Construx Job Opening: Software Development Trainer-Consultant

  1. Posted on February 16, 2010 6:12:PM by John Clifford to 10x Software Development

Construx is looking for a trainer/consultant. Construx has a fantastic staff and unmatched benefits. For the well qualified person who wants to do excellent work in a highly stimulating environment, it is a dream job -- which is why we've been recognized as the Best Small Company to Work for in Washington State twice.

Here's the official job posting:

Construx is seeking an experienced software engineer to provide training and consulting services with an initial emphasis on training ("Technical Service Provider (TSP)"). Deep software development experience is required, as is broad and deep knowledge of software development literature. Strong preference will be given to candidates with extensive training and/or public speaking experience. Candidates must have "leadership" level capability in at least three of the following knowledge areas:

  • Software Project Management
  • Software Requirements
  • Software Design
  • Software Construction
  • Software Test
  • Software Quality Assurance
  • Software Maintenance
  • Software Tools and Methods
  • Software Configuration Management

Detailed Duties

Seminar Delivery. Deliver software engineering seminars to working software professionals at our Bellevue, Washington training facility and at client locations in North America and worldwide. For a list of current seminars, see our Course List by Job Title. Most seminars are 2-3 days in duration. The new TSP will qualify to teach 2-3 different seminars within the first year. Most Construx TSPs eventually qualify to teach 5-10 or more different seminars.

Seminar Development. Develop new seminars to complement Construx’s list of current seminars. Modify existing seminars to respond to client needs, incorporate advances in methods, and match personal preferences of the TSP.

Consulting. Provide consulting support to training clients as needed. Initially, consulting is expected to make up only a small part of this position.

Travel. Travel is required and ranges from 25% to 75%. Exact amount of travel within this range will depend on business demands and will be decided by mutual agreement between the TSP and Construx. Most Construx TSPs travel between 25%-50%.

Support for Sales Process. Work with Construx sales staff to discuss Construx offerings with new and existing clients, review proposals, and so on.

Ongoing Training and Professional Development. Participate in ongoing training via reading, attending Construx seminars, attending outside seminars, and presenting at and participating in conferences.

On Location in Bellevue Office. This position is homed at Construx’s office in Bellevue, Washington. Construx permits telecommuting as job demands allow, but normally expects that TSPs are in the Bellevue office at least four days per week when not traveling. 

Inclusive Job Definition. Over time, Construx will always work to maximize the match between a person’s interests and the available work. At any given time, however, Construx requires employees to be flexible in keeping the company running. At times this can include activities as mundane as stocking the soda machine, sweeping the floor, unjamming the printer, and so on. As a small company sometimes the job description is "Whatever needs to be done by whoever is available to do it."

Requirements and Qualifications

Software Development Experience. A minimum of 10 years of broad and deep experience in software development is required.

Training Experience. Must have excellent interpersonal verbal skills, presentation skills, and writing skills. Strong preference will be given to candidates with extensive training and/or public speaking experience.

Education. A four-year degree from an accredited university strongly preferred. Broad and deep knowledge of current software development literature is also required. "Leadership" level understanding of at least three of the following knowledge areas is required: Software Project Management, Software Requirements, Software Process, Software Maintenance, Software Design, Software Construction, Software Test, Software Quality, Software Configuration Management, and Software Tools and Methods.

Certifications. Certification is not required. Certifications of CSDP, Certified Scrum Trainer, Certified Scrum Coach, and Certified Scrum Practitioner are a plus.

Toolbox orientation. Construx is not pro-Agile, pro-Scrum, pro-waterfall, pro-CMMI, pro-modeling, or pro-anything else. Construx works with an incredible diversity of companies facing an amazing range of software challenges. Construx TSPs must have a balanced view of software development practices, viewing the universe of software development practices as different tools that are better suited or worse suited to specific jobs. Different TSPs will have different focuses, different interests, different backgrounds, and different areas of expertise. We do not expect every TSP to be enthusiastic about every kind of software practice, however we do require every TSP to be knowledgeable and open minded about the contributions that different kinds of practices are able to make in different contexts.

