Archive for the ‘Bristol’ Category

Burning rubber 2014 – some reflections

Rowena Farr - August 4th, 2014

Friday saw the 4th Burning Rubber. Despite some slightly damp weather in parts, the fire was still alight, the bouncy castle stayed up and Landrovers were driven around the field (& became a little stuck..) here’s a few highlights:

Fire, fire, fire

After digging a small fire-pit, the bonfire was successfully alight.

Fire  e1407148685747 Burning rubber 2014   some reflections

Bouncy castle (add space hoppers)

As well as the challenge of trying to bounce without slipping over, the brave bouncy castlers were tasked with playing volley ball with space hoppers.

Bouncy castle  Burning rubber 2014   some reflections

Sumo suits

Liz and Sophie ensure that the sumo suits were safely delivered..

Sumo suits  e1407148795696 Burning rubber 2014   some reflections

King Street Totem!

Team Rubber’s office is located on King Street in central Bristol. Friday was a bad day for the ‘king of king street’ who became the 2014 totem for burning rubber. Hello fire.

King Street  e1407149004910 Burning rubber 2014   some reflections

Land rover fun

What else should the muddy ditch be used for at the side of a field? Learning of the day: always have 2 landrovers when driving through unknown ditches!

Landrovers  e1407148935186 Burning rubber 2014   some reflections

Many thanks to our Studio Managers Lorna and Jayne and to everyone in Team Rubber who made it a fun-filled day. Until Burning Rubber 2015..


Happy Halloween!

Lorna Moir - November 4th, 2013

Big thanks to Becci and Tiff for masterminding a brilliant Halloween party, with the help of Hannah too the ground floor looked awesome! So awesome that the decorations are still there. maybe it’ll be like our Team Rubber Christmas tree and just stay up for the next 12 months until it’s relevant again.

There was a very impressive effort in terms of Halloween costumes, even if some of us were dashing around Primark in a bit of a last minute panic on Wednesday night.I think Christine’s ‘sharknado’ outfit took the imaginary most brilliant costume crown.

Quite a few rounds of beer / vodka / wine pong were played…

pong Happy Halloween!

We also had zombie shoot out games, creepy bad old film screenings, a sudden delivery of pizza courtesy of Mr Barrell, lots of decapitated doll body parts floating around and some ducks were shot to death by deer hunter Max’s toy gun….

duck shooting Happy Halloween!

In summary, an awesome halloween night and a very quiet Friday morning 🙂

group Happy Halloween!

Team Time Train

Corwin Bainbridge - October 28th, 2013
Today we reassembled the office train set and used it to deliver a teabag and a spoonful of coffee to a waiting mug.
1396053 10153417231685323 1823577097 n1 Team Time Train
Under baked bean and bag bridge
554178 10153417231960323 2137755740 n1 Team Time Train
1381590 10153417232110323 259284250 n1 Team Time Train
More track needed.

Quality Assurance jobs in Bristol

Stan Crofts - October 1st, 2013

This job has now closed.

Thank you to all who applied, we are reviewing the applications and will be in touch shortly.


This job is a full time, permanent position, working from our office in the centre of Bristol. Depending on your experience, we’ll pay a salary between £18,000 and £25,000. Really, we care more about your diligence and personal qualities than experience in QA. We are willing to hire people who do not have experience in QA at the low end and raise their pay as their skills develop.

Why I like doing QA for Team Rubber:

Hi I’m Stan. Originally, the thing that attracted me to QA was that it was a job, any job at all. I fell into it as a graduate who didn’t really know what I wanted to do. For quite a lot of the people who have been doing QA in Team Rubber, it was their first QA job. It generally works out quite well.

I started out in QA working for a company that made smartphone apps. I stuck with QA because I found myself learning new things about software development, technology and what people have to do to get good products out the door. It’s the same kind of learning that makes Team Rubber’s account managers enjoy their jobs.

It feels good to work as part of the team on making a thing better. Being part of the team that builds an artefact, instead of just processing lots of stuff, means that there’s always this nice thing that you’ve built. You can point at it and take pride. I always feel really involved in Team Rubber. People listen to the suggestions I make about how we should do things and how we explain things to people.

