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Tech SME - Infrastructure & Operations

Date: Apr 3, 2021

Location: CHICAGO, IL, US, 60603-4013

Company: Grainger Businesses

Grainger is North America’s leading Maintenance Repair & Operating provider and we are the 10th largest North American E-commerce player with over 50% of our revenue coming from online transactions. We deliver technology solutions across the enterprise including our call centers, branch network, sales, and our various digital channels. The team supports over 1000 applications across the network and operates in an agile environment to deliver complex solutions quickly and seamlessly. 


Primary Function 


The Connectivity Technical SME (Subject Matter Expert) provides design, technical guidance, enablement, education, and best practices to drive specific technical and architectural principles into the engineering team. This role serves as the foremost connectivity expert who partners with engineering teams, leaders, and product owners to provide consultative guidance, insight, and feedback as new connectivity technologies are explored.  They act as the hands-on leader, teacher and guides to coach and upskill individual engineers and teams in modernizing secure connectivity solutions. The Connectivity Technical SME is responsible for the analysis, evaluation, and execution of an ideal secure connectivity design that integrates development activities, security, and the automated release methods within CI/CD pipeline.  Ultimately, the successful candidate has a strong sense of development lifecycles, software defined designs, and secure connectivity concepts, all accompanied by a highly personable and engaging communication approach.  


*This role typically is located in our Lake Forest office, but due to COVID-19 will be fully virtual until further notice.  Once this office location has a return to work plan, the team member will be required to be on-site. 




From a Connectivity perspective, this role is expected to fully grasp the concepts behind secure connectivity evolution and how they apply to an application development approach to infrastructure, and CI/CD environments.  This individual is accountable for identifying opportunities to evolve the enterprise connectivity design while defining methods to achieve an evolved design via automation or highly efficient means that further support timely delivery and minimal overhead.


  • Define and publish Secure Connectivity standards and ensure compliance with security controls when designing such standards 
  • Critical thinking and analysis in the connectivity and security space is essential, as this role will have the responsibility of designing and implementing an enterprise connectivity solution that can evolve using automation, while providing a highly available secure connectivity experience for the enterprise 
  • Teach, enable, and advocate key Architecture and Technical principles and implementation across all engineers inside the Connectivity engineering teams 
  • Research for innovation, continuous improvement, knowledge sharing with engineers and development of strategic connectivity roadmap
  • Organizing training to improve engineer’s knowledge and skills for future organizational growth as it relates to secure connectivity designs and technologies
  • Drive innovation of new solution and integration-level patterns, tools and practices, managing risk and controlling technology sprawl
  • Contribute to talent acquisition and upskilling in area of expertise 





  • Familiarity with software development lifecycle (SDLC) practices which incorporate continuous integration and design practices and testing
  • Experience in implementing and operating software defined networks
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science (related) or equivalent experience as a hands-on network architect and engineer 
  • Proven leadership/influence style, customer-service oriented demeanor, problem-solving, effective reporting via metrics and indicators, and strong communications are all essential to this role 
  • Highly technical and analytical expertise, with a proven deep background in connectivity technology design, implementation, and delivery
  •  This individual must be comfortable providing metrics, analysis, and quantitative/qualitative evidence when necessary to drive outcomes 
  • The ability to code is a mandatory skill (this qualification is non-negotiable) the ability to work with Delivery IaC tools (e.g. Terraform, Ansible, AWS CloudFormation) and knowledge of programming languages (e.g. Python, C#, Java) 
  • Demonstrated understanding of good software design/architecture principles
  • Demonstrated coaching/teaching skills for small teams and individuals 
  • Ability to create training plans and materials for technical people 
  • Ability to work independently, plan, and prioritize work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals 
  • Mindset to continuously improve the technical knowledge of engineering partners  
  • Focus on continual self-improvement to maintain expertise  



  • The Tech SME will engage with Engineering leaders, Architects, Administrators, Engineers, Project and Program managers to educate, coach, advise, and improve the skills of people across the organization
  • Usually functions with high autonomy; require occasional guidance 
  • Requires a high level of initiative. Provides technical guidance and consultation to other architects and engineers
  • Sponsors or facilitates Communities of Practice and Centers of Enablement 
  • Informs better decision making at all levels of the technology organization 
  • Reports directly to the Director of Connectivity and Endpoints
  • Demonstrated experience with geographically distributed teams in a matrixed environment
  • Additional insights, experience or background in any of the following are also of great value: AWS, Containers and Micro-Services, CI/CD Pipelines, Agile, Sprints / Scrum Masters, GitHub, Jira, Docker, SDx design, and other related focuses


Grainger is an Equal Opportunity Workplace and an Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. 



Grainger is an Equal Opportunity Workplace and an Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.