Associate Director, Software Engineering and Product Development
American Institutes for Research - Washington, DC

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AIR's software group (the Computer and Statistical Sciences Center or CSSC) is responsible for designing, building and maintaining software systems that support Assessment services. Our systems include functionality around: item tracking, materials ordering, data analysis, automated QC, test processing, reporting, and learning management. In particular, we offer an Internet-based online testing system to various States. It has applications such as: an interface that allows Test Administrators to create test sessions, approve students for testing, and monitor progress of individual students; and another interface that allows students to take the online test with innovative, machine-scored constructed-response items, selected-response (multiple-choice) items in either adaptive or fixed tests.

The CSSC team includes about 70 employees; made up of project managers, web graphic designers, software engineers, software testers, and system network engineers.

Responsibilities :
The Associate Director will report directly to CSSC's Director and will be a senior hands-on manager who is responsible for managing and handling daily operations across CSSC’s systems and processes; as well as integration management across them. Daily operations include: quality review, risk analysis and issue resolution along SDLC tasks; resource and staff management; issue resolution in Production systems; and oversight of CSSC’s project management team. Integration management, on the other hand, includes: facilitating and improving communication mechanisms across the teams, and identifying gaps on technical requirements and design along several system workflows.

Other daily operations include: budget creation and management of CSSC, acting as liaison between CSSC and Human Resources around recruitment and staffing, and coordination with other functional teams in the Assessment Division.

Several opportunities to grow CSSC as a “center of excellence” exist for this position; mainly working with CSSC’s Director on: improving CSSC-wide project approaches and standards to mitigate risk and be more efficient; planning stable development and release cycles; and contributing to the overall vision and strategy of where CSSC’s systems should be headed.

Essential Job Functions:1. Manage daily operations around projects, including:
a. Helping resolve road blocks along the SDLC.
b. Reviewing procedures and documents along the SDLC and ensuring they are properly implemented, including requirements, project schedules, design documents, and test plans.
c. Meeting regularly with each system’s Project Manager about his/her respective projects to make sure they are still on track, are run efficiently and effectively; and that they are implementing CSSC’s processes and standards.

2. Oversee and manage integration across systems, including:
a. Understanding the big picture and technical back-bone of software workflows from item creation, user registration, test delivery, to data analysis and reporting
b. Ensuring that the software teams integrate their processes and tasks with each other, in all areas that matter.
c. Ensuring that relevant teams communicate appropriate information to each other in a timely manner.

3. Responsible for other CSSC tasks, such as:
a. Working with CSSC’s Director in developing and reviewing CSSC budgets, cost reports across all projects.
b. Handling staff management issues, such as: identifying gaps in staffing across the software teams; managing and improving recruiting procedures with the HR division.

4. Oversee the Software Project Management group, including:
a. Working with CSSC’s Director on constantly improving processes around budgets, requirements, schedules, documentation, and quality assurance.
b. Meeting regularly with the PM group to go over best practices, budgets, and PM issues.

5. Coordinate with other functional teams in the Assessment Divisions, including:
a. Reviewing project plans and schedules of Assessment’s Project Directors to make sure they are realistic, all dependencies and integration points are considered, and all critical tasks are identified.
b. Facilitating and contributing to around building automated processes that involve the Operations, Psychometricians, and Program Management groups.

Qualifications :
Required Qualifications:
1. Bachelor’s in Computer Science or related field from a reputable university.
2. At least 10 years of experience in the software industry working with software development or technology companies that handle complex, data-driven, largely used systems.
3. Career path includes a hybrid of: software engineering, software project management, and technical leadership.
4. Significant experience on software requirements phase; including, its creation, capture, analysis and review.
5. Extensive knowledge of software best practices across management and engineering areas, such as:
a. Project management methodologies around work breakdown structures, iterative resource planning, and quality assurance
b. Software Cost Estimation models
c. Software development lifecycle approaches
d. Software metrics
6. Moderate knowledge of technology (to understand when the project team may be off tangent and direct them appropriately), such as: SQL, ASP.Net, C#, Java and HTML.
7. Excellent communication skills (both verbal and written).
8. Leadership skills to motivate and direct the PM team and ensure they remain focused on results.
9. Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
10. Extensive knowledge on the following tools: Microsoft Project, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visio, SQL Management, and Visual Studio.

Preferred Qualifications:
1. Master’s in Computer Science from a leading university program; OR, a Master’s in Business Administration from a reputable university (with focus on software management).
2. Familiarity with CMM (Capability Maturity Model provided by the Software Engineering Institute).
3. Exhibit experience around creative thinking towards issue resolution.

American Institutes for Research - 3 years ago - save job - block
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The American Institutes for Research (AIR) lives and breathes to enhance human performance. The not-for-profit organization conducts...