI draws on each of our team member’s unique backgrounds and experiences to guide our everyday work in the center, and our team collaborates with students, staff, and faculty on projects that center our commitment to DEIJ work. All interested applicants, including those from groups historically marginalized by educational privilege, are encouraged to apply.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including one booster when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely and temporary workers.   More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.