Lead Software Developer, Adventure Travel

at Swoop Travel (view profile)
Location Bristol, United Kingdom
Date Posted 2nd November 2017
Category In the office
Job Type Full-time


About Swoop Travel

On the surface we’re a travel agency specialising in adventurous trips to Antarctica, Patagonia and the Arctic. Dig deeper and you’ll find a diverse team of twenty people who are deeply knowledgeable and passionate about their destinations, working with individual autonomy and shared purpose. Customers cite our three websites as the best guidebooks to their regions, and our trips and service second to none. Swoop is heading towards being not just the global number one for our destinations and a stand-out brand in the travel industry, but also the centre of gravity for a worldwide community of people with an enduring interest in the experiences that can be found at the ends of the earth.

About​ ​Swoop​ ​Tech

Our development agency have built a bespoke CRM that does a good job of serving the needs of our sales, operations and marketing teams. This is combined with three websites (and CMS) that provide our customers with engaging guidebook content and ample opportunity to make a sales enquiry. We also have a bespoke customer review platform through which customers are sharing extensive and relevant feedback. We’re running on two Linode virtual machines and the software is written in PHP using CodeIgniter.

We are looking for a Lead Developer to join our team on a permanent basis. Your role will evolve over time and as opportunities are identified, but we expect:

1. In the first 3-6 months: build a platform for invoicing customers and managing payments to suppliers, that takes data from our CRM/Sales database and integrates with our accounting software (Xero). This platform might be built in PHP, but we’ll take your recommendations for alternatives.
2. At 5-9 months: take responsibility for the architecture of the full stack of Swoop software including integration with core CRM applications that will in the short/medium term continue to be owned/managed by our dev agency; and integrations with a third-party CMS and Mailchimp/Sendgrid.
3. At 6-18 months: we will hire a second developer* to enable us to... a. Build an MVP of new feature/application that supports Swoop’s efficiency, engagement or generation of quality sales leads b. Develop an enhanced version of one of the core CRM applications c. Explore scope to leverage Swoop software to support other niche travel companies (most likely with a franchise model)
4. 12-18 months+ Over time bring all Core applications ‘in-house’, developing updated and improved versions of each of the Core applications.
* we expect the second developer to be hired and managed by others but you will be carefully consulted throughout.

In the first 6-12 months we expect that you will be collaborating with:
● An experienced product owner responsible for ‘tech discovery’
● Our Bristol-based dev agency
● Our highly experienced Head of UX and IA
● Our Bristol-based design agency
● Internal customers, especially our Financial Controller, Head of Analytics and GM of Polar Travel
● Our Founder / MD who takes a real interest in software development and its crucial strategic role for Swoop

What​ ​is​ ​Swoop​ ​offering?

● A highly competitive salary between £40-60k

● Some flexibility re: hours and place of work if needed

● Significant input to the product development roadmap and full autonomy over how solutions are engineered

● Coaching from day one, particularly around working with multi-disciplined teams and other stakeholders

● The opportunity to be part of a dynamic, enthusiastic and adventurous team

● The pride that will naturally come from building the engine that lies behind thousands of extraordinary experiences at the ends of the earth

● A ‘seat at the table’ when defining long term company strategy

● Opportunity (but not a requirement) to grow into a CTO role over time ; with mentorship from a CTO (1 day per month) in the meantime

● Scope for share options to be granted after 2 years


Please send your CV and a one-page response to these questions to [email protected]

- What has been your most memorable outdoors experience?

- What has been the application/feature/product that you are most proud of developing?

- What makes it special for the end user?

Applications should be submitted by Friday 17 November.


We are particularly keen to hear from members of the Explorers Connect community so please mention Explorers Connect in your application.