Head of Development

London
Studio
Our Head of Development will hold a unique role, sitting within our Creative Studio. Combining a passion for experience design with deep technical expertise your primary responsibility will be driving the development agenda across the business. From supporting our Client Services team in shaping new solutions to providing quality assurance across our development teams, you’ll need to be able to shift focus effortlessly from high-level strategic to low-level technical.

Foolproof’s mission is to help people to live differently. By understanding people, we craft products and services which help them make sense of anything while giving them the confidence to make good decisions for themselves. Foolproof has been doing this for over fifteen years.

Foolproof is on a journey - from projects to programmes. We’re developing long-lasting relationships with our clients and are thinking differently about our approach to shaping, scoping and delivering end-to-end programmes of work. That means we’re growing fast - and not just in the work we do but also in the rich diversity of the people who work here. 

Our Head of Development will hold a unique role, sitting within our Creative Studio. Combining a passion for experience design with deep technical expertise your primary responsibility will be driving the development agenda across the business. From supporting our Client Services team in shaping new solutions to providing quality assurance across our development teams, you’ll need to be able to shift focus effortlessly from high-level strategic to low-level technical. We’ll expect you to bring the cutting edge of the development world into the Foolproof domain and make these changes relevant to our clients, while at the same time keeping your practice well managed and your people happy. 

Reporting to Foolproof’s Creative Director, this role would suit an individual who has a background in software engineering and has filled roles such as Principal Developer, Development Lead or Technical Lead; likely from a technology consulting, digital agency or IT services background. You’ll have a strong interest in experience design and want to work in a creative, agency environment. You’ll also have a solid understanding of IT delivery and experience line managing both onshore and offshore teams. 

Role & Responsibilities

Lead Foolproof’s Development Practice:

  • Set up and grow Foolproof’s Development Practice; people, process, technology.
  • Ownership of technical solutions, from proposal through design to delivery.
  • Be the technical authority for all live projects; providing quality assurance across all onshore development, and working with offshore leadership to ensure joined-up quality assurance processes.
  • Be the escalation point for all technical delivery issues.
  • Set up effective governance, ways of working, release management, code management and defect management processes with offshore teams.
  • Be a thought leader; bring breakthrough development practices, tools, techniques and general best practice into the Foolproof domain.
  • Drive knowledge sharing within and beyond the Practice.
  • Line Management of onshore development team; including setting SMART objectives, career planning, training, remuneration reviews and regular one-to-one sessions.
  • Be a visible leader in the industry; including presence at conferences, activity on social media, and writing blogs and white papers.
  • Lead by example and uphold the company’s leadership values at all times.
  • Support Foolproof’s New Business & Client Services teams in shaping technical solutions for pitches/proposals:
  • Join scoping meetings with clients to understand and document technical requirements, lead as necessary.
  • Proactively identify new opportunities, bringing them to the attention of the relevant New Business or Client Services owner.
  • Shape technical solutions, including technical design.
  • Support in the planning of projects, specifically timelines for technical design and delivery phases.
  • Support in the commercialising of technical solutions, providing indicative costs and resourcing options.
  • Support and/or lead in pitches.
  • Liaise with offshore teams for technical input into proposals.
  • Be a consistent presence from pre-sales into delivery; ensuring the integrity of the technical solution is understood by delivery teams.
Experience
  • Minimum 8 years professional experience across development roles.
  • Minimum 2 years professional experience in a development leadership role.
  • Deep experience managing cross-disciplinary technical teams, including onshore, nearshore and offshore.
  • Deep experience working with agile delivery methodologies and DevOps processes.
  • Experience in web development; including working knowledge across a range of languages (e.g. HTML, CSS and Javascript) and frameworks (e.g. React, Angular, Vuejs).
  • Experience establishing governance, ways of working and other processes for effective technical delivery.
  • Experience working across the full software delivery lifecycle.
  • Experience cultivating and maintaining relationships with senior clients.
  • Experience line managing; providing pastoral support and career guidance.
  • Good awareness of technical project management; including strong awareness of risks and issues, assumptions and dependencies. A professional qualification in this space is preferred.
  • Good understanding of human-centered design principles.
  • Good cultural understanding of working with India.
  • Experience working in an agency environment and in a user experience/ experience design/usability environment is preferred.
Essential qualities
  • Confident communicator – you must be able to interact seamlessly with senior clients and senior Foolproof leadership, building rapport and confidence in your leadership of the Practice, as well as with technical teams onshore, nearshore and offshore.
  • Gravitas – you must be able to control a large and/or cross-functional team, some with 10+ years’ experience and often with varying priorities and direct the team towards one goal.
  • Problem solving – you must be confident in handling problems of varying sizes and in identifying and driving pragmatic solutions.
  • A creative, inquisitive mind set – you should love to learn, keeping Foolproof at the forefront of development change, and challenging everyone around you to think outside of the box. Critical thinking is key, you should be comfortable challenging ideas and design approaches.
  • Perceptive & diplomatic – you should be comfortable managing situations where politics may be influencing decision making and/or when team members may be struggling to balance priorities, and sensitively intervene to smooth, mitigate and/or move beyond.
  • Attention to detail – nothing should slip through your net, so this means you’ll be highly organised and meticulous in your day-to-day activities.
Package

This is an exciting opportunity to work in a fast growing, forward thinking company, and in a part of the business which is expanding rapidly. 

We offer a competitive salary, twice yearly reviews, an annual bonus scheme, profit share, 25 days’ holiday (which increases to 30 with long service awards), matched contributory pension scheme, death in service cover and private medical cover.  

Foolproof believes in collaborative thinking and learning: we have Smart sessions each Wednesday where Foolproofers share their knowledge with the rest of the team. We have quarterly company away days, where we get together to share company updates. 

We also believe in a culture of learning and development. You will be provided 
with a mentor and line manager to monitor your progress, and access to a training budget to help you deepen and widen your skills. 

How to apply

Please send a copy of your CV along with a covering note to HR Coordinator: careers@foolproof.co.uk