Engineering Director, Ubuntu Desktop

  • Canonical
  • Home based - Americas, EMEA
  • 29 May, 2024

Job Description

Canonical is a leading provider of open source software and operating systems to the global enterprise and technology markets. Our platform, Ubuntu, is very widely used in breakthrough enterprise initiatives such as public cloud, data science, AI, engineering innovation and IoT. Our customers include the world's leading public cloud and silicon providers, and industry leaders in many sectors. The company is a pioneer of global distributed collaboration, with 1000+ colleagues in 70+ countries and very few roles based in offices. Teams meet two to four times yearly in person, in interesting locations around the world, to align on strategy and execution.

The company is founder led, profitable and growing.

We are hiring a Director, Ubuntu Desktop Engineering to lead our mission to deliver the world's best open source desktop experience and developer platform, for consumers, professionals and developers. This is a director-level position, responsible for the integrated strategy, architecture and roadmap across multiple engineering teams working in Rust, C/C++, Flutter and Golang. We are looking for a technical leader with a deep understanding of Linux graphics technology, system architecture and security capability. We are also looking for a leader who has a personal interest in user experience, performance engineering, and consumer applications across form factors such as tablets, mobile, the desktop, and remote computing environments like VDI.

We focus on delivering the cleanest, simplest, most reliable out-of-the-box experience for Linux on any laptop or workstation. We make careful choices to select best of breed components for the entire desktop and developer experience, and we invest in packaging and integration. We are also now looking to build new desktop capabilities, with a focus on performance, resource efficiency, media codecs and user experience. We are seeking a director of engineering with outstanding leadership and management qualities, as well as a clear vision for the future of the open source desktop. The nature of the work requires a deep understanding of the existing Linux desktop technology stack and community dynamics across multiple upstream projects. Candidates must have experience of engineering management in a company that ships software products.

This is a complex and challenging role at the center of a fast-moving and competitive environment. The successful candidate will be an accomplished technologist, proven leader, speaker and motivator, with management and organisational skills. We would like to put this opportunity in the hands of someone passionate about the future of open source, developer experiences, and community. We also require someone who will embrace the competitive and professional demands of a highly visible, widely used and mission critical enterprise platform.

  • Agree strategy for Ubuntu desktop editions, working with community flavors
  • Lead architecture for next-generation desktop services and systems in Rust, C, C++, Flutter and Golang
  • Ensure that performance engineering, security engineering and documentation are deep values across the team
  • Identify significant new open source capabilities and prioritize their inclusion in the desktop
  • Challenge teams to rethink and re-imagine the desktop on a decade-long timeline
  • Coordinate roadmap across Ubuntu and Canonical products with wider engineering leadership
  • Shape the design of the Ubuntu experience in heterogenous environments - with Windows and Mac, on bare metal and cloud
  • Engage with silicon vendors to enable future generations of desktop silicon and hardware

What we are looking for

  • An exceptional academic track record at both high school and university
  • A degree in software engineering, science, mathematics or related field
  • Passion for desktop and graphics technology evidenced by deep personal investment in cutting edge techniques and capabilities
  • Drive and a track record of excellence in leadership and operations
  • Professional written and spoken English with outstanding presentation skill
  • Deep operational experience with Linux (Ubuntu preferred)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, curiosity, flexibility, and accountability 
  • Result-oriented, with a personal drive to meet commitments 
  • Thoughtfulness and self-motivation 
  • Ability to travel twice a year, for company events up to two weeks long

Additional skills we value

  • Software engineering management and leadership across multiple products and teams
  • Rust, Golang or C/C++ architecture, performance and quality engineering insights
  • Flutter and Dart experience and insights into the Flutter community
  • Deep technical knowledge of graphics hardware and software layers in Linux

What we offer you

We consider geographical location, experience, and performance in shaping compensation worldwide. We revisit compensation annually (and more often for graduates and associates) to ensure we recognise outstanding performance. In addition to base pay, we offer a performance-driven annual bonus or commission. We provide all team members with additional benefits, which reflect our values and ideals. We balance our programs to meet local needs and ensure fairness globally.

  • Distributed work environment with twice-yearly team sprints in person
  • Personal learning and development budget of USD 2,000 per year
  • Annual compensation review
  • Recognition rewards
  • Annual holiday leave
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Opportunity to travel to new locations to meet colleagues
  • Priority Pass, and travel upgrades for long haul company events

About Canonical

Canonical is a pioneering tech firm at the forefront of the global move to open source. As the company that publishes Ubuntu, one of the most important open source projects and the platform for AI, IoT and the cloud, we are changing the world of software. We recruit on a global basis and set a very high standard for people joining the company. We expect excellence - in order to succeed, we need to be the best at what we do. Most colleagues at Canonical have worked from home since its inception in 2004.​ Working here is a step into the future, and will challenge you to think differently, work smarter, learn new skills, and raise your game.

Canonical is an equal opportunity employer

We are proud to foster a workplace free from discrimination. Diversity of experience, perspectives, and background create a better work environment and better products. Whatever your identity, we will give your application fair consideration.