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Software Engineering Manager at Prodigy Finance
Cape Town, ZA

Prodigy Finance is a platform that enables financing for international postgraduate students at the world’s best universities, whilst delivering competitive financial and social returns to alumni, institutional and private investors.

This borderless and innovative model enables education loan financing to students from across the globe, whilst using predicted post-degree affordability rather than present-day salary. Since 2007, Prodigy Finance has extended over US$500 million through the platform to fund over 12,000 students from over 120 countries.

Our team of over 160 (and growing) is already truly global. Our head office is in London with much of the team being based in beautiful Cape Town. We also have an office in New York plus team members based across Europe and Asia.

We are funded by some of the best, pre-eminent institutions in the world including Index Ventures, Balderton Capital, RMIH, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Why this is an amazing opportunity

This role is perfect for an experienced Software Engineering Manager who wants to supercharge their career by experiencing first-hand what it is like to be part of an energetic, extremely fast growing company. 

The sense of impact and reward will be huge.  You will help to build a product which makes a very real difference in the world.  Be a part of delivering socially responsible financial services to the masses; make it possible for students from more than 120 countries to obtain the finance to fulfil their dream of studying at the world’s top universities and schools.

We are a small non-hierarchical team; this means that you are going to get exposure to all aspects of our business immediately.  You’ll gain as much accountability as you can handle and have a huge influence on scaling the company. 

Our team is very international and very sociable; you will interact with the broader business on a regular basis. The position will be based in Cape Town.

One of our goals is to build one of the top FinTech teams and cultures anywhere in the world. This means putting a lot of time into ensuring we only hire people with exceptional potential and creating the best working environment possible. If you want to work somewhere where you're learning from some of the best brains in FinTech, this would be a good fit.

Why join Prodigy Finance

Be a part of a pioneering global growth company

Experience the excitement and learn from being part of an incredibly fast-growing young company. No kidding – exponential growth. Happening right now

Be pivotal in scaling the business by identifying smart solutions and partners with tech at the heart of it

Enjoy the agility and flexibility offered by a startup culture. A sociable, relaxed and friendly work environment (with a serious coffee culture where you can wear shorts to work)

We will help you make your mark. Make a real impact on the business and experience a steep learning curve with huge opportunities to grow and develop

Gain an inside perspective on the functioning of a venture-backed FinTech startup, backed by top VCs, learn day-to-day management and build functional expertise

Build a platform that helps to make a very real difference in the world

What you will do in the role

You will be coaching and mentoring 10 to 20 Software Engineers across several teams. The focus is on supporting the Software Engineers’ careers, removing problems for the individuals and their teams in collaboration with other Software Engineering Managers and Line Managers as well as supporting the hiring and on-boarding new Software Engineers to the Prodigy Finance Technology Team. You will be responsible for the growth of the Software Engineers reporting to you and you will be involved in all line management responsibilities.

Specific responsibilities are to:

Coach and mentor Software Engineers from graduate to senior level experience

Support Software Engineers, understanding how to work well in our Agile environment

Grow and support our learning culture which includes hackathons, code katas, multiple guilds and temporary working groups. Our mission is to develop a professional software engineering team and to support the needs of the wider organisation’s understanding on technology. You will need to take a leading role in this mission

Support hiring and on-boarding to grow the Technology Team in order to help us scale to support the entire organisation’s needs

Support the career development of Software Engineers through training and mentoring

Provide feedback to Software Engineers and teach them how to provide feedback to develop a culture of trust and transparency in order to be better at what we do

Facilitate where needed to engage inter-team and cross-team problem solving, collaboration and decision making

Engage the company on how to understand our technology capability better and support processes that help the organisation better understand software engineering practices

Grow an understanding and appreciation of Agile in our teams and our organisation

What you will be measured on

Technical acumen; fluency in great software engineering practices, earn respect as an insightful mentor and coach

Growing an amazing team; ensuring our teams grow in skill and size and remain supported as we scale, growing our learning culture to enable our Engineers to be the best that they can be

Critical judgement and leadership aptitude; become a trusted and respected member of the team, facilitate great decisions, flag issues early, evaluate and solve problems with the teams, communicate strategic and tactical priorities, be a sounding-board for both junior team members and the CTO

What you need to be great at

Technical competence; have built production software, believe that great software practices help build great teams and understand them. Have a positive outlook that challenges us to continuously improve and find better ways of doing things

Excellent critical judgement; able to make and evaluate good decisions, be trusted, respected and dependable, be proactive and responsive, ask the right questions, raise flags at the right time, able to prioritise and plan workloads for the team

Coaching and mentoring; teaching concepts, listening and adapting, empathy and a motivation to understand what makes others tick

Team leading and team spirit; we are all contributing to the same platform, so be a great individual contributor but be more motivated by leading the team to achieve - we only win if the team wins - see the impact of your own work and positively influence and help the work of others

Getting up to the front of the bus; get stuck in, execute, generate ideas, have an impact, don’t just sit back and be a passenger

Mindfulness and empathy; be aware of how the work and your behaviour impacts the wider result and the impact, not only on the platform build, but on the whole Prodigy Finance team

Who we are looking for; track record must haves

Experienced in line managing 15+ Software Engineers

Strong team management, communication, organisational, and follow-up skills

Passion for growing and mentoring Software Engineers and Line Managers

Have been a Software Engineer in the past, understand software development processes and know what great software development practices are

Strong facilitation, collaboration and negotiation skills

Agile experience

Experience that would be nice to have (but we’ll trade off if everything else fits)

Strong technical background - ability to hold your own with senior Software Engineers

Experience in a scripting language such as Rails, Python or PHP, familiarity with concepts such as MVC and an understanding of web frameworks

Experience with distributed systems and services architectures and associated paradigms and technology stacks

Experience working with a relational database, for example PostgreSQL

Professional fluency in open source tools, including github, Jenkins, and others

Experience of cloud platform such as AWS, Heroku or EngineYard

Startup experience. Sometimes the earth moves beneath your feet at Prodigy Finance so you have to be comfortable with ambiguity, able to wear lots of hats, and adapt easily as we continue to grow.

The Prodigy Finance fit; attributes which run true in everyone at Team Prodigy

To be an A player at Prodigy Finance, you need to possess – in spades - the following attributes:

Innovative + Smart

Be curious enough to want to know more, think out the box, maybe even break the box, show initiative and be smart about it to find implementable, impactful solutions.

International + Accountable

Push yourself to be better every day. Work with others across the world, be resilient, add value and then hold yourself accountable. Encourage and celebrate each other.

Energetic + Fun

Sense of humour = survival. Bring energy and fun. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Work hard and find the time to play. We’re in this together.

Do you want to be our next Software Engineering Manager?  Here’s what to do now:

If this sounds exciting and you'd like to have an informal chat, get in touch below and tell us why you want to work at Prodigy Finance

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