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We're hiring! Developer - UK

Hello, we're looking for an experienced web developer to join us in the UK.

First, an inevitable discussion about remote working. Our main location is in Bristol, UK. We also have been working in a distributed way around the world for more than 10 years, with staff in Australia, New Zealand, and also other UK locations.

During the current pandemic, we are working almost 100% remotely, which has gone ok, but we are now missing the collaborative and social aspects of being able to meet and work together sometimes. There's a lot of detail we need to figure out, and in the short term our over-riding concern is managing the COVID risks, but in the longer term we really want to make a success of distributed working, including being able to meet when we need to.

So for this role, we do not require someone to be located permanently near Bristol, but the ability to travel easily to Bristol from time-to-time is a requirement, and this may sometimes require stays of more than 1 day (we'll figure out accommodation, travel expenses etc).

It's a little odd to put all this right at the start, but in these times these details really matter.

We're a small company but we build software that makes a difference worldwide. Delib's products are used to connect citizens with government: our flagship product, Citizen Space, is used by over 100 government organisations around the world. Have a look at our Citizen Space Aggregator to see thousands of issues on which our customers are currently consulting the public.

Historically, Delib's engineers have all done a bit of everything: product design, backend and frontend development, devops, and operational/policy/compliance stuff. In recent years we've had more capacity for engineers to specialise a bit depending on their interests, but nevertheless, everyone is expected to do all of the following from time to time:

Product development:

We work with Python frameworks including Pyramid, Zope and Plone. You don't need to have used these, but you must have substantial industry experience working with web frameworks. Ideally we're looking for someone with more product/SaaS experience than web agency work.

We'd particularly encourage applications from people with experience in data processing and reporting, as we'd like to do more of this, and better.

In terms of frontend development, we could talk about the underlying tech (it's pretty un-framework-y) but a good understanding of usability and accessibility principles and responsive design is more important than experience with any particular UI framework.

Ops and Infrastructure:

We're currently maintaining a fleet of around 200 Ansible managed linux VMs on various cloud environments around the world. This works to meet our current territorial SLA, security and compliance requirements but we need to evolve our infrastructure to improve our scalability, performance and ease of maintenance.

We need to make both iterative and step changes to our ops and infrastructure, whilst staying inside some strict compliance requirements around territorial integrity and data governance.

We have interesting problems to solve here as 'We Are Not Google', and do not require web-scale infrastructure, but as a small company we also need high reliability and use of automation to avoid having to hire ever more people to babysit the infrastructure. We'd really encourage applications from people with an interest in ops and ops security.

Support:

All developers take rotating two-week shifts as Developer on Support, which works out at about 4 times a year. Being on support means we work alongside our lovely account managers to help answer questions from customers, and are generally on hand to be the “interruptible” one.

Support is actually really important – it means that we get to see how the things we've built really affect our customers' lives, and customers love getting a reply directly from the person who can fix their problem.

Out-of-hours cover:

This one's a bit of a hard sell. Our customers have a 24/7 SLA and, as we all know, things occasionally go wrong. If a customer's site goes offline, all the developers get a text and the first one to ACK it gets the pleasure of dealing with it. This is the system we've chosen, and is not imposed by management. It works a lot better than you'd think!

Fortunately, alerts outside office hours are infrequent, and more often than not they're due to an upstream problem rather than something we have to firefight. If you do respond to an out-of-hours incident you get paid for it (more so if you get woken up).

Working at Delib

Delib is a well-established company. This isn't a VC-funded acqui-hire operation - we're looking for people to join us for the long haul. Here's what Delib people think about working here.

We tend to use the word 'engineer' at Delib more often than 'developer' or 'programmer' because it's not just about writing code: Delib's engineers are also involved in a lot of the commercial, operational and ethical decisions that come with building and running software products.

As an engineer at Delib you'll have a lot of autonomy and responsibility. You will be directly involved in the design of our software products, so decisions you make will affect the day-to-day work of thousands of admin users, and ultimately the ways that citizens around the world can interact with government.

As covered at the start of this ad, we have an office in central Bristol, but unsurprisingly it's not seeing much use at the moment. Most of Delib's staff live in or within easy reach of Bristol, but we also have people in Edinburgh, in Canberra in Australia, and in Christchurch and Wellington in New Zealand.

We do all try to get together for company events a few times a year, including our Southern Hemisphere counterparts if we can wrangle it. Some of these are “away days”, where we go away overnight for some concentrated training or design sessions (and optional socialising in between).

We also have an annual two-night summer break which is very much not work. This is optional too (it's definitely not enforced corporate “fun”) and you can be as active or as lazy, as extroverted or introverted as you want. Activities that spring to mind from previous years include:

  • canoeing
  • lunch in beach-side cafes
  • board games
  • bike rides
  • cooking communal meals
  • early morning fitness sessions
  • all-day hangovers
  • having a massive lie-in because your kids normally get you up at 6

We're still figuring out what form these will take in a post-COVID world, but we're determined to make something work. We find that relaxed social time together is one of the easiest ways to develop trust and maintain an effective, non-toxic company culture.

Location

Until COVID hit, we put a strong emphasis on engineers working in our Bristol headquarters for at least some of every week. We enjoy working, lunching and hanging out together, and for things like thrashing out designs, there's nothing better than gathering around a big whiteboard together.

From now on however, we expect most people in the company to be working in a distributed way most of the time. We've realised that as well as being less germy and better for our carbon footprint, this is a far more equitable arrangement for the people who don't live near Bristol.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that you can work from anywhere in the UK, but once it's safe to do so, we'd expect you to come to the Bristol office reasonably often (probably every couple of weeks on average).

Hours and Salary

This is preferably a full-time role, but flexibility is possible. Currently we have seven engineers of whom two are part-time (freelance), one is full time, and the remainder are part-time with the option for scale-up days each month. We find that these arrangements suit our work/life/childcare/hangover requirements perfectly.

We're offering £40-50k pro-rata depending on experience. We'll never match London rates, but our salaries are competitive for Bristol, and we're committed to maintaining that. Also we do stuff that really isn't evil and does make a difference.

Contact Details

Sound interesting? Send us a covering letter and your CV to jobs@delib.net.

We don't place too much faith in CVs, the covering letter is really what we look at. If we like the look of yours we'll arrange a standard hiring interview.

We follow the HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard and you will therefore need to satisfy basic eligibility criteria/certain conditions of employment (e.g. nationality rules/right to work); and provide appropriate documentation to verify ID, nationality, employment and/or academic history, criminal record (unspent convictions only).

No applications will be accepted via recruitment companies.

Cheers,

Andy (Director) and Jess (Developer)

Location Bristol, UK / work-from-home UK

Salary range £40-50k pro-rata

Closing date 1st August 2020

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