Energy Impact Partners
Energy Impact Partners

Engineering Director



Software Engineering
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2024

Who we are

HopSkipDrive’s mission is to create opportunity for all through mobility. Our innovative, supplemental school transportation solutions are used by over 600 school districts, charter schools, nonprofits, government agencies, as well as busy families to safely and reliably get kids where they need to go.

Student transportation is the largest mass transit system in the U.S. The way kids get to and from school has a direct impact on our kids, families, schools and communities. While school districts spend $28 billion annually on transportation, only 30% of kids get to school on a bus. The current system can no longer meet all the transportation needs of our districts, schools and families — and its shortcomings are causing inequities in educational access that are affecting the welfare of millions of kids each day.

HopSkipDrive is taking a different approach to arranging safe, reliable school transportation that meets needs that aren’t being addressed by the current system, helping to fill gaps and supplement the student transportation options available. We create personalized transportation solutions for the one to the many, and everything in between.

We’re a company with heart

Our partnerships with school districts, child welfare agencies and nonprofits ensure equitable educational access for the most vulnerable populations, including youth in foster care, children experiencing homelessness and students with disabilities.

We understand that the difference between struggle and success can sometimes be as simple as the ability to show up, which is why we’re on a mission to use innovative technology — coupled with operational expertise and new ways of thinking — to help kids reach their full potential by providing a safe, dependable way to get them where they are going.

We’re an awesome place to work

Our company culture has been well-recognized — HopSkipDrive has been named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, as well as Best Places to Work lists from Built In LA, Comparably, Inc., and the Los Angeles Business Journal. Comparably also named us a Best Company for Professional Development, as well as to its Best CEO and Best CEOs for Women lists.

We’re growing rapidly

Founded by three moms as a solution to their own transportation challenges, we now operate across over 13 states across the country. We continue to expand at a rapid pace, making the Inc. 5000 list four times, as well as the Deloitte 500 Fast-Growing Technology list. HopSkipDrive has raised $100M in funding to date.

Your role:

As the first Director of Engineering at HopSkipDrive, you will lead a significant area of our engineering organization, focusing on developing products, systems, and processes for ensuring the operational excellence of all HopSkipDrive rides. This group will include several cross-functional teams focused on Ruby on Rails, ReactJS, and mobile application development. Your direct reports will be the engineering managers for those teams.You will report to the VP of Engineering.

One of your primary concerns will be ensuring smooth execution of complex deliverables. To that end, you will focus on ensuring that we continually evaluate and refine our development/infrastructure standards and processes to create technology that will deliver sustained value to the business. You are responsible for maintaining a high performance, high velocity organization, measuring and iterating on processes as we grow and evolve as a business. You will be the leader for recruiting, headcount management and planning, career growth, and training for your part of the organization. As necessary, you will manage vendor relationships and participate in the budgeting process.

As an engineering director you are responsible for the organization’s overall technical competence, guiding and growing that competence in the whole team as necessary via training and hiring. You will not be generally expected to write code on a day-to-day basis; however, you should have a strong technical background and spend some of your time researching new technologies and staying abreast of trends in the tech industry. You will be expected to help debug and triage critical systems, and should understand the systems you oversee well enough to perform code reviews and help research problems as needed. You should contribute to the architecture and design efforts primarily by working with staff engineers to guide our technical design process and serving as the technically-savvy voice that asks business and product questions of the engineers on your teams, ensuring that the code we are writing matches the product and business needs and can scale appropriately as those needs grow.

Your impact will reach across multiple areas of the technology organization. You are responsible for creating and growing the next generation of leadership and management talent in the organization, helping that talent learn how to balance technical and people leadership and management. You should be obsessed with creating high-functioning, engaged and motivated organizations, and you are expected to own retention goals in your organization. Additionally you are responsible for strategically balancing immediate and long-term product/business focused work with technical debt and strategic technical development.

As an Engineering Director you are a strong leader, and set the example for cross-functional collaboration both between technology and other areas of the company, and across divisions of technology. The goal of this collaboration is to create both a strategic and tactical tech roadmap that tackles both business needs, efficiencies and revenue as well as fundamental technology innovation. You are also an excellent communicator and can simplify technical concepts in a way to explain them to non-technical partners, and take business direction and explain it to the technology team in a way that inspires and guides them. You will help to create a positive public presence for HopSkipDrive tech and are capable of selling the company and their area to potential candidates. Due to your breadth of exposure to both technology and the business drivers, you are responsible for guiding the quarterly planning process for all of the teams in your organization, helping these teams articulate goals that support both business initiatives and technology and organizational quality.

What you will do:

  • Oversee 3-6 engineering teams, with the managers of those teams reporting to you
  • Own the operational excellence of your teams. Empower their managers to build self-organizing teams with support from you
  • Lead the hiring process for individual contributors and managers on your teams. Exhibit high standards when interviewing and evaluating prospective candidates.
  • Run Quarterly planning meetings, weekly managers meetings, and other meetings as appropriate
  • Identify areas of strategic technical debt, do the cost/benefit analysis for resolving this debt and communicate suggested timelines for prioritizing this to your team’s managers
  • Work with the Staff engineers to manage a “technical review” process for changes that impact multiple teams
  • Lead teams through critical architectural decisions with a clear understanding of trade-offs
  • Drive engineering teams to use best practices (i.e. documentation, technical reviews, etc) and incorporate standardized HopSkipDrive engineering practices and principles.
  • Manage the on-call process and schedule for your teams
  • Foster professional development efforts
  • Develop new management talent within the teams. Coach new managers in weekly 1:1s. Conduct performance reviews
  • Drive a performance-based culture within your teams, ensuring consistent achievement of business and team health KPIs.
  • Collaborate with VP of Engineering on technical roadmap

What you'll bring:

  • Director level (or higher) experience at technology focused start-ups. Additional leadership experience with established, larger companies is a plus
  • 5+ years experience as a professional software engineer (IC)
  • 3+ years of professional Ruby on Rails
  • 2+ years experience managing software engineers
  • 2+ years in a senior leadership role, specifically managing/leading other managers and organizations
  • A mindset of Continuous Improvement
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with technical and non-technical teammates and show a high level of emotional and professional maturity.
  • A high level of craftsmanship about your work, the end experience of the user, and impact on overall product
  • Expertise with Agile Software Development practices and able to adopt the appropriate process to fit the needs of a team
  • Successful track record of directing multiple teams delivering high-impact projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience leading a diversity-focused hiring process for individual contributors and managers
  • Above all, you want to build something that fundamentally improves the lives of families.

** This role will be fully remote from a state where we do business *AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, IN, KS, MD, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA*

What you will get

We want you to be an owner in our company and share in executing our vision, so every full-time employee has equity. In addition, we offer competitive market comp, flexible vacation, FSA, medical, dental and vision, 401(k), and an opportunity to work for a uniquely positioned, VC-backed company in a hugely attractive space with significant upside potential. HopSkipDrive is committed to fair and equitable compensation practices. The salary range for this role is $200,000 to $220,000 year. Final compensation for this role will be determined by several factors such as a candidate’s relevant work experience, skill set and specific work location. The total compensation package for this role also includes equity stock options

Equal Opportunity Employer

HopSkipDrive is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other protected class. HopSkipDrive is also proud to operate as a drug-free workplace.