OT: Job opportunity at Lions for football computer nerds

Submitted by steve sharik on August 8th, 2012 at 10:18 PM



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Information Systems/Technical: Computer Information Systems
Applications Systems Analyst/Programmer - Detroit Lions (Allen Park, MI)

Scope of Position:
This is an exciting opportunity to join the Detroit Lions as key contributor in supporting data-driven decisions in football. This position will work with senior operations staff to develop and implement a player management system.

The Applications Systems Analyst/Programmer will take a lead role in ensuring data quality throughout football and business systems and will work closely with data architects and analysts to design, test, and implement advanced football metrics as well as provide ad-hoc analysis. This position will provide front line support to college scouting, pro personnel, and all other football systems.

This role requires strong programming fundamentals and the ability to read and step through other programmer’s code, understand programmatic flow, event drive programming modules, and demonstrate proper use of functions. This position reports to the Senior Director of Information Technology.  Please be advised that relocation assistance is not available for this position.

Hours/Duration of Position: 
This is a full-time position working 40+ hours per week. A full benefits package is available. This position is based in Allen Park, MI. Travel to Ford Field may be required.

Applicants must have the ability to work a flexible schedule, including being available for major scheduled events on nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities:
• Implement complex critical business systems utilizing state-of-the-art tools, design concepts, and methodologies in support of core organizational functions and business processes
• Work closely with users and project managers to analyze requirements and develop architecture for large mission-critical applications
• Develop clear and concise documentation and instruction manuals that detail business processes and procedures delivered through applications
• Apply formal project management documentation skills to Technology Department Projects
• Manage the IT Project Governance Life Cycle and support multiple departments and services
• Develop services and systems that: facilitate the acquisition of information, populate and organize the Club data warehouse and provide effective reporting on all information. 
• Provide application analysis and development services to the organization
• Plan, design, develop, and launch efficient business, financial, and operations systems in support of core organizational functions and business processes
• Gather and analyze data in support of business cases, proposed projects, and systems requirements
• Define, develop, test, analyze, and maintain new software applications in support of the achievement of business requirements
• Create documentation and reports based on their findings, complete with probable causes and possible solutions to systems issues
• Aid Senior Director in updating and completing a full technical review of applications and future development efforts.
• Develop service levels and communicate with clients proactively
• Develop relationships with clients and anticipate their technology requirements
• Project Management Responsibilities

• Stays current with technology through seminars, education opportunities, and trade magazines
• Proactively contributes to overall technology vision of the organization
• Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is required
• Adaptable to change and willing to adopt new tools and technologies. 
• Ability to multi-task under pressure
• Excellent verbal communications skills with the ability to address large groups
• Excellent written communication skills including technical writing and project documentation abilities
• Must possess strong initiative, work ethic, and passion for football and be able to work in a fast-paced team environment

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Intermediate to advance knowledge of system testing methodologies
• Knowledge in systems software development, web technologies and networking
• Knowledge of IT Project Governance Life Cycle: Initiation, Planning, Design, Development, Implementation, Maintenance
• Knowledge and in-depth experience with Microsoft platform and the following technologies: Visual Basic, ASP.NET, Java/VB Script, Message Queuing, C#, HTML, Dynamic HTML, Active X, XML and XSL transformation, Windows Internals, MS Analytic Services, Objective C
• Knowledge and in-depth experience with the following security and encryption technologies such as Kerberos (Authentication Standards), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
Encryption 3DES, DES and WEP
• Preferred candidates will have knowledge of database administration, statistical programming such as R, MATLAB, or SAS

Training and Experience:
• Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, or equivalent
• Must demonstrate experience and proficiency in SQL programming and development
• Must demonstrate experience and proficiency with scripting languages such as Perl

Necessary Special Qualifications:
• Ability to walk, sit, climb, kneel, squat, bend, and extend arms and legs fully 
• Ability to maneuver through the Allen Park Facility and the stadium
• Ability to sit for long periods of time at the computer

Due to the volume of resumes received, we regret that we simply cannot update each and every candidate on the status of their application.  NO CALLS PLEASE.


Note: When you apply for this job online, you will be required to answer the following questions:

1. Do you hold a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Information Systems?
2. How many years of professional IT experience do you have?
3. How many years of professional programming experience do you have?
4. Which programming languages do you consider yourself to be an expert in?
5. Are you available to work nights, weekends, and holidays as needed?
6. What are your salary requirements for this position? Failure to include salary requirements will remove your application from consideration.




