Senior Network Engineer/Software Engineer - Fully Remote

Salary: competitive/ask us plus annual bonus (according to experience — see our remuneration policy)
Holidays: 26 days plus bank holidays
Location: 100% remote, UK resident
Benefits: Bupa, bonuses and much more…
Type: Full-time
Closing date: 7th January 2022

About NewsNow

NewsNow — now in its 25th year — is a rare UK-based .com success story: a news organisation using technology to support and promote credible, independent and public interest journalism, via the extremely successful news aggregation and discovery platform NewsNow.co.uk.

Founded in 1997 to democratise and disrupt the market for news, NewsNow has since become a global top 50 news website with millions of loyal users who discover news from thousands of publishers.

NewsNow presents curated and breaking headlines from around the world for people who want to stay abreast of topics they are passionate about, weigh up differing presentations of the facts and viewpoints, and challenge their preconceptions all as they make up their own minds.

We believe what we do helps make society better, but huge challenges remain. Now, in this era of fake news and polarisation, and as we proudly enter our 25th year, we're in the fortunate position of having a proven product and the capital to continue investing in endeavours to support and promote credible, independent and public interest journalism.

Learn more about how we operate, our mission, and ethos.

About the role

We are seeking a highly-experienced Linux Site Reliability/Network Engineer who is willing to flex to software development, to join our multidisciplinary product development and engineering team supporting the growth and development of our news discovery platform in better serving the needs of our users to access credible, independent and public interest journalism and further our social mission.

As we prepare to roll out the biggest transformation in our web stack in 25 years — a brand new design built in Vue — we are embarking on further major undertakings: to improve our curation algorithms' ability to make editorial decisions that are ethical and socially responsible; to improve the tools available to our editorial team to influence our curation algorithms and hold them to account; to engage our power users in evaluating the quality of the news on the platform and assisting us curating it; to pioneer a reader funding trial that will eventually engage users in supporting public interest journalism.

Our Senior Network/Software Engineer will collaborate with colleagues to help us realise these goals through the development and maintenance of our software and hardware stack (as needed), and playing a part in our on-call support rota helping keep NewsNow running 24/7.

You and your skills

You will need to grasp the detail as well as the "big picture" of systems you come into contact with. As you learn, you'll need to correctly anticipate the interactions of these systems, particularly given planned modifications to their behaviour.

You will be able to engage authoritatively in technical discussions and debates around the specifications of projects throughout the entire software stack, and be adept at identifying when proposed specifications are ambiguous or will not achieve intended outcomes, and engaging with colleagues to find solutions.

While you don't need to be an expert in every area, you need to be confident and be able to to demonstrate you can dive into the detail of any area should it become necessary in order to fulfill the requirements of the job (and we will train you on the specifics of our systems as you need it).

At NewsNow, we are highly collaborative, so you'll also be invited to work closely with other members of the team in conceiving development efforts, researching and specifying planned product enhancements, and reviewing each other's work.

For the site reliability/network engineer aspects of the role (25-75% of your time), the core skills you will need are:

  • MySQL (query performance/index analysis/tuning, administration, replication)
  • Docker
  • Linux / Debian system administration including command line tools, logical volume management, filesystems, system security including SSH+SSL, kernels
  • Layer 2+3 networking including DNS, iptables firewalling, routing and bridging
  • Scripting and automation with bash and Perl
  • Experience of computer hardware specification/installation/configuration/firmware upgrades (and it may be necessary to travel to our London data centre on occasion)

For the developer aspects of this role (occupying the remainder of your time), you will need:

  • Experience programming in modern high-level languages such as Perl, Python, Node.js, C, C++, Go
  • An understanding of OOP and the principles behind great software design, allowing you to write complex code that's clean, fast and scalable
  • Web development skills e.g. HTML, CSS, JavaScript

You will also need:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • A track record of remote working or working with remote team members.
  • To be cognisant of the wider business implications of how systems are administered and able to take a technical initiative or aspiration and craft a business proposal

In addition to the above, we are working with:

  • Web technologies: Apache 2.4, HTTP(S), HTML, JavaScript
  • Docker swarm services (but Kubernetes also interesting)
  • Virtualisation: libvirt/kvm
  • Google Cloud Platform (but AWS or Azure also interesting)
  • Filesystems: OpenZFS, Btrfs, Xfs, Ext4
  • Networking: IPVS, DHCP, OpenVPN, BGP, FTP/TFTP
  • Email: Exim4, SPF and DKIM

We think you'd best fit our team if you are someone who:

  • Is open to new technologies, but isn’t a slave to them: you relish crafting elegant solutions to hard technical and business problems, using whatever is the best tool for the job.
  • Thrives in a small, open and collaborative team, where the best ideas can come from anyone. You’re confident and articulate about what you know and what you don’t.
  • Is passionate about news and creating a product that facilitates a healthy news diet and better supports access to the public interest news and journalism that the world needs

About our development team

We offer all the excitement and agility of a start-up, but with the stability and benefits of an established business.

