Working at FT

Big wrap Hong Kong

Being part of the FT 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.

Much of the FT’s technology work is open source, so much of our commit activity can be viewed on our Github profile. You will also often see FT engineers speaking at conferences including Velocity, Edge, CSSConf, Overtheair, Web Directions, and Full Frontal.

At the FT building in London we host the monthly London Web Performance meetup.

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

Big wrap Hong Kong

Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive:

  • Full access to industry leading benefits and pension scheme
  • 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
  • Sponsorship for qualifications and certifications as appropriate
  • An office next to Borough Market
  • Time out for relevant conferences and developer events, including support and encouragement to speak at conferences.

Application process

Each job ad lists a hiring manager to email if you would like to apply. 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 work with recruitment agents for positions at FT, but only those on our preferred suppliers list.

Work ethic

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:

  • Self-motivating
  • Proactive in team participation
  • Respect and support for your colleagues
  • Independence
  • 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:</p>

  1. Do you use source control?
    Yes, of course. We use Git universally, and most projects have web access via Github or Bitbucket Server.
  2. 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.
  3. Do you make daily builds?
    • Normally dozens of times a day.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
    • Yes, though how far into the future that goes depends on the agility of the project.
  7. Do you have a spec?
    • Some teams use JIRA, an agile task tracker, to plan sprints and feature requirements. Others use similar tools.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Do you have testers?
    • Yes.
  11. Do new candidates write code during their interview?
    • Yes (if you do more than one interview you will write code in at least one of them).
  12. Do you do hallway usability testing?
    • Yes.
Inflating the FT 125 balloon

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

FT 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.

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.

The next step

If you would like to be considered, please send an email to the hiring manager listed on the job ad you are interested in.