Inside Team Rubber, QA people work in several teams at once, so you’re never just stuck on one thing for months and months. You get to take on a range of different products, and it’s interesting to work with different sets of people.


testing mobile apps Quality Assurance jobs in Bristol

Andy and Neal testing a web application on a group of different devices.

QA work requires a lot of diligence and a bit of curiosity. You’ve got to have a kind of imagination that helps you dream up ways to break things, especially in ways that other people might have missed. You have to be completionist and to take pride in making sure that the thing you’re working on is completely finished. You’ll need some self-direction to be able to do things like clear bug tickets for one project while you’re waiting for the developers on a different one to react to something.

In this job, you will spend most days flicking between different mobile and desktop browsers, looking at three or four different apps. You’ll do testing of new features and some manual regression testing. We’ll teach you everything we know about QA over time: how to do it, how to look for interesting types of bugs, more ways to break things, how to spot accessibility problems, how to automate as much testing as you can, and so on.

Because it’s a small company, you’re quite autonomous. The company is quite flat and you pick up responsibility very quickly. You’ll get told, “You have responsibility for doing this. If you can think of how to do it better then tell us and do it.” There’s authority that comes with the responsibility; you will be expected to say, “that’s not good enough to give to customers”, and no one (except possibly the boss) can overrule you.

The people here are really friendly. Lunch is great! The Bristol office is surrounded by a lot of really good lunch places and there are loads of cosy pubs too. The whole product development team is quite tight-knit; we invite everyone to come along when we go out to drink together in the evenings, usually about once or twice a week.

The atmosphere is pleasant. We don’t have anything like a really stuffy, segregated cubicle office. We’ve got a colourful open-plan office. About half the time, someone has music playing. There’s always something going on.

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.

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.

Programming and development that doesn’t suck

Andy Parkhouse - August 5th, 2013

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

We’re looking for a Developer to work with either Viral Ad Network or Delib. These companies are part of Team Rubber; you can find out more from our blogs. We think we have a pretty good environment in which to write software. We have a big airy studio in a listed building in Central Bristol. It’s not perfect; it’s a bit busy, but we care and say thanks, and we go out for lunches and drink together after work and I reckon that counts for a lot. We’ve got pretty good at using agile development processes like Scrum and Kanban. We also have version control, testing, and decent chairs (or sofas to work on if that’s more your style). Bring your own laptop or we can supply one – you’ll get a decent quality Macbook Pro.


Typically we work well with people who’ve got a Computer Science degree and have been coding since at least their early teens. YMMV. We prefer people who can write.


We need to get some web app and operations stuff done, here’s the outline:

– We generally use XHTML, CSS and Javascript. There may be other ways to do it, but we’ve found these ones are pretty good and not too much hassle. We have to support a wide range of browsers including, increasingly, mobiles and tablets.


– We generally use python. Generally python doesn’t suck. We work with python frameworks including Pyramid, Zope and Plone. You don’t need to have used these, but experience with a web framework might be useful.


– There are some database things to do. Sometimes in various flavours of SQL or NoSQL or whatever.


– We have lots of devops things, including deployment automation for servers around the world; sysadmin and shell scripting ftw.


– We’ll like you more if you can combine programming and UI/UX; we try to avoid silos, I prefer working with people who can solve an interesting computational problem and put together a good GUI to hide the computation from the humans. Being a photoshop guru is not essential though.


Could be full-time, part-time or freelance scenario. There’s a bunch of things to get done right now. They’re usually interesting. There’ll probably be some more things to do after that. Sound interesting? Senda cover letter and your CV to We don’t place too much faith in CVs, the covering letter is really what we look at. If we like the look of yours we’ll get you in for a standard hiring interview. No applications will be accepted via recruitment companies.




Andy (Director) and Jess (Developer)


Bristol Playable City Award winner has been announced

Lorna Moir - January 24th, 2013

Watershed’sPlayable City Award captured our collective imaginations from the minute we first heard about it, and so we were delighted to becomea sponsor. We’ve been honoured to be a part of the Award as it embodies the coolness of our hometown, Bristol.

