Open Source Developer

Photo by Clément Hélardot / Unsplash

Applications for this role are currently closed

Sciety ( is a platform for research communication where new research results in biology, medicine and other sciences are made available for peer review and curation by different expert communities. It is built and operated by a small team at eLife Sciences Publications Limited.

What your day will look like

You’ll join a small and enthusiastic cross-functional team who are passionate about continuous improvement and building tools to enable positive change. You’ll participate in whole-team programming, where everyone gets involved in all aspects of the platform and discusses the next software feature to experiment with. You’ll build a new part of the product in live collaboration with the other team members, and ship new value to real users every day. You'll hear frequent, synthesized feedback from users.

The distributed team works remotely in a very sociable way. Most of the software development takes place on a single video call with others joining occasionally to provide input and join the conversation. We also have a regular social “campfire” session where we learn about each other and share team folklore to improve our shared understanding of what we’re building and how. The team constantly adapts to meet the needs of its members: we meet briefly at the beginning and end of every day, always looking to make improvements to our process and practices. You will also have a number of ways to reserve time for self-directed and team-based learning.

About You

You care about software systems and you believe development involves a lot more than just computers and code. You know getting the best out of a system comes from strong collaboration with the people using it; both on the user side and with the other people in your team.

You have worked with web applications in Node.js (or similar) and keep abreast of the latest innovations in the tech community. You have some experience using cloud computing. You care about open platforms, and see the value in contributing to a community so that you can help make a difference.

You realise that working in small, imperfect, releasable iterations delivers value to users quickly and regularly. You’re happy to experiment with processes in rapid feedback loops.

You’re always keen to learn, whether it be new technologies, or new approaches to product development; you are open to user feedback to steer architecture. You’re comfortable not being the expert, but you also wear your knowledge lightly when you are.

Technologies and Practices You’ll Get To Use

We’re interested in you whatever background you’re from, as long as you have a keen understanding of good development practices.

Sciety uses Node.js, TypeScript and Sass on the server side to deliver a web application to users in a browser. It is built with CQRS and Event Sourcing, following functional programming principles. Builds and deployments happen via Docker and Kubernetes; our infrastructure is defined in code, and our CI, testing and deployment runs on GitHub Actions.

We build the front end mobile first, using progressive enhancement principles. As a whole team, we develop on a single branch in real time, which means we don’t need pull requests nor asynchronous code review.

About Our Offer

Sciety is operated by a team within eLife who are a well-supported, not-for-profit, mission-driven organisation. It’s important to us that you thrive as a person, not just at your job. We invest in the wellbeing of our staff and promote a culture where feedback and ideas are welcome from across the company, so you’ll get the chance to really make a difference.

The post is a permanent position, 37.5 hours per week, and offers a competitive basic annual salary in the range of £40,000-£60,000 (depending on experience). The post holder will be based at our Cambridge office or remotely within the UK. Applicants must be able to demonstrate the right to live and work in the UK to be considered for the vacancy. We also offer:

  • Competitive salary and benefits
  • 25 days’ holiday, plus bank holidays
  • An open, communicative and inspiring working experience
  • The option of working in an employee designed modern office near the centre of Cambridge
  • Covered cycle parking, shower facilities, informal working or relaxation areas, free fresh fruit, a fancy coffee machine and snacks in the kitchen
  • A sociable and friendly team with interesting social events
  • A flexible approach to working hours and remote working
  • Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption pay
  • Company pension scheme
  • Death in Service benefit
  • Employee Assistance Programme

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. We are committed to increasing the diversity of our workplace and we actively encourage applications from groups that are underrepresented throughout the industry.

How To Apply

Please send your CV and a covering letter explaining your enthusiasm for this position and why you are a great person for this role to We're interviewing immediately so please get in touch soon. If you get stuck on what to write then here are some suggestions:

  • Why you would like to join the Sciety team at eLife.
  • Where you found us (a job ad, on Twitter, a conference, meeting one of us).
  • Information about any interesting GitHub, GitLab etc. accounts.
  • Any blogs and email groups you read or would recommend.
  • Any communities and events you attend or are involved with, either online or in person.
  • Any books you’ve read that stood out.
  • ​Links to Twitter/LinkedIn/personal websites/blogs that you’d like us to read.

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