[Looking for staff] [Birmingham] Full stack engineers wanted!

(Matthew Steer) #1

Hi. I’m looking to recruit maybe up to 10 engineers over the next few months, as our travel management platform is now off the ground and growing fast. The team is currently about 30 strong, we’re organised into small autonomous full-stack teams (5-6 engineers + QA + PO) who are each fully responsible for their products; front-end to back-end, implementation to infrastructure. Ownership is important. Culture is important too; everyone is welcome (and expected!) to contribute fully, junior to senior and new joiner to old hands. We support truly flexible working.

I’m setting my stall out because if you’re a great software engineer and yet your current working environment isn’t like this, I’d love to persuade you to jump ship. ; )

The company is Click Travel, based in Alpha Tower B1 1TT.

This is the senior job spec & application: Senior Software Engineer (Java)
(you can find junior, mid & QA specs from there, oh and I almost forgot to say: our stack is currently a mix of Java, Node.js, AngularJS front-end, all AWS hosted)

This is our product: http://travel.cloud/ It’s free to sign-up so have a play. Or even start using it for your business travel!

And although we have no spec up yet, I’m really interested in talking to anyone in the UX/design space - it’s a role we haven’t recruited for yet, but as the product gets more complex I’m starting to think we might need someone!

Thanks for your time.


Hi! UX designer here - travel.cloud looks very clever for both teams and family-type travel, and I’d love to chat about UX type stuff. :slight_smile:

(Matthew Steer) #3

Hey, thanks for saying so! Do you mean chat about UX stuff in general, or chat about a role at Click?

Either is cool. We’ve been building so far using our own instincts, actually mostly relying on one chap whose intuition for UX is good (though he’d certainly admit to being a “gifted amateur”!) as well as ruthlessly copying good UX from other apps that have already solved the problems we need to solve. At least, problems that are outside of our core competence: finding and booking travel.

It’s hard to know at what point having someone with strong professional experience in UX & design on the team is going to become crucial!


I’m happy to chat about either/both. :slight_smile: Will message you with my email.

No reason to reinvent the wheel if you can find one that works for you. That’s a really important thing to recognize, honestly. And with some digging you can sometimes find the public research or other basis for that UX work. Do you know about Zurb? They publish a lot of free resources that I’ve used for various projects.

My personal opinion is that it’s never to early for strong UX or QA or any of those other little things that are frequently overlooked. (I’ve worked in most of them. :stuck_out_tongue: )

(Stuart Langridge) #5

The advice I normally give people is: it is crucial as early as you can manage it. If you start from the user experience and develop “backwards” from there, so the tech you make is built to create that user experience, it’s going to be good. If you start with the technology and then layer the user experience on top, it’s quite a lot more work to make it feel cohesive and consistent and lovely, and it can be frustrating having to redevelop some of the tech stack to make it happen. So, “do it early” is what I’d say, here.

(Matthew Steer) #6

Yeah, totally agree, and that’s what we do. Problem -> solution -> UX -> implementation.

My question was a pure recruitment one. Having not worked with a UX/design professional before, it’s hard for me to judge what they might bring to the party, over and above what we’re accomplishing now with our instinctive approach.

(Stuart Langridge) #7

Basically – and you I suspect already know this, of course – a professional brings rigour. Not just “what to do”, but “what to do first”. When a compromise needs making, what’s the best way of making it? Not just “which of these approaches is better”, but being able to articulate why it’s better in a way that the development team can understand and can thus build. This is helpful; UX is sometimes treated a bit like a mystic talent which runs on intuition and a sense of connection with the universe rather than a science, and it’s a science. Although there is some mysticism about it occasionally. :slight_smile:

(Andy Wootton) #8

I agree that ‘it’ shouldn’t fundamentally be about either tech or a shiny front end but about the correct choice of computational process driving the designers’ response but we don’t have to use a ‘Big Everything Up Front’ approach. Most design disciplines use incremental improvement of the customer and team’s understanding of everything through early modelling and progressive design. I’ve never worked in a team with a designer. My agile teams were handed corporate style guides and interface libraries to work with. I wonder how much impact design could have in the software market. Think how excited the world got about the touch dial on the front of a music player.

(Steve Pitchford) #9

My 2c - potentially a different perspective than @sil but not necessarily contradictory.

My belief is that the best systems are designed with a trinity of engineering, ux, and marketing. Relevent products leveraging appropriate technologies for a strategically defined audience.

The other aspect you highlight is change - change management is a massive field, and with any organicly grown organisation there will be a lot of tacit knowledge and informal, cultural influences within the organisation. Changing that is a potentially costly, risky endevour which, imho requires significant consideration.