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Principal Engineering Manager - Retail Technology

Job ID 3897M Location Paddington Category Technology Salary Competitive Hours Closing date April 25th 2021, 11:55 PM

Job Description:

The opportunity

A role within M&S Software Engineering means you will be joining a well-loved historic brand, working on platforms that serve millions of loyal customers and support thousands of colleagues.

With ethical values that run right through the company’s core and technology leaders that understand software engineers and engineering, it is an exciting time as we are transforming into a digital first and engineering-led organisation, with the quality of our engineering team being a key differentiator and second to none.

M&S Software Engineering is a friendly, passionate, and humble team, where everyone has a voice and is encouraged to contribute ideas and talk straight. You will get the opportunity to learn and grow, take true ownership, influence our technology and transformation, and help us solve interesting problems for our customers and colleagues.

We pride ourselves on being a company that puts engineering first and are looking for people to join our community of engineers to build modern features using exciting technologies, participate in our hackathons and do the best work of their careers.

Area information

M&S Technology is commencing a significant programme of growth initiatives and technology is a key enabler. This year is a particularly exciting time to get on board as we look to make step changes in the technology that supports our stores. As a Principal Managing Engineer, you will play a pivotal and visible role in driving the success of our business strategy through the delivery of technology

The initial focus for the role will be our Connected Selling Platform (CSP) in which you will play a critical role in ensuring we are making the correct engineering decisions to ensure we can build, test, learn and deploy at pace to demonstrate value to the business. CSP is part of our omnichannel selling strategy, focused on stores but will be partnered closely with our online teams to deliver end to end journeys for our customers.

As well as a focus on CSP there will be an opportunity to work across the Retail Technology portfolio delivering solutions that can transform the experience of our customers and colleagues in stores.

This is a fantastic opportunity to take a leading role on a high-profile and customer-focused team at the forefront of delivering the business strategy.

Key responsibilities

  • Act as the senior technical leader for all engineering and development responsibilities within a given portfolio
  • Set the technical direction and demonstrate active responsibility for the entire portfolio’s objectives
  • Support, develop, implement M&S Engineering talent strategy
  • Deliver exemplary people leadership
  • Foster self-management and accountability at the team level through servant leadership
  • Manage senior stakeholders appropriately
  • Liaise with senior management to create strategic objectives and organisational evolutions to better align business, product, and technical opportunities
  • Ensure the engineering and platform development roadmaps and backlogs reflect the strategy
  • Approach and contribute to product planning and roadmap with an agile mindset
  • Drive the delivery of the engineering roadmap
  • Spearhead a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement across the organisation to ensure scalability and long-term efficiency
  • Pro-actively seek relevant external insight, trends, and innovations to ensure M&S remains best in class
  • Communicate regularly in writing and in speech to the entire portfolio and related business units
  • Build strong senior relationships with our partners ensuring seamless engineering capability across companies
  • Face into and resolve issues that may develop between the portfolio and other parts of the business or technology partners
  • Ensure software engineering costs for the portfolio are known, tracked and optimised
  • Form new teams with efficiency and set them up for long-term success
  • Line-manage, coach, mentor and develop Software Development Managers and Software Engineers
  • Demonstrate and champion pragmatism in terms of commercial delivery and software quality
  • Evangelise technology, values, and ways of working within the team and wider software engineering community
  • Support Tribes, Fellowships and Orchestras with a focus on positive momentum and demonstrable value

Working together

You will be working closely with the Head of Software Engineering, Principal Architect, Heads of Technology, Head of Product, Commercial and Finance, CTOs, Software Development Managers, Software Engineers, and other Principal Managing Engineers.

Within these relationships, you continuously review and improve our engineering practices and manage the technology matrix available to our engineers within M&S Software Engineering

As a member of M&S Software Engineering, you will also work with and learn from other engineers and specialists in the organisation via our teams (Squads), sets of squads (Tribes), communities of practices (Fellowships), strategic assemblies (Orchestras) or special interest groups (Guilds).

How you will measure success

  • Role model with the ‘M&S Way’
  • Clear objectives that are often met (but not always)
  • Throughput, quality, stability, and performance of the portfolio
  • Positive feedback from colleagues and stakeholders, and seen widely as a senior thought leader
  • Frequent contributions to the strategic thinking of the area
  • Efficient advocacy of evangelism and knowledge sharing within software engineering
  • Upskilling of direct line reports so that significant career growth is seen
  • Retention levels and overall Tribe and Fellowship happiness
  • Proficiency in influencing senior management
  • Effectiveness of partner relationships

Area tech stack

  • We have a combination of modern and legacy solutions that support our stores. Therefore our tech stack is currently quite varied, but we plan to consolidate this as we modernise our estate.
  • Part of the role will be to define and drive future tech stack recommendations Our tech stack currently includes
    • Database Technologies including DB2, SQLServer and AzureSQL
    • IBM MQ
    • MS .NET
    • MS SSRS and PowerBI
    • Springboot Framework
    • AngularJS
    • DevOps tooling including Jenkins, Concourse, Sonar, Nexus


What you need to succeed:

Mission Critical Experiences

  • Solid background in software engineering with many years’ experience in a variety of systems and technologies
  • Considerable experience in Retail, ideally across points of sale with an appreciation across all areas of store operations
  • Proven record of accomplishment in delivering, operating, leading, transforming, hiring, and pivoting
  • Experience building and leading teams of highly skilled software engineers that deliver high-quality software
  • Strong understanding of system design, software architecture, cloud, and software engineering best practices,
  • Advocate for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
  • Expert in Agile, lean and DevOps (you build it, you run it)
  • Good understanding of testing strategies and reliability engineering
  • Highly organised and able to manage multiple work streams, manage stakeholders and expectations
  • Excellent people management, interpersonal, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Significant record of accomplishment of strategic and innovative thinking, as well as execution and implementation
  • Expert people and senior team management skills
  • Expert knowledge of the full software development lifecycle
  • Confident driving system design conversations, ensuring software system are being built correctly
  • Expert in technical organisations driving collaboration, autonomy, and accountability
  • Ability to lead managers, engineers, and technical stakeholders to a desired outcome, without prescribing it
  • Rapid learner of technologies
  • Experience in data management and related programmes and architecture
  • Experience in building partnerships and dealing with vendors
  • Experience in supporting communities that are sustainable
  • Experience with public clouds (MS Azure is our strategic platform)

Mission Critical Attributes

  • A passion for all aspects of software engineering
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken and able to adjust for different audiences
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Acts as a driving force in the engineering community
  • Able to think and act both tactically and strategically, and derive from this thinking clear objectives for all
  • Humbleness, humility, and honesty
  • Cares about the reputation of his teams, the business, and the bigger picture
  • A leadership and ‘leads by example’ mindset that naturally takes responsibility
  • Naturally puts themselves forward for challenging tasks
  • Extremely delivery focused and takes pride in being reliable, and delivering high quality products
  • A true servant leader with a ‘people first’ mindset to foster personal growth and self-management
  • Ability to self-start, self-manage and has a clear sense of purpose
  • Displays prominent levels of conscientiousness, tenacity, and agility in their work
  • Able to influence people at all levels and from highly technical to non-technical

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