Leadership Positions at thoughtbot

We’ve got a number of leadership positions open at thoughtbot right now. If you appreciate thoughtbot: what we stand for, how we work, and what we’ve produced, these Director positions are an excellent way to join our team and contribute at a leadership level in the work we’re doing.

I also wanted to highlight the history of these leadership positions at thoughtbot and what they mean today.

As we’ve grown from 20 people in Boston to 90 people across six cities, we’ve tried to scale our operations while staying true to our values and beliefs. Some of those relevant beliefs are

  • A mistake many companies make is that the best designers and developers no longer do design and development as they move into management.
  • Each studio, while part of the larger whole, should primarily work with local customers, and be the size that makes sense for the local economy. As a result, we need a local leadership structure that can fully support the team, with minimal overhead.

Over the last several years we’ve identified that there are three primary areas of responsibility within each studio:

  • Design
  • Development
  • Business

Historically we may have had only one person covering all of these responsibilities, or great Design and Development Directors who didn’t ultimately want to be managing the business of the studio for the rest of their career. We’ve also learned that in a growing studio of a reasonable size (10-20 people) it’s too much work for one person to do more than one of these roles sustainably. So, we now recognize it is important for the success of the studio that each area of responsibility be led by someone who wants the responsibility, and who has the capacity to do it well over the long term.

Overall we have a functional structure. What this means is that we have discipline-centric departments that come together to execute on projects. We have a Design department where designers report to designers, and a Development department where developers report to developers.

The Design Directors lead the design team of their studio and report to our Chief Design Officer. The Development Directors lead the development team of their studio and report to our Chief Technical Officer.

The Design and Development Directors are responsible for the support, growth, and hiring of their respective teams, and the design or development work we do in the studio. Design and Development Directors typically spend two to three days per week working on client work, in addition to their Director responsibilities. We like to maintain a low Director to team member ratio of six to nine team members, so larger studios can have multiple Design and Development Directors.

The Managing Director reports to the CEO (that’s me!) and is responsible for the office operations, ensuring the studio’s profitability and leading sales, fostering relationships with partners in the local area, and growing thoughtbot’s reputation as a leader in the local community. The Managing Director works together with the studio’s Development and Design Directors, and global thoughtbot leadership, to grow and support the team and manage the business and success of the studio. Managing Directors either have hands on design or development experience, or experience leading or advocating for a technical team. Some, but not all, Managing Directors spend two to three days per week working on client work, in addition to their Director responsibilities.

We currently have openings for Directors in four of our six studios:

At thoughtbot we believe there is a better way to do our work, and we want to find it and share it with as many people as possible. We’d love for you to be a part of this effort. If one or more of these positions are interesting to you, please apply directly or get in touch with me.