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Creative Commons recruiting its next Chief Technology Officer

Mike Linksvayer, July 11th, 2011

DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009
Laptop Stickers by Fred Benenson / CC BY. Does your laptop look like this? It doesn’t have to, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

Since our previous CTO, Nathan Yergler, left CC to return to full-time engineering in April, we have been preparing to recruit his replacement. The time is now! See the full job posting on our opportunities page.

This is a fun job (I was Nathan’s predecessor, from 2003-2007) that offers technical, management, and communications challenges and opportunities for growth and impact. Using technology to enhance (rather than suppress) sharing has always been an important part of the CC story. Some background for the truly interested candidate:

  • All software developed by CC is free software; see our source repositories and bug tracker;
  • We have a small (two software engineers, one system administrator) technology team focused on maintaining and improving CC’s services (implemented using Python, CiviCRM, WordPress, MediaWiki, and other technologies); additionally technology suffuses all of our work, including when policy-oriented — the technology team and especially CTO are frequently called on to provide leadership on broad issues;
  • See our CC Labs blog for occasional posts on the details of our technical work and thoughts on related happenings;
  • Watch recordings of past CC technology summits;
  • Read about the CC Rights Expression Language, a set of recommendations implemented across CC’s services and by many publishers.

Relative to when Creative Commons started with a vision of leveraging the Internet to scale sharing (and vice versa), there are an unimaginable number of freely licensed works to build upon, and to build services around, and 90% of the technical groundwork is laid (of course as an engineer you recognize that means 90% of the technical groundwork remains to be developed — and that’s just the beginning!). Now is an incredibly exciting time to lead the technology efforts of Creative Commons — be part of a great team, help communities yearning to share better and more effectively (e.g., see our new Learning Resources Metadata Initiative), and engage with developers around the world to help build a better future.

We’re accepting resumes through August 1. Again see the job posting for details.

4 Responses to “Creative Commons recruiting its next Chief Technology Officer”

  1. karl says:

    Hey Mike,

    You said “This is a fun job” but you didn’t explain how it was fun for you. That could be interesting for people. I guess that people who will apply know already about CreativeCommons and the challenges of the community, the intellectual and/or business misinformation, resistance around it. What people might not know is what are the challenges and joys of the daily job as a CTO.

    Things like how often you traveled? How were you working with your team? A success story and a painful story (because a job is not always a double rainbow) ;)

    Little and personal stories for finding the right person, always challenging. Maybe I could write more about the role of W3C AC Representative if you wish. (If I understood it include this role) :)

  2. Hi Karl,

    Good question. I’ll have to think about why I wrote “fun” and also how the job isn’t triple rainbows all the time ;) and write it down.

    The new CTO could be the CC W3C AC rep, or the person who figures out who that is. For a long time Ben Adida (CC’s 0th CTO; his company built the first production CC site, and he hired me) has been our AC rep, but medium term we do need someone else as he has arguably even more important work to do at Mozilla these days…

  3. karl says:

    Yep I remember meeting Ben Adida by chance on a plane to SXSW in 2003. He recognized me because of my W3C T-shirt.

    For the role of AC Rep, basically it is explained on W3C Web site.
    http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/organization#AC

    In a less procedural language ;), the Company W3C AC Rep has a coordination role in between the company and the work done at W3C. He/she ensures that the relevant appropriate resources are allocated on W3C Working Groups which matter to the company. He/she helps shape the orientation of W3C work for the future. He/she provides the necessary information inside the company about work being done at W3C. It can be fun or a burden depending on how you manage it. It also involves one to two trips a year somewhere for a Face to Face meeting. It’s usually a unique way to do networking with other companies of the Web for sometimes discussing issues around your products and technologies, specifically during the technical plenary when engineers are here.

  4. David Ewing says:

    Mike, first of all I just want to let you know the good news that you can stop the search for a new CTO because I’m right here! lol How much of CC’s services use Python? That would be my biggest challenge as I’m not the strongest in Python or CiviCRM

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