The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Job: The Fetch seeks rockstar developer (who doesn’t call themselves one) — October 1, 2012

Job: The Fetch seeks rockstar developer (who doesn’t call themselves one)

Ninja by Vicki Brown

OK, as much as I would usually shy away from using a post to find people to work with, we’re lucky in that we have a filtered list of amazing talent right here on The Fetch. This time things are a little exciting as we’re looking to take our own team to the next level. If you’re an A-player, ninja, rockstar, guru and coding God/dess – you might be existentially conflicted but we don’t mind, we want to chat… (I’ll also stop paying out cliché recruitment ads and get to it!)

At the moment, it feels like things are happening so fast as we ride our growth graph up and to the right that we need to get more help on our tech. So, what does that look like?

We’re building a platform, and most importantly a community, for people wanting to share and discover what’s going on in their city. In a year we’ve gone from one to eight cities, reaching bucket loads of people through word of mouth alone. What started as a side-project has turned into the place professionals are going and trusting to find out what’s happening. Whenever there’s a dull moment, it just takes a second to look at the love emails or grateful tweets to refocus. It may not be the sexiest or most gimmicky startup of the day but hey, we have the buzz with the ‘solomo‘ action and really satisfy a need.

This is only the beginning however! Our MVP is serving us well but we’ve got lots more to do, build and ship.

As someone who’s been absorbed in startups and their philosophy for the good part of five years, I tend to prescribe (and break the rules where applicable) to certain methodologies. Instagram concentrated on owning and doing one thing well, Airbnb crushes it with community and service (plus design, UX, content, etc. etc.) and   the 37Signals crew are refreshing with their anti-Valley leanness and sustainability. This isn’t about bulk – it’s solid product-market fit, positioning, simplicity, storytelling and hours of measuring/testing/growth hacking.

We’re a small team at The Fetch HQ with an incredible extended network of switched-on and passionate curators and ambassadors. We’re looking for a freelance developer (back-end predominantly) initially but there is the massive opportunity to have an impact and join us full time in a few months.

  • We use Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, Git, Heroku, WordPress, Campaign Monitor and multiple APIs in our day-to-day activities. HTML/CSS too of course
  • Our stack is always up for debate though and we hope you’ll review it with us
  • We’d love someone who’s toyed around with the sociograph and web’s distribution fire-hoses
  • We’d love someone who just gets The Fetch and is aligned with our vision
  • We’d love someone who laughs in the face of uncertainty and can handle changing priorities (and many of them!)
  • We’d love organised and proactive doers
  • We’re location agnostic at the moment
  • $$$ will be dependent on your experience/portfolio and time availability (shoot through your GitHub, Dribbble, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

Interested?

Email kate@thefetch.com to arrange a Skype or coffee chat, and we’ll go from there.

To discover more jobs at The Fetch and other like-minded companies in your city, subscribe to The Fetch weekly email digests now!

Event Review: WordCamp Sydney — August 5, 2012

Event Review: WordCamp Sydney

This event review is brought to you by Doug Millen, from our Fetch Community Ambassador team in Sydney.

WordCamp brings together WordPress end-users and developers to share good ideas for doing great things with WordPress. WordCamp events are held regularly all over the world, and on 21-22 July 2012, WordCamp came to the University of Sydney for two days of community-building, as well as fascinating insights and useful ways for using WordPress effectively. Here are eight lessons I learned from my weekend at WordCamp.

1. There’s a community doing great things with WordPress in Australia.

People came from all over Australia and New Zealand for WordCamp Sydney – this was no small weekend workshop. I was delighted to meet developers, users and business owners from everywhere, including Travis, a developer from Adelaide, who helped me to see that events like WordCamp bring a sense of belonging and connectedness for freelancers who thrive on spending time in a community of people who work with the same tools.

WordCamp Sydney has been great for bringing together a community of people who work with WordPress.

Travis Hensgen @_traversal

Between them, WordCamp organisers Dee, Tracey, Peter and Alison have travelled to four WordCamp events across Australia and New Zealand in the last 12 months – and now they’ve brought WordCamp to Sydney again. It really was inspiring to hear Dee talk about the excitement she feels in bringing together this group of people.

