Jobs at SparkMeter: Product Manager

SparkMeter is looking for a Product Manager to manage product development for the web applications our utility customers use to operate their electricity grids.

The application period for this role has closed. If you have any questions, please contact us at jobs@sparkmeter.io. Thank you!

Come join SparkMeter’s Product team and help increase electricity access in developing countries. As Product Manager, you’ll be in charge of the web applications our utility customers use to operate their electricity grids. Your work will be high impact: the electrification you will directly enable is a fundamental change in the way real people live, work, go to school, and relax.

About Our Products
Our smart metering solution consists of hardware electricity grid sensors that communicate with each other and their base stations wirelessly over a range of up to several kilometers. Our customers use a suite of software called SparkApp to remotely monitor usage and load, adjust tariffs (electricity rates), and more. SparkApp consists of two primary Python web applications: GroundBolt, running locally on the base station, and ThunderCloud, running remotely in the cloud. SparkApp is a key differentiator for our solution: other smart meters and similar products on the market don’t have anything like it.

What You’ll Do
As the SparkApp Product Manager you’ll:

  • Refine & maintain SparkApp’s product roadmap. You’ll manage SparkApp’s roadmap in Aha!, working closely with Arthur, our VP of Product, to prioritize our proposed feature list into a short-term software product release plan. You’ll write up epics to broadly define software features, and as you gather information about how features should work, you’ll write user stories to inform their implementation.
  • Lead SparkApp’s product development workflow. You’ll work closely with Justin, our software Project Manager, and the software engineering team to implement the roadmap you help create, and make sure they have the right inputs to develop the functionality needed by our customers on a schedule compatible with our broader goals. (A few upcoming features on our roadmap include more advanced alerting for grid operators and the ability to work with multiple currencies.)
  • Develop & maintain personas. To help our growing organization understand who our customers are, we have created a collection of personas -- composite profiles of utilities using our product, and the electricity consumers they serve. We use personas in product development to provide background and give context for the user stories we write to demonstrate features. You’ll collaborate with Tanya, Director of Customer Operations, and Conrad, QA Engineer, to bring our customer personas up to date, and circulate them throughout the organization.
  • Product strategy. As a key member of the Product team, you’ll help us refine the product strategy for our entire smart metering solution, and support Arthur, VP of Product, in the development of our holistic product roadmap. You’ll serve as the reference for how our entire system works for members of the software team, and the reference for the software product for the rest of the organization.

This role offers significant opportunities for growth. You’ll have the opportunity to expand your area of responsibility beyond the SparkApp suite to other software, including meter firmware, and beyond. Your work will also be central to shaping the structure of our product management process, and you’ll play a key role in selecting and hiring new members of the Product team.

How You’ll Work
Our product team uses Aha! to manage our product roadmaps, and we use JIRA in an Agile-like workflow to run the software development process. You'll join daily software team stand-ups to communicate your vision of the product. Our organization is distributed between Washington DC, Boston, and fully remote, and we use tools like Hangouts and Slack to keep in touch.

Where You'll Work
SparkMeter's Product team is based in our Washington D.C. office. We value having our team in the same place regularly so you should be expect to come into the office a few days a week, but beyond that your work location and schedule can be flexible. You can expect regular travel to visit the Software team in Boston, as well as possible trips to visit our customers and partners all over the world. (Travel will be roughly 5% to 15%.)

SparkMeter was founded to promote opportunity in underrepresented communities.
SparkMeter’s core value is opportunity: the opportunity for underserved communities to achieve great things. That's why our mission is to increase access to electricity in underserved communities - it is electricity and the services derived from it that unlock and create those opportunities. This value is reflected in our hiring ethos: we believe that the strongest teams have diverse backgrounds. Our approach to hiring has been validated by academic and industry studies that show that workforce diversity improves team and business performance. (It has also been validated by the quality of the team we’ve assembled so far!) We encourage applications from members of groups currently underrepresented in product management & software engineering.

Requirements & Skills

This role does not have strict requirements, but we would like to see experience in many of these areas:

  • Empathy. Our customers are developing new microgrids, extending central grids into new areas, and ensuring electricity is delivered reliably to their own customers in often challenging circumstances. You’ll use your empathy and emotional intelligence to contextualize features within the daily experiences of our utility customers and their residential, commercial, and industrial end-users.
  • Shipping & maintaining a B2B product. You’ll be well prepared to start work on your first day if you have experience on, or directly adjacent to, a Product team that has both shipped and maintained a B2B product. If you haven’t been a Product Manager already, you should understand what a PM does, and be ready to take on the responsibilities and leadership this role entails.
  • Managing a software development process. You’ll collaborate closely with our software Project Manager, Justin, every day as he manages our software development workflow. You’ll use your background managing software development as a Project Manager (or in a similar capacity) to make sure our project managers have what they need, and to help ensure smooth transitions between requirements, design, and development.
  • Software engineering. If you have previous experience working as a software engineer, it will help you give our engineering team what they need to implement your vision for the SparkApp product.
  • Internet-of-Things (IoT). SparkMeter’s smart metering solution is a combination of hardware and software products, and as part of this role, you’ll manage the product vision for one part of our larger system. Previous experience working with IoT products will help you collaborate with the software and hardware engineering teams, and the rest of the organization.
  • Energy access, utilities, and the energy space. We don’t need an expert in the field, but your experience with (or interest in) energy will help you contextualize your work in the broader space we’re working in.

How to Apply

The application period for this role has closed. If you have any questions, please contact us at jobs@sparkmeter.io. Thank you!

About SparkMeter

SparkMeter is a venture-backed company that was founded in late 2013, a spin-off of the non-profit EarthSpark International. We developed our low-cost, pre-pay enabled, smart metering system as a solution for electric utilities in developing countries to serve low-income customers. Our metering system is being widely adopted by utilities serving customers in rural parts of Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

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