Technical Director, Digital Services (0932)

  • Full-time
  • Job Code and Title: 0932-Manager IV
  • Fill Type: Permanent Exempt

Company Description

The San Francisco Digital Services Team works across City departments to build user-centered digital services. Its mission is to make it easy for all residents to access the City’s 967 services online, from any device.

Over the past five years, the team has grown and now supports a range of digital services, including, the City’s new website. This site has been at the forefront of the City’s Covid-19 response and will replace more than 100 separate websites. Built with Accessibility and Equity as core design principles, it provides a consistent user-centered experience for all San Franciscans.

In addition to, Digital Services has a full-time product team dedicated to the development of DAHLIA, the City’s online affordable housing application service. Digital Services is also actively engaged in making permitting digital, working with the City’s Permit Center team and all permitting departments.

DataSF, the City’s strategic data team, has recently moved into Digital Services, and this gives an opportunity to bring the City’s data practices closer to its digital services. The vision is to create a seamless data lifecycle between transactions, data aggregation, reporting, and decision-making.

Digital Services is at an exciting moment of change. Having established credibility and a track record of delivery, the team must now turn its attention to scaling. The team must scale its impact by empowering other departments to build services themselves, using platforms provided by Digital Services. Digital Services should become the source of standards, platforms, and microservices that allow the City to make services for residents accessible online. This will be achieved through training, support, standardization, shared platforms, and citywide policies. Digital Services will make its platforms the easiest, fastest, most accessible, and most cost-effective way to build services. It will work with departments to ensure that platforms meet not only the needs of San Franciscans but make staff’s lives easier as well.

As we enter this new scaling phase, we are looking for a Technical Director to lead the Engineering team within Digital Services. This is a crucial role that needs an experienced technologist with a passion for better public services.

Appointment Type: Permanent Exempt (PEX), this position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.

Job Description

The 0932 Technical Director will have the unprecedented opportunity to shape how the City builds digital services. From defining the technical stack to setting citywide technical standards, you will be a huge influence on the technical direction the City takes when developing digital services.

An excellent communicator, you will translate technical language into easy-to-understand terms for our department stakeholders, and you will help people embrace new methods of procurement and technology development. You will represent Digital Services to staff at all levels in the City and provide expert technical input where it is needed in other departments.

Alongside the Chief Digital Services Officer (CDSO), you will form strong relationships with our peers and partners in the Department of Technology and align perspectives on cybersecurity, data, and technical architecture. You will work to resolve tensions and promote consensus around complex technical issues. You will investigate and analyze technical architecture options and make recommendations on build / buy / commission decisions. You will support prototyping as an approach and help departments explore their options through prototypes.

Alongside the CDSO and our partners you will ensure that all of our work focuses on equity,  accessibility, and inclusion, and aligns with the City’s Digital Accessibility and Inclusion Standard.

In addition to your citywide role, you will also be responsible for management and supervision of the Engineering team within Digital Services, a team of mid- and senior-level engineers as well as several team leads. You will be their advocate, coach, mentor, and evaluator and will help them grow into a world class team. You will help them standardize their tech stack and implement best practice, including Agile ceremonies. You will work with the team to define and implement technical architecture. You will define how the team is structured, staffing needs, resourcing, work planning, and resource allocation. You will monitor how the team is working and make changes and recommendations for changes based on your assessment.

You will ensure that the Engineering team meets its current obligations to support and maintain legacy apps and oversee the migration of the City’s legacy Drupal 7 websites to Drupal 9, while working to eliminate, reduce and automate unnecessary work so that the team has the capacity to build the technology of the future for the City. You will be responsible for ensuring that all our technology meets cybersecurity standards and that business-critical applications have business continuity in the event of a disaster.

As the Technical Director, you will be a crucial member of the senior leadership of the Digital Services team. You will contribute to the life of the team overall, aligning vision, values, and goals for the Engineering team with the rest of the team, making sure communication is constructive, honest and open, and leading by example.



  • Supervise Engineering team members
    • Act as advocate, mentor, and coach
    • Provide consistent, actionable feedback
    • Assign projects to engineers
  • Lead recruiting and selection processes for engineering positions
  • Participate in budget development by providing detailed justification and persuasive arguments for proposals or initiatives
  • Ensure that the Engineering budget is used appropriately and provide the CDSO early warning and practical options to mitigate potential cost overruns


  • Define and enforce technical standards and practices for the Digital Services team, based on best practice; expand the scope of these standards to other departments and develop guidance, tools, and policies to ensure that standards are met
  • Ensure quality of engineering work
  • Develop appropriate technical architecture for services
  • In collaboration with the City’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) develop policy for security and compliance of applications and ensure that policy is followed within Digital Services and shared and implemented citywide where appropriate
  • Analyze potential work for strategic importance and make recommendations for engagement
  • Make procurement recommendations and help develop procurement expertise


  • Collaborate with other technical teams within SF City Government
  • Collaborate with technical teams in other parts of government
  • Work to establish a Community of Practice for technologists within City Government
  • Work with domain experts and other staff to make architectural decisions
  • Help stakeholders understand when the problem is service or program design, not software


1.  Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; AND

2.  Five (5) years of professional technical program management experience, of which three (3) years must include people management of an engineering team.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Experience communicating and working with engineering and product teams
  • Experience in decommissioning legacy systems in line with organizational goals and objectives
  • Experience with developing software products within or for government use
  • Experience managing engineers across multiple projects
  • Experience with iterative, user-centered product development
  • Experience as part of cross-disciplinary teams
  • Strong communicator - articulate and open

Important: Your application must include a cover letter that explains why you are applying for this job, and how your experience makes you a good fit for this role.  To upload these items, please attach using the "additional attachments" function.

Verification: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application and/or departmental selection process. Written verification (proof) of qualifying experience must verify that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications stated on the announcement. Written verification must be submitted on employer’s official letterhead, specifying name of employee, dates of employment, types of employment (part-time/full-time), job title(s), description of duties performed, and the verification must be signed by the employer. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which they are appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee’s class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Commission Rules. Experience claimed in self-employment must be supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to the minimum qualifications of the position. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupations and total earnings must be submitted. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco. 

Additional Information

Compensation:  $144,352 - $184,184 annually

Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately as this recruitment may close at any time, but not before April 4, 2022.

Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered. Mailed, hand delivered or faxed documents/applications will not be accepted.

In line with the Official Public Health Order to slow the spread of COVID-19, “shelter-in-place” has been issued for all San Francisco residents that is expected to be in effect until further notice. As a result, Department of Human Resources (DHR)’s office (located at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103) is currently closed to the general public. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Human Resources Analyst listed on this announcement.

Note:  While we are currently remote due to Covid-19, assume that this job will be at least partially in-person in San Francisco when it is safe.

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications. Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to participate in the selection process. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement to the interview. Qualified applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation in the selection process must contact the Agency by phone at (415) 554-6000 or, if hearing impaired at (415) 554-6015 (TTY).

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.  For details on how it is applicable to your employment, please click here.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

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