Unspecified: Ruby on Rails Developer

June 29, 2008

Some unspecified company is apparently looking for a Ruby on Rails developer in Toronto:

We are a Toronto-based software development company looking for someone who is passionate about writing software. You will be working with a small team of Ruby/Rails developers where your input will have a direct impact on the outcome of a project.

Inquiring to get a little more information got me nowhere; not sure if this is a sign that there’s no-one on the other end, it’s email harvesting, or there’s a live job, and they just don’t want to give me any more information.

The Good
Rails, git, Merb, JQuery.  Ruby’s your thing, sounds like a reasonable stack.

The Bad
Who are they?  What are they doing, and what are they using to make it happen?  Where would you fit in?  What do you get in return?  It’s all open to question.  Plus, the complete lack of response to inquiry is mildly suspicious.

For some, Ruby on Rails is already off the beaten track, and Merb is over the cliff.  That said, if you weren’t interested in being on the edge, why would you be looking at a Ruby job at all?  No matter how much it’s grown, it’s still not the ‘safe’ choice.

In Summary
I’m a little wary the lack of response to my email, but if you’re looking for a Rails and Merb job in Toronto, you might have to take what you can find, and perhaps you’ll have more luck than I did.  If you do, report back and let us know what you find, willya?


Apptastics: Ruby on Rails Developer

May 12, 2008

Apptastics is looking for a Ruby on Rails developer in Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA, or remote:

We’re currently operating in stealth mode. We are looking for 1-3 full-time developers who are well versed in ROR who want to immerse themselves completely into our apps and help lead the development.

Ideally you should have strong experience developing with Rails, have successfully deployed a publicly accessible rails based website, have expertise in relational database design and optimization, experience with deploying and scaling production Rails applications, a detailed approach in design, coding and testing, familiarity with a broad range of web technologies including ajax, javascript, CSS, XML, open APIs.

Experience with social networking app implementations is a bonus.

Their idea of remote might be still be in the United States of America. Canada might be more remote than they have in mind. That said, if this sounds like your opportunity, there’s no harm in asking, right?

Little Bites: ‘Teach’ Lead, Sapient, Rails, Police

April 22, 2008

Agilon puts a lot of effort into their job postings.  For instance, they’re looking for a Teach Lead in TorontoUS, ON, CA which is apparently another way to say ‘Detroit, MI’.

Sapient is always looking for people in Toronto, it seems.  They’re still looking for a Solutions Architect and a Manager, Technology, both of whom should apparently be open to frequent overnight travel.

Someone is looking for Rails developers with PHP experience in Toronto.  If I had to guess, I’d say this sounds like Avid Life Media still.

Being a senior developer for the Toronto Police sounds like an odd but possibly interesting experience in its own way.  Unfortunately, it’s public-sector, so senior developer means $70-$80k here.

mdlogix: Ruby on Rails Software Engineer

April 17, 2008

mdlogix is looking for a Ruby on Rails Software Engineer:

You will be embedded in a small Scrum team, working closely with your teammates, the Product Owner, and the Scrum Master to leverage Ruby on Rails and deliver innovative medical research support software. You will use your exceptional skills and experience in web development to create dynamic functionality.

The Good
They’re a relatively small company using Ruby on Rails to work on medical research software, which seems like a good cause.  They’ve got some expertise with Rails in-house, including Virtuous Code‘s Avdi Grimm (‘Monkey-Patching is Destroying Ruby‘).  And they’ve just brought on a soon-to-be-ex-colleague of mine, who’s a nice chap (yes, he has some British background), so you could work with him.

The Bad
Well, for starters, there’s not a lot of information in their posting.  Where’s the Toronto location?  What kind of compensation do they offer?  What might you be working on?  What’s their process like in detail?  There’s a pile of things a candidate would like to know, and clearly you’re going to have to open discussions before you’ll find out.

Secondly, after some initial conversations, I was able to determine that while mdlogix salaries are pretty good compared to many Rails salaries in Toronto, they still lag behind the high end of the positions for doing Java work, so depending on your background, you might need to verify or alter your expectations.

Your mileage may vary about having to start a conversation with mdlogix before you can find out the basics about where they are and what you might be working on.

I believe they’re located near Queen and Spadina, right next to b5media.  As I said for b5:

Their location’s good and bad; Spadina and Queen is a fine place to hang around, get lunch, have some fun.  Depending on where you live, though it’s an awkward place to commute to.  The Spadina car and Queen car are both sluggish during rush hour, and it’s just far enough from the subway line to make walking a healthy, yet time-consuming exercise on a twice-daily basis.  It’s not incredibly far from the highways, but it’s far enough and on a slow-enough thoroughfare that getting from the Gardiner to Queen/Spadina is often irritatingly slow.

In Summary
If you want a Rails job in Toronto, I wouldn’t suggest you leave stones unturned, and I suspect you’ll find that mdlogix isn’t a bad choice, but ultimately, you’re going to have to talk to them to find that out.

Savvica: Expert Rails Engineer

April 16, 2008

Savvica has three ‘expert rails engineers‘ and they’re looking to add a fourth:

  • the best coder you know.
  • self-taught.
  • very hardworking. (This is an all-or-nothing startup.)
  • not scared of anything: Linux, SQL, CSS, Javascript, Erlang, whatever!

Savvica describes themselves as “a game-changing educational technology company that will improve access and quality of education around the world”

The Good
The company has a very strong developer-friendly startup feel to it.  They talk about technology, they have Rails blog, they contribute to open source.  They have macs, they send you to RubyConf.

They have a visible product that you, the potential candidate, can play with in LearnHub, a “social learning network where people teach and learn online.”  It’s a consumer product, so if you work on it, you can easily show it to your friends and family.

The technology is Ruby and Rails with TDD.

They’re lcoated on Spadina, between Queen and King, a vibrant neighbourhood with ships and restaurants, as well as expensive gyms and condos.

There’s lots to like here.

The Bad
Really, I don’t have many complaints, and most of the ones I can imagine probably fall into a ‘Your Mileage May Vary’ category instead, such as the compensation.

There’s really very little in the posting about the role, the work, the compensation, the process.  Some of that is natural effect of being a small startup — there may be very little in the way of defined roles and process, it’s just a team trying to get the job done, but it does mean you’ll want to ask some of those things if you speak to Savvica.

When I last spoke with Savvica in detail, their salary expectations were neither terrifically low nor terrifically high.  They were hoping to attract developers who could afford to work on a slightly lower salary in return for options/equity in the long run.  That approach can work well in the long run, but it’s not a perfect match for everyone in the near term.  If the rest of the opportunity sounds perfect for you, then I suggest you talk them in more detail and cover the topic of compensation.

Although their posted 88.2% test coverage certainly isn’t bad, and does demonstrate their commitment to testing,  my experience was that, in Rails, with less unlikely-exception-handling and boilerplate getter-and-setter code than Java, it wasn’t hard to get pretty close to 100%.  That said, I haven’t seen their codebase and coverage numbers in detail, and, to be honest, a near-90% coverage is nothing to complain about.

It’s a small startup.  Not everyone’s looking for small or startup.

In Summary
Savvica’s an interesting place.  I spoke briefly with John Philip Green last year, but my outrageous salary expectations (and a family to support who can’t eat options) weren’t a great fit.

If you’re interested in doing Rails in the downtown core, and the compensation is a good match for you, it’s seems worth further investigation.  If you do check it out, be sure and read CTO John Philip Green’s ‘11 Tips on Hiring a Rails Programmer‘ so that you know what to expect.