Presentations. A record of conference presentations is a strong plus.

Publications. A record of publications in refereed journals and/or popular trade publications is a plus.

Interpersonal Skills. Require the ability to work well in a team; ability to foster partnership relationships, active communicator.

Service Quality Orientation. Must be willing to pursue the highest possible levels of service quality, to measure personal service quality in ways that are visible to management and to peers, to discuss service quality, and to continually improve service quality.

Entrepreneurial. Outstanding self-management, project management, and time management skills and the ability to multi-task and manage competing priorities effectively. Must be willing to accept a significant portion of compensation as variable, based on performance.


Compensation is base plus bonus. Base is approximately industry median with significant bonus potential. Construx has paid bonuses of 50%-100% or more depending on billable work. Amount of billable work depends on service quality, number of classes taught, willingness to travel, and other factors. Construx's goal is to allow each TSP to strike the personal balance he or she desires between compensation/travel/work, and personal life.

Supervisory Responsibilities

None at present.


This person will interact with customers, other TSPs, sales staff, department heads, and administrative support personnel.

Company and Work Environment

Founded in 1996, Construx's corporate mission is to Advance the Art and Science of Commercial Software Engineering. Construx provides training and consulting services in the area of software development best practices. Our clients are who’s who of Fortune 500 companies, technology leaders, and selected smaller companies.

In June 2007 Construx was named the Best Small Company to Work For in Washington State by Washington CEO magazine, and in Summer 2008 Construx was again named the Best Small Company to Work for in Washington State by the Puget Sound Business Journal. Construx emphasizes hiring talented staff who are committed to making consistently excellent contributions within a team environment.

Hiring only the best people enables us to offer a work environment and benefits that are second to none. Benefits include:

  • Private offices with office decorating budget
  • Laptops
  • Flexible schedule (as permitted by work demands)
  • Business casual dress
  • 30 days of paid time off per year plus holidays (including 4 floating holidays)
  • Strong company commitment to maintaining balance between work and personal life
  • 401K with 100% match to 10% of base salary
  • Profit sharing
  • Stock options
  • Training as needed
  • Family medical plan
  • Family dental plan
  • Family vision plan
  • Long term disability coverage
  • Company events at the Salish Lodge, the Herb Farm, Willows Lodge, Leavenworth, Chelan, and comparable locations
  • Free all-company lunches every Friday
  • Free beverages
  • Staff that enjoys doing excellent work and enjoys working with each other

Contact Us About This Position

Fax: 425.636.0159

david said:

February 25, 2010 12:09:AM

lovely post, i like it

Abhishek said:

March 14, 2010 12:32:PM

The following links

- leadership level

- knowledge areas

- Course List By Job Title

from this page appear to be broken. Could you confirm/update path for the same please?

Steve McConnell said:

March 16, 2010 3:06:PM

@Abhishek - fixed -- thanks for pointing those out.

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John Clifford

John Clifford is a Senior Fellow and Agile Practices Lead at Construx Software. John got his first software development job at a startup, while still in college, in the early 1980s. He started and ran a successful software company when he was 23. His career includes almost six years at Microsoft, where he was one of the original developers on the Microsoft Project for Windows and Mac team.

With more than three decades of IT experience, John has developed software across the spectrum of computing environments, ranging from desktop and mobile device applications to low-level frameworks, device drivers, and asynchronous communications protocols. Prior to joining Construx, John’s career included stints as a software development engineer, product feature team manager, group QA manager, group project manager, and development director.

At Construx, John focuses on software development, project management, product management, and team and organizational management practices, with an emphasis on Lean and Agile methodologies. As a manager, and as an external consultant, John has led numerous successful organizational transformations to Scrum and Lean/Kanban. He holds Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner, and Certified Scrum Practitioner certifications from the Scrum Alliance. John was invited to become one of the charter Kanban Coaching Professionals from the Lean Kanban University, the professional association and standards group for Kanban Method training and coaching. As an adjunct instructor, John also teaches a course on applying Lean and Agile principles and practices for the University of Washington’s Professional and Continuing Education program.

Contact John