We’re looking to hire a web developer

Computing At School is an organisation supporting and promoting the delivery of computing in UK schools. Since 2012, our team at the University of Kent has maintained the CAS Community web site. We do this alongside our regular research work on BlueJ, Greenfoot and associated projects. This has lead to our time being stretched quite thinly, and unfortunately it is the CAS web site that has suffered a bit, with little active development in the past months. We’re looking to rectify this by hiring a web developer to focus their time on the CAS site. The link to apply is here:


Why it might appeal: This is a good opportunity to further your technical skills and take the initiative to make identifiable contributions and really add something to a website used by thousands of teachers to share resources and improve the teaching of our own discipline: computer science. You will work at a university with the combined benefits of a large employer (big campus with lots of amenities) and a small team. We offer a non-commercial, relaxed environment, flexible on working hours, with no bureaucracy (no timesheets or tedious project management), but retaining a core dedication to getting the job done well. We are based in Canterbury, a pleasant historical city (but the students keep it lively) only a few miles from the coast and only one hour’s train journey from London.

Canterbury campus in summer, original photo by Stephen Train, CC BY-NC 2.0
Canterbury campus in summer, original photo by Stephen Train, CC BY-NC 2.0

Logistics: Closing date for applications is 26th April 2015, currently two weeks away, with interviews set for 5th May. The job is intended to be full-time, although we would also consider part-time working if that suited a candidate’s circumstances. Ideally, we would like a candidate to work in our offices in Canterbury, but we can also consider (UK-based) remote working with regular Canterbury meetings. The job is grade 6 in the university’s structure, which means a salary of 26–30k. It’s initially a one-year fixed term position, as we currently only have funding available for one year. More details on the post are available via the above link.

Technical skills: The website is written in Ruby on Rails, with a smattering of client-side Javascript/AJAX. We’re looking for what some call a “full stack developer”, although the stack is quite small. We’d ideally like someone who is familiar with doing the technical aspects of Rails and a little AJAX development, able to SSH into a Linux server and poke a cron job or log file, but also able to design decent enough webpages when needed, talk to users and other stakeholders about improvements to the site. But we realise that you never get a perfect candidate: we at least need someone who can program well, is familiar with the basics of web development, and can pick up whatever bits of Ruby on Rails and Javascript they need, quickly, while also being able to converse with users and fellow developers.

Other skills: The developer will work as part of a small team, primarily with Michael Kölling and me. We’ll decide priorities together, and I can advise on the structure of the site code and plan architecture of new features and so on, but we are looking for someone who can work effectively on their own, taking charge of the website and making a real difference to it and its users.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me (nccb@kent.ac.uk). Please pass this on to friends or colleagues who might be interested.

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