Full-Stack Technical Lead/Manager

5 months ago
Full time role
Remote... more
Remote... more


Forerunner builds intelligent tools that help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. We empower government agencies to access, understand, and ...

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Job Description

Hi! We're Forerunner.

We believe that climate adaptation is a necessity, not a luxury, and communities deserve access to powerful software that helps them plan for the future. The challenge of climate change is complex – it implicates how municipalities plan, manage capital, and communicate to both residents and higher levels of government. Forerunner helps local communities do these things better by empowering them to access, understand, and mobilize local-level flood risk data at scale.

The Role

The engineering team at Forerunner strives to be small but dedicated, working relentlessly to help local governmental bodies and their floodplain managers reason about the flooding risks that all communities face in the USA. The domain is complicated, nuanced, and rapidly changing, and we at Forerunner break down this complexity for our users so they can do what truly matters - fight against climate change and the possible loss of homes in the case of flooding.

Engineers at Forerunner can work remotely from anywhere within the United States, so long as they are willing to work on either Eastern or Central timezones. We offer schedule flexibility and ask for accountability in return. We are unable to sponsor H1-B visas at this time, so permanent residency or citizenship is required.

Our tech stack and other engineering tools include, but are not limited to:

  • Typescript / React.js React Native frontend with jest for testing
  • GraphQL API powered by a Node.js / Typescript backend with jest for testing.
  • Postgres as our database, alongside heavy use of postgis
  • gitGithub and Github Actions for code review and CI
  • Deployment to AWS using ECS and similar products
  • A variety of other cloud providers, such as GCP and Twilio

While expertise with all of the technologies above is by no means not necessary, a working understanding of at least a few of them is required.

We strongly encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply - the problem of climate change impact all of us, and we want to reflect that within our team's composition.

What You'll Do

A Technical Lead Manager (TLM) at Forerunner is responsible for managing a team of engineers on two major fronts:

  • Managing the software their team produces by preparing for and leading planning meetings, writing and/or reviewing code, and pair programming.
  • Managing the career growth of their reports by conducting regular one-on-ones and yearly reviews, as well as recurring mentorship as needed.

We expect our TLMs to spend roughly 20-30% of their time coding and 70-80% of their time performing their technical leadership and managerial duties. More explicitly, these duties are:

  • Provide hands-on support to their direct reports to help them grow in their careers, as Forerunner strongly believes in continued learning and up-leveling. To do this, a TLM provides actionable, constructive feedback during recurring one-on-ones, code reviews, quarterly reviews, and mentorship meetings.
  • Build, test, and deploy full-stack software on a weekly basis, working within our frontends, backends, and with the underlying data modeling that underpins them. This means working on a postgres query one day and on a React component the next, all the while making sure this work is adequately tested.
  • Review the work of your team with a compassionate yet thorough, critical eye. This includes pair-programing with and mentorship of more junior engineers, which means hoping on a Slack or Zoom call with another engineers to collaborate on a particularly thorny piece of code or to talk through different approaches that can be used to solve the problem at hand.
  • The engineering team gives all engineers the opportunity to plan out and execute on large features, and as a technical lead manager, you'd be responsible for writing your own design documents as well as thoroughly vetting those of your team, regardless of complexity or domain.
  • Seek out clarity in the face of ambiguity. As the team’s technical lead manager, you’re responsible for setting the team’s technical direction while collaborating with non-engineering stakeholders to determine the product direction that best satisfies our customer’s needs. As domain expertise is always hard to come by and benefits from dedicated time and curiosity (especially in a space as nuanced as climate change), we ask our TLMs to always ask questions and follow-through with curiosity.
  • Communicate clearly, whether in a stand-up meeting, planning meeting, or otherwise. We're a small team working entirely remotely, which requires us to be prompt and clear with both written and spoken communication.

Prior management experience is required for this role, as we’re looking for someone with at least 1-2 years of experience managing engineers on a small team.

We strongly believe in preparing our TLMs with the context they need to be successful managers before they take on direct reports. Upon hire, they spend three / four months becoming familiar with the Forerunner codebase, our engineering processes, and the company’s overall mission and feature set. During this time, TLMs are not directly managing a team so that they have time to ramp up!

What We Offer

Forerunner is an early stage company with an interdisciplinary team. We are motivated by seemingly intractable problems and work hard to support one another.

We're mission-driven. Our mission orients our business strategy and pushes us to work with a sense of urgency. We’re in the weeds - our entire team spends time engaging with our partners in the field to better understand the real-world problems they face.

We're a small team. As a member of our growing team, you will quickly become an invaluable part of our organization and have a meaningful impact on our business and technical direction. We welcome unique perspectives and backgrounds. Your opinion matters and we hope you'll share it.

We build each other up. A team works best when its members are adequately equipped with the tools to tackle the problems they are facing. Forerunner strives to provide adequate feedback and appropriate learning opportunities to help all its team members expand their skills.

We want you to be happy and healthy. Forerunner offers competitive compensation, health/vision/dental coverage (we pay 70%), a 401k plan, and one expensed lunch per week. We also have a quarterly wellness reimbursement so that you can have flexibility in defining what “health” means to you.

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