Lead Software Engineer / Web Developer

The Business of Fashion

Job Details

Company name
The Business of Fashion
Information Technology
Reporting to
Chief Technology Officer
London, United Kingdom
29 Sep 2014
Executive / Coordinator
Total years professional experience
3 - 5 years
Type of contract
Required language skills
English / Full professional proficiency

About Us

The Business of Fashion has gained a global following as an essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. It is frequently described as “indispensable,” “required reading” and “an addiction.” 

Founded in 2007 by Imran Amed, a fashion business advisor, writer and digital entrepreneur, The Business of Fashion began as a project of passion, aiming to fill the void for an informed, analytical and opinionated point of view on the fashion business. 

Today, the website has grown to leverage a network of savvy writers and fashion insiders in style capitals around the world, delivering fashion business intelligence on emerging designers, disruptive technologies and global brands that are making their mark on the industry at a time of unprecedented change. 

Also home of the #BoF500, an innovative, multi-channel initiative, exploring the people sharing the global fashion industry, curated by our editors and powered by social media. Discover it at http://www.businessoffashion.com/bof500 

Job Description


The Business of Fashion is searching for candidates who can deliver quality solutions individually - and within a team.  The successful candidate will be the first developer of a new technology team, which will create new products for the long-term business strategy.  Looking forward, the role will evolve to incorporate aspects of “big data” - including data processing, data mining and data analytics - as the business transforms into a platform.

Key Responsibilities

This demanding role will encompass all aspects of web application development.  Notwithstanding project-based responsibilities, the role fulfils broad product functions to:

  • Understand the product, and recognise how technology can shape a business’s future
  • Recommend technical solutions to business problems, while considering constraints and deadlines
  • Promote an architectural vision, and educate future team members on design patterns, principles and best practices
  • Deliver quality solutions as per product requirements while balancing pragmatic development with engineering ideals
  • Share infrastructure tasks with other developers while the business searches for dedicated resource
  • Work in an agile environment - understand the “why” behind using Agile, not just the “how"
  • Inform others of blockers and communicate technical limitations or implementation misuse
  • Use data to inform decisions, and provide educated estimates on scale, performance, usage, data size, etc.

Core Competencies

To support such responsibilities, the ideal candidate will demonstrate:

  • A mature understanding of software engineering disciplines - including design, construction, testing, maintenance and process
  • A good understanding of object-oriented design and its applicable design patterns or principles
  • A good understanding of service-oriented architecture and event-driven applications
  • An ability to work with various databases, and supply information to stakeholders or the product itself
  • A confident grasp of front-end technology, its limitations and how it connects with back-end services
  • A will to achieve perfection, balanced with the pragmatism to get all things done well enough
  • An ability to adapt communication to your audience (ie. developers, product managers or business stakeholders)
  • An ability to successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • A proactive, confident, and positive attitude towards assigned workload
  • A deep-rooted desire to see the business flourish with high-quality, consistent and engaging product designs

Workload & Focus

Successful candidates must balance and organise their time across 3 different work streams simultaneously.  As the business grows and collects more data, another work stream may evolve into "big data" technologies.  These work streams are outlined below with their probable composition towards monthly workload:

Product Development (~75% of time)

This work stream will constantly employ skills in software engineering.  A successful candidate is expected to

  • Work with appropriate database technologies and storage formats
  • Construct complex queries to retrieve and analyse data within a low response times
  • Apply relevant design patterns within an MVC framework and maintain coding standards
  • Handle all aspects of a transactional application; such as form validation and data presentation
  • Develop and document APIs when necessary to provide appropriate abstract layers
  • Use front-end frameworks to implement engaging interfaces, and present information using branding guidelines
  • Develop solutions which can work across multiple devices using responsive design

System Administration (~20% of time)

Some tasks will not require coding; instead, they may involve the management of developer or production environments.  A successful candidate is expected to

  • Setup basic infrastructure for applications, including web servers, databases, queues and caching servers
  • Maintain development environments, such as continuous integration environments or tools
  • Respond, diagnose and fix infrastructure alerts on production environments

Project Management (~5% of time)

At times, there will be work which requires project management skills.  A successful candidate is expected to

  • Maintain the current agile process and suggest improvements for a more efficient development pipeline
  • Participate in various schedule or impromptu meetings to estimate development times 

Work Permits

Candidates must already have the necessary visa, work permit, or legal right to live and work in the United Kingdom/European Union.


A practical test will be given to assess skills in PHP, MySQL and JavaScript. 

The Ideal Candidate

Considering the role encompasses many aspects of product development, both back-end and front-end, the successful candidate will have sufficient experience to successfully deliver value in a timely manner.  This includes:

Proficient (4+ years) commercial experience of

  • Back-end development, including
    • PHP, with experience in Zend or Symfony frameworks
    • Object-oriented design, service-oriented architecture
    • Caching mechanisms, using with Memcache
    • GoF Designs Patterns and SOLID principles
  • Database technologies, including
    • MySQL, and its vendor-specific features
    • Mongo, using data sharding and replica sets
    • SQL, schema design and query optimisation
  • Development & Process tools:
    • git/github.com, or other version control systems (like svn)
    • Jira, or other similar process/defect management tools (like bugzilla, Mingle, Trello, etc)

Sufficient (1-2 years) commercial experience of

  • Front-end development, including
    • JavaScript, using Backbone.js and jQuery
    • HTML5/CSS3, and responsive design
  • Event-based architecture, including
    • Message Queues, such as RabbitMQ, ZeroMQ or ActiveMQ.
  • System Administration, including
    • Apache and nginx installation, and virtual host configuration
    • Database installation, and configuration of query tools (phpmyadmin)
    • Shell/Bash scripting

Personal experience or interest in

  • iPhone/Android application development
  • Big Data technologies, including Hadoop, Flume, Storm
  • Search technologies, namely ElasticSearch
  • Other scripting languages, such as Ruby
  • Infrastructure tools, such as Puppet/Chef, Vagrant, New Relic

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