Senior Frontend Developer (React) - Matr.org

Matr

Posted 6 days ago

Company Overview

Background

Our mission is to make one-to-one tutoring accessible to everyone, not just the lucky few.

Since our inception in 2013, we’ve been supporting teachers with online one-to-one maths tuition, as part of the school timetable, helping to reinforce their classroom teaching… and the feedback was brilliant!

Since then we have worked with thousands of teachers, and tens of thousands of pupils, to deliver our online one-to-one maths teaching. Matr have now delivered over 500,000 hours of online tuition. We’ve also established a research partnership with the world’s leading teacher training organisation – UCL’s Institute of Education – to gain insights from the thousands of hours of live teaching we deliver each week.

We are a team of teachers, parents and technologists, based in London, who all understand both the emotional and academic value of one-to-one tuition. We built Matr to make one-to-one tuition affordable and convenient for busy parents, and fun and engaging for children - across all social groups.

Mission

We are looking to create social change and cultivate a global community of the most ambitious teaching talent to make effective online teaching more accessible than ever before.

Our social impact is on two main levels:

  • At Matr, we focus on building an accessible product that helps pupils build up their confidence, while introducing the unexpected experience of extra learning being fun. This is especially valuable for children who may struggle to learn in a traditional classroom environment. As a result, many of our school customers use our products to offer 1-to-1 tutoring to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. And our products also appeal to families who might not normally be able to access private tutoring outside of school.
  • We are continuously building a strong network of qualified professionals in Sri Lanka and India, giving highly qualified tutors the ability to do what they love remotely, and work flexible hours. It has been particularly impactful for teachers returning from maternity leave who may not be able to return straight back to full time work. We love the idea of parents helping parents in a global community.

Current Snapshot

Matr are currently a team of 40 in London, and over 300 across India and Sri Lanka. We’re growing quickly — doubling revenue last year to £3m — and we’ve raised £7.5m in funding to scale our business.

We are  based on the top floor of the trendy TechSpace Aldgate East office, within walking distance of Shoreditch and near Aldgate, Aldgate East, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations. The office is open, fun, and we have the usual offering of snacks, fruit, and great coffee, which you can enjoy on our roof terrace with a view of the London skyline.

Products

There are two core products:

  • Third Space Learning (TSL) was the original product. This is geared towards schools that wanted additional support in KS2 Maths tutoring. We’re used by over 700 primary schools and 7,000 pupils each week. We’re the largest provider of 1-to-1 maths interventions in the UK.
  • Matr is the latest product that offers affordable, fun and effective 1-to-1 KS2 Maths tutoring direct to the pupil. This product really gives the power to the parent and pupil.

Future Growth

In 2018, we focused on building the platform that would fuel the Matr product.


Now the platform is live, 2019 has been about scaling acquisition with a focus on growing the active student base from 100 to 1,000 by early 2020.

In early 2020 we will be securing our next round of funding. We’re going to use this to propel product growth on a global scale and allow further expansion into other teaching subjects.

Leadership Team

Technology

Background

Both products are hosted on separate platforms.

Third Space Learning sits on the legacy platform, while Matr sits on The Matr  platform went live late 2018, and we have to say we are very proud of it. However, we’re always working to improve.

Third Space Learning is a Ruby on Rails application, with a JavaScript / jQuery / Sass frontend, deployed on AWS.

Matr is a cutting edge platform that the team built last year using modern technologies and tooling. It’s a platform of microservices running on Kubernetes on GCP, written in Java 8 (Spring Boot). On the frontend we use React, Redux, Typescript, HTML5, and CSS3. Currently the frontend is broken out by user type: students, parents, tutor applicants, and hired tutors. Each user type has their own frontend application sitting on the platform.