2. You can do pretty much anything with WordPress.

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world (ref) – even the New York Times uses WordPress. Tony Cosentino showed off a plugin for nearly every purpose (but warned not to install too many). Sofia Woods shared principles and tools for building, managing, and maintaining communities with WordPress. Several other talks covered everything you might need from back-to front-end, including themes, extensions, SEO and commerce (all slides here).

3. Accessibility is important. Really important.

Some one in five Australians have some form of disability, but accessibility isn’t just about providing a ramp into a store for people with mobility difficulties. Accessibility is also about making websites and multimedia interactive and understandable for users with different abilities of sight, hearing and physical dexterity.

Joe Ortzenzi gave a super simple (and funny) walkthrough of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, with examples of poor design and accessibility and gave a few tips for making sites and online media more accessible:

  • Use alt tags to provide informative descriptions of photographs for users with impaired sight.
  • Add a ‘skip to content’ link on each site page so that users with screen readers don’t have to listen to the entire navigation sequence.
  • Use semantic structure in your code (title, h1, h2, em) so that even if your site doesn’t look pretty it still makes sense.

Joe recommended the great new Sydney-based service Access iQ for helping developers better understand and implement web accessibility standards.

4. When blogging, just write – focus on perfection is your worst enemy.

Kate Carruthers was full of useful tips on blogging, but two ideas stood out and everyone was relieved to hear them!

Blogs are full of ideas and thoughts captured in time. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t write a masterpiece – it’s about getting your content out there and starting discussion around it.

A blog is like a puppy: don’t get one if you can’t look after it properly.

Kate Carruthers @kcarruthers

Kate gave common sense advice for getting started with WordPress sustainably and carefully (and legally). Check out Kate’s slides for helpful resources.

5. You can make a visually appealing, functional site with WordPress.

Phil Peet teaches design at a TAFE in Sydney. In his talk he broke down the process of setting up a WordPress site into the simple things the casual user wants to get started with.

6. There are tools for WordPress that make SEO easy.

Lisa Davis laid everything out on the table – everything you need to take care of to ensure that search engines understand your site and connect you with the people you want to reach. Lisa explained how to use title, h1 and h2 tags (step 1: don’t ignore them), listed the best plugins for SEO on WordPress (Yoast was mentioned by multiple presenters), and reminded us to use 301 redirects and to place content on 404s so that we don’t lose visitors.

7. There’s is a lot that can be done on your server to speed up your site.

Good morning, freedom-lovers! began Jeff Waugh’s 3 pm high performance guide to WordPress. One of the strongest characters at WordCamp, Jeff gave insights into what goes on inside servers running WordPress, including how php works and how you can refine your server to your advantage. He recommended using nginx instead of apache to reduce the amount of shovelling that goes on. To keep things speedy, he suggests hosting web services and DNS close to your audience. This means don’t host from Texas if all of your visitors are in Melbourne and Sydney.

Give WordPress to someone you love.

Jeff Waugh @jdub

In one of his examples, Jeff used webpagetest.org to show site load times – pretty cool for exploring what parts of the entire process of loading your website are letting you down.

8. Become an expert in the tech you know and love.

Find a framework you can become great at and use it, rather than just being good at it – unless you really need the money!

Bronson Quick @bronsonquick

Bronson Quick is a bit of a WordPress pro and his advice was well-received! There was pretty strong representation of developers who use the Genesis framework (including co-organiser Dee). So it’s not just about WordPress – it’s themes, extensions like widgets and plugins, child themes, the list goes on…!

Connect
All presentation slides from the event are available on SlideShare and keep an eye out in The Fetch for future WordPress Sydney meet-ups.  A big thank you to Alison, Dee, Peter and Tracey for organising this event and having us along to WordCamp 2012. We’ll see you next year.

About our Ambassador // This article and photography were contributed by Community Ambassador Doug Millen. You can connect with Doug through his site dougmillen.org or on Twitter @dougsky.

