Updated: June 03, 2021
We’re looking for smart, motivated, thoughtful people to help develop our cloud-based data-publishing/analytics product and consulting business.
Read on for more details on working at Swirrl, the technology we use, 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!
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 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) as well as anything you need to work effectively from home. We believe the tech industry isn’t diverse enough, and would like to become more diverse ourselves: we welcome applications from all backgrounds.
Read more about what it’s like to work at Swirrl in this blog post.
We use various technologies including those listed below. You probably already know some of them, but others you’ll be keen to learn.
- 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
- SPARQL and GraphQL
- Ruby (we’re phasing out our Ruby components, but we still have some legacy)
- Clojure (used for for all active back-end development)
- Modern and accessible HTML and CSS
- R and RStudio
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 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 administrative 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 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.
Apply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with an expression of interest and appropriate supporting information.
Interviews will be conducted over the internet!
(No recruiters please).