Our highly experienced multi-disciplinary development team runs lean. Our compact set-up lets us keep hierarchy and bureaucracy to a minimum. Which means today, we're still a company where everyone who joins us gets to make a massive impact.

We’re a developer-driven company. Two of the company’s three directors are developers — and that includes the CEO. This means that development is core to the business, developers are appreciated for their creative input, and the importance of investment in development — and avoiding technical debt — is understood.

We use a cutting-edge containerised development model, that makes agile development convenient and cheap, using Dockside. For each new task, Dockside lets us launch a disposable development container — aka a devtainer — which provides a self-contained fully-functioning development environment running a full live NewsNow stack (talking to a disposable live database clone) complete with high-end browser-based VS Code-compatible IDE. This makes forking, staging and code-review a breeze. From conception through roll out, branches and staged developments are continuously available as needed to developers, managers and testers for collaboration, feedback and review. (Learn more about our open-sourced Dockside on GitHub).

We run Debian Linux, Apache, MySQL with Python 3, Perl 5, and Node on the server-side, with TensorFlow/Keras for ML, and HTML5, CSS3 (SASS/SCSS) and modern JavaScript (OO ES6+ & Vue framework) on the client-side.

All our software is containerised and deployed using Docker Swarm services on our own co-located raw metal or in Google Cloud.

Our culture

  • Open: we share and collaborate within and across departments
  • Rigorous: We like to be clear about what we're doing, and why. Experimentation and peer-review are in our DNA
  • One team, one vision: no office politics
  • An appreciative environment: expect to hear ‘thanks’ a lot
  • Room to grow: development of skills and responsibilities is encouraged and rewarded
  • Virtual: we are today a fully-remote company (planning in-person meetups when circumstances permit)
  • Family-friendly and flexible: we understand sometimes personal needs come first

Our remuneration policy

NewsNow is an exceptionally stable business that values long-term relationships with its employees. As an incentive to join NewsNow, we will look to offer the most attractive candidates a respectable increment over and above their current salary.

Furthermore, we run a programme of annual (or even more frequent) appraisals and pay reviews, with the aim of ensuring our employees are motivated, fulfilled, and that their remuneration reflects and recognises their developing expertise (whether transferable skills, or knowledge of our particular stack), their value to NewsNow, and on the wider job market.

Benefits

  • Fully paid Bupa private health insurance
  • 26 days holiday plus bank holidays
  • NEST pension scheme
  • Competitive salary + bonuses
  • Budget for books and resources
  • Fully remote: work from home 100% of the time
  • Flexible working
  • MacBook and home office allowance
  • Occasional social meetups

Location

We are today a fully-remote company, arranging in-person meetups periodically, as circumstances permit.

More about NewsNow

NewsNow is the UK’s largest independent news aggregation and discovery platform. A one-stop shop for news for 12m unique monthly visitors, NewsNow is a UK top 50 website, and a global top 50 news destination.

We’re a developer-driven company. Two of the company’s three directors — which includes the CEO/Managing Director — are developers.

Running stably and profitably since our start in 1997, since 2009 we've been ad funded — experiencing great commercial success as an industry leader in programmatic advertising technologies — however today we are actively exploring how, together with other news organisations, we can move towards a future where public interest news and journalism is funded sustainably by the people it serves.

NewsNow is proud of its place within the media ecosystem, providing a platform particularly for smaller and independent publications to reach their audience, and helping to grow media plurality. We are a driver of quality in the news media and today set editorial standards for much of the content we link to. Read more about our mission, our ethos and how we support and promote public interest journalism.

NewsNow is also very proud to be the first digital member of the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Rapid Response Network, which helps alert the UK public efficiently to its vital humanitarian emergency fundraising appeals.

Apply now

If this interests you, get in touch and tell us about yourself. We’re hiring continuously so there’s never a bad time to say hello.

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