📢 “Welcome on board this Caravelo Flight MFR2022 🙂. May we have your attention please while we point out some of the best features on this Travel-as-a-Product startup”. 📢 This is Borja speaking, part of the “cabin crew” accompanying you on this journey; I'm helping the Caravelo crew find the new VP of Engineering who will help them take off on a steady path towards their destination/goal: to build the leading SaaS in flight subscriptions.
They're literally flying high right now 😂. Let me tell you more 👇.
Would you be willing to subscribe to an airline? Or in other words, get one flight a month for a monthly fee. Well, thanks to Caravelo, airlines can launch all kinds of subscription programmes getting millions of travellers to fly at more affordable prices while benefiting airlines with more loyal and satisfied passengers, allowing them to transform their business into a model focused on predictable revenue and minimising losses.
After two long years, the travel industry has recovered from the pandemic days and is hungry for solutions like those offered by Caravelo. Their solutions incentivise the desire to travel and transform the business model of companies through a subscriptions model. That's why they are now growing and looking to lead the team with the new position VP of Engineering to help them move steadily towards their goal: to build the leading subscription platform for the travel industry.
✈️ This is your captain speaking: "We believe that travel transforms people and the world, that's why we help companies democratise flying by introducing subscription programmes." - José Luis Vilar, Co-Founder
If you are as passionate about travel as they are, this is the place for you. You will find a team that has lived a thousand and one experiences, including a fair bit of turbulence and a good many celebrations. And today, their batteries are fully charged and they are ready to reach the next big destination. And they are looking for you to lead the way.
Yeah, but what will you do?
In February 2018 they launched V.pass for Volaris (an “ultra low cost airline” in Mexico); this was the very first subscription programme in the commercial aviation marketplace. For only 9 euros it allows you to fly once a month! 😮
Fast forward to today and what was originally an experiment has become the company's main revenue line and flagship. That's why they have decided to simplify the business by dismantling all other products and putting the focus on this innovative solution.
Now, having achieved Product-Market Fit, they are in a key moment of change that will allow them to scale the organisation and take it to the next level.
They need you to be a key stakeholder in this change process. What they expect from you is to introduce the right culture and best practices of Product Engineering by being the leading example and reference for all internal teams.
You will evolve a platform that in the last 2 years (i.e. during the pandemic) has already managed more than 3 million flights for more than 500,000 subscribers. It's a complex challenge indeed, and a very exciting one.
You will work with teams focused on developing modules and new functionalities from scratch, with continuous deployment and scalability in mind.
You will be the technical leader and main reference for several Product-oriented development squads composed of Engineer managers, Developers (Back and Front), Product Managers and QA...
Your work will consist primarily in ensuring the quality of the Products with your team, in a company where learning and constant improvement is a solid premise.
In 1 month
You will have completed your onboarding, which will include a high-level understanding of the business as well as how the platform modules are composed and where they are located. You will also have had interviews and pair-programming with some members of the development team so that you understand the challenges from the inside.
You will be familiar with (almost) all subdomains of knowledge and will know who to turn to if you have any questions.
You will be supported by senior members of the team or start the search for a co-pilot (or Hand of the King if that sounds more up your street 👑) to amplify your leadership and manage the development and engineering team, the largest in the company.
You will be a key member of Caravelo's leadership team and will be able to outline the plan for the next 12 months detailing areas for immediate improvement.
You will be in charge of proactively leading the expansion and development of the engineering team.
You will make key decisions about the most appropriate technological stack to enable a good scalability of the team and the Product, actively participating in defining of the architecture if and where necessary.
You will act as a bridge between business and technology, providing ideas and inputs to Product. You will be the person in charge of leading the "HOW TO" of everything your team of Engineering Managers has in the roadmap.
You will participate in defining the strategy for attracting and retaining talent (selection processes, type of profiles, seniority level, career plans...), the setup of the team (remote vs. hybrid vs. office). You will essentially be designing the work culture of Caravelo's engineering team, and all the associated processes, as a key member of its Leadership team.
