Programming jobs for nice, friendly human beings

Richard Barrell - October 1st, 2013

This position has now been filled but thank you for your interest 🙂


Hi. I’m Richard. I write software for a company called Delib, which is part of Team Rubber. We make web applications for governments to ask their citizens what they think about things. If you like to write computer programs for making strangers’ lives better then I would like you to come and work for Delib, too.

I’m going to write briefly about the job, then the reasons why I like to work here, and finally about what I would like you to do for us.

The job, briefly:

We have some web applications written in Python, running on Linux and FreeBSD. I am one of 3 programmers employed (plus one freelancer) to work on and improve them. We want to hire more programmers to work on them so that we can remove bugs and add features more quickly. This means that we need people who understand or can rapidly learn Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Git. Familiarity with Unix-like operating systems and networking would help, too. Depending on experience, the salary for this job will range between about £25,000 to £35,000.

Why I like to work here:

We have a pleasantly-informal atmosphere. The dress code for programmers is, roughly, “wear clothes”. In Delib, the word “professional” refers to being conscientious about your work, not how you look. Our sister company VAN has one programmer who works here specifically because we didn’t ask him to cut off his dreadlocks. 🙂

On most days, we’ll have music playing in the office. About once a month, on average, someone will bring in a pet dog or a small child, at which point productivity plummets in a fit of cooing and doting. We are always grateful when this happens.

We’re a pretty tight-knit group. We lunch together about half the time and go out for drinks or dinner about once a week. We are still friends with most of the people who have worked for us in the past and moved elsewhere. For instance, Adam, who moved on from Team Rubber recently, comes out with us about once a fortnight. We usually spend the evening at Renato’s next door, enjoying the pizza and cider.

burning rubber 2013 beautiful Programming jobs for nice, friendly human beings

The bonfire at Burning Rubber in 2013. Burning Rubber is an annual party that we hold every summer.

Delib has a mostly-flat hierarchy. We’re led by a managing director (and co-founder), Andy Parkhouse. Mostly, people report firstly to their team and secondly to their boss. We’re not a vertically-oriented get-promoted-or-you-get-fired kind of organisation. We also don’t do the whole miserable “fire the bottom 10% of the company every year” thing made famous by high-pressure financial firms. We prefer to hire good people and then stay friends with them.

We practice a couple of different agile processes. We use variants of Scrum and Kanban, for managing tracks of work with different types of deadline and delivery date. We insist that people try to stick to the process that their current assignment uses, but we also make sure that every two to four week “sprint” of work includes a meeting to talk about how it went, where anyone can make any suggestion to make the process that they have to follow more useful. If someone convinces the room, we’ll start working with the changed version straight away.

What I would like you to do for us:

I want you to join our team. I don’t care what your age, gender, race, or religious, spiritual or political views are. We don’t even discriminate on grounds of text editor choice. I use both Emacs and vi (not vim) myself, but most people in Delib are using TextMate.

I want you to write succinct, beautiful, self-documenting Python code with sensible unit tests whenever it is possible to do so, and carefully-thought-out Python code with comments describing all of the invariants and extra tests specifically for the fiddly bits when it isn’t.


our king st studio Programming jobs for nice, friendly human beings

Our studio office in the centre of Bristol. We share this office with two sister companies, Rubber Republic and Viral Ad Network.

I want you to write HTML fluently, without really needing to think about it. I want you to write JavaScript with the same level of care as you write Python. I want you to write CSS that can be maintained easily. I want you to be able to follow our not-too-overcomplicated Git workflow so that you can share your excellent work with me.

I would like you to be able to use Unix-like operating systems. I will insist that you use a laptop with OS X or Linux on it for development, even if in a virtual machine. All of our development team do customer support on a rotation, so you will eventually be asked to make changes on production servers, most often to change some or other piece of Apache configuration. I don’t expect you to know Apache off-hand when you arrive; you will be able to get by by learning on the fly, as we only use a small subset of its configuration language on a day-to-day basis.

I want you to be nice enough that the account managers won’t be scared of you except on Halloween. I’d like it if you came out with us in the evenings every once in a while, but that’s not mandatory at all. I definitely want you to smile widely when I buy you a silly Christmas present once a year. (I don’t want you or anyone else to reciprocate; handing people small amusing gifts is my own hobby, not anyone else’s!)

I want you to be flexible about what your next task is and capable of learning on the fly. We have a lot of different systems to look after. I want you to be willing to ask questions to get at all of the information that people have never thought to write down. I will love it if you are conscientious about making sure to write it down immediately afterwards!

Contact details:

If this sounds good to you, please get in touch. Send us a cover letter (to and your CV. We’re more interested in covering letters than in CVs. If we like the look of yours we’ll get you in for a standard hiring interview.

We will not accept applications via recruitment companies.