Tech Roadmap

The focus for the next 12 months is:

  • Working closely with marketing, product and UX to perform rapid prototyping and iterations of new features based on data driven user feedback
  • Further improving the multiple frontend applications built last year, by adding new and exciting features. Examples being:
    • Enhancing parent reporting
    • Performance dashboard for tutors
    • Onboarding journey
    • Enhanced checkout flow
  • Improving system stability and perfecting the Matr platform for scaling.
  • Long term consolidation of the TSL and Matr platforms into one. This will be done gradually, by breaking out the TSL monolith into services that can be deployed onto the new platform.
  • Consolidating the frontends of the TSL and Matr products and their associated pre-login CMS-driven marketing sites. We aim to move onto a single stack and architecture shared between all products.

Our Team

Our core product and engineering team sit in London reporting into the CTO, with an extended team of developers working in Ukraine and Poland. In 2018, there was a heavy emphasis on using interims, this interim team downsized in the early part of 2019 and the focus is now on building a core product and engineering team organically in London.

Core team:

Paul Jackman – UX Lead. Paul has a passion for education, having built design functions in Pearson and MacMillan.

  • Karl O’Keeffe – Senior Frontend Developer/Architect. Karl has been with us since October 2018, he’s been integral in building the Matr platform and a frontend wizard. He’s an interim, but he’ll be staying on to ensure a successful handover to you.
  • Gianni Mazzi – Senior Fullstack Developer. Gianni joined us earlier this year to focus on the TSL product coming from a strong background in Rails with React.
  • Sam Cumming – Product Owner. Sam has been promoted internally to manage the Matr product coming from the strong background in Operations.
  • Ellie McCann – Product Manager. Ellie product manages the TSL product, Ellie used to be a teacher and since joining the business has built an even deeper understanding for the needs of the schools, tutors, pupils and families.

Team Ethos

  • We want to leverage the fact we have a strong platform and small experienced team to be truly user centric. Super-fast iteration to prototype features and validate user feedback is key (and fun).
  • We take pride in our work, truly believe in the product we’re building and the social impact it will have on a global scale.
  • We work collaboratively to solve problems, focussing on the best tool for the job, and have a real appreciation for what every team member brings.
  • We care about our standards, and we’re passionate about delivery, building a great product and shipping quality code every day.
  • We thrive on the principles of autonomy, ownership and mastery.

The Matr Platform

Current state

  • The platform is in MVP state, though it has been designed and built properly by experienced software engineers, using the most modern technologies and tooling available. The platform is fully functional and fit for purpose but needs fine tuning and enhancement to be “production ready”.

Future State

  • The platform needs to be self sufficient for the customer which involves the addition of a number of features such as: rescheduling, rebooking sessions with minimal interaction from support team in London. Also enhanced automated tracking and diagnostics for audio quality during sessions.
  • Outside of planned features, experimentation is key. We want to rapidly prototype new features and iterate using data and user feedback to drive the backlog. The engineering team work very closely with the product, UX/design and marketing to understand user needs and quickly act upon that feedback by spinning up POC’s and constantly iterate.
  • A key factor in TSL’s success has been the level of valuable content that is freely available to teachers and leads to paid users. Matr will also be adding more content to drive acquisition and build an engaged community of parents, allowing them to accelerate their kids learning. This will require a significant amount of frontend design and build work once the content is in place.

The TSL Platform

Current state

  • Fully function platform supporting 7000 learning sessions per week.

Future State

  • The focus here is maintenance and support of the platform until services move onto the Matr platform. Gianni is focused on breaking down the TSL platform/monolith into smaller pieces so it can eventually be moved over to Matr.
  • Small feature development addressing any pain points gathered from customer feedback or the internal support staff.

Your Role

Reporting to the CTO, you will head up the frontend development across both products, with a specific focus on Matr as this is where the majority of feature development is needed. You will work closely with marketing, UX and the product managers to design and develop brand new features across a host of applications.

Within the business you will be the Senior/Lead Frontend Developer taking over from our current Frontend Architect, Karl. Karl is a super-knowledgeable contractor and is keen to make sure a solid handover is given before he moves on. You will be the frontend authority within the team and have autonomy and ownership over the frontend architecture and tooling.

Your focus will be:

To take ownership of the frontend development, the design and build of frontend features for the short and medium term needs of the products, whilst also thinking about future-proofing as the product scales. You will primarily be focused on the Matr product whilst supporting Gianni on maintenance of the TSL product.

