Substrakt vacancy: Senior Developer

Author: Ash Mann

Role: Senior Developer
Salary: £35 – £40k (depending on experience)
Job type: Permanent full-time (Monday to Friday, 9 – 5)
Location: Based in Birmingham ideally (but will consider London)

Deadline for applications: Friday 26th October 2018

Substrakt is a digital agency with a studio in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and an office in Angel, London. We make websites and interactive applications for museums, galleries, theatres, arts centres and other visitor attractions in Europe and North America.

We specialise in considered, user-centred design. We create beautiful work, delivering effective, creative and engaging user experiences.

We aim to foster a conscientious, supportive and collaborative working environment. We don’t believe in unnecessary hierarchies and distractions, our focus is on enabling the delivery of the best quality work possible. As well as sending staff to conferences and industry events, everyone has a book allowance and we run regular workshops delivered by our Technical Director. We value our staff and want to support their ambitions.

Our clients include some of the world’s leading cultural organisations including Shakespeare’s Globe, Birmingham Hippodrome, Royal Court Theatre, English National Opera, American Repertory Theater, The Hepworth Wakefield, Nottingham Theatre Royal & Concert Hall, The Lowry and The Bridge Theatre among others.

What you’ll be doing

You’ll be tasked with building primarily WordPress-backed websites. Integrating these websites with third party APIs, and ensuring they are as performant as possible. These APIs are typically for ticketing systems (such as Tessitura, Spektrix, SeatGeek and Audience View), but you’ll regularly be tasked with integrating collections management systems (e.g. Vernon), and e-commerce platforms (Shopify, Magento).

We have developed two bespoke plugins that are core to our websites. You’ll be using those to ensure clients can manage both their content, and their events. You’ll also be helping to develop these plugins and new libraries as required. We encourage developers to take ownership of any new plugins/libraries they develop, so you’ll be the core maintainer for any you create.

How you’ll be doing it

You’ll manage your WordPress install and plugins with Composer, a PHP dependency manager. Code is written inside of a child theme, committed using Git, and submitted for a code review in Slack. We practice TDD (Test Driven Development), and you’ll write tests for all the code you write (where possible).

You’ll use a feature and release branch system, and release work to clients regularly through a staging site. Deploying features/releases to Heroku using Git.

You’ll be using an Apple iMac to develop on. You’ll use either MAMP or Docker (the latter is preferred) to provide your development environment.

A day in the office

After providing a general update to the team on what you tackled the previous day, and what you’re tackling today, you’ll be focused on project delivery.

Code reviews will be requested by other team members; you’ll be happy to provide support, and constructive criticism where appropriate. As well as help out where necessary on how best to tackle certain coding challenges.

We try to keep meetings to a minimum, but on any given day you may be asked to attend a meeting for either scoping and project planning, or client support.

Who will you be working with

You’ll be joining a passionate, committed and knowledgeable team of developers and UX designers. We’re actively involved in the community and always looking to open source aspects of our work. We are self improvers and encourage curiosity and personal development. There are 18 members of the team; 4 in London, 13 in Birmingham and 1 in Chicago.

Skills and technologies

A wide range of skills will be a big benefit.
– Mac proficient
– PHP, Object-Orientated
– Test Driven Development using PHPUnit
– WordPress
– Composer
– Git, we use
– MySQL, Aurora, and Redis
– Heroku hosts the vast majority of our sites. We also make us of Linode, and Digital Ocean
– JavaScript, both vanilla and jQuery
– Amazon Web Services
– RDS (Relational Database Services)
– S3 Object storage
– REST and SOAP. We regularly integrate with third party ticketing APIs, for platforms such as Tessitura (, Spektrix (, Audience View (, collections management systems such as Vernon ( and e-commerce platforms such as Shopify (
– Docker
– Homebrew
– Status Cake, for monitoring site uptime, and SSL certificate status
– Load testing, we use
– Ruby, some of the micro services are written using Sinatra

To apply

Please contact Ash, our Strategic Director ( Please send details of your experience, a link to your blog/portfolio or a link to some code that you’re proud of. You can send us a link for a public repo, or contact us and we can organise looking at a private repo. We promise we won’t share.

If you’re unable to show us an example of your code, we’ll set you a small technical task to test your coding prowess.

Substrakt is an equal opportunities employer and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of their race, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or age.

Please just drop us a line if you have any questions or wish to discuss the role.

No agencies please.

Deadline: for applications: Friday 26th October 2018