Technical Director

Company Name Substance
Location Portland, OR
Date Posted Apr 19, 2012
Category Developer
Listing Type Jobs


Substance seeks a visionary and thoughtful leader to direct our technical team in seeking out and creating appropriate and meaningful technology solutions and deliverables for our clients.

You are a creative-minded technical problem solver. You sit confidently between the client and the internal team to direct and deliver appropriate, innovative, and effective solutions. You are skilled at listening to clients’ goals and understanding their needs, as well as being a part of the definition of those goals where appropriate. You have a broad technical background and can provide multiple points of view when recommending technology solutions. You carefully listen to and evaluate approaches and suggestions from team members in order to implement the most appropriate technical solutions possible for a given project. You are an effective leader and skilled communicator. You have the development chops and technical experience to lead the development team and serve as a mentor and champion. You can clearly articulate challenges and solutions to the entire team, speaking technically as necessary and educating the non-technical when required. You work directly with Project Management to deliver projects on time.

You have experience working in an interactive agency environment and understand how important client deadlines and deliverables are to the reputation of the agency. Your sense of urgency is palpable, and inspires the rest of the team in a positive way. Having previous experience at an interactive agency also means you recognize how inter-agency collaboration, when done right, benefits both the development team and the company as a whole. This is especially important at Substance as our work environment is collaborative almost to a fault.

Finally, you have many, many, many site launches under your belt. Seriously, lots.


  • Help our clients make the right technology decisions to fit their business and brand goals.
  • Lead Substance in our own technology growth and expertise.
  • Be a mentor and leader internally to help grow our team.
  • Work directly with client to obtain clear understanding of project goals in order to assess applicable technology solutions.
  • Speak intelligently with the entire team about possible development approaches.
  • Scope project development technologies and timelines based on project needs and budget and timing realities.
  • Contribute and maintain project documentation, from discovery recommendations to technical requirements.
  • Collaborate with design and development team on possible interface options in order to stay within scope, all while advocating for the best, most appropriate, user experience.
  • Work with the Project Manager in guiding multiple project timelines with internal development resources. Manage external development resources if necessary.
  • Have a working knowledge, desire and ability to assist in a hands on manner with MySQL, PHP, CSS, and Apache, among others.
  • Maintain relationships with client-side technology stakeholders for the length of a project and beyond.
  • Help to maintain our hosting infrastructure, and help our team learn to maintain it as well.
  • Develop and maintain processes for pre-launch checks and balances.
  • Develop and maintain processes for post-launch QA and maintenance.
  • Work with the business owners to identify challenges and opportunities within our technology practice.


  • Knowledge and understanding of a variety of back-end web development languages, frameworks and CMS platforms. The ability to determine the best solution for the client, which isn’t always the easiest to develop.
  • Ability to discuss–and advocate–for the best technology solution to meet the needs of a project.
  • A drive to self-educate. When you need further knowledge, you seek it out.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • A positive, team-oriented approach to problem solving.
  • The ability to stay calm under fire and direct the team through confidence and experience.
  • Ability to accurately define project parameters and scope accordingly, and then hold the team accountable to those deliverables.
  • A love for creative solutions to challenges.

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