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Software Development Lead

In a nutshell

IDEO Europe is looking for a Lead Software Developer to help shape and lead IDEO’s digital practice. You’ll work with our clients to help build modern digital products and services that live up to the increased expectations of their consumers, their organisation and the world around us. You’ll help to nurture our technology expertise and support colleagues working in IDEO Europe’s multidisciplinary teams.

What is IDEO’s Software Practice?

IDEO believes that software development is a profoundly creative discipline. However, we always lead with human need, not with technology. We have always helped our clients to be creatively competitive, and in today’s world this means that they need to learn to organise themselves and behave like modern internet era companies.

We seek to deliver disproportionate impact through design, in its widest sense. In our conception of design, we see software as an integral part of nearly all of our projects. A modern, multidisciplinary team will have digital expertise baked in from the start. We see technology more as a vast set of opportunities, rather than a series of constraints. That doesn’t mean we are unconcerned with constraints, though – we are interested in helping to deliver real impact, so what we design has to be feasible. Walking this line is key to what we do.

IDEO is looking for a technologist with a deep understanding of the internet and modern software development techniques. We are looking for people who have experience of delivering modern software and who now want to consult with clients. All of our teammates at IDEO take a broad, curious and empathic stance toward the world around them, and we are looking for the same in this role. We’ll expect you to contribute to every aspect of the design process and help us to refine that process to take full advantage of the technical opportunities you find. 

This is not a role where you will get to exclusively concentrate on software or to ship code as part of your daily job. Your knowledge will inspire teams to be creative with solutions as well as to deliver and execute on ideas, but this is a consulting role. You will be expected to make ideas tangible through prototypes, roadmaps, architecture and assessment, rather than a software delivery role. 

We believe that the key to making progress with design is an experimental mindset and an accompanying toolset. We want to make creative leaps but also to ensure that these are strategically relevant, deliverable and ethical. Breaking things down into experiments helps us build confidence that we’re on the right track, so experience with similar approaches will be advantageous. 

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

In today’s world, we believe it’s not enough to make things for our clients. Our work can only deliver the impact we crave if our clients can continue that work. For this to happen, we need to deeply understand our clients and how they work, what is easy for them and what is hard. We need to understand how they work and how their technology stack works. You will be an integral part of helping teams to understand these things and designing for them.

It’s a tremendously exciting time for IDEO and we’d love you to join us to help us take our digital practice to the next level.

Once here you will:

To be successful at IDEO a commitment to human-centered design is vital. You’ll need to engage fully with the creative process of putting the needs of users and customers first. You’ll also need to provide practical technology leadership and expertise. You’ll help our clients understand their technology and data systems, and you’ll help them understand how these will shape and influence their digital strategies. You will also:

  • Help co-lead projects where there is a significant technology component in the form of digital strategy, software, and or data.
  • Evangelise both internally and externally about the role technology plays in bringing user experiences to life. Understanding both opportunities and constraints, and finding creative ways to help solve business challenges through design and technology.   
  • Conduct technology assessments of our client’s organisations both in terms of the technology stack and their software development capabilities. Making recommendations to tackle issues or opportunities for improvement. 
  • Be able to translate initial ideas or concepts into tangible solutions, through research, stakeholder engagement, developing conceptual architectures and roadmapping. 
  • Most importantly, we want people that can think with their hands and on their feet. We work in a fast-paced environment where tangibility and flexibility are key attributes to help organisations innovate. Our software team needs to embody those qualities, bringing clarity and direction to help move new ideas forward. 

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • You have hands-on experience of a range of technology systems, with a strong emphasis on open source, internet-era technologies.
  • You’ll probably have experience leading technical teams. You’ll be an experienced practitioner of Agile software development and know how to get the best out of multidisciplinary delivery teams. 
  • You are able to converse easily with, and translate between, non-technical stakeholders and technical practitioners. 
  • You’ll be able to assess the data and technology landscape of our clients, many of whom will have complex legacy systems. You’ll be able to look beyond any immediate technical barriers and understand and make recommendations on how to build secure and scalable internet era technology and services around them. 
  • You can make and clearly explain strategic technology recommendations. You’ll advise clients on how their existing technology landscape might shape the strategic choices they make.
  • You’ll constructively challenge the status quo, and be able to build consensus and understanding with your stakeholders. 
  • You’ll establish your credibility with senior clients and communicate technical concepts so that they are understood by all. 
  • You see technology as an enabler. You’ll thrive in our creative environment and have a passion for solving problems for users in accessible and creative ways.
  • You will have a track record of building and running great digital services that creatively work with existing systems and business models
    to meet user needs.

What does IDEO offer you?

Ask anyone in IDEO Europe why they like working here and they will say it’s our people and the diversity of challenges we work on. It’s a place where you can play a part in solving complex problems for our clients, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism.

We certainly work hard, but we also intentionally focus on our culture to design events where we pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work and respect the need for work-life balance. 

IDEO provides you support and development throughout your time here, while allowing for autonomy in the design process and in your career. 

Commitment to Diversity 

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organisation and in the world. Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organisation, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.

Application Instructions:

To apply, please submit your CV, cover letter and portfolio no later than October 11th. 


Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now
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