A front-end developer surrounded by a horde of scary "Enterprise Java" developers?

by Bram SmeetsJuly 10, 2012

Orange11 is urgently looking for an accomplished front-end developer. We’re looking for a person that obviously has extensive experience using HTML5, Javascript and CSS3. But, more importantly, we’re looking for a developer that really has an opinion to share; about most things really; but certainly on how to build high quality, maintainable applications (which patterns, frameworks, etc) and someone who can think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions for our often challenging client requirements.

The problem we have, and the reason for this blog post, is that most people when they think of Orange11, think a Java shop, even worse: an “Enterprise Java” shop. Apparently, this scares off most of the talented front-end developers (i.e. the ones we are looking for!), as they are afraid of becoming this single front-ender among this scary horde of “Enterprise Java” developers. The illusion is that they are often simply tasked with a requirement (e.g. “just add some behaviour to this drop-down box please”)….and well to say the least here at Orange11 that is far from reality.
This is the reason why I want to take this opportunity to write this blog and shed some light on what we do at Orange11, an insight into the profile we’re looking for and how this person fits into the bigger picture (the team, projects etc.).

Front-end development @ Orange11

Orange11 (formerly JTeam) has a long track record in building high quality software applications for our clients. To be precise, we have spent the last 10 years doing just that… Using an Agile process (currently Scrum) and mostly Open Source software components we build the best solutions for our clients. Those range from large websites and systems like rijksoverheid.nl, the new website for the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the new system for the digital examinations in high schools all the way down to smaller projects like an online Bridge platform and numerous mobile apps (both web-based and native). Our (largely in-house) projects typically deliver a solution that helps solve problems and therefore every component matters…

Since 2010, Orange11 has changed its focus and is now a full service provider, whereby front-end development is now also part of our core services, where as in the past we often worked with partners. Ever since, our team of front-end developers has gradually grown and has proven to be very capable of building sophisticated web applications that are up to our top notch standards when it comes to quality. Using defacto standard frameworks like jQuery, backbone, spine, etc. and where applicable experimenting with Node.js, etc. it helps us serve our clients with the best solution every time. Obviously we apply common best practices, patterns and things like responsive web design too. Do you like what I have to say so far? Then read on about the type of person we’re looking for.

About you

The most important thing is that you’re enthusiastic and passionate about what you do. You have a real willingness to learn and have drive and ambition to delve into new solutions. Obviously, you have all the hands-on experience in comparable projects with comparable tools too, but you get your real kick out of creative problem-solving and thinking out of the box. Basically, you’re a front-end developer that has an opinion and that can back this up with reasonable arguments. You’re someone that has a real impact on the projects you work on from day 1, you are open to explore new ideas and you’re a team player (i.e. work well with back-end developers and designers).

About us

Next to the interesting projects, people and the job itself, we have lots to offer. The most important thing is that you’re a part of a multi-disciplinary team of experts, whereby everyone is an expert in their own field and there is a real culture of respecting your peers. This includes not only front-end developers but also back-end developers, designers, user interaction specialists, testers, etc. each one is just as important as the other.

Furthermore, Orange11 has always been involved with open source, not only by using it but also contributing back to it. As we have successfully done that in the Java space (i.e. Hibernate, Spring, Lucene, Solr and Axon), we really want to be doing more of this in the front-end development space too. That is why we have a strong preference for people that like to make a name for themselves by contributing / becoming a committer, blogging, speaking at conferences, etc. And not only because we feel this is important for you, but also for Orange11; and that’s why we provide employees with the time and resources to do just that.

Last but not least, we highly value our people and like to provide them with lots of extra benefits. This includes a great pension plan, extensive part-time possibilities, and most importantly a large focus on the social aspect of our company. We provide lunch everyday so we can catch up with everyone including those outside the project teams and this is usually combined with a battle of table football too. But, we also have a monthly tech meeting on various (technical) topics and company drinks every 6 weeks.

And now what?

Anyway, I hope this blog post has provided you with some insight into Orange11 and the front-end developer vacancy we have. Moreover, I hope I have also convinced you that it’s not scary to come and work for us, but rather an opportunity to do cool, interesting, in-house projects with all the freedom to develop your career too.

There is one catch: we are looking for someone that is fluent in Dutch. This role does include extensive customer contact and is always closely related to the clients business requirements (often defined in Dutch), so being able to speak and read Dutch is thereby essential.

Anyway, all that is left to say is, if you fit the profile, impress me. Send through your portfolio and / or CV to bram.smeets@orange11.nl and I’ll be in touch to set up an introductory chat. If you want more info, check out the job spec on our website.

Look forward to hearing from you…

P.S. A little note for any recruiters out there: we really don’t fancy having to hire through agencies right now, so please don’t hassle us or get in touch with any candidates for this vacancy, we’d really appreciate the candidates hunting us down for themselves – thanks.