Ego Vici Mundum by jglsongs Full

Developing Software at Substantial

If you're reading this my hope is you're interested in working at Substantial or you're at the very least looking for more information to help you make up your mind about applying.

A while back we told you a bit about what we're looking for in all of our candidates but in this post I hope to shine a little light on what we're looking for in our developer candidates and share a bit about how our organization works in an effort to convince you to come work with us!

We are a group of passionate practitioners

Software development & technical excellence have been at the core of Substantial since day one. We take a great deal of pride in the culture we've created and maintained at Substantial.

We want to work with you if you're a passionate developer eager to be challenged by new technologies, new stacks, and a stream of new and ever changing projects. It is important to us that you be provided opportunities to learn new skills, use cutting-edge technologies and grow your skill set but it is equally important to us that you be motivated to make the most of those opportunities.

We generally eschew hiring for specialists. We don't hire developers to be front-end, back-end, iOS, Android, database, etc. We absolutely value those skills and promise to put them to good use but we want you to be hungry for more. More on that below…

We embrace roles over titles

Are you a Senior Developer? Are you a Staff Software Engineer? Are you a Junior Developer? Are you Software Engineer II or the like? Are you an SDET? Perfect! At Substantial you're a developer with an ever changing and fluid role from project to project. We are a team of professionals that respect and admire each other's contributions and abilities and not simply the years you've been in the industry or the title from your last company.

You bring a specific skill, experience, or perspective that may see you in a more senior position on one project and as a valued individual contributor on the next. Maybe you have 10+ years of Java experience but you're working on a Rails project for the first time - we know you can bring something to the table but you may be learning Ruby idioms and best practices from somebody with less industry experience - you will undoubtedly teach one another to be better programmers.

Don't get me wrong, you have likely worked hard to earn your title and we are not dismissive of that but it is important to understand that at Substantial we are a dynamic and fast moving company and your role will always be changing.

What we value

Developers at Substantial value best practices, code quality, and continuous improvement to name just a few. Quite frankly, we think we're pretty good at building software but we expect you to help make us better. We also expect you to let us help make you better, too.

As good as we think we are, how much our clients love our work, or how many awards we win, we always value continuous improvement. We constantly reflect on our processes, our tools, our assumptions, and our approaches. Continuous improvement is a core value of the entire company from development to design and from sales and new business to the executive level. As a company, we always strive to be better and your voice and your ideas are an integral part of not only helping us be better developers but also a better company.

We value work/life balance. I assure you this is not lip service or an empty promise. We work hard and demand a lot from our developers but we are committed as a company to ensuring you have a life outside of work. We absolutely reject "agency hours" and the customers who choose to work with us respect our commitment to you.

We want to talk to you

Are you currently a front-end ninja that wants to learn back-end skills? We want to talk to you. Can you bend the DOM to your will with jQuery but want to learn more about databases? We want to talk to you. Are you a mobile developer looking to work on a Node project? We want to talk to you. Are you a seasoned and experienced developer who has been working on a particular stack for a long time and wants to learn new skills? We want to talk to you. Do you value TDD and BDD? We want to talk to you. Are you a great developer that wants to be even better? We want to talk to you. Are you excited about working in close collaboration with amazing designers? We want to talk to you.

We are a team of T-shaped developers who value your expertise as much as we value your willingness to appreciate the expertise of others. We want to talk to you if you desire to teach and learn alike.

Substantial is a place where we hire the person who has both expert skills but also a strong desire and aptitude to learn. We are a tight-knit group of professional craftsmen and craftswomen who respect and admire what each of us brings to the table. We know we succeed as a team by the contributions we each make and so we constantly challenge each other to be better.

Think that sounds like a cliche? Come work here for a while and then tell me I'm full of shit. I'm not. I promise.

If this sounds like the place for you I'm looking forward to reviewing your application.

Main image from Flickr user jglsongs.