VP of Engineering, PL Starfleet

Protocol Labs


VPE of PL Starfleet: 

The PL Starfleet VP of Engineering will lead engineering and research development team growth, execution, and organization
To help propel our 100+ team of engineers, operators, and researchers forward, we’re looking for an inspirational technical leader ready to break new ground in web3
A successful candidate has significant people management experience, sharp business acumen, big-picture strategic vision, an innately collaborative style, and strong technology fundamentals
And since Protocol Labs is still a fast-growing startup, we’ll need someone with a track record of building something from nothing—hiring, developing processes, and reorganizing to fit business priorities

Key areas of responsibility:

Build a world-class Engineering organization

  • Embody and evolve the PL Starfleet engineering culture as the team reaches scale (from our current 100+)
  • Plan and build the team’s capabilities
  • Develop the 2-3 year vision for the team, set engineering growth strategy, and translate this into viable 6-12 month plans and roadmaps, working closely with the larger Leadership Team
  • Determine necessary headcount/skills/structure to achieve current and future goals
  • Recruit at a world-class level—actively network, reach out to candidates, and conduct other activities to attract top talent
  • Help engineers understand why their contributions are valuable and how they tie to business impact
  • Coordinate closely with people/recruiting team on hiring strategy
  • Lead the development of interview process for ICs and managers alike 
  • Instill a hiring culture on the team, including adhering to the hiring process and maintaining a high bar
  • Build an Engineering employee brand: speak on panels, encourage Open Source contributions and blog posts about non-proprietary aspects of our technology architecture and usage

Manage the Engineering Organization

  • Manage / coach Engineering Managers and other senior engineers
  • Ensure everyone on the team has the resources and opportunities to learn and grow — formal/informal training, mentorship, stretch goals, attendance at conferences
  • Create and apply engineering-specific development expectations; use these to provide regular feedback
  • Reorganize and effectively manage change as needed to best fit with the business needs
  • Collaborate with the PL Comp WG on compensation and employee rewards
  • Manage team dynamics and employee relations issues and be accountable for resolution
  • Develop the staffing logic and execute it, factoring in engineering preferences and professional development
  • Instill norms, cultural values (eg collaboration, async first, self-direction, etc) and lead by example

Drive Engineering Team Execution / Delivery

  • Achieve results and hold teams accountable to deliver on their own goals
  • Regularly evaluate team structure to ensure the organization can move quickly
  • Devise methods to measure output and effectiveness week over week and present findings and bottlenecks
  • Inspire and motivate the team to strive for excellence
  • Develop and promote processes which ensure timely delivery of products
  • Fill in the blanks and verify that the engineering team has the right tools, technology, and processes to build quality, scalable and reliable systems
  • Codify and disseminate best practices (eg testing, code reviews, pair programming)
  • Innovate and experiment to optimize team output

Collaborate with PL Starfleet Leadership Team

  • Represent the Engineers and Researchers as a member of the Leadership Team
  • Communicate plans, challenges, and updates to other functional heads
  • Seek to understand challenges facing other teams or the company at large and provide input, advice and/or possible solutions
  • Nurture Engineering’s strong relationship/alignment with other orgs and teams

Characteristics of a Successful Candidate:

  • 10+ years of experience, with a strong track record of success in great companies: been consistently promoted up the chain of responsibility, ideally at multiple companies so they have more than one perspective on technical leadership
    Experience in systems/technology or other highly technical industry would be helpful
  • Produced at scale: built and delivered products that have scaled in the marketplace with a proven track record of shipping high quality products on tight timelines; designed and executed processes to make this happen
  • Strong technology fundamentals and the ability to make high impact decisions about the long term viability/scalability of technical solutions
    Communication via system design diagrams and ability to toggle between breadth and depth
  • People management / coaching: recognized and helped recruit amazing people, learned how to effectively manage non-performers, views feedback as a gift, has courage, and developed their team members into successful leaders in their own right
  • Humility and empathy: made mistakes—even very public ones—and can speak openly and humbly about what happened and how the problem was solved
  • Business-minded and collaborative: spent time working across an entire organization, and built relationships to understand the ins and outs of the whole business
  • Inspirational followership: speaks externally on a regular basis to help build the brand of a company or product; has a ready roster of high performing engineers who would quit their jobs to work for them
  • Naturally effective communicator: structured, clear, great listener, can boil complex concepts into straightforward ideas; also knows whom to involve, when, and how



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