Watershed has now announced the winning proposal,Hello Lamp Post.Congratulations go toPAN,Gyorgyi Galik andTom Armitage,the creative team behind the idea. This is an interactive project that embodies the playable’ ethos. Apparently, every postbox, bench, bollard and storm drain in Bristol has a code on it (who knew?). When Hello Lamp Post is up and running in summer 2013, people will be able to text the code to a certain number to engage those objects in conversation, such as:

Screen Shot 2013 01 23 at 09.30.57 Bristol Playable City Award winner has been announced

Our work is all about cool stuff like this – using technology to connect people with things, governments and each other. We can’t wait to see how Hello Lamp Post will connect people to Bristol in such an imaginative and intimate way. Everyone with a mobile phone will be able experience the project, and find previously lifeless and ignored objects endowed with personalities and feelings.

Roll on, summer!


Software Sales that doesn’t suck!

Lorna Moir - November 23rd, 2012

We’re looking for a conscientious sales person to champion our awesome digital democracy apps to local government and the public sector, with the potential to eventually lead sales on one of our most established products.

Job Spec& Candidate Requirements

You’ll probably have graduated from university in the last few years. You can definitely spell and know where to put a semi-colon. And we’ll expect you to be more than competent at the standard sales fare. Some of the tasks we would include within this are:

+ Working through existing contacts and undertaking research to find new ones
+ Keeping up with relevant sector news and developments
+ Cold calling to public sector organisations and staying resilient when the chips are down
+ Tailoring existing assets and editing information based on the sales opportunity
+ Nurturing relationships to move leads through the sales pipeline and closing sales effectively
+ Running remote screen-share product demonstrations
+ Maintaining clear and detailed records on our CRM system

Here are some things that we’re looking for in addition to the givens above, which are more specific to this role:
+ Experience of working with the public sector isn’t essential, but you’ll need to cultivate an interest in public policy, government and community engagement
+ An understanding of the concept of SaaS and software engineering fundamentals, to enable you to communicate fluidly about our web apps and get involved in discussions about product development
+ A willingness to share news and thinking with the wider digital and government community, mainly via Twitter
+ A natural ability to collaborate with the rest of the sales team, plus our account managers and developers, to keep our apps awesome and our customers pleased.


+ Salary starting at £18k, rising to £19k after a 3-month probationary period
+ Ideally, this is a full-time job (37.5 hours) but we might be flexible if it is a deal-breaker
+ Generous holiday allowance (24 days plus time off over Christmas)
+ Flexi time scheme (with core hours from 9.30-6)
+ Company outings and opportunity to get involved in out of hours networking

The Company

We’re a smallish team of about 15, based in Bristol City Centre.

The people here are smart, demanding and have each other’s backs. The products are awesome, and we do something worthwhile. We work with government at the highest levels, and we work with local neighbourhoods and niche communities that are just as important.

We also do all the standard tech-company stuff: Mac laptop, second screen, good chair, nice office, nine kinds of tea, toast, company events, and training as you need it. We hate to waste money, but we invest heavily in the things we value: good tools, supporting people and rewarding success.

How to apply

Please send your CV and the all-important Cover Letter to

We’ll be in touch if we think you might be right for an interview. (We’d love to promise that we’ll also let you know if you’ve been unsuccessful, but it depends how many CVs we get. Sorry.)

How to Kill Birds #Term727

Lorna Moir - October 22nd, 2012

Actually it’s how tokill terminate birds.

How to terminate birds How to Kill Birds #Term727

Account Management that won’t suck – Delib, Bristol UK

Rowena Farr - June 15th, 2012

(This is an ad for a job at Delib, part of Team Rubber)

I need someone to talk to our government and public sector customers a lot, helping them get the most from our digital democracy apps, and helping them engage and consult citizens well.

The most important goal for Delib is to have happy customers who keep using our apps (which are typically used on an annual subscription basis); great account management is vital for this. It’s about retention retention retention, and if we get it right it’s an all round win: our customers are happy, we’re happy, and together we’re helping citizens connect better with decision making.

We work in Bristol and London (UK), and Canberra (Australia); this job is based in Bristol, working with customers around the world. The job doesn’t suck; well maybe it does sometimes (mostly because our customers are in different timezones which can sometimes mean early starts or working late, but not usually because we screwed up), but generally it’s pretty good.

The people here are smart, demanding and have each other’s backs. The products are awesome, and we do something worthwhile. We work with government at the highest levels, and we work with local neighbourhoods and niche communities that are just as important.

