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Strategic Unity Technology Leader Driving Innovation and Excellence

Oakland, CA

Job Description

As the founding Tech Lead at Illuminate Literacy, your expertise will redefine the boundaries of educational gaming. Directly reporting to the Head of Engineering, you’ll helm a talented team dedicated to creating transformative learning experiences. As a pivotal member of our community, you’ll mesh with product visionaries, design thinkers, and education enthusiasts, turning pedagogical aspirations into captivating game realities.

We seek a trailblazer, equally adept in the technical intricacies of Unity and the imaginative realms of game design. Your challenge is twofold: craft exceptional educational games and pioneer an authoring tool that empowers content creators. Every line of code you write, every game mechanic you design, will echo our mission—making learning an unforgettable journey.


  • 8+ years of experience in game development, with at least 5 years dedicated to Unity, spanning various game genres and platforms
  • Strong interest in managing a group of engineers
  • Proficiency in Unity for both 2D and 3D game development, with a strong emphasis on optimization for webGL to ensure smooth gameplay on browsers, Chromebooks, and tablets
  • Experience with JavaScript game engines, notably Pixi or Phaser, showcasing a blend of creativity and technical acumen
  • Demonstrated history of developing, launching, and maintaining high-quality games or applications, reflecting a perfect amalgamation of aesthetics and functionality
  • Proven ability in the design and implementation of game mechanics, physics, and data structures
  • Experience building or using game authoring tools, fostering collaboration between developers, designers, and non-technical users
  • In-depth knowledge of best practices in Unity Development, ensuring scalability and maintainability
  • Acquaintance with AI and procedural generation in games is a plus
  • Natural inclination for Systems Thinking, adept at deconstructing complex game dynamics into manageable, integrative components
  • Exceptional communication skills, enabling seamless collaboration with team members across various departments and disciplines
  • Robust analytical, troubleshooting, and problem-solving prowess, proving invaluable in the ever-evolving realm of game development
  • Passionate commitment to leveraging gaming as a potent educational tool, underscoring Illuminate Literacy’s mission to revolutionize literacy education
  • Eagerness to continuously adapt, learn, and grow, keeping abreast with the latest in gaming trends and educational methodologies
  • Demonstrated leadership in guiding game development teams, fostering innovation, synergy, and productivity
  • Embodying humility, respect, and a team-oriented mindset, celebrating collective achievements while relentlessly striving for excellence.
  • Our ideal candidate is based in the US and has experience working in remote-first, distributed teams

What you’ll do

  • Lead the technical aspects of our game development projects, emphasizing the unique needs of educational games while ensuring optimum performance across various devices, especially browsers, Chromebooks, and tablets.
  • Lead and mentor small group of engineers, overseeing technical aspects, making architectural decisions, and guiding system modifications for project success.
  • Collaborate closely with Product, Design, and Pedagogical experts to transform educational concepts into engaging and impactful game experiences.
  • Provide key technical guidance and oversight to the Unity development team, upholding the highest standards of game performance, usability, and aesthetics.
  • Architect, design, and implement cutting-edge game mechanics, tools, and systems within Unity, making certain they are robust, maintainable, and scalable.
  • Initiate and champion the development of game authoring tools, enabling seamless collaboration between developers, designers, educators, and other stakeholders.
  • Shape and drive the future direction of game technology and strategies, keenly assessing and adopting innovative techniques and industry best practices.
  • Review ongoing game development endeavors, ensuring alignment with our educational vision and technical standards.
  • Pioneer the implementation of best practices in Unity Development, fostering a culture of excellence and continuous improvement within the team.
  • Recognize and proactively address potential technical challenges, proposing innovative solutions that enrich our game offerings.
  • Stay at the forefront of emerging technologies, game design methodologies, and educational trends, infusing our game development with fresh insights and approaches.
  • Harness your technical acumen, passion for education, and excellent communication skills to inspire and elevate the capabilities of the entire game development team

About the Organization

We are on a mission to unlock the great reader in every child to end illiteracy in our country – centering the experiences of Black, Latino, and Native American students and students experiencing poverty. We are developing research-based, identity-affirming PK-8+ digital literacy tools that leverage student uniquenesses to help every child master the foundational reading skills needed to become strong, confident readers. We’re currently hiring our founding team of mission-driven individuals committed to helping us develop a scalable, impactful reading product that helps us eradicate illiteracy in America.

Illuminate Literacy is fiscally sponsored by Cambiar Education, a 501c3 that supports transformative leaders of public school systems and educational entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions that disrupt the patterns of educational inequity.

Key Highlights

  • Two fully digital prototypes built and currently being tested with a dozen schools and out-of-school partners; MVP kindergarten offering will be released fall 2023
  • Fully-funded sister R&D organization, AERDF Reading Reimagined, to explore major unknowns in literacy learning for priority students and to bridge cutting-edge research to practice
  • Founding team with deep expertise in teaching kids to read, on technology, at scale, comprised of literacy experts, practitioners, designers, engineers, and former education systems leaders. Founded and led by Rebecca Kockler, former Assistant Superintendent of Academic Content for the Louisiana Department of Education and developer of the nationally recognized ELA Guidebooks
  • Extensive relationships with major systems leaders across the country requesting to be co-designers and first adopters; 100% retention of current partners year over year
  • Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and to an inclusive R&D and product development approach that centers Black, Latino and Native American students and those experiencing poverty


  • Competitive medical, dental, vision benefits
  • Opportunity to work remotely for a mission-driven company full of change-makers
  • 401k with 4% guaranteed match
  • Work environment that values balance and harmony with a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Opportunity to travel and meet your team members in-person 2x per year
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