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Technical Program Manager (Innovation Fellow at Uncommon Schools)

Uncommon Schools

Technical Program Manager (Innovation Fellow at Uncommon Schools)

New York, NY
  • Responsibilities

    Job Description


    The Uncommon Schools Innovation Fellowship program prepares technologists for impactful work in the education sector. Fellows will work for and be managed by Ponder, Uncommon’s engineering partner, while integrating deeply with teams across Uncommon’s various infrastructure, operational and instructional divisions. Together, Ponder and Uncommon are at the forefront of driving innovation to scale effective instruction, and this fellowship lies at the heart of building and optimizing that partnership.


    Your role has two components, technical program management and DevOps. The balance of ownership in these areas will shift depending on candidate’s interest and skill level. Some areas of focus will be internal to Uncommon, while others will be Ponder products incubated at Uncommon in preparation for general release. Success in this role requires a combination of excellent communication and problem solving skills, in addition to a core understanding of how software is built and how databases work.


    • Triage and track all inbound customer requests
      • Ensure timely responses to each request, track all open tasks, and communicate updates to each customer through to issue resolution.
      • Fully resolve all issues ownable by the Program Management team. For all other issues, diagnose and escalate to the appropriate channel.
      • Internalize the patterns and relationships between these issues to inform the product and process roadmap.
    • Create technical specifications for new systems
      • Conduct product discovery through ownership of existing systems and processes, interviews with practitioners and observation on-site at schools.
      • Research solutions for prioritized systems, including identifying and recommending partners, software, or work processes.
      • Prototype technical solutions and configure final production systems to meet requirements.
      • Own all documentation and training for new systems.
    • Partner with instructional and operational teams to observe and understand existing workflows to ensure new products are built to work as seamlessly as possible with them, or to create new workflows that optimize the connection between workflows and technology.
    • Partner with engineers to collaborate on solutions to challenges identified during discovery that are both technologically elegant and pragmatic.
    • Partner with Ponder’s CEO to optimize Ponder’s broader business operations, including helping with external-facing presence such as its website, blog, and social media presence.


    • Patch hosted environments, create test environments, service production environments
    • Assist in preparation for staffing a Tier 1 24x7 response team, including verifying and improving DevOps procedures and documentation, and streamlining monitoring, notification, and escalation in coordination with customer teams
    • Write queries to audit data, investigate quality and pipeline issues, execute new data extracts and test production code.
    • Streamline AWS/Azure billing, forecasting, and process
    • Review hardware sizing and provisioning to optimize costs
  • Qualifications



    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
    • Foundational understanding of computational and statistical concepts
    • Experience writing production-grade database code (SQL/NOSQL/etc); Additional computing coursework or programming and data science experience preferred
    • Proven track record of critical thinking and a highly professional attention to detail
    • Customer service, PR, and marketing experience a plus
    • Experience with AWS, Azure, PowerBI, Tableau, and/or experience writing Python and using javascript frameworks a plus

    Additional Information

    Ponder offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Aside from extensive professional development, all our staff members are equipped with a laptop computer, email, and all necessary supplies.

    Ponder believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for important dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students._ As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability_.