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We are working with Moosejaw Moutaineering in their search for a Director of Ecommerce Technology based in Madsion Heights, MI (near Detroit).  If you’re not familiar with the brand, check out their YouTube channel.

HARRY’S COMMENTS:  As an ecommerce recruiter, there are four kinds of candidates with whom I work:

  1. Technologists,
  2. Marketing-oriented technologists,
  3. Technology-oriented marketers, and
  4. Marketers

This is an outstanding role for a marketing-oriented technologist who can see Moosejaw’s ecommerce technology as a means to an end (greater customer engagement), rather than an end unto itself.  We don’t want someone who loves technology for its own sake.  We want someone who can keep it real; Someone who can see Moosejaw’s business through its customers’ eyes.

Moosejaw’s former Director of Ecommerce Technology (“DET”) did an excellent job, no two ways about it.  But Moosejaw is a growing business, and the new DET will have a major impact on the company’s evolution.  Much of Moosejaw’s IT work is outsourced, and much of this job will involve pushing these third-party resources to meet Moosejaw’s IT objectives.  Issues might include …

  • What new features should Moosejaw’s ecommerce platform have?
  • Are the developers spending time on the right things?
  • How is the QA process being handled?
  • How is performance testing progressing?

It’s important for Moosejaw to have someone experienced in managing development teams — ideally someone who has come up through the developer/architect function to emerge as a technology leader. Initiatives of critical importance in the next twelve months may include:

Better management of consultants and third-party service providers: This is where the rubber meets the road. Moosejaw runs a lean internal IT organization with four full-time IT employees: the DET; a project manager; a help desk person; and a network administrator. Moosejaw uses Crossview (one of the leading IBM integrators), in addition to an ERP vendor, plus another vendor that handles its HTML and CSS work.  All told, there are 3 or 4 outsourced groups plus a hosting relationship — all of which need to be synchronized and managed. There are a lot of moving parts here, and it will take the right blend of carrots and sticks to keep all of these relationships positive and productive. This job is about getting things done through other people.

Mobile commerce: Moosejaw is taking the mobile opportunity very seriously, and the arrangement of its IT resources reflects that.  The company launched a dedicated mobile site in 2009, but the site did not support the real-time inventory, log-ins, or promotions of its main site.  Moosejaw Mobile’s latest iteration involves using a mobile-specific CSS on the main site to provide an optimized experience for mobile users without having to direct them away to a separate mobile site. The goal is to further optimize this experience with better analytics and faster load speed. From a development standpoint, this begs questions such as “How do we continue to strip out unnecessary content? And how do we optimize the speed of the mobile commerce experience?”  As the new DET, you’ll get to lead these inquiries.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Moosejaw as a dedicated SEO specialist, and the firm has made great strides in the area organic search. Obviously, successful SEO involves the integration of content, social media, and elegant site architecture — so it’s essential that the new DET understands the intricacies of organic search from a site architecture standpoint.

Loyalty and Social Media: Moosejaw has a dedicated site around their loyalty promotion management initiatives, so it’s very important that the company supports its promotions through state-of-the-art technology.  Additionally, Moosejaw is a celebrated leader in social media with many thousands of followers across Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and more. The DET must be able to leverage technology to keep Moosejaw at the forefront of social media.

Other issues: In the next 12 months, Moosejaw’s IT project queue might include sensitive issues related to … content delivery networks, hosting, platform upgrades, CRM, email marketing, international ecommerce, and Web analytics.  As Moosejaw’s new DET, you’ll be very much in demand.

ABOUT THE CULTURE: Cultural fit is hugely important at Moosejaw. Like, totally.  You can be the greatest technologist on earth, and if you are not a cultural fit, you’ll #FAIL.  Moosejaw’s culture matches the brand: fun, engaging, hard-working, and highly collaborative. This is a leadership position, and we need someone who can be part of the team. We’d like someone who is excited and energized by what the company does. We’re not looking for someone for whom this is just another step in their career. We want someone who is turned on by the brand (irreverent, hip, edgy) — and excited about being on the cutting edge of social media, mobile, and ecommerce.

