A journey through Lean, DevOps and Validated Learning

Ruby Programmer: IT & System Automation

LAS is a prestigious boarding school in the Swiss Alps. It is a family run enterprise (third generation). LAS offers both the International Baccalaureate (IB) and a US high school diploma and an English as a second language (ESL) programs. It hosts approximately 350 students and is located in Leysin, a small ski village (in the french speaking Canton of Vaud), approximately two hours from Geneva.

General Description:

We work using Lean principles for operations, Agile principles for projects and Validated-Learning to make improvements and innovate. Five to ten percent of our time is dedicated to learning, studying and running experiments to measurably improve both our technical and process skills. This learning time is to support our entrepreneur / intrapreneur approach to work – everyone in this department is expected to find ways automate operations work and use the slack to “dig their own value adding job.” Another important expectation is that if you are doing the same work (without evolution) then there is a problem.

The starting responsibility of this position is to configure, update & track our fleet of workstations, printers, and other configurable equipment distributed throughout the school. After learning the necessary configurations the first expectation is to finish the automation process we have begun with our workstations (this will involve retooling our MacOS software packaging system & quite possibly retooling other core technologies to enable maximum automation). Secondly, we will need the same amount of automation and testing of our printer configuration and tracking (including user documentation updates). Once the distributed equipment automation is complete and easy to maintain, then, then this position is expected to work on automating other aspects of the IT office and helping the current Rails / DevOps developer.

You will also be responsible to do a week of IT-Duty once a month and respond to, debut & coordinate server and network solutions.

Initial Goals

  • automate the setup, updates, configuration & tracking for all workstations (see Github’s Boxen project to get an idea of where we want to go)
  • automate the setup, updates, configuration & tracking for iOS devices (iPads and possibly iPhones)
  • automate the setup, tracking and documentation for all printers
  • reduce unit costs, decrease human time to manage distributed equipment
  • reinvest slack and savings to help with team projects (especially automation)
  • learn lean-startup and lean-analytics (we provide the time and training) & share the successes and failures with the school administration – in order to increase the business intelligence of the school
  • fix root problems in order to measurably reduce preventably problems associated with our distributed equipment

Yearly Evaluation

  • Community Appreciation
  • Team appreciation & collaboration
  • Lack of operational problems
  • Measurable delivery of value added work: — value-stream improvement – helping the school work more effectively, — new value-adding projects & capabilities for the school, — shares new business intelligence and innovation with the school.

Technical Skills

  • HTML, Ruby
  • Mac/Linux Command-Line & administration experience Additional Helpful Skills:
  • Lean IT, Agile, TDD/BDD & CI/CD software experience
  • MacOS Server services including: PF and OpenDirectory
  • Rails, JavaScript, CSS, Puppet, Chef & Amazon VPC (or other PaaS)
  • RubyMotion (and/or ObjectiveC) are becoming important as we continue to integrate and manage more iOS devices
  • Managing Linux services including: KVM, DHCP, DNS, OpenLDAP, SSL, Apache/ Nginx, Passenger/Thin, IPTables (and other network security technologies)

Important Soft Skills

  • Grit and follow-through
  • Avid learner & growth-mindset
  • Excellent team collaboration (including pairing)
  • Research experience and Analytics are a strong plus
  • Self-management, self-awareness & self-accountability
  • Excellent observation skills to understand subtle user needs
  • Demo prototypes and ability to hear/use appropriate feedback quickly
  • Willingness to x-train in order to develop team resilience and cover team member’s responsibilities during vacations and sickness.
  • Excellent English communication — especially verbal and reading (French skills are also a plus — as the school is in the French part of Switzerland)

Office Expectations

Average 40 hr work-week with flex-time (required work hours are from 0845-1545 M-F). We offer 30 days of vacation (no state-holidays).

Note: Vacations are organized with in the team to ensure all important IT responsibilities are covered. Vacations are generally not possible during program transitions and startups, (these times are usually the month of June, August and the first two weeks of January). We work when school is in sessions — holidays are taken as vacation days.


If interested in this opportunity please contact: Bill Tihen (IT Director) or Mauro Morales (Data Services, Ruby, DevOps) – send a cover letter and resume in PDF format.