On a technical level, you will be the team's main reference and you will support them in the upcoming releases. They will expect you to help them accelerate the process of building and evolving the platform.
You will roll your sleeves up and "get down and dirty" if necessary. Not just laying the cornerstones of the stack, but also emphasising best practices to the development team.
You'll have total freedom and autonomy in making the decisions you think are best to benefit the business, always reasoned with data.
At Caravelo, they believe in an Agile working methodology, without being too extremist with regards to some of its most popular implementations and ceremonies. They work on a Product roadmap on a quarterly basis and always leave some buffer (~30%) for the unexpected: resolving bugs, migrating customer integrations (e.g. payment gateway), paying off unscheduled technical debt, etc.
A few years ago they started an internal transformation, going from being a customer-first type of company (they fell into hyper-customisation and quasi-consulting waters) to being a Product company (roadmap, user community, API oriented etc). To date, they are deploying squads per Product subdomain that can work on their roadmaps autonomously and independently.
They like to make weekly deliveries ("Why delay joy?"), using feature flags, even if that leads to some surprises in production. They use Kanban to organise their workflow; but they are interested in improving their processes and incorporating code-reviews and co-working sessions to distribute knowledge and improve the level of the team.
They have gotten this far by prioritising customer requests and internal ideas, but with you they want to jump to the next level by adopting more balanced and structured models that take into account the evolution of the architecture and the reduction of technical debt in a reasoned way. They are looking for you to help them define the best development and value delivery methodology so that they can continue to grow and do so in a scalable way (without the need to increase the team, more is not always better).
They have a very horizontal structure and communication is very important to them. They expect and encourage everyone to give constructive feedback. They understand that mistakes are part of the journey, and that we all learn from them.
They love to share knowledge and at the same time continuously learn new things. That's why they create mechanisms to encourage this, such as: Decision Stack, Demo days, Town Halls with Knowledge pills, Master Classes (brown bag), … You will find out all about these when you join 😉
From a technical point of view, the platform has an architecture based on the design of Ports and Adaptors and this allows them to evolve the platform and its design in a very agile way. They analyse the value of each of the modules to always consider which is the best Build vs. Buy option.
The timetable is flexible. You will be the person in charge of making these types of decisions. The engineering team's working day is self-organised and they believe that this is the best way to work asynchronously and autonomously, especially with the team's growth in the short-medium term in mind 🛫.
Wherever you want! Especially if you have a subscription to an airline they are already working with. The position gives you the possibility and responsibility to decide which working format (remote, hybrid or in person) will have the biggest impact on your mission. At the moment, the general tone of the technical team is 100% remote 🌴 and the rest of the teams prefer a hybrid format of 3 days in the office 🏢.
If you opt for a remote format, as a member of the top management team, they will expect you to come to the Barcelona offices to participate in executive and board meetings and alignment in the kick offs of any special missions.
Caravelo believes that this profession is very creative and that solutions emerge from daily contact and communication, so they are investing in adapting the office space and the hardware they use for videoconferencing to make it as inclusive as possible.
Right now there are 45 people in the team, although it is likely that by the time you join the team there will be a few more. Some of the teammates you will interact with most on a day-to-day basis are:
- Karen Wilson (Delivery Director): A seasoned veteran of 1,000 battles. She came to help them for a while with Product support and ended up becoming one of the cornerstones in their Product deployment and being the technical management for clients during the implementation or launch phase.
- Armando Ramos(Tech Lead): He has seen things you wouldn't believe. Attacking burning ships beyond Orion. C-rays glowing in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate... He is one of the few leads who has touched all the right notes without getting too small. He's very connected with the team, always striving to get everyone on the same page.
- Alejandro Montes (Tech Lead): His Phd means he is nicknamed "Dr Montes". He has been with the team for almost 5 years and has grown alongside them. He is a thoughtful Tech Lead who meshes with his counterparts on the business side creating real magic in the achievement of each sprint.