Please Tweet this job, and you’ll be automatically entered into our monthly drawing. Just do it and see what happens: 2010 prizes included $100 Amazon gift certs, Dean & Deluca steaks, and Keurig coffee machines …

Position Overview:

  • The Director of eCommerce Technology is responsible for overseeing the ongoing operation and development of Moosejaw’s industry-leading ecommerce site,, and multichannel POS and CS system.
  • The Director of eCommerce Technology will participate in the translation and development of business requirements into specific system, application or process within Moosejaw’s cross-channel e-commerce ecosystem.
  • The Director of eCommerce Technology will work as the primary interface between the business stakeholders and the development team to identify functional requirements and ultimately, plan and implement WebSphere Commerce solutions that meet those requirements.


  • Overseeing the day-to-day technical operation of the Moosejaw Websphere multichannel ecommerce environment (online, POS, CS system).
  • Managing ecommerce projects, including working with internal business units to define project scope and translating business requirements into technical specifications.
  • Providing oversight and guidance on architecture design and strategy while working with distributed project managers and developers.
  • Working with development staff to help provide estimates for the functionality they are asked to build.
  • Providing oversight and input during architecture review during define, design and build phases of development lifecycles
  • Reviewing designs and architecture for quality and function.  Engaging team and competency leads as necessary.
  • Engaging with third party technical and engineering teams to ensure existing and new integrations to third party applications including order management, catalog management, email service provider, analytics providers, and payment processors are working correctly and implemented correctly
  • Leading efforts at debugging and resolving issues as they arise in the e-commerce ecosystem
  • Providing guidance to and management of third party contracted resources that manage Moosejaw’s hosted server infrastructure
  • Working with performance specialists to tune the e-commerce and related applications to ensure site stability during peak traffic periods
  • Keeping the SVP of Marketing & Technology informed on all necessary matters, and assisting with all department-related functions

Position Requirements:

  • It is required that the Director of eCommerce Technology have a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. An MS or MBA is preferred.
  • 5+ years of application development experience in Java/J2EE technologies, 5+ years of web technologies/development experience (Java, J2EE, HTML, JSP, EJB) and 3+ years of WebSphere Commerce (through v. 6.0) development and package implementation experience are required.
  • The Director of eCommerce Technology must have experience with integration technologies including web services, MQ Series (messaging), XML over HTTP and batch file processing, experience in implementation, customization, and integration of IBM WebSphere Commerce sites, and experience with integrating WebSphere Commerce applications into multiple 3rd party applications.
  • Knowledge of Web 2.0, Java, Web services, .net databases is required.
  • Experience with object-oriented programming with modularized systems and SOA based architecture, experience in software development life cycle, and experience with developing large scale high volume transaction systems are required.
  • A strong understanding of software development metrics and processes, familiarity with current technology trends and strength and weakness of the current trends and technologies, and excellent tuning skills and understanding of performance characteristic of technologies are required. Experience leading offshore development teams is required.
  • Experience in a consumer retail environment, direct marketing experience, and understanding of best practices for SEO and social e-commerce integration are preferred. Cross channel application experience is preferred.
  • The Director of eCommerce Technology must have strong project management, organizational and planning skills with keen attention to detail.
  • Strong leadership skills are required, as well as the ability to teach and mentor IT team members.
  • The Director of eCommerce Technology must have highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and effectively both in verbal and written form. Must be able to persuade and influence various stakeholders and internal partners, sell ideas effectively, get results and follow through. Strong decision-making skills are required, as well as an understanding of where projects fit into development strategy.
  • The Director of eCommerce Technology must have the ability to learn quickly, be extremely self motivated, and work in a fast-paced, multiple-priority environment, and must be able to strike the appropriate balance between working independently and keeping the SVP of Marketing & Technology informed.


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