Job Board/Engineer and Senior Engineer at The Financial Times
Hi! 👋 We're FT Tech
In FT Tech we develop products like FT.com, our award-winning website and one of the fastest news sites in the world. We are firm supporters of open source and develop more and more of our projects in the open every day. Some of our most widely used OSS are Polyfill.io and Origami.
We are hundreds of engineers, but our teams are small, self-governing and multi-disciplined, empowered to choose our own tech stack and to continuously deploy our software, sometimes hundreds of times a day.
Our projects are widely varied in scale and scope -- you could choose to work on anything from an internal bot with a couple of hundred users, to a system with 4.2 billion requests per month -- using microservices, machine learning, augmented reality, and more.
Our ideal candidate will bring a unique point of view to the work we do. We don't hire for team fit, we hire for team betterment; diverse perspectives help us build a great product, and even better teams.
Your FT Tech Career
We firmly believe that the success of our products and teams is strictly tied to the success of our people. In FT Tech we invest in you as an individual at every step of your career, supporting your professional growth as well as your personal development.
Most engineers that move into senior tech leadership positions in FT Technology every year have started out in more junior roles. Throughout their FT careers they’ve acquired not just the technical skills required for complex new challenges, but also the professional and social skills to support the development of newer junior members.
As part of FT Tech you will have access to all of the support and tools you need to have a successful, growing career with us, as well as those you may want to leverage to support the growth of others around you.
You will also have the opportunity and our support to attend (and speak at, if you’re inclined) world-renowned tech conferences to further develop your skills every year. Furthermore, you’ll have access to fully funded professional certifications, internal and external workshops and tech talks.
We are passionate about building technical solutions to ultimately enable the highest quality of journalism. As a team we believe trusted high quality journalism plays an important role in a post-truth, post-fact world.
We are a vibrant and diverse group of people from different backgrounds, and with different interests outside of tech. There are over 2,200 employees across our offices (London, Sofia, New York, Manila, Tokyo, Hong Kong), and we are deeply committed to furthering equality and diversity, not just in our organization, but in the wider tech industry. FT is part of the Tech Talent Charter, where we have committed to reaching gender parity within the Product & Technology department by 2022.
We make it our priority to provide the most flexible conditions for everyone, including flexible working hours, the capacity to work from home when needed, part-time flexibility for almost all our roles (from junior to director), a 35-hour work week, 10% time and more.
We have very active communities which you are welcome to participate in such as FT Women, FT Embrace (our BAME network), Proud FT, and ad-hoc social events such as regular board games and quiz nights, netball, rounders and football.
We have roles available in Internal Products (IP). Most roles rotate between several IP teams over the course of their first 12-18 months. Principal Engineers typically look after one or two of those teams. Senior engineers often lead them or projects within them.
Most of our dev work happens in Node, but you don't need specific experience in JS to join us. We believe programming skills are highly transferable. Are you proficient in another programming language and want to switch to node? Join us! We'll support you in the transition in any role.
Our career progression is public and we have vacancies in all of the levels for 2020:
Engineer (£40,000 to £50,000)
As an Engineer you are proficient in the technical systems that you are working on. You are aware and guided by the wider context of your work. You enjoy taking responsibility for your work and own your personal development. You work as part of a team to achieve the shared goals of the team.
Senior 1 Engineer (£50,000 to £60,000)
As a Senior 1 engineer you improve the performance of those around you. This could be through official responsibilities such as line managing or tech leading, or through unofficial means such as mentoring or regular pairing. As a S1 engineer you enjoy tackling complex technical problems, and articulating your approach to your team. You thrive on being responsible for work outside of your immediate delivery team and manage that work effectively against your team’s priorities. You require very little oversight beyond high level direction.
Senior 2 Engineer (£60,000 to £70,000)
As a Senior 2 engineer you are known for your leadership and influence well beyond yourself. This influence could be through tech leading, line managing, mentoring, or leading projects outside of your day-to-day work. As a Senior 2 engineer, you thrive on seeing ill-defined or difficult projects through to completion. You are great at spotting issues and helping your team navigate them. You also have a deep technical understanding and willingness to help others for a particular technology or product.
The team: Internal Products
Our team is Internal Products, one of the five FT Technology Groups. Our mission is to enable our peers (in tech and beyond) to do their best work. We do this in a variety of ways: finding a team the right tool for the job, helping them automate the most tedious parts of their work so they can invest in the valuable tasks they truly care about, discovering new ways in which to bring value to the business, and more.
We are made up of the following feature teams in 2020:
Seed a handful of innovative projects every year that may turn into The Next Big Thing. 2020 is centered around automation.
Envoy is a platform that customises a user’s journey on FT.com, enabling tailored experiences to drive engagement. It also weaves together the user experience across devices.
Develop a set of modern applications for our Editorial staff to author, edit and publish thousands of news articles every week
Our email platform serves the roughly 8 million emails that are sent every week to our customers who subscribe to our content. The team also develop internal front-end tools for our journalists and editors.
