Pearson Learning Platform Head Development Director in San Francisco, California

Learning Platform Head Development Director


At Pearson, we’re committed to a world that’s always learning and to our talented team who makes it all possible. From bringing lectures vividly to life to turning textbooks into laptop lessons, we are always re-examining the way people learn best, whether it’s one child in our own backyard or an education community across the globe. We are bold thinkers and standout innovators who motivate each other to explore new frontiers in an environment that supports and inspires us to always be better. By pushing the boundaries of technology — and each other to surpass these boundaries — we create seeds of learning that become the catalyst for the world’s innovations, personal and global, large and small.

The Learning Platform Head Development Director is a critical role and responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of technology for the learning platform on time and within budget.

Prior to production, they work with engineering and the product owner to carry out a detailed analysis of the learning platform design and work with the PMO to project ‘milestones’ (specific targets that have to be met by certain dates). Milestones must then be agreed upon with the learning platform technical director, the learning platform product owner, and the learning platformstakeholders. The DD then works out with the PMO group an optimal schedule for the project and determines the personnel and equipment needed to deliver to schedule.

Once development is underway, the DD monitors performance using the data provided bythe PMO regarding the team’s progress against the schedule. Based on their software experience, they must be able to help prioritize when production deadlines are a concern, managing technology risks and technology plans for contingencies.

Finally, the DD is responsible for all engineering resources on the team including motivating and developing those engineering resources as an indirect people manager contributing to their career development.


Project Execution

  • Responsibility for providing software development expertise and a technology point of view supporting the central PMO group: gathering and validating individual engineering task estimates provided by engineers and identifying missing dependencies; determining and validating resource needs to meet work task; identifying gaps and needs from PMO tracking and reporting

  • Driving the requirements change request process; based on software development expertise decomposing change requests into component tasks, and of estimating the impact of each change request on project schedule, budget, and resources; communicating to PMO group and project stakeholders the impact of each requested change, and produce a work breakdown structure from a design document;

Staff Management

  • Provides inspiring leadership by proactively meeting or communicating with employees individually to monitor and prevent potential problems or concerns; reward and recognize performance and provides coaching on performance related issues; monitors workload and recognizes extra effort with praise and discretionary rewards;

  • Participates in development of retention programs; works with team members to develop and pursue a career action plan and identifies potential growth opportunities; provides team members with information on self-study, courses and training opportunities; participates in employees performance evaluations; participate in the recruitment of new team members; reviewing resumes, interviewing and assessing candidates;


  • Ensures adequate equipment, tools and support are provided for team members;

  • Enhances personal understanding of the production process and actively offersinput;

  • Provides input for departmental planning (i.e. resource planning, cost estimates etc.); can facilitate process improvements across departments; shows comfort in moving beyond micro-management of junior staff and directs delegated responsibility effectively.


  • 8 years of software development experience from an industry shipping software; 6 years Project Management experience; 4 years of leadership experience (line management);

  • 2 years of experience leading the delivery of on-line, secure, scalable data as a service

  • Experience with at least three software development cycles on a product used by millions of users. Experience with one live online or mobile product preferred

  • BS or MS in Computer Science / Engineering or equivalent education and experience preferred

  • Solid experience dealing with complex dealing with cloud, back-end and front-end technologies. Good understanding of various disciplines and interdependencies that go into software development required.

  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral) across all levels of an organization, especially in a distributed team from different time zones

  • Able to interpret product owner needs, design documents and project management data provided by central PMO group to establish and communicate scope.

  • Ability to own and drive a meeting with multiple stakeholders and effectively attain the meeting’s purpose.

  • Significant experience with agile and waterfall development methods and tools.

  • Expertise with project management tools like Microsoft Project, Hansoft, Jira

  • Strong sense of ownership, drive and ability to deliver results

  • Experience and passion for the learning space and education a plus

Primary Location: US-CA-San Francisco

Work Locations: US-CA-San Francisco-1255 Battery St 1255 Battery St Suite 220 San Francisco 94111

Job: Technology

Organization: Technology & Operations

Employee Status: Regular Employee

Job Type: Standard

Shift: Day Job

Job Posting: Mar 20, 2017