Ruby Software Engineer

CoverageBook is…

…a secret Software as a Service (SaaS) success story. We run two SaaS businesses, CoverageBook & AnswerThePublic, removing shitwork and providing inspiration to over 3,000 customers. Profitably. From Brighton. With no external pressure to grow, but growing anyway just because it’s fun and we want to help more people.

Oh, and we work 4 days a week, working flexibly with remote options from our light, spacious, friendly HQ near the pier.

We’re looking for someone to join the product team, to:

  • Develop new features and improve existing ones, with a focus on solving problems for our customers, without building a world of complexity (read: pain) for ourselves.
  • Work closely with other engineering, design, support and marketing folks. Where some companies have departments, we have people.
  • Contribute new ideas for features and refactoring areas in our multiple applications.
  • We’re entirely open about our finances within the business. Want to know what makes a SaaS business tick? You’ll find out here.

Technologies we use:

Ruby, Rails, RSpec, Jekyll, JavaScript (Stimulus), Bootstrap, Postgres, Heroku, AWS

Apps we use:

GitHub, Basecamp, G Suite, Zoom, PagerDuty, DataDog, Rollbar, Skylight

About us:

We’re nine people and we try to grow the business without growing the team. Or stressing the team.

Where there are specific things we need help with, we're not shy about paying for outside experts to assist with specific problems. People like: Jon Hicks, James Box & James Bates from Clearleft and now Berst, Steve Stark from Then Somehow & Tamsin Henderson.

But we’ve reached the point with our product team where we need another excellent human on the ‘making cool stuff for our customers’ side of things. We’re not looking to hire against a strict role definition; we’re looking for the right person (whether junior or senior) who has skills that complement and enhance the team, and the role will be defined around you.

You'll also be part of the wider team of 50 that wrote Superengaged, a book about putting people and purpose first. We have been a top 15 UK Best Workplace in each of the last 5 years by the Great Places To Work Institute.

What skills do you need to apply?

It’s more about the attitude you bring. We’re serious about staying a small team. Only friendly humans need apply.

We’re looking for a product-focussed Ruby and Rails engineer who delights in a readable, maintainable codebase that is stable in production.

We encourage applications from underrepresented folks.

Things we’ve built over the past 18 months:

  • A URL-based search engine that queries not only the user-submitted page (taking multiple screenshots) but then queries multiple data APIs and serves this information back to the main application. It contains over 5 million user-submitted articles.
  • A research project that enabled us to explore new directions for our customers’ PR reporting in a fresh codebase. We’re now taking the best of those ideas and delivering them in our existing application, cleaning up, refactoring and redesigning as we go.
  • Completely new brand & marketing site for CoverageBook. We separated it from the main application to improve our product education and make it simpler for our marketing folks to explain the benefits of the software.
  • Rewrote the billing engine for CoverageBook (and AnswerThePublic), in response to changes in credit card regulations. Not exciting, but job number one is to stay in business!
  • Built and launched a paid ‘Pro’ plan for our free-to-use product, AnswerThePublic. Comparing reports over time on questions the public are asking. We’re also doing fun stuff with the ‘face’ of the site: replacing our kindly old Seeker with Gordon Romance.


Potential projects for the next six months:

You’ll be grabbing and delivering, these sorts of projects.

  • Redesigning the entire flow of CoverageBook. We built quickly and put a useful thing into the world that our customers love. Then we made it stable and the data collection better. Now we need to do a better job across three axes: performance, consistency and polish.
  • We are improving the professional features of AnswerThePublic, being clearer about its uses and improving the clarity of our in-product onboarding. We’re also looking at ways we can improve and extend the existing reports to better help understand the firehose of data.
  • Our data collection is pretty great, but it could always be better. We’re constantly adding new sources and ensuring we’re getting accurate data as fast as we can for our customers.

Plus there'll be technical support on both products, bug fixes, refactoring, upgrades and the day to day maintenance of the applications.

 

Things we aren’t going to offer

Fully remote. Although members of our team have worked remotely for extended periods, we’re currently all based in Brighton. Within our four days a week, many of us work from home/flexibly for some part of the week so it’s not that we don’t think location independent work isn’t great: we’re just not set up to provide the best version of it for a full-time remote person. Plus, for us, the getting together is part of the fun.

You’re not going to be managing teams of people, because there won’t be loads of people. This is a role where you’ll be making great new stuff and getting it into the hands of customers, with the help of your teammates. Think team of peers, not hierarchy.

You also won’t get to dive into the latest and shiniest technology. For us, predictable software, built well and tested automatically (80-95% coverage) & by other team members, means fewer PagerDuty alerts to wake us from our beds or to interrupt our holidays.

The small team means you’ll have to be prepared to roll your sleeves up and learn new approaches and technologies, but also to do customer support now and then! However, you will have the opportunity to understand how the business works from front to back in a way you would never have in a larger business or team.

We probably aren’t a good fit for your first job out of university or a boot camp. We’re a small team and thus we have a limited number of potential mentors. A larger team is normally a better fit for candidates without real-world coding experience.

Salary

£40–70k

Based on £50–85k full-time salary prorated to 4 days

And HR-ish Benefits:

  • 20–22 days leave (25–28 prorated) based on tenure
  • Health Cash Plan
  • Maternity & Paternity leave (maternity enhanced after 12 months service)
  • Pension (5% employee contribution, 3% company contribution)
  • Conference/training budget — whatever you need to do your job/stay sane
  • Subsidised massage, fruit, ride to work scheme
  • Paid sabbatical after 5 years’ service

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