Chief Technology Officer

  • Full Time
  • Anywhere

Website Scratch

Mission driven non-profit spun out MIT

Scratch Organization (

Reports To:   Shawna Young

Team Size:     15-20

Location:        Boston, MA – based, Open to national candidates


Scratch is seeking a technology leader to help build creative coding tools for children and solve unique technology challenges scaling a global online creative programming community for children.

·         Are you passionate about creative problem solving?

·         Would you like the chance to work in a growing nonprofit team that has an impact on over 30 million young people around the world?

·         Do you thrive in diverse, community-oriented organizations with an innovative, playful spirit?

·         Are you committed to serving global communities and providing access to technology to children who have been impacted by systemic inequities?

If so, please consider applying for the CTO position at Scratch!


About Scratch

Scratch is a creative programming language and the world’s largest online coding community for children and teens. ScratchJr is a stand-alone app for younger children. Children around the world use Scratch and ScratchJr to create their own interactive games, stories, and animations — and share their creations with one another. In the process, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Last year, more than 30+ million children and teens around the world created projects with Scratch.


Scratch is translated into 60+ languages and used in schools, community centers, libraries, computer clubhouses, and homes across the globe. More than half of Scratchers access the site from outside of the United States. We’re passionate about supporting children in diverse settings and cultures around the world, because our global community is one of our greatest strengths.


In 2019, we moved our team out of the MIT Media Lab after 15 years, and into the Scratch Foundation, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We’re transitioning out of an academic environment and into an independent nonprofit organization. We’re situated in a completely open office, designed to facilitate conversations and collaboration. The playful spirit of Scratch is evident around our office—Friday afternoons are dedicated to team-bonding “recess” activities, there are frequent gatherings to play with potential Scratch features, and you may find your colleagues making paper sculptures or building train sets at the lunch table. We believe young people learn best when they are given the freedom to play, collaborate, and explore their interests, and those values extend to our team members as well.


As an organization, we’re focused on centering our work on youth from communities impacted by systemic inequities, investing in our online community, developing our team, scaling our infrastructure, and improving data privacy, interoperability, and in-school experience. We’re looking for a diverse pool of applicants to join our team of 50 educators, designers, and engineers, and help us steward our community through this work.


Reporting and Team Structure

This role reports to the Executive Director and oversees a team of engineers, currently 15 and growing.


Position Overview

As CTO, you’ll facilitate engineering decisions and lead the growth and investment of the Scratch engineering team through coaching, mentoring, and strategic hiring. As the CTO, you will have the opportunity to support creative learning experiences through technologies, while demonstrating your commitment to amplifying diversity, equity, and inclusion principles.  You’ll be committed to building a diverse team and creating an inclusive environment where people from all backgrounds are encouraged to contribute their ideas. You will also be instrumental in helping to drive technical innovation in order to scale the product and organization globally and impact children around the world.  You’ll lead a team in the management of the technical roadmap, process design, and software lifecycle across Scratch’s online community, creative programming tools, open-source projects, and school offerings. You will also play a key role in fostering and maintaining the creative and innovative culture of the Scratch Foundation.


As CTO, your incoming priorities will be to:

1.    Build a world-class engineering team and foster an engineering culture centered on values of equity, respect, collaboration, and creativity.

2.    Scale our technical infrastructure to support the growth, moderation, and responsible data governance for a global online community of 30 million+ children created with Scratch and ScratchJr both in and out of schools.

3.    Develop a technology roadmap to ensure the Scratch and ScratchJr editor(s) and Online Community are best supporting children from communities historically and currently marginalized in creative computing.


Key Responsibilities:

·         Set the technical direction, strategy, and priorities to support the organization’s strategic plan, flexing and adjusting to changing requirements or priorities

·         Organize, grow, and lead the engineering team to best support execution of the technical roadmap, ensuring that it is appealing to children from communities historically and currently marginalized in creative computing

·         Scope and manage high priority and complex technical projects

·         Support experimentation, iteration, and exploration within technical approaches, including the development of innovative editor extensions and that of the Scratch Lab, a website created by the Scratch Team to share experimental features and new ideas.











·         Oversee the development of our web applications written in React, NodeJS (Restify), and Django, as well as our native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and ChromeOS.

·         Work with the team to develop and implement efficient engineering practices and processes

·         Work with HR to develop career path and growth opportunities within engineering

·         Manage the engineering budget and navigate trade-offs with the Executive Director

·         Contribute meaningfully to core systems, from design to implementation, and help solve complex technical issues across all services, advising the Executive Director and senior leadership on key technical issues, and decisions and solutions


Skills and Expectations:

·         Primarily interested in managing, mentoring, and growing the diversity of a creative and collaborative team of engineers.

·         8+ years of experience leading, growing, and mentoring an engineering team

·         Commitment to Scratch’s vision, mission, and values; excellent oral and written communication skills; high level of creativity, initiative, and motivation; and team orientation; willingness to set an example for influential leadership

·         Experience leading technology development for children and/or an online social platform or other user-facing application, preferred

·         Demonstrable experience fostering a collaborative, diverse, and equitable engineering culture

·         Demonstrable experience leading teams in solving complex and novel technical challenges

·         Experience collaborating with cross-functional leaders and external partners


The Scratch Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Scratch welcomes people of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We especially encourage historically marginalized identities to apply.


For further information contact:

Tom Taft

Managing Partner

Laurel Group

Lincoln Tower, Bellevue WA

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