VP/Head of Engineering

Blackpanda • Posted April 14th

Software Development
Blackpanda logo

Blackpanda is Asia’s premier incident response firm, helping businesses of all sizes in the APAC region protect against cyber risks, and be there to help if a breach occurs.

Technology is at the heart of what Blackpanda does, and we are looking for an engineering leader who thrives on being able to code daily, and is excited by the opportunity to lead a tight-knit, diverse technology team building class-leading architecture and products.

Blackpanda is at an exciting stage, envisioning what cyber risk protection can look like in the APAC region, and you will be building that future. This role suits someone who is excited by the prospect of building applications, architecture and products from the ground up with the most appropriate technologies available today.

A background in cyber security is a plus, but not required. However, an excellent grasp of building secure web-based applications and/or ETL pipelines is expected. 

You will be reporting to the CTO and helping to define and iterate on the technology roadmap, whilst day to day expected to be 50/50 code contribution and engineering management. You will be ensuring Blackpanda engineers are delivering robust, maintainable code, and being deployed reliably, with scalability from day one. 

There are no legacy systems to integrate or code debt to wade through - this is as good as it gets for a keen builder and engineering manager.

At a high level, experience with building ETL pipelines is a recognised advantage, although not absolutely required. The ability to learn new processes and plan new system architecture from high level requirements is a must and will be expected to be demonstrated from past experience. An existing solid understanding of RESTful and / or GraphQL-based API architecture and best practices - especially with regards to above-average security practices is very important.

What you will be working on
  • Managing several teams and helping them prioritize, build and ship the most impactful features to our internal teams and customers.
  • As a member of the product area leadership, help to build a composite roadmap that reflects the priorities in the different areas and help the CTO to rebalance the teams to react to changes in the surrounding conditions.
  • Work on problems with your teams, roll up your sleeves, form an opinion and advocate for engineering-specific roadmap items.
  • Get your hands dirty often, by diving into the code to help engineers of all skill levels
  • Giving constructive code review and feedback. Encouraging discourse around solutions but knowing when to make a call to ship ‘imperfect’ code if the alternative is an over-engineered solution.

Qualities you likely have to be well suited to this role
  • Proven leadership of an engineering team (ie at least 4-5 engineers taking lead from you)
  • Natural curiosity and you thrive on learning new things
  • Value balance in your life and know how to help engineers have the same - producing great work, whilst also protecting against engineering burnout through good planning and mentorship to those with less experience.
  • Passion for efficiency and collaboration, with a history of establishing great relationships with other teams, across offices, and time zones
  • Prioritize test-driven, elegant solutions that are maintainable, aided by appropriate terse or detailed documentation, whichever makes the most sense per case.
  • Work closely with the CTO to evaluate platforms across technical, financial and maintenance criteria, to select the most appropriate for each use case - we value ‘Strong opinions loosely held’
  • Comfortable presenting to a group over video calls to describe strategy and technical decisions, using layman terms wherever possible.

Technical experience / knowledge

  • At least 10 years working in a professional capacity as a software engineer / hands-on engineering manager
  • You have built or significantly contributed to products that are used daily either by external customers or internal teams, and form a critical function of the organization / primary revenue stream
  • Extremely proficient in at least one commonly used back-end language (e.g. Python, Rust, Node, Go)
  • Familiar with a front-end framework such as Vue or React and how it is best utilized in an application (even if you are not actively coding with one currently on a daily basis)
  • Highly familiar with at least one containerized deployment platform, such as Google Cloud Run, Amazon ECS and / or directly with K8s
  • Experience designing scalable database schemas and for variable team skills: ie ORM vs manually defined models, smart use of indexes / guarding against over use, etc.
  • Experience with exploring progressive solutions such as cockroachDB - even if not used in production - is valued.
  • Strong knowledge and current use of test suites / frameworks for your primary language
  • Experience setting up and maintaining CI/CD pipeline infrastructure. Minimal-maintenance such as Github actions experience is a plus.
  • Experience with data transformation and availability of data to non-technical stakeholders via a Datalake/warehouse/lakehouse e.g. Databricks
  • ‘Full-stack’ welcome, but please be clear in your application which is your strong suit and preferred daily language / framework
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field or a clear history of programming in a professional capacity for the stated experience years (10+)

General requirements

  • Business fluent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Can be based anywhere in the world, but must be able to work Monday to Friday for at least six hours between 0900 to 1800 SGT/HKT and be able to legally work in your chosen location (Blackpanda is not able to sponsor a work permit)
  • Conversational fluency and higher in any Asian language is a plus


Blackpanda offers to all team members
  • Top of market base pay system for position and locality every year
  • Equity awards available based on performance
  • Generous annual leave, including all Hong Kong and Singapore public holidays
  • No-meeting Fridays
  • Attractive self-learning financial allowance per year
  • Team meetups in your region, and with the wider global Blackpanda tribe (COVID travel restrictions permitting)
Blackpanda is committed to building a culturally diverse company, and we value a broad set of opinions in our team. As we grow, we are looking to build a team with a range of viewpoints at its core, and we encourage applications from all genders as you identify (X/F/M) and minority candidates.

All application emails to be sent to [email protected], and should have the subject: Attn CTO: VP/Head of Engineering application

Applications sent to any other email will be discarded (this includes sending to multiple Blackpanda email addresses - only send to [email protected])

We regret that we cannot respond to every single applicant, but will reply within one week from application to those we are taking forward to interview. Thank you for your understanding due to the volume of applicants.