The Ads team maintain the platform through which our ads are booked, paid for and served both onto FT.com and to the printed paper.
Our developer experience team are constantly finding ways to make the work of the rest of our engineers easier and more satisfying.
Our CRM Team look after our Salesforce platform and the different applications used by our Sales and Marketing teams.
Develop and maintain our publishing platform through which editorial content is sent to newspaper printers every day.
Builds and orchestrates systems that handle staff data at the FT, including our HR systems
The hiring process
We understand that tech interviews are often stressful for no good reason, so we designed our interview process to be rigorous but friendly (we won’t expect you to reverse a binary tree on a whiteboard or peer over your shoulder when you’re writing code). We’re committed to furthering equality and diversity in the tech industry, so we’ll be especially happy to see applications from underrepresented backgrounds.
All of our employees, regardless of contract status, enjoy flexible working hours, including the possibility to work from home when needed.
Benefits of our permanent roles also include:
Work-life balance: Flexible hours, work from home when you need
25 days holiday increases to 30 days after 2 years
Triple pension: For every £1 you put towards your pension the FT put £2, up to 6% of your salary (8% over 45)
Conference, travel and training budget. We frequently attend and often sponsor conferences like JSConfEU, LeadDev, FFConf...
Friendly, vibrant and sociable team of 250+
Shared parental leave
Kit of your choice - Dell, MacBook Pro or Chromebook
Subsidised gym membership at Nuffield Health City
FT matches your charitable donations up to £500 every year
Free premium subscription to ft.com
Private healthcare & subsidised dental scheme
Season ticket loan
Cycle to work scheme
Direct applicants only, please.
You will have a hangouts chat with me, Laura Carvajal (Principal Engineer). I will take you through who we are, what we do and how we work, ask you about what you are looking for from your next job and how your goals may match our open roles. We will have read (and liked!) your CV by this point, but you will get a chance to highlight projects or other experience you find relevant for the role.
Right after the phone chat, we send you a technical test. Candidates dedicate somewhere between 2 and 8 hours to do it over the space of about a week. You may choose to submit another project if, for example, you're interviewing elsewhere and are already building something that you find is suitable to show us how you solve problems with code.
2-hour face to face interview with four FT Internal Products engineers. The first hour you'll chat with two of our engineers about the tech test. They'll ask questions to understand your approach to problem solving and the choices you made throughout, followed by more general tech questions. There is no coding during this interview.
The second hour is a non-technical interview where we'll ask you questions about teamwork, collaboration, etc. In the more senior roles there will be some questions about your experience and motivation for developing other engineers.
The process overall takes about a week, sometimes more depending on your availability to spend time on the test and come to our face to face interview.
In FT Internal Products, we are currently at 42% women, 56% men, 2% non binary folk. We're also 42% POC, 30% of women are WOC, 10%+ LGBTQ+ and 7%+ disabled folk. While we're closer than we've ever been to our goal of achieving London demographics (where we're based), we still have a lot of work to do and our commitment is as strong as ever.
4 years ago we upended the way we find talent, firstly by looking outside of our traditional pipeline as the norm rather than the exception. We also have a close relationship with several bootcamp academies like Code Your Future and Makers, and have hired dozens of their graduates, some of whom are now our senior engineers. We actively support local community efforts and meetups that make it their mission to remove barriers to STEM for minority groups.
Most importantly, we continue to learn, from our own mistakes and from others, and are never complacent. Even after we get to the point where we reach gender parity, for example, the effort will continue to both maintain it and to ensure we achieve that same parity at all seniority levels.
Some of our engineers have volunteered their own experience in our team as part of one or more minority groups:
"As a deaf person working at the FT, I have never felt like my disability counted against me. If anything, it is considered as a plus as I can provide a completely different perspective. The Financial Times encourages a culture where everyone’s opinion counts and that is what makes me come into the office every day with enthusiasm and a massive smile" - Internal Products Engineer
"I've found the FT to be one of the most diverse workplaces I've ever worked at, and more importantly I've noticed people from minority groups tend to stick around. That doesn't happen when a workplace is diverse but not inclusive. You can tell to what extent a company is serious about something by how much money and support they put behind it: between the funding and senior stakeholders assigned to our D&I groups, and the fact that diversity targets are part of our departmental OKRs which in turn affects bonuses, I think the company is as serious as it says it is." - Internal Products Principal Engineer
"For me, an inclusive environment is a place where I feel safe, secured, reassured, supported and every little achievement celebrated. In other words, a place where I don’t feel judged, vulnerable, trapped, struck, criticised or fearful. Internal Products was a group started from ground up and nurtured by people with these values. This confident leadership has helped for an inclusive and supportive group." - Internal Products Senior Engineer
"I've been a software engineer for over 15 years and this team is the first where I haven't had to work twice as hard to be half as successful as my non-minority peers. It's the first place where I've been given opportunities to grow professionally, and where I am now able to create those opportunities for others"