Featured event: WordCamp Sydney 2012 — June 25, 2012

Featured event: WordCamp Sydney 2012

The Fetch is excited to feature this year’s WordCamp Sydney happening the 21– 22 July at the beautiful University of Sydney on their main Camperdown/Darlington campus. It’s an event for developers, bloggers and all general WordPress users and enthusiasts. We are fans and users of WordPress over here at the Fetch (if you couldn’t guess from our blog).

Co-organisers, Tracey Kemp and Dee Teal met at WordCamp Gold Coast and afterwards were keen for the event to come to Sydney. The local user group had got off the ground around mid-2011 so the timing seemed right. “…and frankly, it’s a good excuse to hang out with the crew and talk WordPress, so I never miss an opportunity for that!” shared Dee. “Figured, given that the last WordCamp in Sydney was in 2008 we were well and truly overdue.”

Session topics will range from SEO for your blog and plug-ins to personal branding and the future of WordPress. The full list of speakers and session topics can be found on the website. “This is a fantastic group of people, one that has welcomed me and will do the same of them, regardless of how much or little they know about WordPress,” said Dee.

This will be a fabulous event to learn more about WordPress, get help with areas you’re struggling with and to make new friends with this cool platform in common. We hope that you’ll join us there. Readers of the Fetch can receive $25 off their ticket when they register with this codeF3TCHWPSYD

Connect with WordCamp Sydney on Twitter @wordcampsyd or follow the event hashtag #wcsyd

Featured job: Crack Front End Developer/Designer — April 23, 2012

Featured job: Crack Front End Developer/Designer

This fortnight, we chat to James Farmer, the CEO at Incsub, about culture, WordPress and current opportunities. These featured roles are a new initiative by The Fetch and aim to uncover what it’s really like to work somewhere – so you can decide if you’ll be the perfect fit!

What is your culture and ethos like at incsub?

If I said we were just making it up as we go along, would that sound bad? 😉

Because, in a way, that’s what we are doing, we’re growing quickly, trying to do the most exciting things we can do, making the most people happy we can, while thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

Which isn’t to say we’re not that grown up, we’ve been developing the company over the last six years, for the first first as a remote organisation with folk based all over the world, now that we’re really kicking into gear though it’s time to build a great Melbourne team, and this job is key to that happening.

The regular day at Incsub can start at 6, 9 or 12 – invariably you’ll always find a while bunch of other folk working on stuff in some corner of the World (there are 27 of us currently, in pretty much every continent) and it’ll most likley find you working on a whole bunch of different projects.

In addition to WPMU DEV there’s a new version of WP Plugins we’re rolling out, the leading WP news site on the web(!) WPMU.org, Edublogs (top 10 in the World blog hosting site!) and a few super secret new projects too.

It can get frantic, it can also be quite peaceful (especially on Mondays when most folk are on Sunday evenings) but it’s never boring.

What do you love about WordPress?

Awwww, it’s the basis for so many things, Incsub is a contraction of ‘Incorporated Subversion’ and the thing about WP is that you can subvert it to do pretty much anything, much of it extremely well, and that’s what we’re the best in the World at doing.

Which isn’t to say that I don’t like or admire other platforms, just that we’re teh WP folk. 🙂

What kind of person are you looking for to join the team?

Someone who’s energised, excited, creative and up for it – who doesn’t mind a challenge, loves putting their skills to the test, learning heaps and taking the initiative.

We’re all about folk taking the lead, and we’d like them to be super ambitious to make an impact… I mean we’re talking tens of millions of visitors here a month (hundreds of millions if you include our WPMU DEV members!), this is your chance to impact on their day to day experience.

What will they work on and create?

Everything and anything.

From brand new projects, to comprehensive user experiences, to revamping sites like Edublogs and creating brand new beautiful WordPress themes.

And from there, leading teams on new stuff, working closely with an amazing team of developers (want to learn PHP and more, now’s your chance!) and who know what else… our CTO (second in command) was a WPMU DEV member ad then junior developer just a few years ago!

How can people get in touch?

Just contact James and Victor with your web based portfolio:
james@incsub.com / victor@incsub.com

For more information visit:

Also:

For the full position description, click here for the document.

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