Director of Software Engineering

Job Summary

Kyosk is looking for a passionate Director of Software Engineering to join our Product and Technology Leadership team. You will tap into your experience to provide leadership to several teams of software engineers and managers who are developing solutions on the leading edge of innovation in Africa. The successful candidate will be responsible for all aspects of how several software engineering teams perform while forging strong, collaborative relationships with product and technology stakeholders at all levels. As a Director of Software Engineering, you’ll join our growing team of Product and Technology professionals who share a passion for leveraging technology to empower informal retailers across the African continent. You’ll work with teams from multiple countries across the organization to imagine and build innovative solutions for Kyosk’s customers and internal teams. To be successful in this role you will need to be a great communicator, innovator influencer, and an analytical problem solver. You will need to think and act fast, deal with ambiguity and constraints, and help to develop ideas into products that work on a global scale.

Minimum Requirements & Key Skills:

  • 12+ years of software development or technical product management experience with the full software development life-cycle: design, coding, testing, mocking, deployment and maintenance of software to real production environments;
  • 5+ years as a software engineering manager with people management responsibilities and a track record of hiring and growing a talented team of engineers;
  • Adept at setting targets, and at identifying appropriate metrics and milestones to ensure that those targets are achieved in 90%+ of the cases;
  • Know when and how to delegate and how to empower your direct reports to drive delivery within their teams while looking for opportunities to coach and guide them;
  • Experienced in working with Agile methodologies, Scrum and demonstrated experience in managing end-to-end software development lifecycles.
  • Proficiency with tools of the product and engineering trade for issue tracking, technical documentation, diagramming, road mapping, project management, CI/CD, etc.
  • The ability to align people behind a common goal. You can explain and materialize the objectives of the teams within your domain;
  • Working knowledge of large-scale service-oriented infrastructure and the design of scalable, highly available systems in the real world;
  • Strong overall knowledge of software development and quality assurance methodologies;
  • Ability to successfully collaborate with multiple technical functions in the areas of infrastructure, DevOps, architects and other software engineers;
  • Outstanding organizational, communication, interpersonal and relationship-building skills

Desired Technical Competencies:

  • Conversational knowledge of modern programming languages and frameworks like Java, Angular, C++, Android, Python, etc;
  • Experience organizing, leading, and growing an engineering team or organization from scratch preferred;
  • Experience in e-commerce, payments, and/or distribution of FMCG products is a plus
  • Exposure to microservices, Kubernetes/Docker, and GCP/AWS services is strongly preferred;
  • You’ve worked with 3rd parties to integrate and scale products and services for rapid product growth.
  • You have a genuine knack for numbers and how they are represented, and you are super comfortable with Excel and/or Google Sheets.

Desired Behavioral Competencies:

  • You have experience in handling the pressure of fast-paced environments typical of a tech startup environment where you wear multiple hats and have access to limited resources
  • You have a willingness to temporarily step into a void left by your peers and subordinates when they are unavailable or have resigned.
  • Also when a new role has been created and is yet to be filled.You have a strong desire for continuous improvement • You can work under pressure, with tight timelines and ambitious deadlines
  • You have a passion for digital products
  • You can stay motivated through difficult challenges and occasional long hours
  • Your passion is contagious, and you use it to inspire the rest of the team
  • You have equal empathy for internal users and our target market of informal retailers
  • You have a strong work ethic and exhibit genuine care for the team and their products, with a willingness to go to any necessary length to ensure their success
  • You have integrity: You do what you say you will do and make no excuses.
  • You develop a deep understanding and respect for what each team member is responsible for and trust them to do their job
  • Your confidence and experience make you trust your instinct and communicate persuasively. You know when to make decisions (even when others might disagree) vs when to build consensus, and you can articulate the strategy and business rationale behind your decisions.
  • You are comfortable taking the blame if something goes wrong, and equally quick to give credit to the rest of the team when it goes well
  • You are detail-oriented, process-driven, and organized, and can stay two steps ahead of the work your teams are doing
  • You understand DevOps as culture, not as a role, and seek to automate manual processes where it makes sense.


  • Leadership: Be the leader who your team looks up to. Improve processes to make them more effective. Develop their knowledge and domain expertise and instill a relentless focus on quality. Take ownership of what your teams build and coordinate their efforts to ensure the efficient completion of tasks. Eliminate obstacles that prevent your teams from performing optimally.
  • Governance: As a senior-level contributor your role encompasses aspects of corporate governance related to software engineering to help ensure that Kyosk’s investment in Product and Technology delivers optimal returns in line with the business and product strategy.
  • People Management: Actively work with the rest of Product and Technology leadership to build a great team that complements, supports and inspires each other to achieve greatness. Ensure effective recruitment, training and development programs are adopted to promote productivity, retention, motivation and morale. Manage the career path and goals of your direct reports, conducting regular 1-on-1s and having monthly performance dialogues. Handle complex or sensitive people matters with empathy.
  • Performance Management: You will set and review performance and development goals for your teams and report to management on how they are performing and how they can improve. You identify timeframes and readiness for promotion of direct reports; solicit cross-functional feedback in support of promotions and employee rewards. You will coach and mentor engineers and new managers in the art of delivering successful software outcomes at scale while growing their careers
  • Culture: Along with Kyosk’s People organization (HR) and other leaders, you will craft a winning culture that spans multiple country boundaries and is built on collaboration and shared accomplishments while having fun along the way. You eliminate siloed thinking and misalignment that detracts from what needs to be accomplished and you actively work toward stamping out any such behaviours. You help create an environment that fosters innovation and helps Kyosk engineers take smart risks and learn from failures;
  • Capacity Planning and Resource allocation: Establish staffing needs and a hiring strategy by working collaboratively with the broader Product and Technology leadership team. Balance the size and composition of your teams against the expected deliverables while ensuring optimal overall team performance.
  • Strategic Thinking: Plan and execute software strategies that benefit the technology department and the products that we are responsible for. Work with the Product teams to ensure that the roadmap is realistic and clearly understood by the software engineers and managers.
  • Technical Delivery: Take ownership of the progress, costs, and quality of delivering engineering outcomes across multiple teams. Adopt, enforce, and contribute to the agile processes that define Kyosk’s way of working to deliver multiple product releases at scale. Own and refine the processes that your teams use to build and support products within the business. • Vendor management: Where Kyosk makes use of outsourced development and managed services, you play a pivotal role in ensuring that our vendors and service providers deliver a high quality of service to Kyosk within our set budgets.
  • Performance Monitoring: Build a deep understanding of how our products work, how they are developed, and how they are used. Identify and track metrics that ensure performance targets and objectives are met and recommend process improvements. Understand engineering metrics and seek to improve them.
  • Process Improvement: Actively monitor, determine and recommend methods to streamline and improve development processes and procedures. Spearhead various research and development initiatives to identify opportunities for new projects and improved processes.
  • Stakeholder Management: Prepare and deliver various engineering-related presentations, both internally and externally. Act as the point of contact between the business and engineering leadership, communicating their needs to the team and vice versa.


  • Relational databases (SQL), System architecture, User experience (UX and UI) design, Github (or other software version management systems), Java, Container solutions (Docker, Jenkins, Kubernetes)


  • Bachelor’s degree

To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to by Thursday 6th September 2022, Quoting the Role as the Subject of the email application. 

Job Location: Kenya

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