Global Head of Performance Engineering at Canonical

We are looking for a worldwide leader in software performance, both to challenge Canonical engineering teams and to raise the bar for open source performance globally.

This is an opportunity - perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity - to bring fresh ideas to software performance. Our scope is almost unlimited. Open source spans the full spectrum of software - from the kernel and RTOS all the way to the web, for single thread software on tiny machines to massively parallel distributed systems, the challenges of performance are as diverse as the kinds of code we touch.

In the minds of customers and users, Canonical doesn't just represent Ubuntu - it represents a pathway to all of open source. As leaders in the community, we can shape standards, expectations and patterns which are noticed and adopted widely. Our six month release cadence has become something of a standard. Our two year LTS cycle - even the term LTS itself - has also been widely adopted in the open source community. We'd like to do the same now for software performance.

We consider performance and efficiency to be closely related. We want machines running open source to be greener than any possible alternative, and performance engineering is a key part of that equation. We also want businesses to get answers faster, users to spend less time waiting, RAM to go further, older machines to be useful for longer. All of this rests on our ability to inspire, cajole and measure performance engineering both inside of Canonical and in the wider open source ecosystem.

This is not an academic role, nor one for the fainthearted. We expect to see demonstrable changes in teams and metrics as a result of this appointment, and we will only support a leader who can attract a global external following to their ideas. We only have one space for such a leader, and we will only keep someone in role who we think is the best, and most deserving, of the opportunity.

Your role will cover the whole Canonical product engineering organization, contributing at both high and detailed levels to help teams enhance the performance of their products. Applicants to this role should have a proven track record of engineering management, leadership, excellence, and consistency in multiple areas, projects, or teams. They will need to be able to help teams set and measure appropriate metrics, and judge management ability to move constructively in the right direction on those metrics. They will need to be able to do this with teams working on vastly different kinds of software, and they will need to make arguments that are compelling and inspiring and practical to implement for engineers who do not work for Canonical and are not accountable to us.

We want to push the boundaries of performance. This role is important not just for bragging rights to speed, but also for the impact that it can have on global energy use in machines touched by Canonical's work and open source more broadly. The ideal candidate will have significant experience in performance engineering, will have a history of data-driven decision-making, will be an articulate communicator, will be comfortable presenting plans and results to management, and will have prior experience leading successful projects and teams.

What youll do

  • Collaborate proactively with multiple distributed teams
  • Help engineering teams establish and achieve software performance goals
  • Establish consistency in of performance measurement, observation, and tooling
  • Contribute code to streamline performance and remove bottlenecks
  • Evaluate the performance rigour of engineering teams
  • Write specifications and understand performance trade-offs and risks
  • Work to reduce complexity
  • Influence others and represent technical insight to customers and other engineers
  • Help debug performance issues and produce high quality code to fix them
  • Provide code reviews for performance-related patches
  • Spend a significant amount of time mentoring others and providing cross-team input
  • Work from home with global travel 4 to 8 weeks for internal and external events

Who you are

  • You have a long history of performance engineering on a variety of projects
  • You have a track record of public leadership and commentary
  • You can represent Canonical on software performance externally
  • You have experience leading successful projects and teams
  • You have engineering management experience
  • You are an articulate communicator
  • You love technology and working with brilliant people
  • You follow industry trends and new technologies
  • You understand and value how you do what you do, as well as what you do
  • You have strong collaboration and influencing skills
  • You are curious, flexible, articulate, and accountable
  • You value soft skills and are passionate, enterprising, thoughtful, and self-motivated
  • You have a Bachelors or equivalent in Computer Science, STEM or similar degree

We are proud to foster a workplace free from discrimination. Diversity of experience, perspectives, and background create a better work environment and better products. Whatever your identity we will give your application fair consideration.

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