Director of Engineering

Hi everyone!

We are looking for a Director of Engineering for Turnitin.

More info in the form of Q&A below.

What do we do?

Turnitin is a global SaaS company dedicated to ensuring the integrity of education and research and supporting the development of original thinking skills. As the academic and research landscape evolves, Turnitin stays ahead of trends through advancements in technology and deep partnerships with education leaders, institutions, and practitioners.

Why do we do it?

We promote honesty, consistency, and fairness across all assignment types and subject areas so that educators can help students do their best, original work

Turnitin’s proprietary content databases — built over 20 years — provide an unparalleled repository of 1+ billion student papers, best-in-class scholarly content from top publishers in every major discipline and in dozens of languages, and 70+ billion current and archived web pages.

How we are (as a company/project) different from others?

We are in the education space and are a "mission-based" company is unique and important to a lot of our employees. Sure, we like to sell our products and make a lot of money, but we're equally motivated by how we're positively impacting student education.

How old is the project? What is the current stage of the project?

We envision our Kyiv office supporting a combination of projects, both new and existing. As an example of a new project, we're just now starting the iThenticate V2 project which involves completely rewriting and modernizing the application and platform used by our publishing partners as well as some higher ed customers. Over time we think Kyiv will be the "mission owner" for a whole suite of originality products.

How do we do it? (what technologies we use, etc.)?

We are somewhat polyglot, but most of our products use React on the front end and Java on the backend. We host most of our products on AWS, and we primarily use Postgres as our database.

Which professional skills are important to us?

We are looking for a director of engineering to lead and scale our engineering team in Kyiv and help us build great products. To be successful in this role, you should be confident in managing our teams while, at the same time, setting goals, budgets and timelines for various projects. You’ll collaborate cross-functionally with people from Product, UX/Research, DevOps and other engineering teams in order to deliver solutions that support our strategic company goals. We also expect you to be in charge of our integrations with external partners and oversee all software development plans from ideation to execution.

  • 3+ years of work experience as a director of engineering or in a similar senior-level position at an engineering department.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering required; Master’s degree in Engineering or Business Administration preferred.
  • Extensive technical knowledge of engineering and product development (experience with Java, React, AWS, Postgres).
  • Proven experience in building robust and highly scalable software solutions.
  • Experience working and collaborating with teams across multiple time zones and geographies.
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

What would I have to do?

  • Plans and coordinates the work of the engineering team in Kyiv to ensure meeting goals and objectives.
  • Help scale the team, from initial outreach to interviewing candidates to onboarding new hires.
  • Conduct performance evaluations that are timely and constructive.
  • Provide training and mentoring as needed.
  • Consult with the Chief Technical Officer and VP of Engineering to create long-term goals specific to the needs of the organization.
  • Develop new products from concept to testing to production.
  • Oversee progress and timeliness of projects with help of Project Manager.
  • Review project reports to ensure projects are on schedule and within budget

Is English required?

Yes, fluent.

What would be important for us in this person?

In addition to understanding our tech stack, it's important for a candidate to have experience working for a multinational corporation or at least have experience in working with colleagues that span multiple geographies. We think that a suitable candidate should also possess excellent English written and verbal communication skills since we are a US-based company. And given the nature of our platform usage, it's important that the person has experience developing products that are highly performant and scalable.

Why is there a vacant position?

Growth of the project.

What are the growth/development opportunities in this position?

We expect the Kyiv engineering team to double in size (if not more) over the next 2 years, so we think there are plenty of opportunities to work on new and exciting projects and grow their responsibilities over time.

What are the size and structure of the team? How many testers / developers are there in the team?

For the time being our team consists of 16 people, including 8 Software Engineers (BackEnd, FrontEnd), 5 QAs, 2 DevOps, 1 Project Manager.

Where are the people who make technical decisions about the project (location)?

Ukraine, USA

What interesting activities do we do (as a company) for the community (events, community support, etc.)?

Hard to say now with the Covid situation, but prior to Covid we adopted a local elementary school in Oakland, and we did a number of volunteering activities at that school last year. Turnitn gives all employees 2 days of paid volunteer time, which is really nice. We also sponsor/participate in a number of local events such as tech meetups that we occasionally host in our office, and larger community events.

Is there a trial period and how long does it last?

Yes, three months trial period    

Overtimes, how often, what is the approach to payment?

We avoid asking or encouraging overtimes.

Overtimes are compensated as a time off in lieu.  

What is the work schedule?

Work schedule is flexible owing to the collaborating with teams across multiple time zones and geographies.

Is it possible to work remotely some days?

Yes, full or partial remote work is possible.

The number of vacation days?

20 paid vacation days.

Is there a prospect of business trips, and where?

Business trips will be possible after the quarantine to the USA, the UK and other countries when/if needed.

Social package (medical insurance, other): Annual bonus and LTIP, parking place, compensation of coaching and therapist sessions through Modern Health platform. Other benefits will be provided in 2021.  

As per the application process:

  • Is there a test task? No.
  • Interview in English? Yes.
  • Who will review the resume?

At the first stage, the resume will be reviewed by: Regional Leader (former Unicheck CEO); Principal Engineer (former Unicheck CTO); People Business Partner.

How many stages of the interview, with whom?

Interview panel:

  • 1stage: Interview with Regional Leader, Principal Engineer, People Business Partner;
  • 2stage (optional): Peer interview with Directors;
  • 3stage: Interview with a direct manager - VP of Engineering;
  • 4stage (optional): Interview with CTO.


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