Engineering Manager

Portable is growing and we are looking for passionate and motivated leader to join our awesome team!  

We are committed to creating a more diverse team and industry with a focus on introducing more female and non-binary developers. Whilst all applications will be considered equally, our goal is to hire a candidate from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Who are we and why work with us?

Here at Portable we care about the world. We seek out areas of social need and policy failure and use our expertise in research, design and technology to make a positive impact for our community. Our clients are as passionate as we are and work in government agencies and nonprofit organisations. Our job is to help them define, design and deliver new products, services and ways of working to improve life for all Australians. 

There are currently 60+ of us working as researchers, strategists, designers, developers, producers and visionaries towards our mission from our office in Collingwood and working remotely from home.

We care about the experience and wellbeing of our team. Here are some of the benefits our team enjoys:
  • We support a flexible working environment whether its from home or the office or a cafe
  • We're a family-friendly company who offer parental leave and part-time arrangements to allow for things like pick-ups and drop-offs or sick children
  • A feedback-friendly culture, where we make space for open and respectful sharing of feedback that helps us grow
  • We support our team taking mental health days as personal leave that they don’t need to explain or have a medical certificate for
  • Employee Assistance Program with The Mindroom for general wellbeing check-ins, assistance with career planning, or working through difficult or challenging circumstances
  • Twice-yearly salary reviews with no minimum service period
  • Our team can grow their career with our structured career pathways, generous professional development allowance and hands-on learning opportunities
  • Ongoing leadership coaching and development for leaders in the business
  • Indigenous cultural awareness training for our entire team
  • We work on meaningful projects that seek to have a positive impact in the world

We’re looking for an engineering manager to join our team and contribute our projects and technology discipline. You have probably spent 5+ years programming in organisations to develop your technical skills on large projects that have involved a varying degree of technical leadership and involvement. You have also have probably enjoyed mentoring, guiding and seeing people grow on the projects you have been leading and are already perhaps leading a technical team of 4-5 people.


This might be the right role for you if…

You have a passion for people and helping teams and individuals grow. You enjoy leading and developing a small group of people to help them achieve their professional outcomes and to guide them on shaping their career path. 

You're able to work effectively with a technical leadership team and a broader business leadership team to help drive and balance larger strategic business and discipline objectives with shorter team goals and outcomes.

You have a deep understanding of programming concepts and methodologies that allow you to provide guidance and support to team members as they express their interests and invest in their own development.

You enjoy working with multidisciplinary teams of designers, developers and producers on a wide range of projects. You actively participate in retros, planning sessions and are involved in driving other project and company rituals.

You also demonstrate excellent teamwork and communication and are proactive in identifying gaps in your capability. You are able to manage your time and priorities, as well as communicate clearly in written and verbal communications.

As an agency we have a number of projects running in different technical stacks: 

Most of our work to-date has been in PHP and Javascript (actually Typescript, but we will help you learn if you need). At the moment we also have projects in .NET, Go and Java. We love to learn (and teach) new skills.

We favour React, but have worked with Vue. We like Laravel, but have worked in NestJS and other frameworks. We create amazing things using WordPress and SilverStripe.

As most of our projects are delivered via the web, our engineering managers will have experience in a number of frameworks, most likely client and server side and have a broad understanding of the other related web application tools and services such as databases, cloud services and security best practices.

An example of what a week at Portable as a Engineering Manager might look like:

  • Pairing and mentoring of developers across the team to help with their growth
  • Contributing to (and occasionally chairing) our PTX (Portable Technology Experience) meetings where we discuss, have workshops and generally look at how we go about development at Portable as a team
  • Collaborating with project managers and other to sense check the scope for features on a new project
  • Proposing an approach to a potential project that you are collaborating on with our business development team, including providing estimates for various options
  • Having a 1:1 session with a few of your team members to help them work through any challenges they are facing at the moment and celebrating their wins
  • Spending time writing code - helping the team with a particularly tricky refactoring on a long running project
  • Reviewing pull requests to help individuals and the team grow with their ability to commit good code to projects
  • Participating in a design & ideation workshop with a Design Strategist and Law Researcher for a legal project
  • Leading the team through sprint planning activities to drive high quality outcomes for our team and our clients


The salary range for this role is between $130,000 - $160,000, depending on your level of experience. This is available as a full-time or part time role. We are committed to creating a more diverse team and industry with a focus on introducing more female and non-binary developers. Whilst all applications will be considered equally, our goal is to hire a candidate from traditionally underrepresented groups.

How to apply

To be considered, please send us your resume and a cover letter answering the following questions:

  1. Tell us about something that you’ve been learning recently. What is it, how are you learning it and what made you decide to learn this thing?
  2. What’s a challenging technical problem you or your team have solved? What made it challenging, how did you solve it and what part did you play?
  3. Tell us about a great working relationship you’ve had with someone you have led. How did you work together? What’s something you learned from that experience?
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