G.A.P. Adventures: Web Developer

October 7, 2008

G.A.P. Adventures is looking for a Web Developer:

We’re looking for a full-time Web Developer to work with the eCommerce team. You will be working in a collaborative and agile environment to develop a completely new experience for visitors to G.A.P Adventures websites.  You will be responsible for analyzing existing software, making improvements, handling new development requests and continually enhancing our web development capabilities.

Demonstrated development experience with hand-coding advanced HTML, CSS, Python or PHP and JavaScript
Proficiency with cross-browser/cross-platform issues, and web standards
Experience configuring Apache with MySQL or Postgress [sic], with knowledge of SQL and Linux (proficient with command line) 
Solid understanding of website architecture and MySQL database structure & design, as well as object- oriented-programming 
Experience working within a team environment 
A strong ability to deal with people at all levels and build trust and confidence with management and employees 
Excellent command of the English language Python development experience a strong asset  

The Good
G.A.P. Adventures has a pretty good reputation as a tour operator and has won lots of awards over the years, and is in an interesting industry (ethical travel/tourism).  They’re doing Python in a town where there isn’t a lot of Python.  I get the impression that they’re moving from PHP to Python and Django, although if the technology matters to you, you’ll probably want to talk to them about the situation in more detail.

Interestingly, they mention “great travel benefits.”  That’s not enough information to go on, but it does imply that it’s something you may want to know more about.

The description of the role seems sensible, not packed with meaningless HR or enterprisey terms that might imply dysfunction.

The Bad
Information gaps.  How big’s the team?  What kind of applications does the team work on?  What’s the detail on the PHP/Python technology mix?  What’s the compensation (salary, vacation, travel benefit, etc.)?  How big is the company?  What’s the location you’d be working from?  (Is it a nice space?)  What kind of process does the team follow?  What tools do they use?  You could keep up this line of questions all day.

Also, although there’s no specific mention of compensation, it’s been my experience that companies hiring under the banner of “Web Developer” are typically paying less than those looking for, say, a  “Python Developer” or a “Software Developer”.  That said, if compensation is a concern, the simplest way to address that is to talk to them about compensation.

It doesn’t sound like it’s an exceptionally senior role — they’re not looking for a ton of experience.   Depending on what your experience is and what you’re interested in doing, this is either a great thing or a potential problem.  At the same time, I believe it’s a smaller company, so you’re unlikely to be a powerless code-monkey cog-in-the-wheel, so if you’ve got a lot of experience, they may well be willing to hire you and take advantage of it.

If Python is your area of interest, your mileage may vary about spending some of your time in PHP, so you’d want to inquire further about the technology mix.  Likewise if you’re really into PHP and not so much into Python.

Although I don’t believe you can directly correlate the posting to the company, I’m a little disappointed that the posting had some formatting issues, a typo, and failed to take the selling opportunity to link to the awards that G.A.P. Adventures has won directly, or to explain the travel benefits in more detail.

In Summary
This is probably most interesting if either you’re looking to do some Python work or you really like the idea of doing some work in ethical tourism (and possibly take advantage of said travel benefit).  If you’re looking to parlay your PHP experience and move from PHP to Python and Django, this could also be a good place to do it, as long as you’ve got enough Python experience to make the grade.


Trapeze: Python/Django Developer

September 12, 2008

Trapeze Media is looking for a Python/Django Developer:

As far as I know, they’re still looking for a Director of Application Development as well, so if the company and work sounds interesting but you’re looking for a more senior role, then perhaps that’ll fit the bill.

The Good
Django just went 1.0, and has a pretty good reputation for people who like dynamic languages and are willing to look beyond Ruby on Rails.   There aren’t a lot of Python or Django jobs in Toronto, so if you’re excited by this, your choices are limited.

The Bad
There’s so little information here that it’s impossible to get much of an idea of why you might want this job, unless, in fact you’re anxious to work on Python/Django.   I can’t possibly recommend it on any other basis, but I know there are Python fans out there who’d be at least curious to learn more, so … here we are.

Trapeze is an agency, and not everyone likes the agency environment.  Their location is a little off the beaten path, at Esplanade and Sherbourne, which won’t work for everyone. 

In Summary
If you’re looking for Python/Django work in Toronto your options are pretty limited and you probably want to talk to Trapeze, but you’re going to need to ask them a lot of questions.