Senior Software Developer - Fully Remote

Salary: competitive/ask us (according to experience — see our remuneration policy)
Type: full-time/part-time/contract
Location: 100% remote, GMT +/- 2
Visa: tier 2 sponsorship available

About NewsNow

Join us on our mission to make news serve people better — because a healthy society needs a healthy news diet.

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, our social mission to support and promote credible, independent and public interest journalism is more important than ever.

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

About the role

We are seeking a highly-experienced Senior Software Developer to join our multi-disciplinary product development and engineering team developing our news discovery platform to better serve 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.js — 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 Software Developer will collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders to help us realise these goals using natural language processing, machine learning and web technologies.

Your skills and experience

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.

You will have:

  • Mathematics, computer science or physics degree or equivalent experience, and high-level numeracy
  • An understanding of OOP and the principles behind great software design, allowing you to write complex code that's clean, fast and scalable
  • Experience: programming in modern high-level languages such as Python 3, Perl, Node, C, C++, Go; SQL (pref. MySQL); in full-stack roles
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Familiarity with Linux command line tools

In addition, experience in any of the following will be an advantage:

  • Experience with designing and implementing distributed or large-scale systems
  • Database design, query optimisation skills
  • Designing/developing/training/evaluating ML models in Keras and/or TensorFlow (or Torch), collating training data sets, or an enthusiasm for ML
  • Natural language processing
  • Docker
  • Cloud services such as Amazon AWS or Google Cloud
  • Basic web development skills e.g. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Apache

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

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 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, our online IDE. 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.js 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 with occasional in-person get-togethers
  • 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 candidates their current market rate or above.

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.

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 led by a gender-diverse technically-minded board. Of our three directors, two — including the CEO/Managing Director — are developers, and one is female.

The company 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 social 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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