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Architecture Leader, Simulation

Posted: 11/01/2021

Apply Here: Architecture Leader, Simulation | Ascend Learning Career Opportunities (

Ascend Learning is a national leader in data driven, online educational solutions for learners, educators and employers in high-growth, licensure-driven professions spanning healthcare, fitness and wellness, skilled trades, insurance and financial services. We are passionate about accelerating learning while impacting job readiness, employment success and employee retention with the belief that our work changes lives.

Our culture is intentionally results-driven and selfless with a relentless focus on our customers. We believe in trust, transparency, freedom and responsibility with a commitment to meritocracy, inclusion and diversity of thought. Continual investment in our over 1400 employees is also a core principle realized through ongoing professional development and providing opportunities to grow, develop and lead. Ascend Learning is headquartered in Burlington, MA with additional office locations and remote workers in cities across the U.S. and in the U.K.

Job Overview

Ascend divides its technology into 9 competency areas. As an Architecture Leader you will be joining a team of Architecture Leaders that report to the Chief Architect. Each Architecture Leader is responsible for one of the competency areas.

Ascend consists of many related but independent businesses, each of which are providing online learning tools to a specific market or career domain. Each of these businesses serves their customers and operates their business via one of Ascend’s platforms. A given platform could be hosting multiple businesses or could be dedicated to a single business. 

A platform is composed of many different components that in combination meet the needs of the businesses hosted on that platform. We achieve economies of scale by utilizing individual instances of the same component across multiple platforms, while still allowing differences in component choice to best meet the needs of a given business. 

Each of our components fall under one of the competency areas and the architecture leader is responsible for the architecture of the components in their competency area and how those components integrate into Ascend platforms along with components from other competency areas.

As the Architecture Leader for the simulation competency area, you will have architecture responsibility for the portion of our platforms that deliver on educational simulations including the following areas of functionality:

  • Simulation Authoring including 3D modeling, motion capture, dialog authoring
  • Simulation Hosting including game engines, 3d worlds, virtual humans, immersive and extended reality
  • Simulation Interfaces including haptic technology, natural language processing

The responsibilities of an Architecture Leader fall into the following four categories.


  • current State of competency area architectures across all platforms
  • competency area related strategies and needs across all businesses
  • architecturally significant NFR needs for this competency area and the level we are achieving these across all platforms


  • in working with business partners to meet their strategies/needs/budgets and understanding architecture concerns/needs
  • engineering teams to adhere to architecture plans and strategies and to make good architectural choices in their coding
  • arch resources in their understanding of architecture plans and strategies and ability to create quality architectures and support teams in making good architectural choices


  • documentation around current state architectures across each platforms
  • architectural strategy for the competency area across all platforms
  • project architectures for all projects where this is the lead competency area
  • architectural patterns specific to this competency area or more general in application
  • tracking for platform progress towards the architecture strategy


  • architectural direct reports if applicable
  • with PMO the architectural capacity of architecture resources that contribute to the competency area
  • with PMO the project architecture flow associated with the competency area

An ideal candidate for an Architecture Leader would meet the following experience/requirements:

  • Big picture / High-level architecture: The candidate must be able to think at a high level about the overall systems and goals of the projects
  • Strong communication skills
  • Interacting with business people to understand and further elucidate business needs
  • Translation of business needs and requirements into Architectural solutions
  • Ability to present technical architectures and concepts to non-technical people
  • Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Able to produce clear documentation to convey architecture, development standards, roadmaps, and potential challenges to all both technical and non-technical resources
  • At least 10 years in a software engineering for equivalent position
  • At least 3 years in a management position or leadership position
  • At least 3 defining, document and driving implementation of software architectures

Desired Simulation specific experience/requirements

  • Developing 2D and 3D games
  • Graphics Development
  • Game development tools, Unity 3D most desired
    • Game Development
    • Tool extensions/creation
  • Web GL
  • Solutions for realtime 3D challenges such as asset digitization, digital twinning, training, workflows, optimization, data management, digital transformation, etc..
  • Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality
  • Experience with AI such as Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in Information Systems, Information Technology, Computer Science, Engineering or equivalent work experience
  • Experience with microservice architectures
  • Experience with synchronous communication especially via REST APIs
  • Experience with asynchronous communication especially utilizing Avro and Kafka
  • Passion and the ability to learn new things
  • Disciplined, dynamic and flexible to manage multiple projects and tasks, work effectively in a rapidly changing environment and meet ongoing and overlapping deadlines
  • Work weekends/nights on occasion for on-call incident troubleshooting or administration of regular, off-hour deployments
  • Passion and the ability to learn new things


Candidates should be aware that Ascend Learning currently maintains a policy requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated. Newly hired employees must be fully vaccinated by their start date.  Ascend Learning is an equal opportunity employer and will provide a reasonable accommodation to those unable to be vaccinated where it is not an undue hardship to the Company to do so as provided under federal, state, and local law. Exceptions to the vaccine requirement may apply for employees living or working in Montana.

Ascend Learning, LLC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer (M/F/Vets/Disabled). No agency or search firm submissions will be accepted. Applications for U.S. based positions with Ascend Learning, LLC must be legally authorized to work in the United States and verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire.

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