Software Product Technical Lead
Based: Runcorn or Liverpool
Salary: £40-45k depending on experience
CSols Ltd is a successful laboratory software company that has been in operation for more than 30 years. The laboratories that are in CSols’ focus are those that perform a wide range of chemical analysis on samples using a combination of classic standard methods and modern sophisticated analytical instruments or analysers, which often are combined with automated liquid handling systems or robots. Today’s modern laboratories generate a large amount of data (the results of the analyses) and the value of this data is enormous – of the order of $1 Trillion pa. The laboratories using CSols products are typically in the Clinical, Pharmaceutical, Water, Environmental and Chemical sectors. The software comprises of applications that improve the quality of data, and the efficiency of producing and managing it, which in turn helps reduce the cost of generation, speeds result reporting, reduces errors and helps meet regulatory compliance etc.)
One of the products, AqcTools, is a software application that manages the quality of analytical data. It is used widely in the UK, especially in Clinical Laboratories and Water Companies. Sales are increasing steadily in continental Europe and CSols have the intention of ultimately selling it globally. AqcTools typically runs in laboratory-wide, multi-user configurations on corporate SQL Server or Oracle databases. It can also be associated with a single Instrument PC running with SQL Server Express. The algorithms embedded in AqcTools use statistical techniques to ensure that the analysis performed by the labs is being performed correctly. Statistical methods are also used in an add-on module which calculates Analytical Uncertainty of Measurement.
Your role will be the main technical lead for this critical product. You will be an excellent software developer, and also someone who can fully understand the product and its application with customers. To get this depth of understanding, we expect you to first steep yourself in actively supporting and implementing AqcTools for at least a year. This will probably be 70% of your time. This period would also include being involved in developing (with others, if appropriate) product extensions required by clients, and making bug fixes and support-led enhancements (e.g. improving performance & reliability). You will be involved with an approximate, annual version release of AqcTools (including being a key voice in what features are added in each release). With time, we expect that the need to spend as much effort on support and implementation will diminish with experience, and as some of these activities are passed to others. This will be reflected in more time spent on design, development and improvement.
AqcTools has the potential to become a huge application globally. There is a substantial technical effort required to make this happen. Different countries have different requirements for the management of analytical quality. Before entering a country by selling a system, it is necessary to a) perform a gap analysis on requirements b) estimate the resource needed to meet the requirements and c) undertake the product modifications necessary. The job holder would undertake a) and b) and make c) happen with others. There are some architectural changes necessary to improve the product as it exists now. However much wider possibilities open up if we embark on a longer-term project to produce a web version of AqcTools. This would allow an easier (and less expensive) remote implementation, and open up many opportunities if it can be delivered as software as a service. The job holder would be expected to play a key role (perhaps the key role) in this transformation. Income growth can only come from increased sales and there is a part for you to play here as well. This is likely to include helping to prepare for sales demonstrations, and occasional attendance at customer presentations etc.
Steady growth of income from AqcTools is forecast over the next few years. This will be accompanied by building a dedicated technical team to work on AqcTools (we are currently product generalists but wish to increasing move towards specialization).You would be involved in this and the expectation is that you would lead this group.
• Based initially at the Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn or the Materials Innovation Factory in Liverpool
• Reporting to the CEO
Duties and Responsibilities
• Regular customer-facing project work involving occasional client-facing on-site work (this is mainly system implementation but could include activities like training for example) at customer premises mainly in the UK (and some in Europe) initially.
• Handling Support requests related to Customer problems with their AqcTools systems
• Producing and maintaining high-quality code according to CSols’s standard operating procedures
• Responsible for producing and maintaining supporting documentation
• Involved in testing and quality activities
• Technical support of sales activities
• Influence design and architecture decisions
• Building a dedicated technical team
• A 2.1 or better from a good university in a science or mathematically-based subject
• At least 3 years’ experience with a .NET language and Visual Studio
• Excellent knowledge of object-oriented programming principles
• At least 3 years’ experience of SQL
• Good knowledge of SQL Server and/or Oracle databases
• Ability to travel to customer sites as required
• Current Passport and Driving Licence
Beneficial but not Essential
• Software testing experience (including automated Unit Testing)
• Project Management skills
• Understanding the statistical basis of quality control and uncertainty of measurement
• Experience of dealing with Corporate IT Departments
• Experience with software support
• Experience with onsite fee earning work
• Knowledge of Analytical laboratories
• Knowledge of LIMS