Software Developer - Fully Remote
Salary: £50,000 to £90,000 (according to experience — see our remuneration policy)
Experience: minimum three years in a related role
Location: 100% remote
Closing date: 31 May 2023
Join us on our mission to make news serve people better — because a healthy society needs a healthy news diet.
NewsNow — now proudly celebrating its 25th anniversary — 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, 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 experienced developers to join our fully-remote multi-disciplinary product development and engineering team:
- Enhancing the functionality of our services and improving our codebase and infrastructure through both client-side and server-side development;
- Collaborating with other members of our product development and engineering team in our lean and iterative development approach;
- Reviewing other developers' code.
Our priorities for 2023, in continuing our social mission to provide our users with a healthy news diet, will include:
- Improving our curation algorithms' ability to make editorial decisions that are ethical and socially responsible, by taking into account a wider array of relevant data signals;
- This includes engaging our users in evaluating the quality of the news on the platform by crowdsourcing feedback and ratings;
- Building tools that allow our editorial team to influence our curation algorithms and hold them to account;
- Building out and optimising the biggest upgrade to NewsNow's format in its 25-year history, a webapp built in Vue.js.
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 able to to demonstrate you can dive into the detail of any area should it become necessary in order to fulfil 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.
- 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, some of the following will be an advantage:
- Experience with designing and implementing distributed or large-scale systems
- Database design, query optimisation skills
- Natural language processing
- Cloud services such as Amazon AWS or Google Cloud
- Using or evaluating ML models in Keras, Tensorflow or Torch
You’re also someone who:
- Is comfortable with fully remote working
- 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
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).
All our software is containerised and deployed using Docker Swarm services on our own co-located raw metal or in Google Cloud.
- 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.
All our positions are fully remote - work from home 100% of the time. We offer flexible working for all team members (we’re a family-friendly company) with occasional in-person meetups. Furthermore, we provide:
- UK-resident employees with an annual bonus, private health insurance, a competitive holiday allowance, home office equipment, and more - please ask.
- Non-UK-resident employees or contractors with benefits according to their location and employee status - please ask.
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.
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.