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Insights Squad Engineering Lead

Our Purpose

Most technology in education is not built for the modern learning experience. It’s complex, unpredictable and no two classes are ever the same. Teachers waste time on non-teaching activities and they find it difficult to collaborate with other teachers. At Firefly, we’re freeing teachers to have a greater impact on the learning experience. Firefly allows teachers to innovate and cater to each student’s needs, preparing all students for success in the future. 

How you can help

We already have a rich legacy, we’ve won loads of awards and have earned a reputation as the easiest to use school learning tool. But we have even greater ambitions to help every student reach their full potential.

Tech-wise, Firefly runs primarily on .NET as well as iOS, Java and Kotlin for our mobile apps. Web projects are typically built with Web API and React with Redux, as well as a recent focus on improving our testing by increasing automation and implementing better processes. Driving towards a multi-tenant system with a more modern architecture is part of Firefly's future.

Our engineering teams are organised into two squads and each squad is organised around a product. These squads are formed from a mix of developers, testers and designers, who work alongside a Product Manager and Squad Lead to build feature requests. Following a highly collaborative process you will actively participate in sprint planning, regular stand-ups, code pairing and code reviews.

We are very excited to start developing a new product that we are calling School Insights. 

So, what is the School Insights product? 

At Firefly we understand the challenges school leaders face. School leaders know that by developing their teachers and setting high standards of teaching, students will have the best chance of achieving high outcomes. And yet currently, school leaders struggle to assess the impact of their initiatives and investments on teaching and learning, often missing opportunities to intervene and improve. 

Our School Insights product will provide solutions to school leaders to highlight areas of importance including student and classroom progress; enabling school leaders to support and develop teachers. For the teachers this product will provide information on the attainment of individual students so that individual student needs are identified to facilitate early intervention and providing tailored support, when it is most needed. We are creating a new Squad that will make this product a reality and the purpose of this role is to be a hands-on lead of this Squad.

We want to work with someone who

  • Is friendly and approachable, who will build great relationships with teams all around the business, including Product Managers, QA Engineers; and the Developers that report to you.
  • This role is a combination of being a leader, architect and coder. As a leader you will ensure delivery by listening and collaborating with the Squad, removing obstacles that inhibit delivery and ensuring the appropriate technical decisions are made.
  •  As an architect you will be designing the framework to support the School Insights product.
  • As a coder we expect our leads to be hands-on and enjoy coding.

In return, you will benefit from

  • Being part of a growing and thriving technology team
  • Being able to grow and develop as a leader in your domain.
  • Having a real impact on the lives of teachers and students. 

You have proven experience in the following

  • 4+ years of commercial experience in C# software development in solutions for MVC web applications and Web API in the Microsoft-stack.
  • Developed code that runs within a cloud environment; including an understanding AWS services (e.g.regions, availability zones, ec2, s3, cloud formation, cloud watch, RDS).
  • Deep understanding of REST services, SOLID and OO-A/D/P.
  • Experience with communication using APIs and messaging..
  • Experience of SQL server and ORM systems (e.g. Lync to SQL, etc)
  • Experience working in automated code integration practices, including CI/CD pipelines (e.g. Jenkins, TeamCity, Octopus deploy etc.).
  • 1+ year of experience in performing one-to-one reviews for developers.
  • The motivation or experience in leading team(s) spread across multiple locations.
  • Experience of identifying the correct hiring opportunities and arranging and performing the interviews.
  • Listening to and collaborating with Developers, providing real-time feedback and making intentions transparent to enable your decision making.
  • Work with the Squad to accurately size road map items and cost them for prioritisation and expectation setting.
  • Providing team leadership guidance within the production of code to ensure deadlines are hit.
  • Collaborating with the Head of Technology to understand the technical vision.
  • You have excellent communication skills and ability to articulate complex and technical concepts to non-technical audiences.

Day to day 

  • The Squad Engineering Lead is jointly accountable for achieving the squad’s objectives and delivering to their roadmap, alongside the Product Manager. While the Product Manager is ultimately responsible for what the squad is looking to build, the Squad Engineering Lead is responsible for how it is built - including the quality, scalability, security and robustness of the solution. Together they are jointly responsible for setting expectations and then delivering in line with those expectations.
  • Collaborating with other developers you will focus on building web services and APIs, spending the vast majority of your time working on new features in C# and will write unit and integration tests for all the features that you work on.
  • You will support the adoption of a continuous delivery focused environment, working with QA Automation Engineers and taking advantage of the services in AWS. Currently, we are using a semi-automated release setup where you will initially commit code to a local staging environment and run your own tests. We are exploring Continuous Integration with Jenkins and Octopus Deploy and this is an area we plan to explore a lot more in the future.
  • As a Squad Engineering Lead at Firefly, you’ll be expected to understand that product design and database design are closely linked. You’ll also have designed and built a database around existing features or to detailed specification.
  • We aim to uphold the highest of standards in development by implementing and ensuring best practice, which includes applying SOLID principles and ensuring that all our code follows these good practices.
  • As this will be the first Squad based in Belfast we also need you to be a point of contact for people there for general issues regarding the office space with daily support from the Head of Technology if needed.

Our team

You’ll be joining the Technology team as the Squad Lead for the School Insights product. This squad forms part of the wider technology team, we are respected across the whole company for our expertise and commitment to providing the best experience for our users. We work closely with the Product team and Design team, so we continually have the opportunity to guide and shape the direction of the product. 

We aim to learn at every opportunity. We receive an annual training budget and use this to attend conferences, workshops, take online courses and have shelves full of books in our workspaces. Our people are key to us and we are committed to your development both technically and professionally. 

We like to hang out together too–we go for dinner together regularly and do all sorts of activities with the wider Firefly team. Firefly is a fun and rewarding place to work, our employee benefits include: Bupa health insurance (50% premium contribution), cycle-to-work scheme, travel loans, gym discounts, enhanced parental leave, 4% pension contributions, and 25 days holiday (exclusive of bank holidays) plus 3 additional days for Christmas shutdown! Please see our careers page for a full list of employee benefits.

Ready to try Firefly?

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