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Creative Technologist/Creative Full-Stack Developer at Nesta

  • Full-time
  • Hybrid, London
  • £55,000 yearly

c. £55,000 plus excellent benefits
This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them.
Blackfriars, Central London/Edinburgh, Scotland or Cardiff, Wales – hybrid working

We are recruiting for a Creative Technologist/ Creative Full-Stack Developer

About Nesta
We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at nesta.org.uk

How will a Creative Technologist contribute to Nesta’s success?

As a Creative Technologist you will prototype and build digital tools and products in service of Nesta’s innovation missions and goals. The things you will help build will range from full-stack web applications; functional prototypes for user testing; and beyond. This role will suit someone with real-world experience of working in small multidisciplinary teams to (often individually) rapidly build and maintain prototypes or early stage digital products/MVP’s across the full-stack, often using established frameworks (like Ruby on Rails or Django/Python) and existing tech where it makes sense. The ideal candidate would be highly collaborative, outcome-focused and self-driven with the ability to take an idea or brief and simply and quickly turn it into a functional prototype or product alongside non-technical colleagues. It’s also very possible you will have skills beyond software engineering (e.g. arts, design, product, etc) or have developed your own digital products, and are more interested in quickly and simply delivering valuable digital products than tackling the most challenging engineering problems.

The role

• Build software in service of our social innovation missions (A Fairer Start, A Healthy Life, and A Sustainable Future) and work closely with our practices (methodological experts in data science, design, experimentation, etc.) to identify and develop (through building prototype/MVPs and/or commissioning work externally) technological solutions or enhancements to achieve our mission goals.
• Make regular hands-on software development contributions independently or as part of a multidisciplinary team to rapidly build digital tools and products that meet users and stakeholder needs in service of our mission goals; releasing the smallest and simplest working software quickly and often, in order to learn, deliver value and continually improve/iterate.
• Simply and quickly turn ambiguous concepts or ideas into tangible functional or semi-functional software prototypes or products to demonstrate their potential and help us learn.
• Deploy and maintain the digital products and tools you help build including finding ways to make improvements and resolving faults quickly so they don’t happen again.
• Write clean, secure and well-tested code, following best practice guidelines.
• Work with non-technical colleagues/partners from other disciplines to scope opportunities for software solutions, understand what needs to be built, and adapt plans and tasks in response to new learning or requirements.
• Contribute to the activities of multidisciplinary teams you are part of beyond programming, including but not limited to participating in user research and testing; co-designing solutions; as well as defining requirements and project planning.
• Regularly pick up and explore tools and technologies that are new to you, as well as being pragmatic about when to use the simplest option (e.g. no/low code tools; reuse existing tech or services; etc) to deliver value to users and stakeholders quickly.
• Work with Nesta’s ‘Discovery’ function to identify, assess and prototype the potential of promising, cutting-edge technology-based ideas and approaches to help achieve Nesta’s missions.

The person

Essential

• Programming and build (software engineering). You have experience of working in small teams or individually to rapidly build and release full-stack digital products using multiple languages and frameworks, including full-stack web application frameworks like Ruby on Rails or Django for Python, and are comfortable with core web technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You can quickly learn new languages and frameworks when needed and focus on using the best and simplest tool for the job, including no/low code tools where it makes sense. You are comfortable with Git and Github, and able to test, deploy and monitor software you build. As well as technical knowhow to make things that work you are familiar with good design and able to follow guidelines and specifications to build things that are usable and appealing to look at.
• Prototyping and product development. You have experience of rapidly developing and releasing (e.g. in a matter of days/weeks) early stage digital products and prototypes; then working iteratively with stakeholders and users to improve them. You can approach prototyping as a team activity, actively soliciting prototypes and testing with others. You can use a variety of prototyping methods and choose the most appropriate and are comfortable quickly putting together functional or semi-functional prototypes using tools and technologies that are new to you in order to learn, deliver value and continually improve/iterate.
• Service support. You can identify, locate and fix faults. And you can manage service components to ensure they meet business needs and performance targets.
• Information security. You can understand information security. You can design solutions and services with security controls embedded, specifically engineered with mitigation of security threats as a core feature.
• Systems design. You have a track record of designing and delivering the simplest working solution, keeping the architecture and technology choices of systems you design simple and proportionate to the maturity of the product and brief. You focus on ensuring a low complexity stack to enable small teams to rapidly release and maintain software iteratively. In collaboration with stakeholders you can select appropriate design standards, methods and tools, and ensure they are applied effectively. You can review the systems designs of others to ensure the selection of appropriate technology, efficient use of resources and integration of multiple systems and technology.
• Systems integration. You can integrate different technologies, balancing an appropriate mix of tried-and-tested with cutting-edge, to quickly deliver scrappy proofs of concepts or robust products; and you can establish and maintain appropriate levels of automated software testing to support this.
• User focus. You have a track record of building software that meets the needs of users and stakeholders. You can collaborate with other disciplines and can represent users internally. You can explain the difference between user needs and the desires of the user. You can champion user research to focus on all users. You can prioritise and define approaches to understand the user story, guiding others in doing so.
• Communication and collaboration. You have experience presenting technical concepts and effectively collaborating to deliver valuable software products in a non-technical environment. You are highly collaborative, outcome-focussed and self-driven with the ability to take an idea and make it real simply and quickly. You can act as a bridge between design and product mindsets, technical knowhow and non-technical colleagues.

Desirable

• You’ve successfully developed your own digital products (ideally with a social impact purpose) and/or have a product-mindset.
• Experience in specialist development disciplines like mobile app development, AI products, games development, prompt engineering, etc.
• Experience of commissioning and overseeing tech-related work.

What we offer

Salary: circa £55,000 plus array of benefits, including health cash plans, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more
Location: Blackfriars, Central London (or our Cardiff and Edinburgh offices) - hybrid working arrangement, with a minimum of two days working from the office.
Term: Permanent
Hours: This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them. Many do.
Reports to: Product Lead

Making an application
To apply for this role, please submit your application before 08.00am on Monday 26th Feb 2024.

Round 1 interviews are expected to take place on w/o 4th Mar 2024, and Round 2 interviews (including a technical task to be submitted in advance) on w/o 18th Mar 2024.

At Nesta, we believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more innovative, more creative and gets better results.

We want our workforce to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our workplace to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.

This means that when we are recruiting, we actively seek to reach a diverse pool of candidates. It also means that we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.

We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life, so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, compressed or part-time hours, job shares and other arrangements.

Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you’d like to explore.