Monday, September 15, 2008

so you want to change the music business...

What I love about joining EMI is the chance to dramatically change the music business. Everyone around music has opinions about what is right and wrong about what we're doing, but nothing compares to being part of a major and seeing the big picture form the inside. Even better, I get to build a team to tackle a broad set of challenges with all the modern tools and firepower the web brings to the table.

The team is still small, but now that we have office space in San Francisco -- rather than working out of our homes, Starbucks, airports, and other random locations -- it's time to start the next phase of hiring. Like the previous teams I've built, I want brilliant generalists. We face a diverse and changing set of opportunities over the next couple of years, so I need people who can learn and build on their existing skills.

Moreover, you have to be comfortable taking new looks at old problems. Disruptive change is hard, especially in industries with long histories and complex ecosystems, but creating disruption is about the most fun you can have as a developer (at least with your clothes on).

We're built from ex-Google, Yahoo, Linden, Schwab, and CNet employees. We believe in learning from our customers, working efficiently, boutique dark chocolate, and under-promising/over-delivering. We've all built teams and companies before and are on a mission to change the music business.

If you think you are up to the challenge and match up with one of the descriptions below, send a plain text resume to cory dot ondrejka at gmail dot com with the role you're interested in as the subject line.

Software Engineer
EMI Digital Music is looking for great software engineers to build cutting edge applications using Ruby, Rails, and Amazon Web Services at our new San Francisco office. The perfect candidate enjoys creating well designed software, is current with new technology and trends, and is passionate about delivering high quality products. EMI Digital Music is seeking generalists who are comfortable in multiple parts of the application stack and who enjoy complex challenges.

Job description
  • Design and implement new features to support internal and customer-facing projects
  • Help to maintain existing systems
  • Participate in on-call rotation and help troubleshoot production issues
  • Work with customers to help determine requirements and priorities
  • Document and test your work
  • BS/BA in Computer Science or equivalent
  • 5+ years of software development experience
  • Mad Ruby and Rails skillz (or can demonstrate that this Rail's crap is easy)
  • Lazy when appropriate, experience working with free and open source projects
  • History of getting things done quickly
  • Believe testing is part of the development process
  • Play well with others and enjoy working in insanely collaborative ways
  • Experience writing JavaScript. Exposure to and some usage of libraries such as jQuery/YUI! is even better.
  • Good understanding of CSS
  • Experience working with AWS, CDNs, SSO systems and/or music & video production workflows a plus
  • Experience dealing with cross browser issues in relation to web development a plus

Web Engineer UI
EMI Digital Music is seeking a UI Web Developer to push the limit of their craft at our new San Francisco office. This role will be responsible for the development of innovative user interfaces, feature enhancements and other cool shit to make the music industry rock. There will be a strong preference for candidates with a background developing modular components for large-scale web applications that extensively leverage stylesheets and JavaScript-driven functionality. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate an adherence to best practices in their work regarding browser compatibility, usability, and the separation of content from presentation.

Job description
  • Mad skillz to produce web interfaces, widgets, applications and other front-end components using XHTML, XML, CSS, Flash, and JavaScript
  • Work with a tight knit team of engineers, UX peeps, product managers and project managers to identify the needz to create fast loading, clear, and creative solutions for music web sites
  • Optimize pages for cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility
  • Rectify styling issues with CSS and troubleshoot JavaScript bugs
  • Superior attention to detail
  • 3+ years of UI development or graphic design experience / appropriate degree
  • Photoshop CS
  • Illustrator CS
  • Ability to write semantic XHTML markup
  • Familiar with using CSS for table-less layouts and DOM manipulation
  • JavaScript 1.0 and above
  • User Interface design experience
  • Familiarity Ruby on Rails / ERB
  • Ability to write and update design specification documents
  • Proficiency with Javascript libraries such as YUI, Scriptaculous or JQuery a plus
  • Knowledge of Flash 8 or above (ActionScripting a big plus)
  • Experience creating or consuming web services a plus

Junior Software Engineer
EMI Digital Music is looking for a great Ruby software engineer noob. The right person for this job is someone that really wants to become a software craftsmen. Start as a Rails apprentice with a team of rock stars at our new San Francisco office. You *must* stay current with new trends. EMI Digital Music is seeking generalists who are comfortable in multiple parts of the application stack and who enjoy complex challenges.

Job description
  • Take direction from senior engineers and implement new features to support internal and external projects
  • Help to maintain existing systems
  • Participate in our on-call rotation and help troubleshoot production issues when they arise
  • Document your work, document, test, and document
  • BS/BA in Computer Science or equivalent experience
  • Willing to work hard learning the craft
  • History of getting things done quickly
  • Ruby skillz
  • Experience developing and deploying Ruby on Rails
  • Experience writing JavaScript. Exposure to and some usage of libraries such as jQuery/YUI! is even better.
  • Good understanding of CSS, AJAX, and other Web technologies
Product Manager
Love music? Love technology? Have we got the job for you. EMI Digital Music is looking for smart, passionate product managers to define compelling products to rock the music industry. You will be part of a fast-moving, entrepreneurial team building the next generation of products for fans and artists based on technologies like Ruby, Rails, and Amazon Web Services. The ideal candidate has a proven track record of creating web-based products that customers love.

Job description
  • Understand and analyze the needs of EMI customers, including fans, artists and labels
  • Perform market & competitor research
  • With engineering, define product vision, future direction, and execution roadmap
  • Gather and analyze data to measure product success
  • Evangelize products internally and externally

  • BS or BA, computer science or other technical degree a plus
  • Ability to think both strategically and tactically
  • Passion for well-designed products
  • Thrive on ambiguity & managing complexity
  • Strong technical abilities and understanding of internet technologies
  • Solid analytical and communication skills
  • Experience building large-scale, web-based consumer products is a huge plus


The Ops Mgr said...

Don't forget to hire some Operations and Support people as well... currently it takes 3-4 days to refresh a single test environment insise EMI because there are no Environment Managers, no Release Managers, not many systems engineers or DBA's etc

It's great to "build it" but someone has to "manage it" in Production... even if it's built on EC2/S3...

Beni Borja said...

I was looking for some further information on your talk on Digital Music Forum , and came across your blog.

I also came to believe that niche-marketing is the way of the future of the musicbiz, contrary to the hit-obcessed mentality currently prevailing.

I´m a producer/songwriter/label manager from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.For the last couple of years I´ve been studying the web lanscape,trying to find the way out of this mess we´re in.

I saw Doug Merril apointment to EMI as an important breakthrough , and thought the same of you coming aboard this sinking ship..

Looking at things from the artist perspective, I agree with you that the post-industrial music business is going to be a very exciting time to be a musician.

Technology has always changed music. From the italian luthiers that enabled Paganini, to the EMI engineers that enabled the Beatles,the interaction between technological advancement and new music creation is a constant.

I´m curious about your view , on how EMI will interact with their artists in the creation of the new music platforms.. I myself think that the pairing of engineers and musicians is the key to create exciting new musical experiences.

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