Director Software Engineering

Req Number: YMQRQB
Location: Richmond
Posted: 12/6/2022
Category: Industrial : Energy
Job Type: Permanent

The Company

Headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Ideon Technologies (“Ideon” or the “Company”) uses the energy from supernova explosions in space to image down to 1km beneath the Earth's surface.

A world pioneer in the application of cosmic-ray muon tomography, Ideon provides advanced subsurface intelligence that supports the global shift to clean energy technologies. Ideon is helping accelerate the transition to low-impact mining of critical minerals and metals - reducing risk, cost, time, and environmental impact of operations across the mining value chain. Muon tomography is the only straight-line geophysical imaging technique available on the market, producing high-resolution, locationally accurate subsurface imaging of density anomalies at depth. These new insights increase geological certainty for mining companies, in turn helping to reduce the need for traditional hit-and-miss drilling, increase the accuracy of mine mapping and monitoring, better characterize in-ground resources, and ultimately contribute to improved mine planning and reserve management.

Muons are naturally occurring, invisible sub-atomic particles produced by cosmic rays striking the Earth’s atmosphere. As muons pass through the Earth, they lose energy progressively and at an accelerated rate as they encounter higher-density material. Ideon manufactures and deploys proprietary hardware that captures and measures muon activity beneath the Earth. Using customized imaging systems, inversion technologies, and artificial intelligence techniques, the Ideon team then transforms the data into reliable geophysical surveys and 3D density maps that help mining companies target and characterize resources more precisely.

In June early 2021 Ideon Technologies completed miniaturizing their proprietary imaging sensor by 50x to a form compatible to fitting down industry-standard drill holes. Following this completion, Ideon successfully deployed the world’s first cosmic-ray muon detector in Saskatchewan with top uranium producer, Orano Group. At current state, Ideon has deployed, or is in the process of deploying, dozens of detectors under commercial agreements and in deep collaboration with major mining companies like BHP, Glencore, Vale, Orano and others.

Ideon’s early success with BHP at their Nickel West operation in Western Australia is documented in a case study and was trumpeted by BHP’s Chief Technology Officer Laura Tyler at Canadian mining mega-conference PDAC 2021. The deployment of Ideon’s borehole muon detectors at BHP Nickel West is part of a multi-year project and the first deployment of the system outside Canada. BHP is also a test-site partner for Ideon’s Digital Supercluster project, a project focused on developing several new proprietary imaging modalities complementary to muon tomography and helping mining companies increase the sustainable production of critical mineral resources needed to fuel the industry’s clean energy transition.

Ideon also deployed muon tomography on Oak Island in October 2021 for the purpose of subsurface anomaly detection and can be seen featured on The History Channel’s hit reality TV show The Curse of Oak Island.

Ideon Technologies’ innovation and disruption to traditional exploration and subsurface mapping methods has not gone unnoticed. In 2021, the company was shortlisted for Start-up Company of the Year through the BC Tech Association. In April 2021, they were awarded second place in the international Mining Cleantech Challenge, and most recently they were named a finalist by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for Innovative Enterprise on of the Year.

In September 2022 Ideon Technologies announced it closed a CAD$21M Series A funding led by Playground Global – a deep-tech VC out of Silicon Valley. The investment will expand Ideon’s production capacity and accelerate the commercialization of its Subsurface Intelligence Platform. In the next 3 years, Ideon seeks to reach CAD$50M in annual revenue and to secure longer-term commercial contracts with new and existing major mining clients.

The Opportunity

This is an opportunity to work with a dynamic technology start-up at one of the most exciting moments in its journey to commercialization. You will be collaborating with company founders and technical experts to advance a ground-breaking solution that will generate significant economic and environmental benefit.

The Ideon Technologies team is entrepreneurial by nature, mission-driven, and focused on doing things right to deliver great customer outcomes. They are also committed to seeking out the best brains and the most exceptional humans, however they happen to be packaged.

This opportunity will appeal to an innovative and passionate leader with a proven track record in developing and executing a software strategy to achieve desired goals and outcomes. The successful candidate will have a passion for bringing an enhanced degree of innovation to how an organization serves its customers. This requires strong leadership skills, an execution orientation, and the technical aptitude to build a best-in-class team that is aligned to departmental goals and the overarching roadmap at Ideon. This executive should have demonstrated experience and progression in working through larger challenges related to technology and people leadership, while retaining the desired technical capabilities.

Position: Director, Software Engineering
Location: Richmond, BC
Reporting Relationship: Doug Schouten, Chief Technology Officer

Key Responsibilities

Reporting directly to the CTO, this role is critical to achieving Ideon’s vision of transforming subsurface intelligence and their mission of accelerating the world’s transition to low-impact mining. As the leader of their software portfolio, you will shape the product roadmap and lead a growing team of talented software engineers, AI and ML experts, data scientists and engineers, and application engineers. This is your opportunity to play a vital role in shaping the growth of a Canadian start-up business on the global stage.

