Software Engineering Manager

Location: San Francisco, CA

Department: Technology

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Manager/Supervisor


The Engineering Manager plans, organizes and directs software engineering and data functions to build software that meets Burning Man’s business needs. This role has oversight or implementation responsibilities for the technical design, development, integrated testing, deployment and maintenance of custom software, integrated software-as-service solutions and database administration. They develop and drive best engineering practices, facilitate technical decisions and process, prioritize technical initiatives, provide daily leadership, mentoring and oversight for employee and volunteer software developers, coordinate work requests with technical product managers, and manage relationships with our software and data innovation community. This position is responsible for system architecture, systems administration and cloud hosting, database administration, release coordination, platform evaluations, build or buy decisions, outsourced developer engagement and on-call support as necessary. Projects span a range of custom software solutions created in LAMP stack, Wordpress, Salesforce, OAuth, Python, React, Yii, Django, Ruby on Rails, FileMaker, and the integration and implementation of SAS solutions.

The deadline to apply for this role is 6:00pm Pacific on September 8, 2018. 


Engineering Management 

  • Oversee and coordinate the people, resources and processes required to deliver new software or maintain existing products.
  • Develop and implement policies, standards and procedures for the engineering and technical work performed by the team.
  • Establish and maintain great working relationships with technical product managers, staff and volunteer developers, designers, operations, customers and leadership.
  • Collaborate with technology leadership, product managers, developers, and implementers to identify and prioritize requirements for software solutions.
  • Integrate metrics and relevant data to inform technical decisions, strategies, and priorities.
  • Stay current on relevant technology capabilities, trends and innovations.
  • Analyze technology and resource needs to plan and assess the scope and feasibility of projects.
  • Collaborate on impact evaluation, return-on-investment or cost benefit analyses as necessary to inform product priorities, roadmaps or retirement.
  • Establish project timelines and milestones with engineering and solution teams.
  • Coordinate and direct projects, making and updating detailed plans to accomplish goals and directing the integration of technical activities.
  • Run project related meetings and ensure supporting documentation is created.
  • Provide status and visibility to leadership on progress of software engineering and data projects.
  • Communicate system development and architecture designs to leadership and development team.
  • Collaborate with design and technical product managers to develop solutions with the best user experience and efficient use of staff resources and time.
  • Oversee project efforts to keep projects on schedule, on budget, and to specification.
  • Identify and manage solution development related dependencies.
  • Ensure engineering team has the tools and resources necessary to do their work.  
  • Proactively identify and eliminate development roadblocks.
  • Propose solutions to technical constraints and provide resolutions for escalated problems and bottlenecks in the development cycle.
  • Create on-call developer support strategies as needed.
  • Ensure engineering documentation is complete and up-to-date.
  • Prepare budgets and contracts.
  • Review or approve contracts and expenditures.
  • Recruit employees; assign, direct, and evaluate work product and process; and oversee the staff mentoring and development.
  • Coordinate integrated and production testing, release management, rollback contingencies and post-release bug reporting and fixes.

Vendor Management 

  • Builds and maintains a trusted, cooperative relationship with external development vendors and SAS solution providers.
  • Create and negotiate vendor contract details as necessary.
  • Coordinates with vendors on technical bugs and feature requests, and software roadmap.
  • Leads vendor engagement for technical platform evaluation processes.
  • Works with vendors to ensure release, on-call, and on-site support as necessary.
  • Coordinates vendor resource needs.
  • Ensures vendor services are in-line with contract agreements.

Community Engagement 

  • Assist with recruiting and community building for volunteer developers and relevant technical subject matter experts.
  • Identify projects and areas where volunteer or open source development models can be leveraged to support development needs.
  • Solicit input from subject matter experts in the community regarding technical platforms, products, process, and policy decisions.
  • Facilitate collaborative relationships with developers and technical subject matter teams from within the Global Network and our innovation community.
  • Host peer-to-peer knowledge sharing sessions and develop relevant content as necessary for both ad hoc and formal education opportunities and programs.


  • Learning – Pursues ongoing learning in their area of expertise, working to stay current on emergent knowledge, skills, and processes.
  • Documentation - Assists in the creation, publishing, and maintenance of process documentation related to their assigned duties.
  • Knowledge sharing – Helps acculturate and educate junior staff and volunteers in Burning Man culture and business processes.
  • Training development - Collaborates with the education team to develop training materials in their area of expertise, as requested.



  • Bachelor Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, Engineering or related technical field or equivalent practical experience
  • 5+ years experience managing engineering teams
  • Proven successful experience in software engineering and systems architecture
  • Excellent written and verbal skills which demonstrate maturity, judgement, negotiation/influencer, analytical, and leadership skills
  • Must be a good natured, sociable, emotionally intelligent and responsible individual
  • Strong visual communication skills, proficient in diagramming and other presentation tools
  • Able to manage in an environment with diverse stakeholders and contributors
  • Familiar with multiple software development methodologies, and comfortable using the one that will be the most effective depending on the team, circumstances, and project
  • Proven experience with more than one software development methodology and ability to apply and adjust processes as necessary to be successful in a dynamic, volunteer-driven organization with significant seasonal demands
  • Knowledge of, and experience navigating, the full range of the software development life-cycle
  • Experience in planning and delivering complex software product releases
  • Experience in systems integration and integrated solutions
  • Experience working in collaboration and integrating with vendors as part of product solutions
  • High degree of business acumen and technical competency; ability to balance and bridge technology and business needs
  • Strong technical knowledge and ongoing learner
  • Excellent creative thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, written and oral presentation skills
  • Able to identify and assess technology solutions (built in-house with our engineering team, or in partnership with vendors) to meet needs
  • Can apply technical skills to all program and projects to improve performance and planning
  • Able to adeptly ideate or negotiate as needed with developers, data teams, solution architects, and all stakeholders
  • Able to effectively resolve competing priorities
  • Strong attention to detail with the ability to see the big picture
  • Perform risk management and change management on projects
  • Ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines, and handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience managing vendor relationships, budgets, and contracts


  • Significant knowledge and experience within the Burning Man Project, organization and community and working environment.
  • Experience with enterprise software product management & worked with third party vendors to customize solutions.
  • Experience working with volunteers or as a volunteer.


  • Off-playa:  Work is primarily sedentary in nature, no special demands are required.
  • On-playa:  Work is primarily sedentary but will also include the need to find and meet with department representatives who may not be in the vicinity therefore this could include walking or using some form of transportation. Some of the work will be in outside weather conditions and will be exposed to fumes or airborne particles as well as possible extremes in temperature.


  • This is a regular, full-time position eligible for benefits, working in San Francisco, California and Black Rock City, Nevada. 
  • Burning Man is an equal-opportunity employer
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