Mid-level Software Developer

Job description

Location: Sparx Head Office in Exeter 

Term: Full time, Permanent
Salary: £highly competitive, dependent on experience (plus generous benefits including relocation package)
 
About Sparx

 

Sparx is a scientifically driven and research based educational technology company. We are using technology, data and real-world classroom observations to scientifically investigate the way young people learn. Using technology to dive deep into the learning process, we explore and analyse what works and what doesn’t, and deliver more personalised, evidence-driven lessons and homework that produces results.


Job description

As a Software Developer at Sparx, you’ll be an integral part of the team from day one, forming the heart of our technical expertise and potential.

You’ll be involved in the development of the core technical framework of our web and tablet-based system and constantly push its evolution. You’ll work with all members of the team – from data scientists to content developers – to find solutions to the most challenging problems we face when building a system of this scale. 
 
You’ll be responsible for designing and implementing components for the Sparx system, writing robust, reusable code that focuses on usability, scalability and innovation. Program it how you want, see how it works in a classroom the very next day and you’ll get instant feedback to be able to dive straight back in to make it even better.

Things happen at breakneck speed at Sparx and you’ll need to think creatively to help the team get from A to B. Our work is ever evolving so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make your mark and take on increasing responsibility as time goes on.

Our technology stack is constantly adapting as we pick the right tools for the job, but you should expect to be working with web, server and cloud technologies such as React, Redux, Angular, Google Cloud, Pixi, Less, Django, Nginx, Postgres, Sqlite and RabbitMQ, in languages including JavaScript, Go and Python.

Requirements

About you


Working quickly and collaboratively comes naturally to you and you love working minute-by-minute to solve new and complex problems that may take months to completely understand. Teamwork and creativity are key here so you’ll be a great team worker, willing to get stuck in and happy to help guide and mentor some of the more junior members of the team when necessary. You’ll be an innovative problem solver that takes pride in producing logical, simple and effective solutions to what are often very complex issues.

In terms of specifics, the list below gives an overview of some of the skills and experiences we’re looking for:

Essential

  • Minimum 2:1 in a relevant technical degree.
  • A good understanding of software design 
  • A good understanding of computing fundamentals 
  • Experience of good practice software development procedures such as source control, code review, testing, identifying, bug tracking and developing common libraries.
  • At least 2 years post University experience of design and coding in any language - be it in Python, C++, Javascript, Objective C, Java… take your pick. But you’ll also be a quick enough learner to be able to teach yourself whatever you need to do the best job.
 
Additional background 


Every year, around 40% of UK students who sit GCSE Maths fail to obtain a grade 4 or higher (previously grade C). This is an alarming statistic and is one of the fundamental issues motivating Sparx. We want everyone to fulfil their learning potential, and be excited and motivated about learning.

Founded by Mark Dixon and Glenn Woodcock in 2011, Sparx employs over 70 people, all of whom are working to create a learning platform that can be rolled out across schools in the UK. The platform includes ‘big data’, granular content and gaming, all of which are carefully brought together and fashioned into a system capable of significantly improving the pace and quality of learning. Data captured from the lessons is truly remarkable, allowing real-time feedback which enables the re-positioning of certain concepts, to better the students’ understanding of the material. The impact of this work is potentially transformational. It is a major initiative and a tremendous opportunity. 

Our team

We’re about living life, not putting it on hold. Our generous benefits include substantial holiday leave and the chance to join our company pension. We have a range of on-site facilities for all employees to use free of charge. On site we have a netball court, a five-a-side football pitch, a running track, a pool table, an Olympic table tennis table, as well as an on-site gym with classes throughout the day. Our café serves delicious, local, and organic food. Did we mention it’s all free? On top of this you’ll have great views from your office window of the foothills of Dartmoor and boats out at sea on the horizon – with the beach just 20 minutes away. Plus, we’re constantly organising events and activities to support our charities, and to socialise. Our work is serious but we’re all about having fun while we do it!

To find out more, and to see the other roles we are recruiting for, please visit our website at www.sparx.co.uk.