We share studio space with Viral Ad Network and Rubber Republic (I’m a co-founder of both), which makes the place varied and interesting, but this job is very firmly with Delib. The challenge is to build a world-wide community of customers who are delighted with our democracy apps, and I need someone who will thrive on that (and not just for the short-term; we make long-term hires and aim to keep people learning and rewarded).

The account management role is well defined. It’s a vital connection between the work of our sales team and the work of our production team who build, maintain and support our apps. It also involves working with our studio services and financials team.

The work, in bullet points

  • Be responsible for a specific set of our customers; and also assist other account managers (currently one-and-a-bit) as needed, to cover absence, holidays etc.
  • Work with sales team to pitch and win opportunities, then take those customers through our on-boarding process (meh, buzzwords), and then maintain the account relationship and ensure we retain the customer.
  • Communicate with customers by phone, email, and face to face as needed; (this is not a job for anyone who’s afraid of the phone or meeting people).
  • Identify and grow opportunities within existing accounts where additional products/services can be useful to the customer (you’ll need to be comfortable selling to people you have relationships with, but this role will never involve cold-selling, that’s a promise).
  • Manage feedback on product improvement and proactively identify possible new features.
  • Help resolve support and account admin issues.
  • Work with the production team to get customers’ needs met.
  • Help keep the studio running smoothly by keeping paperwork and admin moving, and being involved in managing scheduling, planning etc.
  • Seek references, recommendations & case study opportunities from customers.
  • Share news and thinking with our customers and the wider digital democracy / gov community (mostly via Twitter, sometimes blog posts).

Requirements / experience

  • A will to win. Winning is best.
  • Strong writing skills; this job involves a lot of writing and it needs to be done well.
  • Happy talking to people on the phone, and in meetings / presenting.
  • Initiative: the cliche is ‘self-starting’. You’ll drown in our environment if you can’t just turn up and work well without prompting or constant prodding. We work flexible hours, and we don’t have time to arse around chasing people who are AWOL or shirking.
  • To have an understanding of business, professional and account management fundamentals. This role is not suitable for people starting their career – genuinely sorry about that, we do hire a lot of fresh graduates at Team Rubber, but I don’t have the time to house-train someone for this role.
  • To thrive on building and maintain relationships with our customers, and also to be able to maintain strong productive relationships with the rest of the team. The role is demanding in this respect as you have to move frequently between different sets of problems, reconcile multiple points of view, and sometimes you’ll have to tell people things that they don’t want to hear; you have to do that well and come out with a win.
  • You’ll need to be able to soak up technical knowledge; you’ll need this to deal with admin tasks that have technical aspects (such as getting domain names set up correctly). You’ll also need it to communicate fluidly with our customers; to do this it’s essential to build an understanding of software engineering fundamentals (not how to program, but the production and operation of software – we can teach this if you have the interest and smarts for it). To help our clients directly, you’ll also need to learn some html and things like embedding rich media.
  • Knowledge about public policy isn’t essential, but you’ll need to cultivate an interest in this. You need to be able to understand the different levels of government and public bodies around the world, and their different functions and needs. You’ll also need to engage with things like data protection.
  • The job involves collaborating to write tenders and pitches. These can be a grind; I won’t pretend otherwise. The solution to this is to get them done well, and take pleasure in winning them.
  • The job is in Bristol, UK. Don’t live here? Relocate, Bristol is awesome.

We also do all the standard tech-company stuff: Mac laptop, second screen, good chair, nice office, nine kinds of tea, company events, and training as you need it. We hate to waste money, but we invest heavily in the things we value: good tools, supporting people and rewarding success.

Who are you? I don’t know. I’ve got no pre-conceptions, only the requirements above. It’s an extremely demanding job, but done well, it’s also enormously fun, challenging and rewarding. Money isn’t mentioned here, but I’ve got some figures in mind; they’re not excessive but you can live on it. Grow with us.

Send a covering letter to Alex, and yes, a CV, tiresome as they are. We don’t place too much faith in CVs but the bad ones help us choose who gets routed to the no pile (we don’t enjoy saying no by the way). The covering letter is really what we look at. If we like the look of yours we’ll get you in for a standard hiring interview. Fancy that? Drop us a line.