Director of Application Development

Philadelphia, PA
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Salary: $140,000 -- $150,000, commensurate with education and experience
Created: February 4, 2022


Reporting to the Associate Vice Provost for Technology & Digital Initiatives, the Director of Application Development is responsible for a portfolio of open-source and homegrown applications, and local customizations and integrations of licensed/cloud software. They will have a principal voice in portfolio management, systems architecture, and lifecycle and roadmap planning. They will manage day-to-day department operations, supervising a team of 11 direct reports including Sr. Application Developers and Programmer Analysts.

The primary systems for the department include Blacklight for discovery, a digital repository, Alma and its integrations with discovery and resource sharing systems, a Ruby on Rails-based data warehouse and analysis system, unique cultural heritage web applications, an EAD aggregator for consortial archival discovery, and more.


The Director of Application Development will have the opportunity to implement our product and technical strategy, managing the fundamental organization and evolution of Penn Libraries’ locally developed software system/s, embodied in their components, their relationships to each other and the environment, and the principles governing their design and development. They ensure that proposed and existing locally developed systems architectures are aligned with Penn Libraries’ overall systems architecture roadmap and the Libraries’ goals and objectives.

The Director will closely with staff to establish sustainable, efficient development and deployment practices, and should be comfortable doing code reviews and making direct recommendations regarding application development in order to make technical contributions and support their staff. They will strive to unify library systems using common tools to reduce maintenance overhead and duplicated effort, communicating with stakeholders and library leadership about project requirements and trade-offs. They will identify and take steps to mitigate risks in their technology portfolio, ensure cross-training among staff to prevent knowledge silos, and plan for the retirement of obsolete systems. Collaborating with program leaders in educational technology, research data, digital scholarship and other IT stakeholders, the Director will develop information technology policies and procedures, service level agreements, and other documentation that both establish and maintain high service standards for all Penn Libraries IT operations.

Like all team members, the Director will be responsible for acting in concert with University and Library goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion; they will share responsibility for accessibility and usability in the digital library. In coordination with the UX Researcher/Designer, they will be responsible for embedding user testing into project plans.


  • Expertise in Ruby on Rails, Java, and Solr
  • 3 years’ experience managing developer staff
  • Knowledge of best practices and trends in software development
  • Project management experience including Agile methods
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and collaboration skills; ability to exercise influence to achieve high-quality outcomes in software and team performance
  • Bachelor’s degree; master’s degree in a relevant field preferred
  • Experience with library software and workflows preferred

Application Requirement:

A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.

Last updated: Monday, February 7, 2022 15:52 UTC