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VP, Product Development - Scientific Learning Corporation

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  • lakao1a
    SCIENTIFIC LEARNING CORPORATION JOB DESCRIPTION Position: VP, Product Development Reports To: Chief Executive Officer Location: Oakland, CA Status: Regular,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2009

      Position: VP, Product Development

      Reports To: Chief Executive Officer

      Location: Oakland, CA

      Status: Regular, Full-Time Exempt

      The Company

      Founded in 1996, Scientific Learning (www.scilearn.com; NASDAQ: SCIL) creates educational software that accelerates learning by improving the processing efficiency of the brain. Based on more than 30 years of neuroscience and cognitive research, the Fast ForWord® family of products provides struggling readers with computer-delivered exercises that build the cognitive skills required to read and learn effectively. Scientific Learning's Reading Assistant™ combines advanced speech recognition technology with scientifically-based courseware to help students strengthen fluency, vocabulary and comprehension to become proficient, life-long readers. The efficacy of the products has been established by more than 550 research studies and publications.

      Job Summary:

      The Vice President of Product Development will provide leadership for Product Engineering, Project Management, and Quality Assurance teams who support product development and deployment for Scientific Learning. The Sr. Director of Architecture will also report to this position.

      Successful project execution and effective process/output documentation within and between these teams is a critical objective of this role. This position holds overall responsibility for the product development process and will need to interact effectively with Product Management, Design, Research and Education/Content teams as well. Additionally, this position will be a member of the Leadership Team and contribute to the selection and prioritization of corporate strategies.

      Key Responsibilities and Teams that report directly to this position: The VP will provide leadership for each of these areas and oversee the management of each team.

      Product Engineering: Oversee Management of the software engineering process for internal software applications as well as commercial product offerings. This includes the planning phase to successful operational implementation. This team consists of Java and Flash programmers plus software architects.

      Project Management: Oversee management of required product deliverables according to development plans and road maps designed cooperatively with Product Management. This role will measure project execution against targets, historical performance and external benchmarks within an Agile (with Scrum) development process. The VP Product Development and the team will be required to estimate costs, prioritize tasks, leverage internal and external resources and manage interdependencies to meet deadlines, budgets and deliverables.

      Quality Assurance: The VP Product Development will be responsible for integrating quality controls throughout development process and manage a comprehensive and effective product testing process. This will help ensure high-quality product releases and prioritized development task list for updates. Also requires implementing communication systems that relay technical information for each product release and update to product management and field (sales, services and support) organizations. The QA team includes both onshore and offshore teams.

      Essential Job Functions:

      • Build and maintain strong cross functional teams that are focused upon meeting goals/deadlines with high quality results.
      • Design, refine and adhere to a product development process that includes the roles and responsibilities of all contributing functions. Overall emphasis is on efficiency and continuous productivity improvements.
      • Lead the corporate strategy for the integration of existing development teams and collaborate with the CTO, founding scientists, Chief Education Officer and product teams on overall product design.
      • Lead multiple concurrent product development cycles in a manner that provides for high quality and timely results.
      • Attract, grow, and motivate team members to constitute exceptional, empowered teams that deliver results.
      • Allocate resources for design and prototyping efforts in addition to development projects in line with corporate strategic objectives.
      • Develop components and exercises with an emphasis on content reuse across products and markets and adherence to open standards.
      • Contribute to the creation and growth of an off-shore development team.

      Specific management skills and technical experience include:

      • Experience managing, building and retaining top-flight technical teams that have a track record of success.
      • Successful record of improving internal development process and an agent of proactive change to improve product delivery
      • Experience integrating products and remote product management
      • Knowledge of computing, web services and PC & Mac-based software development. Prefer product experience with U/I (e.g. Flash), client –server desktop applications, content engines, content delivery, consumer software, speech-enabled products, ASP/Web based product delivery, etc.
      • Experience with consumer products, game/educational software, electronic publications, multimedia content delivery, speech/AI, etc
      • Fat/thin clients, component architectures, content/search engines, application servers, content delivery etc
      • Experience in software, and system-level product design and development
      • Prefer small/mid size company experience and mindset
      • Multiple experiences with first-generation product definition and delivery with demonstrated successes in product specification, planning and quality delivery
      • Flexible self-starter, comfortable with shifting roles and processes in an evolving, fast-changing environment.
      • Ability to alternate between leadership role and assisting in the completion of team technical work as needed.
      • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
      • Thorough project management skills

      Preferred Technical skills:

      • A world view of software delivery, including a thorough understanding of cloud computing, software as a service, the design and implementation of 24/7 software services that are both reliable and scalable, and all layers of web technology
      • C++, Java, J2EE, XML, SOAP, .NET, PERL, PHP or other scripting languages
      • Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL or other database
      • Excellent OO design and architectural skills
      • Demonstrated process and software quality improvements
      • Integration of software products


      • 15+ years of advanced engineering and/or development management experience with at least 5+ years in a leadership capacity
      • Successful track record of product delivery, technical vision, team building and mentoring
      • Undergraduate degree plus advanced technical degree and/or commensurate experience
      • Experience building and maintaining real world production software, either web based or client server.

      TO APPLY:

      Please email your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to resumes@....

      Please NO phone calls.

      SCIENTIFIC LEARNING is an equal opportunity employer
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