Your responsibilities will include the following:

  • Lead the software team, providing strategic direction, technical guidance, mentorship, and coaching, while role-modeling our core values.
  • Work together with colleagues across the company to design and build a world-class subsurface intelligence solution that delights our customers and adds undeniable value to their organizations.
  • Drive software development roadmaps and operational plans, executing against project plans and delivery commitments within an agile/scrum environment.
  • Manage and optimize the overall software development lifecycle with an emphasis on productivity and automation.
  • Establish and maintain high standards of security, reliability, scalability, and performance in software solutions and DevOps.
  • Ensure the team has the right tools, processes, and principles in place to deliver work on time and to specification.
  • Evolve and improve the software development practice within the organization, including better practices, reporting, tools, and evolution of development methodology.
  • Report on development status, quality, operations, and system performance, acting quickly and decisively to resolve customer-impacting issues.
  • Engage in strategic planning and budgeting.
  • Provide leadership to all software team staffing and professional development activities.
  • Coding, getting deeply involved when needed to solve hard problems, while still leading the whole team to ensure cohesion and adherence to timelines.

Year One Critical Success Factors

Within the first 12 months in the role, the Director, Software Engineering will have:

  • Oriented and learned about the technical depth of the solution and the geoscience side of the business including reading through code, understanding visualization and 3D structures.
  • Developed a deep understanding of the underlying market need that led to Ideon’s technology platform and worked closely with the R&D team, systematizing their outputs, and deploying them in Ideon’s Subsurface Intelligence Platform.
  • Established a professional and credible relationship with Ideon Technologies’ CTO.
  • Prioritized Ideon’s application software, ensuring it is bug-free, well maintained, operating smoothly, and meeting the needs of applications and projects. This includes end-to-end data integrity checking, automated dashboards for inspection of defection, and back-end architecture for data storage.

The Candidate

Experience and Professional Qualifications

You have strong technical vision, commitment to quality, and a drive for continuous improvement, having seen and learned from what good and not-so-good looks like over your career so far. Your personal experience in software development and operations gives you the credibility to lead and coach a team with deep insight and understanding. As a transparent, persuasive, and technically astute leader, you inspire others to learn, ask questions, and follow your guidance. Not one to shy away from a complex challenge, you exercise creativity in problem-solving and tenacity in shepherding issues to a successful conclusion. You thrive in a fast-paced environment where the market opportunity is massive and the approach to solutioning is iterative and flexible.

In addition, your credentials, attributes, and qualifications include:

  • Degree in Software Development/Engineering, Computer Science, or related technical discipline.
  • 10+ years of development experience (Python, C++), with at least 7 years in Linux and cloud-based environments.
  • 10+ years' experience building and managing software teams and contractors, with at least 5 years leading Agile teams.
  • 5+ years' experience driving full software development and engineering practices.
  • Exposure to a range of applications, development platforms, technologies, middleware, and programming languages.
  • Experience implementing cloud and on-prem solutions, including operational production responsibility for SaaS products.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple product lines and meeting ambitious release schedules.
  • Knowledgeable about industry trends and best practices.
  • Strong organizational skills, including attention to detail and ability to execute at a high level with independence.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Track record in leading and developing both front end (user interface) and back end (algorithms, numerical analysis) software.
  • Demonstrated experience of road-mapping and strategic planning, matching long term internal and external user needs with software deliverables.
  • Previous experience developing geoscience or geospatial software would be a great asset.

Company Culture

Ideon places at least significant emphasis during hiring to cultural fit and alignment. This is how they articulate their core values:

Great ideas and rich company culture come from diversity of thought, experience, and perspective. The Ideon culture is anchored in a set of core values that directly shape how we hire, coach, evaluate, and develop our people:

  • Driven by industry, informed by science. We solve industry problems with scientific rigour: listening carefully, analyzing the data, and developing solutions that our clients – and the planet – cannot live without.
  • Inspired to create, wired to deliver. We are imaginative, creating new possibilities and embracing the diversity of thought and experience within our team to move with urgency, learn from our failures, and execute masterfully.
  • Unified as a team, personally accountable. We have each other’s backs and operate with integrity, respect, and empathy. Success depends on leaving egos at the door, celebrating our differences, delivering promises, and owning the outcome together.
  • Boldly ambitious, exceptionally human. We think big and have the courage to blaze new trails. We are in this business to win, but that does not mean we compromise on doing the right thing for our people, our clients, and our world.