Engineering Director - Ubuntu Linux Enablement QA

  • Canonical
  • Office Based - Taipei, Taiwan
  • 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 an Engineer Director for Ubuntu Enablement QA to drive the strategy and implementation of our next-generation Ubuntu enablement QA. This critical function is part of our mission to transform Linux certification, in partnership with the engineering directors of Ubuntu Enablement and Ubuntu Certification. Our goal to to deliver the world's best long term OS stability commitment on PC, server and IoT hardware.

We believe that Engineering Directors should be outstanding engineers themselves. They should be very comfortable reviewing a patch or a software design spec. They are trusted engineers who understand the importance of a whole-team effort in creating great products, and who enjoy seeing colleagues develop. They should contribute code themselves to set the standard for coding, but know that the code they write is far less significant than their ability to shape the whole team’s direction, focus and delivery. We grow management skills, and train engineers who are interested in soft skills to be managers. Even though this is a director level position, managing managers, we expect Engineering Directors to be outstanding system software engineers with the confidence to lead by example across the full range of activities in their teams. You’ll need to know how to drive testing and benchmarking to improve the clarity in your teams around quality and performance. You’ll also need to be confident to set and defend high expectations of work ethic, consistency, focus and learning.

In this Engineering Director role, you will lead the strategy and the team responsible for quality coordination and integration testing of our software stacks with hardware. We are looking for a quality expert with the ability to establish quality processes from the ground up. The candidate must understand today's PC and ARM IoT hardware, and be excited about the new generation of RISC-V hardware that is on the horizon. They should understand the board and device product lifecycle and know the tools and techniques used to introduce new products. They will work with teams across the company to drive quality improvements through the entire development cycle. This challenging role demands a high degree of technical skill combined with management experience.

Today, most Linux certification is poor quality. Vendors run one set of tests and then declare that 'the hardware is certified'. But Linux is not a static platform. We make many more security fixes in the Linux world than people traditionally made in the proprietary OS world - all of these need to be tested on hardware which has been certified, even if that certification is 'old'. Also, Linux and open source evolve significantly every six months, and even more between major enterprise releases like the Ubuntu LTS versions. During the lifespan of an LTS, new kernel improvements will be available to users, and they want to be sure that their hardware will work. Today's Linux certification programs do not meet the needs of its users, and we want to change that.

Our intention is to deliver continuous quality and certification across the entire portfolio of certified hardware. Once we have enabled and certified a device, we intend to keep testing it to ensure that every single change we deliver to Ubuntu users globally is verified on all the hardware we know about. We also intend to measure energy consumption on a continuous process, as part of our commitment to measure, manage and drive down the carbon footprint of Ubuntu usage around the planet. We are building the world's largest and best-equipped Linux device certification facility in Taipei, which will enable this continuous testing. We are also structuring our renewed partnership and customer agreements to facilitate this process going forward.

We believe that open source is just starting to transform the tech sector and enterprise compute. Our goal is to make open source easier, more reliable and more secure for deployment and development. We strive to be the provider of ‘most software to most companies’. To deliver on that ambition, our engineers are carefully selected from the applicants across the globe. We select for brilliance and motivation to take open source to the next level. Our engineering directors and managers help teams achieve more than they thought they could, and feel proud of the result.

As an Engineering Director at Canonical your primary responsibility is to the teams you lead, to ensure that they measure outcomes, make process improvements, do valuable work, and find career satisfaction at Canonical. Technical leadership is a requirement, so that you’re able to challenge and grow your teams. Strong aptitude for planning, management and operations are necessary too. You will have the opportunity to influence our culture, facilitate technical delivery, and work with your teams on strategy and execution. You’ll select, develop, retain and lead teams of excellent software developers to design and implement software that runs on various CPU architectures, such as ARM, RISC-V, and x86. You will meet with stakeholders, prioritize requests, plan your roadmap and ensure the team can deliver their goals.

Location: As an Engineering Director position, this requires a candidate who is confident to run a project which spans several teams and time zones, hiring and managing both engineering managers and staff engineers. The role is part of our global Canonical and Ubuntu engineering organisation. We prefer to appoint a candidate who will base themselves in our Taipei Minsheng office, alongside other enablement engineering leaders, and close to the stream of new hardware that goes into the certification lab.

Key responsibilities

  • Manage, mentor and grow the software engineering teams addressing hardware enablement quality assurance and testing
  • Lead the QA Engineering team activity, which covers
    • Planning, creation and management of the overall Quality Planning strategy and documents
    • Improving our automated test capability with design and code contributions
    • Execution of automated and manual testing of Ubuntu Desktop and Core
    • Test result triage and precise bug creation
    • Suggesting solutions to identified problems
    • Overseeing continuous improvement projects 
    • Establishing proactive measures to improve the quality and reliability of Ubuntu
    • Preparing time estimates and schedule for testing activities
    • Work with development teams across multiple projects to build efficient, effective automated testing
  • Develop your engineering managers and maintain Canonical culture
  • Hire staff level engineers for specific roles like performance and quality
  • Identify and measure indicators of team health and productivity
  • Implement rigorous engineering processes and defend them
  • Set and measure progress against benchmark goals for speed and efficiency
  • Represent your product to stakeholders, partners, and customers
  • Be an active part of the leadership team, collaborating with other leaders

What we’re looking for

  • Exceptional academic track record from both high school and university
  • Undergraduate degree in a technical subject or a compelling narrative about your alternative chosen path
  • Outstanding Linux based software engineering track record, preferably with low-level embedded experience
  • Confidence to respectfully speak up, exchange feedback, and share ideas without hesitation
  • Track record of going above-and-beyond expectations to achieve outstanding results
  • Leadership and a track record of developing and growing people
  • Organised and able to ensure your team delivers timely, high quality results
  • Management experience and the confidence to set high expectations
  • Passion for technology evidenced by personal projects and initiatives
  • The work ethic and confidence to shine alongside motivated colleagues
  • Professional written and spoken English with excellent presentation skills
  • Experience with Linux (Debian or Ubuntu preferred) 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, curiosity, flexibility, and accountability
  • Appreciative of diversity, polite and effective in a multi-cultural, multi-national organisation
  • Professional manner interacting with colleagues, partners, and community
  • Thoughtfulness and self-motivation 
  • Result-oriented, with a personal drive to meet commitments 
  • Ability to travel internationally twice a year, for company events up to two weeks long

Nice-to-have skills we value

  • Computer architecture knowledge of x86, ARM, and RISC-V
  • Desktop and IoT hardware peripherals knowledge (cameras, wireless connectivity, etc.)
  • Open source community engagement and leadership
  • Ops and system administration experience
  • Performance engineering and security experience

What we offer colleagues

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.