Jobs at FT Labs
We are looking for people who want to make world-class websites that help our readers find and enjoy globally respected content from the Financial Times. Please choose the kind of job that you are interested in for specific details about each role, or read on for more general info about working for us.
- Labs developer – Building prototypes of new ideas, testing concept hardware, experimenting with new technologies and innovative design. (Labs position)
- Front end developer – Developing immersive user experiences, taking advantage of cutting edge browser technologies (FT position)
- Intern developer (Origami) – help our most advanced front end development team for a summer, earn money and work on open source projects using the latest modern web tooling (FT position)
- Test engineer – Creating and managing tests within our QA process, ensuring that we deliver consistently high quality software (FT position)
Working at FT Labs
Being part of the FT Labs team is a commitment to push yourself and those around you to do better, constantly adapt and learn new technologies, and be able to apply yourself to any challenge, whether you’re just starting out or a veteran of the industry. Our mission is to transform the FT with better ways of digitally delivering our content to a worldwide audience. We report to FT’s CIO, Christina Scott, who was recently named top media CIO in the CIO 100.
Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive:
- Flexible working, including freely adjustable working hours and relocation of public holidays to any date that suits you
- Small team (<20) in a friendly, unbureaucratic environment
- Full access to industry leading benefits and pension scheme from our parent company, Pearson
- Private medical healthcare
- Interest free loan to encourage commuting by train or bicycle
- Facilities for secure bike parking and showers
- Premium digital subscription to the FT
- Wide variety of discounts on Pearson publications including Penguin books
- Sponsorship for qualifications and certifications as appropriate
- As much free fruit as you can eat
- Great coffee
- Time out for relevant conferences and developer events, including support and encouragement to speak at conferences.
- Team lunch on Fridays
- Peaceful, well designed working environment purpose built for us in Brook Green, west London
- Office dog (sometimes more than one)
I read the Financial Times before other people read the Financial Times. Now it’s trendy and everybody carries around a Financial Times.
Barack Obama, 27 March 2009
Visit our dedicated online application site, and upload your CV or portfolio. For engineering roles, there is then an opportunity to have a crack at our (exciting and interesting!) online skills assessment to evaluate your competencies in our key skill areas. If you’re successful you will be invited to a remote interview over a video chat, where you’ll normally do some collaborative problem solving with an existing member of our team. If the video interview is successful we’ll invite you to come and see us at our office in London for a final interview.
The best candidates show initiative by applying to us directly. We do not work with recruitment agents for positions at FT Labs, though we also vet candidates for non-Labs FT positions that do work with recruiters on the FT’s preferred supplier list.
To fit in with our team you must be highly motivated, able to manage your own schedule effectively but proactively integrate and collaborate with the rest of the team. The following list summarises some of the qualities that we’re looking for in candidates for any position:
- Proactive in team participation
- Respect and support for your colleagues
- Very high standard of written English
- Co-operative and friendly attitude to colleagues, management and clients
- Excellent timekeeping
Here’s how we rate on the Joel test, which several people have asked us to complete:
- Do you use source control?
Yes, of course. We use Git universally, and most projects have web access via Github or Stash.
- Can you make a build in one step?
Some of our applications include a build step, some don’t. Where they do, yes, you can usually make a build in one step.
- Do you make daily builds?
Normally dozens of times a day.
- Do you have a bug database?
We have a comprehensive suite of tools for capturing user reports, automatically tracking and aggregating run time errors on production systems, alerting continuous integration test failures and dealing with QA feedback from internal test engineers. We use a combination of home grown tools, Jenkins, Splunk and JIRA.
- Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
Trivial bugs are fixed straight away, more complex bugs are logged as they’re found and then planned into future sprints.
- Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
Yes, though how far into the future that goes depends on the agility of the project.
- Do you have a spec?
We use JIRA, an agile task tracker, to plan our sprints and feature requirements.
- Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
We have a purpose built office designed to our requirements, and we try to keep distractions to a minimum. Desks are arranged in open plan, with around 10 desks per room at Labs – and a much larger number at FT’s head office.
- Do you use the best tools money can buy?
Equipment costs a lot less than time. We make sure our staff are never unproductive because they don’t have the tools to do the job. That said we’re not into buying flashy kit or software just for the sake of it.
- Do you have testers?
- Do new candidates write code during their interview?
Yes (in the technical interview).
- Do you do hallway usability testing?
The right opportunity
Working at FT is always a learning experience. We encourage staff to get involved in individual advancement and professional certification programmes, and will sponsor certification exams where appropriate. Our team is on the cutting edge of web development and we want it to stay there.
We are keen to try and maximise the value of your time and will design a schedule around your preferred working style, whether you need to accommodate a school or nursery run, avoid busy commute periods, a gym or sports club schedule, we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
The right person
Pearson is an equal opportunities employer. In recruiting staff we are concerned with nothing other than the ability of the person to do the job, subject to the qualities outlined above. If you are employed to work in our London office, you will be required to maintain an appropriate (but very informal) dress code, and should not be fearful of Andrew’s dog (she freely roams around the whole office and may visit you occasionally, though is getting quite old now). We adhere to Pearson’s code of conduct which we are all required to review annually.
The FT is proud of having a diverse workforce across departments. In technology, we still have a way to go in meeting our goal of having a diverse team. We are committed to providing an environment that is welcoming, trusting and respectful to all staff, including those currently underrepresented in the technology industry. Different voices can lead to different solutions and thus better opportunities – even for the most experienced engineers – to learn.
We value having a balanced team in which everyone benefits from a collaborative and supportive culture and opportunities to expand their career.