Part-Time Full-stack developer, part-time. Fun and low-risk entry to startup life.
I know I am not smart enough to get everything right first time. But I like to think I am able to realise when I am wrong, and am humble enough to admit it. This is one of those times.
So why I am starting a job ad with an admission that I made a mistake? Good question!
For many months I have been searching for additional developers to join the small (but talented!) team at Listium.
I have been looking for developers with: years of experience and excellent skills across a number of languages; a great personality that makes others want to work with them; skills that go beyond writing great code; a love of learning new things; a desire to work at an early stage startup; and the list goes on and on… and on.
But wait, it gets worse! I’ve been trying to do this in an environment where nearly every other startup, dev shop, agency and corporate IT team is also looking for great developers.
Yep, exactly. It’s almost a bit embarrassing that it took this long for me to wake up.
Now, it’s not all bad. Over the last year I have met a lot of developers. Of those that have taken the discussions to an advanced stage, almost without fail they’ve told me that the product we’re building would be very fun and challenging to work on, the tech stack would be cool to learn and use, they like that I’m funding this myself and being generous with equity allocations, and that they think this product should exist.
So that’s a pretty good start. But unless you’re willing to spend some time with me to see all this for yourself then I’m just another startup founder looking for developers. (At least I am well past being just a “business guy with an idea” – that was a really hard time!)
So it’s time I stop living in dreamland and start making sensible decisions.
As much as we could use a full-time developer we’ve now stopped looking for one. Our ideal developer is probably not out there reading job ads and getting ready to drop everything and join us, changing all of our lives forever.
Instead, we’re now looking for people that are interested in a fun, interesting and low-risk way of trying startup life with some paid part-time work as an alternative to working on their unpaid side projects for a little while.
So what are they doing, and how do you recognise an ideal Listium team member if you see one?
They (or maybe you?) are in a good job, probably getting paid pretty well. They have at least five, but probably closer to ten years experience writing code. They are valued by their employer, respected by their peers, and liked by everyone. They have thought about startup life, maybe even tried it once, but don’t currently have the right idea, partners or financial backing to take the plunge and leave their day job. They are comfortable in their role… probably even happy!
But if these developers really are Listium type people, that’s probably not quite enough for them. They may not be building a product they are really passionate about or writing code that challenges them every day and makes them proud. They may be getting paid to use Java, PHP or jQuery when they would rather be using the cool new tools they have recently been playing with late at night. And they may not have a big say in the direction of the product they are working on.
So to compensate for what’s missing in their day jobs they are working on side projects and contributing to open source just to have a bit more fun, find new challenges, learn new things, or to add a bit more meaning to their time while doing what they love – developing awesome software.
That is who we are looking for.
Think about the best developer you know. Go on, I’ll wait….
Got someone in mind?
Okay, does what you’ve just read sound a bit like it could be describing them? If so, send them a link to this page. It can’t hurt.
Or maybe this person is you? Even better.
So what can we offer these awesome people?
- the chance to learn and use a very modern stack – DynamoDB, node.js, React, Sass, etc.;
- the ability to work on a product that is interesting, well validated, and has significant market potential (but they won’t take our word for this and will want to judge for themselves… and we wouldn’t have it any other way);
- lots of genuinely interesting challenges in back-end and front-end development, as well as graphic and UX design;
- a big say in the direction of our product;
- the chance to join the team at a very exciting time – well past the prototype stage, but still prior to public launch;
- the chance to join early enough to take a meaningful equity position if owning part of the business is their goal;
- involvement in all parts of the business if they want to do more than write code;
- paid work averaging about 15 hours per week – either nights and weekends, or a couple of days a week;
- assuming it makes sense for everyone, the chance to choose between: joining as a full-time team member for equity and/or a salary; staying on as a part-time contractor; or reducing the hours but remaining involved as a technical adviser with a small equity stake.
Yes, there is a lot of competition for the best developers. And no, this opportunity won’t be for everyone. But, for the right people, I doubt there would be too many companies offering a more fun and less risky way to get involved in an early-stage startup to see if they’d like to take it further.
Sound interesting? Want to meet for coffee to learn more? Cool! Send us an email including a link to your LinkedIn profile page and some detail on why this opportunity is of interest and why our team will be that much better with you as part of it.
We look forward to having a chat.
How to Apply
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