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Lead Developer - Website and Services job in Oxfordshire (578)

at Micro:bit Educational Foundation (view profile)
Location Oxford
Date Posted 4th May 2018
Category Technical
Job Type Full-time
Never Expire Never Expire


The Micro:bit Educational Foundation is looking for a committed, flexible and collaborative software engineer to lead the development, deployment and maintenance of our systems and web presence at

This site is the first port of call for millions of students and teachers around the world who are learning about coding and technology using the BBC micro:bit. The role will require you to work with a range of languages and tools; we need someone who can start with what we have and lead the creation of our next generation platform.

Alongside this you will start to develop our community portals, ecosystem and accessory listings, and work with upstream communities to enhance the micro:bit code editors. These sites have a range of people managing their content, and this is a technical role that includes working with a focus on tools and workflows to make authoring, publishing and organising the information easier.

You will be joining a small organisation at an early stage, which means there is lots of scope to decide how we support teachers and students, define the services we provide and how they’re delivered, and shape the micro:bit experience.

This is a full-time role in the Micro:bit Educational Foundation. We’re looking for someone to join the foundation and build our web enabled products over the long term, including hiring a team. This is a full-stack role with the balance tipped towards front-end and deployment infrastructure.

Team size: initially 1- you would report in to our CTO, and we plan for the person filling this role to hire other members as the foundation grows.

Location: This position is based in Oxford, UK, however a significant amount of flexible working is possible.


Stability and scalability are crucial for us, so we seek someone who has worked on or led a team building a production site. Perhaps you’re in charge of a team working on a medium traffic site/service or are working under a tech lead in other projects but are now ready to lead yourself. Perhaps you’ve been developing a whole site alone, but are looking for a new challenge, a meaningful mission, or a global audience.

We’re looking for someone who...

  • Is entrepreneurial and works collaboratively through uncertainty to get things done
  • works independently to a high technical standard and is ready to lead a small team of contributors as The Foundation scales up
  • takes initiative in understanding the tech requirements by talking to colleagues and users, and is creative in finding ways to meet the requirements
  • is capable of owning and managing the website and services ensuring high availability
  • knows how to balance doing things properly with doing things fast, and choosing where appropriate compromises can and can’t be made. Experience of how things get out of hand, and how to avoid it, is valuable.
  • understands the implications of multilingual, international sites and translation requirements

We have to constantly balance novelty and progress with a commitment to stability, security and making things that ‘just work’ for our users - so a candidate with experience of AWS (especially S3, CloudFront and Lambdas), Jekyll/Ruby, Javascript front-ends, and translation via Crowdin is desirable but not essential if you can demonstrate how you learn new technologies.

Our plan is not to over specify the tech we use until we hire into this role - having someone with the right attitude, experience and approach is as important as the technologies involved.

As well as building our own suite of sites and services, we also need to be confident contributing to and staying on top of other tools that our partners are developing in conjunction with us. Most significantly, these are Typescript and JS+Python-based.


We are a UK-based not-for-profit organisation with the global vision of helping every child to be an inventor. We are enabling children around the world to get creative with technology and invent in school, in clubs and at home! Our first year has shown that the BBC micro:bit encourage a higher percentage of girls to learn about technology. Our mission in The Foundation is to take the hardware, and the magical end-to-end experience provided by the online micro:bit editors, and make it available around the rest of the world.

We are part of a diverse, global micro:bit community of young people, teachers, and parent’s who value effective collaboration. We are committed to understanding and defining the technology education sector in order to present micro:bit users with a stable, tested release of all the things you need to make the unique and productive ‘end-to-end’ micro:bit experience.

One of the greatest benefits of working at micro:bit is knowing that the work you're doing is contributing to something positive, constructive and with beneficial social outcomes. All micro:bit Foundation employees may optionally use one (paid!) day per week to go and run activities with micro:bits in schools, clubs and tech camps, or to use micro:bit for outreach projects, demos, and examples. It's not unusual for our staff to travel around the UK or the world to make this happen.

We’re a small organisation with a large audience and reach. We thrive on creative problem solving and are open to new ideas and solutions. This gives each individual the chance to have enormous impact, as well as ensuring that your days will be diverse and the challenges complex.

Salary Range: 40k-55k

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