August 8th, 2012 at 10:43 PM ^

Everything up to and including the kitchen sink required ... I'm surprised they didn't also add "Must be able to impede progress of blocking sled when it's being hammered by Jeff Backus."

A cynic would say that this is just a set-up to "import" someone.

I'll bet they're hoping to get this cheap, too.


August 8th, 2012 at 11:29 PM ^

It is really ridiculous that companies now go the cheaper route of going after an IT "jack of all trades" who just knows a little about a lot different areas. Not getting multiple techs who are experts in their own set field will not only come back to bite the company in the ass sooner or later, it places an unreasonable strain on the supposed know it all tech. Also, as a systems tech for a few SQL based applications myself, it annoys the hell out of me to always have togive these IT guys that have to handle everything a crash course in SQL because they only know enough about it to bullshit their way through an interview.

Oh well, enough ranting. As you said, it's a very "2012" type of IT job posting.


August 9th, 2012 at 3:29 AM ^

As I have been a programmer forever I have almost enough of that kitchen-sink list of skills to actually qualify for the job.  So I applied.  I suspect they have no intention of paying anyting close to what I currently make though.  We'll see--they made me put in a salary requirement and I just put in a range of about 10K less than I currently make up to what I make now.   Wonder if they will even contact me?  My wife would probably kill me over the whole "must work nights and holidays" thing anyway, but it's at least worth looking into.


August 9th, 2012 at 10:25 AM ^

That is pretty typical for software jobs.  I've been in software for almost 20 years and I've never worked anywhere that I had a 40 hour week.  That's just the nature of the business.  Hell, just this year I've pulled multiple all-nighters to get stuff done on time. Not EVERY week mind you, but around deadlines you are  almost never pulling 40 hour weeks.

Now, working holidays, THAT is something i've never seen before.  if it is working holidays because you are actively involved in the operations of the football team and they are playing on holidays (i.e. the Thanksgiving and Christmas games) then that's cool but it's not cool if they just see it as a way to be a slave driver. 

Being involved in something gameday related would be awesome.  Being stuck in a building in Allen Park on Thanksgiving working on some contrived deadline would not be.

steve sharik

August 9th, 2012 at 9:40 AM ^

...worth having that are family friendly, as far as hours are concerned.

I had a guy with intricate knowledge of the NFL tell me that "if a guy is really organized and efficient, being a GM in the NFL is only working 12-13 hour days, 7 days a week in-season."  To which I asked, "Is 'in-season' just from the first to last game?"  His reply? "Oh, no, that's from a couple weeks before the start of camp until after the draft.  So really the off-season is May and June."


August 9th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

I've been doing this stuff for 20+ years now and it never gets better you'll get called on holiday's, anniversary's, weekends, and every other inoppotune moment of your private life.

The people who are calling you are never happy to see you and when you resolve their problem you'll be lucky to get a thank you, in fact the usual response is "what took you so long". Just recently for example my teammate moved 2 TB of data and over 2,000 users data to another disk attached to the same server, 12 user's data got missed and the management rated it as a failed effort.

I said in our team meeting 'you can't fix stupid'.

I'm hoping to get my BBQ catering business going soon and leave this Rat Race behind.

steve sharik

August 9th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

Looks like they're trying to hire the next Paul DePodesta for entry-level bachelor's degree pay. Hey, their internships are unpaid while other business summer internships pay around $20K + moving and travel expenses.


August 9th, 2012 at 12:14 PM ^

I always get a chuckle out of how they preselect the ecosystem for you.  They want a guy to design new player management and football metrics sytem for them, but have already decided it has to be .NET and Microsoft like.  So basically they could get the perfect candidate in terms of stats ability and knowledge, but they'd reject him since he's mostly fluent in Ruby.

Basically "You're perfect, but IT is too lazy to set up a *Nix box and toss Ruby on it, so go away."  I'll never get the demanding knowledge of a specific langauge for high level stuff like this.  Assuming you know object oriented programming and are capable for Googling for results on StackOverflow, you can learn another langauge.  Much easier to teach a guy who knows C++ how to code in C# than it is to teach some guy three years worth of sports stats.  I get wanting to see a code sample to prove you can write good code.  Plus that way if you bring in PHP I know not to hire you.  

Also if the Lions want player tracking software, just buy a licensed copy of this code.