Software Engineering Director

· Madison, Wisconsin
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor

Position Summary

Tetra Defense is committed to greatly reducing financial loss, interruption of community services, and threats to national security caused by cyber threat actors.  Our emergency incident response team is busy 24 x 7 x 365 helping organizations under cyber-attack.  It’s unfortunate that this division of our business is our top revenue line but you can help change that.  We’re piping our real-time education gained through incident response into our cyber-risk management software and services designed to put organizations in control of effective, sustainable, cybersecurity programs.


As our Engineering Director, you will apply your expertise to maximize the strategic output of the engineering team and consistently deliver software enhancements and improvements.  You will report to and work closely with our VP of Product to gain a deep understanding of the "why" behind the lengthy and detailed acceptance criteria in our epics and stories.  It is your responsibility to ensure these criteria are cut into technical tasks of the correct size that fit the teams' ability to complete them efficiently.  Ultimately, it is your responsibility that the acceptance criteria are met and the team spends 80% of their time focused on strategic items and 20% on debt and other things. 


You will lead a team of around eight to ten direct reports, a mix of Tetra Defense employees and contractors.  You'll participate in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring as needed.  Some team members work offsite 100% and others 25-50% so you're ability to stay in constant communication and truly connect with people is of paramount importance. Although you're the manager of the team you also need to be one of the best players, just like Pete Rose, that can jump in and solve problems with team members by providing demonstration, documentation, mentorship, and training.  You'll have an experienced DevOps director as your peer who is a wizard with AWS, Kubernetes, Docker, GitLab CI/CD, Linux, networking, firewalls, and everything in between.


The team is extremely passionate and dedicated and you must be as well.   You need to know when to push them hard and also know when to force them to take a break.  You will be expected to do on demand one on ones when someone needs help and occasional scheduled one on ones.  You'll also need to earn their respect by reviewing merge requests, making comments for improvements, coding alternate implementations to illustrate a point, documenting/sharing tip and tricks, and occasionally swarming an issue with them and fixing it yourself. 


We're an agile team but take a very pragmatic approach.  You must focus on a structure that works best for maximizing output of the team and not on maximizing the accuracy which some book or framework says to do things, ex. we must sprint all the time, have 2 1.5 hour grooming meetings per week, a retro every 6 days, etc.  However, we believe nearly constant communication.  If anyone needs help, has an MR needing review, or needs clarity on an issue, they can feel comfortable reaching out to you or anyone on the team and get a reply in a very reasonable amount of time, during work days, typically 30 mins or less.


Although you're extremely skilled in software design, architecture, development, and troubleshooting, you don’t know it all and never will.  You must be a lifelong learner in this business and committed to learning every day from peers, your reports, articles, training, blogs, smoke signals, and any other way possible.  You must also be able to adapt to changes and forget the past.  Some of our products will flop and you must consider all spent work a learning experience, move on, and never look back.


While being the Engineering Director is extremely demanding and challenging, it's also very rewarding when you see your work prevent someone from getting hurt.  Cyber threats lead to financial loss and interruption of services but in reality that means people lose jobs and their livelihood.  The right person for the job will actually find the demands and challenges extremely fun as well!

Required Technical Skills (aptitude tests will be required prior to an offer being made):


  • Java
  • Spring with emphasis on Spring Boot and Spring Data
  • Database design and optimization
  • MySQL, PostgreSQL
  • JavaScript
  • ReactJS
  • Redux
  • JMS
  • Docker
  • K8s
  • Git
  • GitLab CI/CD
  • Terraform
  • Bash, Python, PowerShell
  • Extensive experience with Linux
  • Cloud management and design using AWS


  • Proven track record of organizing engineering teams and sustaining high strategic output
  • Minimum of 5 years experience directly leading teams of 8-10 people
  • Minimum of 10 years as a software developer
  • Minimum of a bachelor's degree in engineering


  • Collaborative, hard-working, energetic team culture
  • Excellent benefits – Vision, Medical, and Dental
  • 401K with company match
  • Unlimited PTO/time off policy

About Tetra Defense

Originally founded in 2016 as Gillware Digital Forensics, Tetra Defense supports a global network of partners and clients from its offices in Madison and Milwaukee, WI. Since our founding we have grown into one of the most highly respected digital forensics, incident response and cyber risk management firms around. 

There has never been a challenge we haven’t accepted. With a team of former law enforcement, FBI agents, CISOs, IT leaders and the like, we’ve been up close and personal with investigations and incidents of every shape and size.

Early on we knew we were doing things differently than the rest. When our competitors considered a job finished, we saw so much more we could do to help the client. Whether it’s getting a business back up and running after a ransomware attack or mapping out a project plan to help businesses improve their cybersecurity defenses, we always go the extra mile.

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  • Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience