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PHP Backend Development Lead


Salary: £55,000 - £65,000 (plus benefits) depending on experience

Contract: Full-time (37.5 hours, flexible working model), permanent

Location: UK-Remote, candidates would ideally be able to travel to our Birmingham, UK office once per quarter.

Working hours: Monday to Friday, (we’re happy to discuss flexible working hours, the majority of our clients have office hours of 10-6 so there will need to be some overlap with this)

To apply: Please apply with details of your experience and why you think you would be a good fit for this role.

We have written this guide about what to expect if you’re thinking about applying for a job at Substrakt.


Substrakt, a digital agency specialising in the arts and culture sector, is currently seeking a Backend Development Lead to join their team. As a Backend Development Lead, you will be responsible for leading and managing a team of developers to deliver high-quality digital products and solutions for cultural organisations around the world. Substrakt partners with some of the most exciting and interesting cultural organisations globally to provide them with digital services such as website design and consultancy, training, and support services. As a Backend Development Lead at Substrakt, you will have the opportunity to work with a team of bright and friendly professionals who are passionate about making a positive, sustainable, and impactful difference for their sector, clients, team, and communities.


  • Manage a team of developers to deliver high-quality digital products and solutions for cultural organisations
  • Develop and maintain a strong technical strategy and roadmap for backend development at Substrakt
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams including UX/UI designers, project managers and frontend developers to deliver projects on time and within budget
  • Mentor and guide team members to foster a culture of collaboration, learning and growth
  • Implement best practices for software development including continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) processes
  • Ensure the quality of software engineering practices within the team adheres to company standards
  • Implement complex digital solutions for out clients utilising their CRM
  • Stay up to date with the latest trends in software engineering practices and technologies, and proactively identify areas for improvement in the team and projects
  • Support the new business process by providing input into proposals and attending some pitches


  • Proven experience in managing and leading a team of developers in the delivery of complex and large-scale digital solutions
  • Strong problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and ability to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Experience in designing and implementing architecture patterns, technologies and systems for web application development
  • In-depth knowledge of PHP and WordPress
  • Deep understanding of CRMs (ideally Spektrix and/or Tessitura)
  • Strong understanding of database systems (e.g MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Aurora, Redis)
  • In-depth knowledge of JavaScript including VueJS and jQuery. Experience with NuxtJS an advantage
  • Experience with Amazon Web Services (RDS, S3, and CloudFront)
  • Experience with Python (Django, Wagtail, Flask).
  • Experience with Heroku.
  • Proficient in version control using Git


At Substrakt we believe that work should be an enjoyable part of life and we put effort and resources into making this a reality for our team.

We have a friendly and supportive culture that enables our team to do their best work and develop their skills. We are selective about the clients we work with, so that we build rewarding relationships and work on exciting projects.

We invest in our employees and provide opportunities for them to grow. This includes formal training, going to industry conferences, and informal knowledge-sharing sessions.

We have a great set of benefits as standard:

  • Fully flexible working patterns, agreed in advance and available from day 1, including part-time hours, condensed hours, flexible start and end times and 100% remote working. We’ll discuss this with you upfront, so you can feel comfortable knowing a role at Substrakt will give you the work life balance you want.
  • 25 days annual leave (plus public holidays) and no fixed holiday dates, so you can use your leave when it suits you. Plus, your holiday will increase by a day for every two years you are part of the team.
  • Annual profit share scheme.
  • Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave policies.
  • Annual allowance of £500 to spend on books, courses, conferences and training – anything that helps you build skills to thrive in your role – and 6 days off per year for you to focus exclusively on your professional development.
  • Monthly health and wellbeing allowance of £50 to spend on anything that helps you feel your healthiest and best self. This includes anything from hobbies, to the gym, to childcare, talking therapy, a donation to a cause you care about, entertainment or a nice dinner!
  • Free NHS cashback health plan - enabling employees to claim cashback on health costs such as dental treatment, scans, prescriptions and much more. Access to an employee assistance helpline, counselling, and accident cover is also included. The plan is also available for our employee's partners and children.
  • Free weekly yoga classes.
  • Regularly bringing the team together for outings to theatres, historic sites and cultural events through our network of client partners.
  • Quarterly team lunches and a varied selection of optional, relaxed social events.

Apply now

Please contact with details of your experience and an outline of why you think you would be a good fit for this role. Please include 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.

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

We are committed to making Substrakt an inclusive and welcoming workplace for all, read more about our commitment to inclusivity.