- Efrat Murin, Rosario Donoso y Carla Bastardas (Product Managers): They are known as Charlie's Angels, each one of them excels in an additional discipline (discovery, data, UX) and in the future they will be the owners of the PAIN or Product need.
- Martina Armanini (Recruiter): She has a sixth sense with people and detects that X factor within 5 minutes of talking to someone. She will be your talent scout and spearhead when it comes to growing the team.
- JoseLuis Vilar (Co-Founder): Of the two founders, he is the one who is closer to the Product and technology side of things. Optimistic (Yes we can!) and visionary (Let's go this way!). He is the key that will allow you to understand the past and give you the impetus to plan for the future.
They are looking for a person who is both technically and managerially proficient, passionate about the startup world and passionate about participating in all phases of the Product life cycle:
- You have led engineering teams in similar roles. 3+ years experience in management and leadership would be ideal.
- 2+ years in a fast-growing tech startup (either as a manager or director) or working for a modern big-tech (e.g., Uber, Twilio). You've experienced first-hand the problems of fast-growing teams and have learned how to ride the wave 🏄. This will score you big points.
- You know how to attract, retain and grow top talent. You've hired outstanding engineers in previous jobs and helped them realise their full potential.
- They are looking for a great engineer who understands both technology and processes and has become a great manager of high-performing teams.
- 7+ years of Software Development experience (with a strong Backend background).
- Interest in hands-on coding - not afraid to roll up those sleeves and do some coding work - while assembling a great team.
- A strong knowledge of programming fundamentals.
- You have experienced the ideation phase of a Product and how it was subsequently brought to life.
- You have experience building and working with empowered Product teams.
- You have excellent communication and presentation skills, especially around complex data-driven topics.
- You are comfortable leading meetings and conducting presentations in English.
You will earn bonus points if:
- You have previously worked in Travel tech or Airline IT.
- You have experience with Java on the backend and Vue on the Front.
- You have experience using design patterns and applying best practices (SOLID, TDD,...).
- You are used to working remotely with foreign companies.
This would be good
Adaptability to change
Ability to give feedback
This would be good
This gives extra points
🥕 Access to the incentives pool (Phantom Shares) reserved for the key leadership team.
📡 100% flexible work set up: Remote and/or Office based in Barcelona.
💰 A nice extra of 40€/month or T-Month to compensate for any travel expenses for face-to-face work in the office.
✈️ Decision making freedom when it comes to your teams.
💻 All the equipment you need to work comfortably.
🧸 You can choose your preferred working e-nvironment: Linux, MacOS or Güindous.
🍲 The option to receive part of your salary in the form of meal vouchers, childcare or health insurance.
Budget for training
Budget for Conferences
Coffee, fruit and snacks
Internal training events
Dynamics and teambuilding events
Capacidad de transformar parte del salario en pagos en especie como: cheques-guardería o Tickets Restaurant.
La compañía no solo incentiva sino facilita que tengas tiempo para participar como speaker en eventos que aporten valor a la Comunidad.
Possibility to choose your devices
Yes, as long as you have an EU or UK passport... fFor administrative reasons, we won't bore you.
The truth of the matter is that they really need to fill the position like YESTERDAY, so they will try to be as agile as possible. Having said this, we are talking about a very important and critical position for the company, so the process has several phases:
- Screening (15-20 min) with People to get alignment on your mission.
- Topgrading (40-50 min)
- Questionnaire (soft skills) + Technical Test/ Roleplay
- Team interview (2 team members).
- Call with founders. Double Check.
- Chat with one of the investors or board members.
Whatever you think is best. The freedom to choose is 100% real so that you can create the best company culture that will benefit all. Right now, the position is 100% remote and they encourage everyone in the Barcelona area to take part in company events (Town Hall, team lunches, etc).
They get together several times a year in Barcelona for cool team building events and meals out, and they hope you'll join them!