Mobile Requirements Engineer – Maple Ridge, BC

So if you are reading this, it is because you either are browsing around looking for product management roles, requirements engineering, or are seeing ‘what else do they have’ if our Mobile UI/UX opportunity doesn’t sound quite right. As we mention in our other postings, before you reply to this posting for a Mobile Requirements Engineer, please read Our Story… and yes, start at the beginning. It is important to know where we have come from to truly get a sense of the opportunity in front of you.
http://www.yo.com/#!/our-story
Who are we? Well that is a little murky. Officially, we are Left of the Dot Media. Established in 2010 and located in the heart of Maple Ridge, Left of the Dot Media turns million dollar domain names into multi-million dollar businesses. But ‘we’ should also be considered Yo.com, YO! Media, and the entire half of the company focused on bringing this new brand to market.
After working on the brand in stealth for 7 months, we launched YO! in private beta in the first week of October. Our MVP will be released later this year. In brief, YO! is a transformative mobile app [I didn’t want to write the over-used word ‘disruptive’ even though it is] that empowers users to share and connect without the Internet. This includes chatting, calling, messaging, sending large files (apps, photos, videos, music) to those most relevant in your life… all without traversing up and across the Internet. This allows data to move at extremely high speeds, off-the-grid, and for free – a true empowering innovation for the developing world. Yeah… we think that sounds kind of cool too.
So if we are about to release our MVP that means that we have everything done already right? Wrong! Our ideal candidate understands that a product launch is a beginning of an amazing adventure, not the end. If you are chosen as our Mobile Requirements Engineer, you are well versed in creating easily understood product specification documents, preferably in a Lean operation. While you do not have to be a UI/UX expert yourself, a little knowledge in this area is a good thing as you will become part of a team creating future iterations of YO!  and Yo.com (and a few other things that we are envisioning). You will also be closely paying attention to the data and our users as any Lean organization builds its next version after listening to what the market is telling us.
You may be a programmer-turned-product-manager, but you do not have to program or design the app; however, the ability to wireframe and communicate requirements will be required (as will be validating the output to spec). After all, what role does design play but allow a user to interact with the functionality intuitively.
We used to exaggerate and say our office is waaaay out here in Maple Ridge, but we have subsequently learned that people who live downtown get scared by that statement. If you do commute, it is only 35 minutes against traffic from downtown Vancouver, and as we are just across the Golden Ears Bridge, we are extremely convenient to all the talented people in the Tri-Cities, Langley, Surrey, Mission, New West and all points in between.
We located our offices out here (and moving soon into new, nearby digs to accommodate our growth) as we felt that Maple Ridge was a growing, vibrant community filled with talented people who are sick and tired of wasting 500+ hours on the West Coast Express every year. When we set up shop out here more than 1 year ago  2 years ago 3 years ago (holy $h!t, time flies when you are having fun), it was because we were finally fed up with commuting and realized that we could create something awesome right here in our own backyard. 

Personality:

  • You must be a risk taker who has a passion for entrepreneurism.
  • We still classify ourselves as a Startup even though we are an international team of 50 (We are presently 10 in Maple Ridge and 40 in Bangladesh, though we envision doubling in the next 4 to 6 months). As such, you must want to work in a Startup.
  • You realize that failure is an option, because failure means that you have started
  • Maybe you have worked in a mobile-first agency spec’ing out great mobile apps, or maybe you worked internally for the mobile initiative of a larger company, but in any role, you had wished to be part of a smaller team where you would have a direct impact on the business as a whole
  • You must be a self-starter and be able to manage yourself and your projects
  • You can self-learn as things change; and quickly, because learning is something that you have to do daily
  • You should be up-to-date on your Internet memes (that way you know if we are laughing at you or with you). Bonus points if you have earned a whack of karma on reddit.
  • You should want to build something really cool, so that in a couple of years we all say, “Wow! Look what we’ve built together”
  • It is OK to be an Apple fanboy/fangirl, but the reality is the majority of our users will be Android by necessity rather than by choice. We have a few $100 smart phones from India in our office that we are currently testing on and the user experience for these devices matters more than the latest and greatest device from Cupertino.
  • You must believe in the mantra of “Work hard, play hard.”
  • You must be able to laugh at yourself and roll with the punches
  • You must tolerate animals (On any given day, we may have a dog in the office. Or sometimes a cat. Though never together. That day was not a good one).
  • You don’t have to be good at Darts or Foosball, but you should be willing to learn or you will constantly lose and be the one doing the coffee run to Waves on 207th

Essential Skills

  • 3+  years creating spec documents, preferably in a Lean Startup environment where the document is as much a testing roadmap as it is an unchanging manifesto.
  • Either 1+ years working in mobile application development or in creating specs for mobile applications, or 1+ years creating UI/UX for mobile-centric applications (No… responsive web design does not count as relevant experience)
  • You will be able to point us to one or more mobile applications and proudly tell us how you contributed to the launch of the project
  • You have high expectations of yourself and others.
  • Proven experience defining specs, creating wireframes/mock-ups, user flows and other artifacts
  • Experience testing mobile applications yourself (yes we have a testing team, but you will want to test the output yourself because you are kind of particular like that)
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent College + Life Experience
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

 Useful Things

  • Product/Project Management experience a plus. Do tell us if you are PMI certified.
  • Experience in planning and observing user tests and other design research activities.
  • Experience with UI/UX for web or desktop applications as you may be required create specs in areas that are not always a mobile interface.
  • You appreciate strong UI/UX — you may not be a designer, but you can spot beautiful design
  • Knowledge of the Android or iOS development and application framework
  • You consider yourself a thought leader and demonstrate this via blogging, networking at industry events, or speaking at conferences (or at least a willingness to try)
  • Knowledge (and willingness to accept) that sometimes it requires we work around the clock — not because someone is poking you with a sharp stick, but because you want to and we need to
  • Knowledge that you don’t know everything and that we don’t know everything, but if we put our heads together, we can probably figure it out at least as well as anyone else.

About the Job                         

So what will you be doing?

  • Work directly with our Senior Mobile Product Manager to design new features and products
  • Collaborate with our Engineering & Design teams to get your specifications implemented
  • Work with customer support team to listen to what the market is telling us… then build that.
  • Drive design discussions and collaborative sessions with teams and stakeholders, helping generate concepts that inspire peers and teams.
  • Gather, define, and document functional requirements for our mobile applications.
  • Gather, define, and document functional requirements for desktop applications
  • Gather, define, and document functional requirements for web applications
  • Work closely with our domestic and offshore development/engineering teams to define product features while making sure the product meets specs as well as your expectations.

Compensation & Next Steps

  • While your salary will be competitive and based on your experience, we believe that as we build this out together, we can all share in the upside and increase compensation as revenues increase for the brands you are involved in.
  • If you are interested in working on a world-class network of premium web businesses, then please send us a recent resume (online links are fine) along with your salary expectations to careers@leftofthedot.com and/or careers@yo.com. No phone calls or unexpected visits please because we have developers here and they are easily startled.
  • Thanks in advance for considering us, and while we thank all those who apply, only those who are being considered may be contacted.

Left of the Dot (and YO!) is a small, but growing company. Fit and a willingness to learn is more important than experience. But because we are small, we apologize in advance if we can’t respond to everyone.
Learn more about us at www.LeftOfTheDot.com or about our next hot project at www.Yo.com