Head of Engineering


  • Full Time

To apply for this job please visit apply.workable.com.


About Onto

Onto is the all-inclusive electric car subscription changing the rules of the game for car ownership.

By 2030 the UK government has declared that all new cars must be electric. At Onto we believe that change can’t come soon enough and we want to give everyone the experience of driving an electric car whilst also doing the right thing for our planet.

Over the last 10 years, other industries such as media and food delivery have already shown that customers love the benefits of a subscription service. One industry that hasn’t moved forward so quickly is how people purchase cars. 2 out of 3 UK drivers want their next car to be electric, but it’s daunting. Last year out of the 2.3m cars sold in the UK, 90% of new cars in the UK were sold through finance, with a multi-year commitment, yet 70% of consumers decided against paying the final balloon payment to own the car at the end of the contract.

Drivers want more flexibility and the convenience of paying monthly but without long-term personal finance contracts or the hassle of arranging insurance, servicing, tax or repairs.

At Onto, for a flat monthly fee, customers get the latest electric cars with insurance, servicing, breakdown cover and free public charging at over 12,000 locations in the UK. There is no deposit and only a 1-month commitment. Hassle-free, emissions-free, and affordable driving.

How does it work? Simple. It’s a fully digital service. Sign up and we’ll deliver your car to your door within 72 hours. You just need to unlock your car with the Onto app and enjoy your drive!

Onto was formed in 2017 by co-founders Rob Jolly (CEO) and Dannan O’Meachair (VP People). Originally formed after Rob saw the challenge of converting people over to electric vehicles while working in the Corporate Strategy area of Jaguar Land Rover. After a few pivots in strategy and company name changes, Onto was born. In 2021 we brought onboard a new CTO, Ben Brown, the OntoTech team is looking to radically enhance our customer experience and set up our technology platform for explosive growth.

From a current OntoTech team of 12, we plan to grow to over 25 people in 2021, and expect this growth to continue into 2022 and beyond. Come and join us – you’re in for an exciting ride!

Join us on our mission of revolutionising the £2 trillion automotive industry!

About OntoTech

We’re a tight-knit and diverse bunch who care deeply about creating an amazing team for each and every person to work in. We understand the best way to create a product that our customers love is to create a team in which people love working. We are passionate about technology but also know that the purpose of our technology is to create a delightful product experience for our customers.

For anyone who has never worked for a company with a physical aspect to their product, this creates its own set of challenges for our teams. Our core digital product relies on customers using our mobile app to access their car. Any issues or errors mean that someone can’t use the car correctly and creates a poor customer experience.

Our operations teams also use our own technology to manage our fleet and deliveries to and from customers. Missing a delivery ultimately means the car does not turn up at a person’s house. This cannot be fixed by just updating the data in our database, meaning the quality of what we build is paramount to creating a delightful customer experience.

As you would expect from a tech-driven company we’re working across a number of exciting technologies. We’re cloud-based at heart, focussed around AWS. Our back-end technology of choice is Python 3.7 using the Django framework with our front end written in React 16.8 with Redux. We also use GraphQL for our APIs. Our apps are native, written in Swift 5.2 using SwiftUI and Kotlin 1.4 respectively.

A day in the life of one of our engineers is extremely varied. Many of the problems we are solving daily have not been solved before. With over 2300 vehicles in the fleet [March 2021], which we expect to double every three months in 2021, it’s the role of OntoTech to ensure that every customer gets the full benefits of our product each and every time they use their car.

By joining us now you’ll be joining at an early stage in our growth. Your role will truly be impactful to our customers each and every day. You’ll also get to work with us as we scale our platform and solve the technical challenges this will entail.


Who you are

  • You’re an existing Head of Engineering / Director of Engineering / VP Engineering currently leading and mentoring passionate cross-functional teams (ideally across two or more teams and around 25+ people), acting as a manager of managers
  • Someone who flourishes on seeing their team’s performance improve and is never satisfied with the status quo
  • Experienced working in a dynamic start-up / scale-up environment, relishing the challenges that each new day brings
  • Someone who cares as much about our customers as they do about the technology they use to build systems
  • An authority in Agile methodologies – employing pragmatism over rules
  • Passionate about quality, security, and performance of the technology you work on


What you will do

As a result of the recent $175m series-B funding round, Onto is going through a period of massive growth across engineering with the team planned to double in size this year and next. Reporting into the CTO, you’ll be responsible for leading our three current product engineering teams across internal tooling, web and mobile. As you grow the teams and depending on your prior experience this can also include our Platform and Data Platform teams. As we move towards 2022, your role will be to continue not only growing the team but also evolving our technical practices and ways of working.

Working with the CTO and other senior technology team members you will:

  • Grow people and teams through coaching, mentoring, and feedback
  • Champion good engineering practices, constantly seeking the right balance between quality and delivery
  • Care about your team ensuring a phenomenal working environment
  • Help us grow our team by seeking out amazing individuals and promoting the Onto brand through external outreach, events, and blogs / articles
  • Continuously improve your team, focussing on lean and agile best practices to remove waste and focus on both the long and short term technical vision
  • Be adept at articulating the product vision and partnering with product leaders to drive the future roadmap with strong business acumen

What you need

We understand that there are many paths towards engineering leadership. We have shared what we believe to be the most important skills for success in this role.

For this role, you will need to have:

  • Substantial experience leading engineering teams, acting as a manager of managers
  • A strong background in engineering with an understanding of modern architectures including microservices and event driven applications
  • Some experience working with at least one cloud-computing platform (we use AWS)
  • A passion for technical excellence and creating well-tested, maintainable code
  • Experience of growing and scaling engineering teams in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience coaching engineering teams to achieve higher levels of performance
  • A strong philosophy of making decisions based on data
  • A focus on the end customer – you are passionate about building systems to give them a delightful experience

It would be a bonus for you to have

  • Experience working with Data Platforms or Data Engineering
  • Experience working with a Platform / DevOps team


As well as a competitive salary we provide a number of other benefits including:

  • Onto car discount (via Salary Sacrifice) – become a customer and join the EV revolution
  • £200 Annual Learning budget
  • Summer and Christmas Party
  • Quarterly off-sites and team building
  • Small milestone gifts (Birthdays, Life Milestones, Work Milestones)
  • Reward and Recognition monthly and every quarter for employees
  • Discounts on retail, travel and cinema tickets through perks at work
  • Shuttle bus & car available for staff from Kings Cross & the office

Salary: Competitive based on experience

Job Overview