Lead Developer - Plant Collection Software

Published on February 12th 2020
A computer sitting on top of a table

About Candide

We are an ambitious, international start-up enabling people to progress their passion for plants and nature through the application of technology.
We openly put our people first and we’re proud to be building a team that genuinely loves working and learning together. We know how important culture is, so have a read to see if you think we might be a good fit.


Contract type: Permanent, Full-time
Location: Central Bristol
Salary: Competitive. Depends on experience.

What is "Plant collection software"?

Botanic gardens need to catalogue the plants that they collect in the wild, purchase, maintain, grow and cultivate. Plant collection software helps them do this in a similar way to how a library would track its inventory of books, or how a museum would track its inventory of artefacts, but with the added aspect that these are living specimens.
Current plant record software tends to be old, Windows desktop applications, created before the user-centred design revolution! Candide wants to build a modern, web-based, best-in-class offering, leveraging all of the benefits of modern software development.

The Role

We are looking for a developer to begin this greenfield project and get it off the ground into the hands of our early adopters. You will be working closely with a domain expert and designer. You will have a strong influence on the direction of the project – that is, the technical aspects but also the features, solutions and overall user experience.
You will create the front- and back-end applications using a modern software stack. Our domain expert will be on hand to help design the botanical data model as they have a software engineering background.
Whilst the role is in a small, self-contained team, separate from our main product teams, you will still be part of the engineering story at Candide. This means you will be able to draw from and contribute to our expertise.

The Technology

We have a preference for a bunch of technologies for this project. This is because the rest of our products use these and it makes everyone's lives easier if we remain closely aligned with our technology choices. Having said that, these are entirely not set in stone.
The technologies in this project will likely include:
  • TypeScript
  • React
  • Styled components
  • Next.js
  • GraphQL
  • Node.js
  • PostgreSQL
  • Elasticsearch
  • Mocha
  • CircleCI
You do not need to know all of these. We have an entire team where this knowledge currently resides that you will have access to!

Our Ideal Candidate

Skills you will need:
  • Be friendly, helpful and enthusiastic
  • Strong JavaScript or TypeScript ability
  • Excellent team-working and collaboration skills
  • Knowledge of modern software development tools, techniques, and processes
  • Be comfortable kicking off a project and iterating on it over the long-term
  • Experience building data-driven (and possibly metadata-driven) web applications
  • Be happy working with a designer but also be able to apply design principles in novel situations
  • Be comfortable using relational databases
  • Know how to build scalable, large codebases in React
  • Be familiar with the "testing pyramid" and how it is applied
The "nice to haves":
  • Experience building a team from one to around three or four people
  • Experience working with a remote product owner
  • User research or usability testing experience
  • UI testing using, for example, PhantomJS, Cypress or similar
  • An appreciation for automated testing, CI and CD
  • Experience working with spatial data (GIS)

Team Culture

We work in cross-functional teams to turn business goals into product features. Great communication (weekly tech reviews and deeper fortnightly retrospectives) means there is an inherent no-blame culture.
Our collaborative and inclusive structure encourages everyone to share ideas on how we can improve our processes, technology and product. Every team member enjoys autonomy and is exposed to working on the full stack, but specialises where they have a particular area of interest. We also run a monthly hack day where everyone can experiment with technical or product ideas.
You’ll find us attending local meetups, including CodeHub hack nights, South West Mobile, Bristech, Bristol JS, Bristol SRE, Bristol Cloud Native & DevOps, Cloud Native Wales, Bristol Machine Learning, and ProductTank Bristol. Come and say hello!

What You’ll Get From Us

  • 25 days holiday (+ bank holidays) because the rest of your life is important too
  • An extra paid day off to spend among plants
  • Bi-monthly team socials
  • Amazing plant-filled office in Queen Square
  • Your choice of equipment
  • Pre-paid training budget for whatever you need to do your job more effectively
  • Flexible working hours (core hours 10am - 4pm)
  • Enhanced shared parental leave
  • Anonymous mental health support. If you need it, we want to help you :)
  • Free fruit in the office

Application Process

A successful application typically involves:
  • A short phone interview
  • A small take-home assignment
  • An on-site interview with a few developers
  • An interview with our CEO
Our interviews are informal, we like to have a chat about what excites you, interesting projects you’ve worked on, and what you can bring to the team. We won’t test you on arcane JavaScript features or make you code on a whiteboard (but we do like diagrams and scribbles!)

Everyone is welcome

Get in touch if you have any questions – we’re a friendly bunch :)

How To Apply

To apply please email your CV and any other supporting information to this address.
Recruitment agencies, please read this (TLDR: don't send us candidates unless you're on our preferred supplier list. Any candidates you do send will be treated as a gift)
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Lots to see

Follow and read AlanGardenMaster’s articles as he develops his new one-acre plot. PimlicoDan shows city gardening in a whole new light, or follow DaisyDays on her adventures in the allotment and as a professional gardener. Just a few of the many personalities you’ll meet in our app. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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