We're hiring

Updated: August 04, 2021

We're looking for smart, motivated, thoughtful people to help develop our cloud-based data-publishing/analytics product and consulting business.

We're currently looking for Software Engineers, an Interaction Designer and a User Researcher to join our team.

Experience working with government, building Accessible HTML with modern CSS and JavaScript (particularly React), or working with Graph Data, Clojure and Cloud computing would give candidates an advantage.

Read on for more details of the roles, what it's like working at Swirrl, some challenges we're working on, as well as how to apply. Don't 100% fit the description but still think you're a good fit for Swirrl? You may still be able to convince us we need your help!


Software Engineers

We are looking for junior and senior software engineers to join our fully remote-working team.

We use various technologies including those listed below. You probably already know some of them, but others you'll be keen to learn.

  • Git
  • Continuous Integration and Delivery (Travis, CircleCI)
  • Cloud computing (Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud) and monitoring (Datadog, Pingdom, Pagerduty)
  • Linux (including Containers)
  • RDF, Linked Data and Graph Databases such as Stardog
  • Clojure (used for for all active back-end development)
  • ClojureScript
  • Javascript (including React and D3)
  • Modern and accessible HTML and CSS
  • R and RStudio
  • Ruby (we're phasing out our Ruby components, but we still have some legacy)

Interaction designer

Swirrl works with government organisations to help them disseminate their data in analysis-ready form. The data collections are often rich and complex and making the data easy to find, understand and use for people with a range of backgrounds brings many interesting challenges.

We are looking for someone to join our team with skills in some or all of the following areas:

  • Interaction design and user experience design for web applications
  • Experience in communicating complex information clearly
  • Translate designs into CSS and HTML and liaise with the software engineering team on development
  • Create wireframes and prototypes to communicate ideas
  • Accessibility standards and best practices
  • Designing for a range of devices and browsers

User researcher

Understanding user needs and assessing how well we are meeting them is an essential part of our process. We are looking to strengthen our team with someone with experience in:

  • carrying out user research in a government context
  • familiarity with the processes described in the gov.uk Service Manual https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/user-research
  • design of research processes
  • carrying out interviews, workshops and surveys
  • analysing and communicating research outcomes
  • building relationships with users and customers and developing a deep understanding of how they work
  • working closely with design and development teams to ensure software best meets user needs

Working at Swirrl

With a commitment to help government clients publish trusted high quality open data on the web, we're taking on some big challenges. We believe that making the best possible use of the web is the way to turn useful data into valuable insights, and want talented people with the skills and ideas that can help us develop that vision and deliver it.

We're a small company of 17 people (including a few regular contractors), and while we're considered by many to be experts in our field, we know we don't have all the answers. So we're looking for intelligent, thoughtful, effective people who are keen to learn from us and our customers and to bring their own ideas and experience to improve the way we work, how our product works, and ultimately how government data works to help society. We have an informal open collaborative company culture, where everyone contributes. We love what we do.

Until spring 2020 we had a small office in Manchester where about half of the team would work (the rest being remote), but since lockdown we've 100% embraced remote and flexible working. We'll continue to monitor the Coronavirus situation but we hope to reintroduce social and work-oriented meetups for the team later in 2021.

Everyone should have a good work/life balance, so we have a generous holiday entitlement of 38 days including bank holidays (though you can take the bank holidays on any day you choose). Our staff are all supplied with top of the range laptops (normally Apple MacBook Pros, or Lenovo Thinkpads for Linux users) as well as anything else you need to work effectively from home (e.g. monitors or other office equipment). We believe the tech industry isn't diverse enough, and would like to become more diverse ourselves: we welcome applications from all backgrounds.

You can read more about what it's like to work at Swirrl in this blog post.


Some challenges we've solved and some we're still working on that you might find interesting are:

  • How to present complex data so more people can interpret them, without adding your own bias
  • How to make agile development really work in public sector projects
  • How to serve gigabytes of graph data from a cache instead of the database whilst ensuring it's correct and doesn't significantly increase latency on the initial request
  • How to make the right compromises between operations and development to ensure smooth development, rapid delivery and reliable services
  • How to influence, shape and implement new standards and recommendations, and collaborate with international partners to research and develop best practice
  • How to support government data analysts and statisticians to produce and share high quality standards-compliant data
  • How to plan and orchestrate a complex phased site migration with minimal disruption of service
  • How to combine structured queries and text search to help people find exactly the right piece of data
  • How to make complicated data selection tasks seem easy (whether you're on a laptop or a phone, for people with widely varying skills, regardless of any disability)
  • How to run a successful data conference
  • How to build isomorphic Clojure(script) applications
  • How to effectively manage the relationship and interface between front and back end technologies to support prototyping as well as providing production artefacts, while maintaining our high standards of quality.
  • How to perform large ETL jobs efficiently
  • How to accurately model UK geography and present it in a meaningful way to lay-users
  • How to instrument servers to diagnose and resolve performance and scaling problems
  • How to turn Continuous Integration into Continuous Delivery
  • How to plan and manage multiple projects across multiple customers, alongside our own product development programme

How to apply

Can you help? We're looking for new (preferably UK-based) team members to work remotely. We don't expect any one person will be good at all of the things we have mentioned, but we're interested in talking to people who are great at some of them. We will also consider great non-UK candidates who are willing to work as long-term contractors.

Apply by emailing jobs@swirrl.com with an expression of interest and appropriate supporting information.

Interviews will be conducted by video call / screen-sharing.

(No recruiters please).