Key frontend work in the roadmap:

  • Optimising the Matr web application for tablet browsers
  • Experimentation and rapid prototyping
  • Consolidation the frontend architecture and stack across both products
  • Planned feature development:
    • Enhancing parent reporting
    • Performance dashboard for tutors
    • Booking/rescheduling with tokens
    • Onboarding journey
    • Enhanced checkout flow

Who you are

  • You deeply empathise with our users and the social impact of the product. You are building a product for often non-technical users, including primary school age children. Each has different needs, so being able to align to the user is essential.
  • You are a true team player, with solid experience of improving the quality of consumer-focused applications in an agile, fast-paced environment. You are hungry for delivering a delightful user experience, shipping high quality software every day on a CI/CD environment, and are keen on making progress individually — as well as on improving team, product and business performance.
  • You are a doer, who’ll get stuck in and make things happen.
  • You enjoy solving difficult problems, but you are pragmatic, and you understand the need for trade-offs depending on the current needs of the business and product.
  • You know how to analyse problems with software, and you love to experiment and prototype based on real time customer feedback.

Required skills

  • Commercial experience building applications with React and JavaScript.
  • Building modern responsive web UIs.
  • Able to collaborate with the business, marketing and UX teams on technical and product discussions in a positive and insightful way.
  • A pragmatic approach to development - knowing when a solution is good enough.
  • A broad understanding of the frontend ecosystem (e.g. npm, Webpack, HTML, CSS, etc).
  • Able to advise and make technical decisions relating to frontend architecture and development.
  • Happy to work in an agile development process.

Nice to haves

  • Interest or experience in the Education sector
  • Typescript experience.
  • Experience with Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and/or Test Automation.
  • Dev-Ops knowledge, ideally with GCP or AWS.
  • Experience working with server-side language such as Python, Java or Ruby.

What will career progression look like for you?

  • You will have an awesome opportunity to set the agenda for frontend architecture in a company and product that needs to provide the highest level of user experience. We have a great track record of listening to our engineers when making these decisions and you will have a seat at the table when that happens.
  • Once we secure funding in 2020, you will have the opportunity to lead a larger team or tribe of front-end engineers working in cross-functional squads.
  • You’ll work closely with Paul, our UX Lead, to ensure we stay at the leading edge of consumer and school focused web and mobile applications.

Why you should be excited about joining?

  • An opportunity to own the frontend development across two core products.
  • To form part of the core engineering team of one of the fastest growing EdTech businesses in London.
  • The chance to work with the latest frontend technology and tools – React, Typescript, ES6.
  • Working on brand new features on top of a greenfield product
  • To work for a company that has the ability to drive positive social change on a global scale.
  • Constant learning is encouraged, whether that be taking time to research into new technologies and contribute to Open Source, or more formal training and certification.

Package and Benefits

  • Salary: £70-80,000
  • Opportunity to grow your career in one of the fastest growing EdTech businesses in London
  • 25 days holiday plus bank holidays
  • Personal development budget and perkbox
  • Spacious office with a terrace
  • Vitality healthcare with
    • 50% off Virgin Gym
    • Bi-weekly free cinema tickets
    • Free weekly coffee at Starbucks
  • Pension contribution (statutory)
  • Budget for self-learning and training
  • Lovely location, team, and regular good times too

Interview Process:

First stage, phone interview with Sam Stagg (CTO). 30-45 minutes

  • High level technical discussion mainly focused on building responsive web UI’s.
  • Opportunity to understand more about the opportunity and mission at Matr.

Final stage, onsite interview. 3 hours

  • CTO/Frontend Architect – 1.5-2 hours. Technical exercise on system design to understand thought process in making technical decisions, followed by open discussion around their challenges and your previous experience.
  • UX Lead - 30 min. Overview of Paul’s vision for design and collaboration between UX design and frontend.
  • CEO - 30 min. Matr company vision and values.



London, UK

Full time employment

GB£70k - GB£80k

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Technologies:

javascript react jquery ruby kubernetes aws ux spring python rails typescript gcp