We are development & integration at Cardiff. We build solutions, and wire things together. If the posts on this blog are of interest, you might want to work here…
Why work here
- We have a huge range and scale of projects. This isn’t an environment where you’re always working on corporate systems, or always creating websites for clients. Some team members may be working on a WordPress plugin. Others may be wrapping a research system in a more usable API. Others may be moving big data around and creating visualisations. Our clients are students, researchers, business areas and the public. Our products vary from small websites to integration of business systems to niche research prototypes.
- Recent projects have ranged from deliverables on multi-year programmes – web transformation is replacing our entire web infrastructure, business intelligence is aggregating data from a huge variety of systems both internal and external; down to individual applications – an iPad application for autistic children, to a mobile site for Welsh learners, to a web app for requesting library archives. There’s a range of potential work for you that few places can match.
- You get a choice of development environment – Mac, Windows, Linux. As long as you’re following our coding & platform standards, you can set yourself up how you like. No locked down desktops here and dual monitors as standard.
- We have our own data centre and can create development VMs as needed. We also have about the fastest net connection around, and access to free wifi in almost any UK university building.
- We’re a university. If you want to continue learning through your career, you couldn’t be in a better place. You get free use of all our 18 libraries, including computer science, with almost unlimited book usage (technically 32 – so more limited by the size of your wheelbarrow). There are many events here from regular hack days to BCS speakers (we had Donald Knuth recently).
- Training and staff development – there’s a huge range of optional internal courses available (including soft skills like leadership), monthly one-to-ones, on the job learning and knowledge sharing show & tells across teams. We run external technical training and there are chances to attend industry conferences.
- There’s a good local tech scene – from local web agencies to corporate companies. As a university, we’re not in competition with those, so we collaborate and work together often. We also collaborate a lot with other universities. Though we’re sort-of in competition, it’s much more of a community than the commercial sector.
- If you’re new to Cardiff, it’s a smashing place to work and live – here’s a nice marketing video.
- A great work-life balance. You get 37 days holiday. We’re flexible with hours, providing the work gets done.
- We get paid money each month. There’s also an excellent pension, childcare vouchers, staff discounts and general benefits. We’re big on equality & diversity.
- Kitchens with hot water, loose leaf tea, coffee, toasters, fridges, microwaves. We’re vending machine free.
- A wonderful location. We’re right in the centre of Cardiff city centre. Short walking distance of shops, parks, museums and cafes for lunch.
- And finally – this is higher education. It’s the future of students, both in this country and abroad. It’s vital research across a whole spectrum of disciplines to improve the world. We’re not a faceless corporation you’re making money for, and we’re not another photo sharing startup. It’s somewhere where you can make a real difference with your skills.
We’re after you if
- You can work in the full development lifecycle. You may need to work with users. You’ll almost certainly design and evaluate solutions. You might even need to act as tester for others. There might be some light project management. You can contribute everywhere when needed.
- You’re a polyglot, or at least interested in different approaches. Our core preferred platforms are Linux / PHP / MySQL for the web, and Linux / Java / Oracle for the mid-tier. So knowledge of either of those is vital. But we also have applications in Python, Perl (sorry), NodeJS, Go and more. So you need to be adaptable and quick to learn, though training is provided when needed.
- You know how to work in a large organisation. You understand the importance of common platforms, coding standards and collaboration. You’re not going off on your own too much. You share knowledge and code. You understand the bigger picture outside of your own project.
- Quality is ingrained in all the work you produce. You work intelligently – version control, automated tests and continuous integration are your bread and butter. You never stop learning about better ways to develop.
- You’re innovative and problem solving, but also know when not to reinvent the wheel, with smart use of existing libraries and services. You know existing design patterns. You maximise what doesn’t need to be done, so you’re adding real value.
- Your first instinct is to say yes, that something can be done. But you’re not afraid to say no, or to suggest an alternative way to do things.
- For senior roles, you’ll be involved in the wider development community outside the university. You know the trends, and can advise colleagues about what’s on the horizon. You’ll spend a good portion of your time mentoring and helping. For more junior roles, we’re after enthusiasm and real willingness to learn and adapt. You’ll still be expected to mentor more experienced colleagues about what you’ve learnt.
- Attention to detail & user focussed. That typeface sizing is wrong. That API is clumsy. The user has to fill in too many fields. You spot these things and fix them. You use metrics and stats to back up your design decisions. We’re after that level of attention to detail – while still bearing in mind that we deliver on time, and something in the hands of users is more valuable than a gold plated unicorn that never gets delivered.
Keep an eye on the openings at Cardiff University at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jobs/