Footasylum is hiring a

Head of Engineering

Manchester, United Kingdom

We are hiring a Head of Engineering to lead our engineering community of practice and work within our leadership team to support and encourage continuous improvement across the tech department.

This is a chance to support and grow the capability of our software engineers, to help them and their teams to deliver effective software solutions for our business.

The ideal candidate would have experience coaching and mentoring teams and individuals to be the best they can be. They will have experience in delivering software solutions and coaching teams on how to build the right thing at the right time. They will have the responsibility for ensuring the teams are meeting the company wide objectives, the tech strategy and encouraging teams to codify good practices so that we learn and grow, championing DevOps practices and how our teams can continually improve their ways of working. They will provide line management for the software engineers, setting personal objectives to help their career progression.

We have been going through a digital transformation, changing how we deliver value to our business. A big part of this change is fostering a culture of trust, collaboration, open, honest and inclusive behaviour, enabling psychological safety and creating a place for teams to do their best work and have fun.

The Teams

At Footasylum we have multidisciplinary teams made up of a delivery manager, a product owner, designers, software engineers, devops engineers and QA engineers. We like to keep our teams small enough that they become a unit of delivery, but large enough that people can pair and mob on tasks and knowledge can be shared out.

Our teams are stream aligned, working closely or as part of the business function that they deliver value for. These areas include retail, logistics, finance, merchandising, customer loyalty, ecommerce and a platform team that creates a single source of truth for all these teams.

We recognise that we have some legacy systems that cover lots of business areas so we swarm on issues with the wider teams using the equivalent of an Andon cord so people are alerted to, and team up on fixes together. At every point, our teams support each other and the business to do the right thing with autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

We use our communities of practice to provide support for those in similar disciplines. We recognise that along with our day to day job it is important to take time alongside the product managers, designers, delivery managers and senior team to improve how we work within our disciplines. Our engineering community grew throughout 2020 and our new Engineering Manager will support and mentor this community in 2021 and beyond, making sure that when we agree on better practices that we can share with the wider department and help create a culture of continuous learning.

We have four pillars that show what “good” means for us. You will be responsible for ensuring the pillars are used from recruitment, inductions, objectives, daily work, retros and the weekly huddle. Leading the engineering team, you will drive forward what good looks like; delivering value safely and quickly, making data driven decisions, creating a learning culture and working in the open.

With us, you will have the opportunity to influence our decisions, help define standards across the teams and contribute to a healthy and happy working environment.

About You

Within your current role, you are someone who can bring people and teams together. Your communication to the team and business is always crystal clear. You can quickly visualise the challenge and bring together the right people to make the right decisions. You will work with our Principal Engineers to define the architecture required to support business growth, using techniques such as C4 modelling to represent systems at levels that all colleagues understand where we are now, and where we want to get to. Your teams see you as a leader, coach and mentor. Always there to help, support and encourage ideas along with ensuing no-one is left behind on the journey.

You clearly know where the business value lies and know how to use the best processes and disciplines meet business objectives. Understanding that we can’t build everything, you will be familiar with techniques such as Wardley Mapping to understand the strategy and direction we should be going, and the evolution of our services to get there.

You have a pragmatic approach to problem solving, and focus your efforts on ‘turning the lights on’ for others so that they can see the true issues at hand, and coach them to deliver solutions that meet expectations with a lean, data driven approach. You know about 3X or Pioneers, Settlers and Town planners and create empathy between the different groups to get the best out of them.

You have vast experience of working with stakeholders from various levels of a business to ensure there is a shared understanding of the why, what, when and how, and support those around you, by working in a kind, considerate and collaborative manner with a keen interest in new ways of working.

You enjoy mentoring others and have experience in helping engineers develop their knowledge and skills. You really understand the role of a software engineer within a team. You know how to work with the team and stakeholders to build things that add value, front-loading risk and coaching teams to work together to gain a shared understanding of what good looks like. You understand that businesses make good decisions with data rather than opinion and have a data first approach. You have experience of supporting and mentoring others in your community to do the same.


  • Work as part of the tech leadership team to define and refine our values, approach to work, recruitment and budget planning.
  • Build relationships with the key stakeholders to understand the business challenges and value that can be created.
  • Work closely with the engineers to communicate and implement the tech strategy, deciding on the build or buy options and what technology would help accelerate our plans and enhance our business.
  • Mentoring and 121’s with engineers, creating objectives for improving and learning new skills.
  • Planning and implementing succession plans.
  • Leading and championing the CoP for engineering.
  • Guide teams to work towards the four pillars, showing what “good” looks like.
  • Help teams understand how good engineering practices can help deliver value safely and quickly.
  • Creating documents or visualisations to help teams understand the objectives, strategy and vision.

We are offering up to £95,000pa for the right person, which we assess based on your own experiences, technical skills and against the principles of our department and our ways of working.


We recognise and value the importance of diversity to help make sure we have lots of different perspectives when we are building products and services. We know that this will help us build useful and accessible things which our customers will love. This is great news for our business. Diversity for us is also, importantly, about building happy teams full of people that want to learn and want to be inspired by each other and our different experiences.

Recruitment Process

With the COVID-19 situation our teams are all working remotely, adjusting to this new way of working as best we can - and as such we’ll help make the interview process as clear and stress-free as possible, giving you the same opportunity as if we were meeting face to face.

We review applications on an individual basis, and if we feel you would be a good fit we’ll invite you to meet with the leadership team for an informal chat about the role, and to see if we’re a good fit for you.

We value open and honest conversations and collaboration, giving you a chance to learn about what we are doing in an informal and friendly environment. We want to know about you and your approach towards delivering objectives whilst coaching and mentoring teams.