Web Developer/Programmer - The Foundation Stage Forum Ltd

Lewes, East Sussex

Closing date: 06/04/2018

The Foundation Stage Forum (FSF) was established in 2003, as an online resource for nursery providers and teachers of young children. At the moment we run two primary services:

• An online community for sharing ideas and resources, and providing news and articles relevant to the sector (https://eyfs.info)

• An online service called Tapestry, which we started in 2012, (https://tapestry.info) that helps them to monitor their children's progress and share that with parents and the government. Tapestry also has an Android and an iOS app.

We are based in Lewes, a few miles from Brighton. In a few months we will be moving into a freshly renovated listed building with state of the art technical refurbishment in the middle of this lovely town
We have five programmers and eight product and customer support staff, mostly full-time but some part-time.

Job Description:

Our web application, Tapestry, consumes most of our time and energy. Hosted on AWS, this high availability service is in use around the world 24 hours a day, with 27,000 or more unique users at a time uploading up to 10 items a second. At busy times there may be over 2,500 or more videos an hour being uploaded.

Due to Tapestry’s rapid growth, we're looking for another experienced web developer or programmer to join our dedicated team. As we grow, we will be needing technical expertise and commitment in all aspects of its development.

We don't micro-manage, so you will have a lot of freedom in what you choose to work on. But we are also a small development team with lots to do, so on any given day, you might find that you are:

• Quietly working on a new feature, product or project

• Exchanging calls and emails with customers to find and fix particularly troublesome issues

• Meeting with people from our product support team to design, test and improve a new feature on our current products

• Tweaking our AWS configuration to improve our server performance

• Working on in-house tools to make life better for ourselves and our product support team

Skills Range:

We want someone professional and experienced, able to help us in as many ways as possible.

You are very likely to know at least a little bit about all of the technologies below, and have a very good track record in at least a couple of them:

• PHP (we use the Laravel framework)

• MySQL (we use Aurora on AWS)

• HTML / CSS / Javascript (we use jQuery)

• AWS (we use a whole range of its services: CloudFormation, EC2, RDS, ElastiCache, SQS, Lambda, etc)

• iOS app development (our app has recently become entirely natively coded in Swift)

• Android app development (our app is currently hybrid, but becoming more native and Java based. Native Android app development expertise would be particularly useful)

• Linux servers (our servers use Nginx and Amazon Linux. We use whatever development environment we are most productive in - OSX/Windows/Whatever)

• Securing systems (from the network configuration, through servers, firewalls, safe coding, safe algorithms, to sensible procedures).

• Because you will be interacting with customers some of the time, we'd like you to be able to speak and write well in English. We are thinking about pushing our international expansion, so if you know other languages and other countries, so much the better.

• Because you will have access to media and data about children, we will need you to take and pass a DBS check.

Person Specification:

You will ideally be able to work happily in a collaborative team environment. Enthusiasm for getting to know all aspects of the product and flexibility will be an asset - the development team works closely with the product support team, and this has been very successful in improving both the product and the customer experience.


Key Area: Programming/Developer 15-1131.00Programming/Developer
Salary: 30 - 40K
Attendance: Full-Time
Additional Information:

What we offer

We like working at the Foundation Stage Forum because:

  • Our products are loved - every day or so we get un-asked for compliments from our customers that give us a warm glow

  • We get to work on all aspects of our products and freedom to do it in our own way, doing what we think is right

  • We work in a small team where we all know each other

  • We get to work near where we live, in Lewes, Brighton or the surrounding villages and towns - some of the the best places to live in the UK

No agencies please

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