38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, involving over 2 million supporters who campaign to make the UK a better place. We’re united by a set of shared values; to defend fairness, protect rights, promote peace, preserve the planet and deepen democracy.
In the space of a week, millions of members could be campaigning on anything from protecting our NHS and stopping cuts to Universal Credit, to saving local libraries and pushing for laws that welcome more refugees.
38 Degrees is fiercely independent. We don’t take donations from political parties, or big donors. We’re run on hundreds of thousands of small donations from the public. This independence means we never have to hold ourselves back from taking on those with power and can truly listen to our members.
The entire team is currently working remotely and we are open to applicants who would like to work remotely on a permanent basis.
Why you’ll want to work here
The 38 Degrees culture is honest, kind, supportive, courageous, and respectful. We move fast, and frequently change plans to respond to events. We work hard but we also have fun. We regularly enjoy team away days and social hours. Benefits include:
- 27 days holiday per year (plus Bank Holidays)
- Employer pension contribution
- 24 hour employee support line
- Enhanced family leave policies
- Cycle to work scheme
- Free annual flu vaccination
- Rental deposit loan
- Contribution to eye tests/glasses
- Learning and development budget
Special COVID provisions:
- 9-day fortnight (every other Friday off)
- COVID flex leave
What’s the role?
The Interim Tech director is responsible for leading the software development team at 38 Degrees, working closely with various Directors and Heads of departments to review our tech needs and deliver software projects which will drive 38 Degrees’ mission.
Having just settled on a new organisational strategy, your primary role over the year will be to audit our technical capability, and to devise a strategy and shape our tech team to build, buy and sustain the cutting edge tools we need to deliver that strategy.
38 Degrees uses a mix of in house software products (our Call To Action tool and CRM), shared development within a network of peer organisations and off the shelf solutions.
You’ll manage the competing priorities of the software development team, provide guidance and make decisions on technical direction, leading the software development team to build and support projects & products.
You’ll also build & maintain relationships with The OPEN Network – a network of organisations similar to 38 Degrees operating in countries around the world, many of whom use the same campaigning software as 38 Degrees. You’ll ensure 38 Degrees’ priorities and vision for the software within the collaboration are represented, while helping 38 Degrees learn from the processes, projects & innovations which other organisations are trying.
As a Director you’ll also be comfortable occasionally getting involved in organisation-wide projects on a wide range of topics, including helping to develop new policies & practices within the organisation, contributing to the organisational strategy, and looking across the organisation for ways we can optimise processes.
Responsibilities: include the following, (38 Degrees may add, change, or remove responsibilities based on changing priorities)
- Audit technical capability and design future strategy
- Review of our technical stack, inhouse products and capabilities.
- Work with the wider Senior Leadership team to set a future direction and strategy for technology at 38 Degrees to deliver our organisational strategy, and provide business continuity, specifically looking at risk/reward of building inhouse technology vs off the shelf.
- Review of our software sharing agreements and collaboration agreements with peer organisations.
- Continue to design, build and develop our technical team to reflect this strategy. Thinking through which future roles we may need, and recruiting for them, including potentially a permanent Tech Director replacement.
- Lead the Software Development Team
- Using a solid understanding of tech development, provide direction to the team – both technical direction and a long-term vision for 38 Degrees’ software stack. Identify and minimise risks to production, be communicative and open when dealing with stakeholders, and give & receive feedback honestly and graciously.
- Ensure the processes and practices used within the software development team are fit for purpose, and iteratively work to improve these when necessary
- Line manage the most senior member/members of our technical team, and support other line managers in setting strong growth and stretch objectives for the wider tech team. Help build a strong, healthy, collaborative and productive culture within the team.
- Manage the budget for 38 Degrees’ technology
- Deliver technical projects and products
- Work with stakeholders across the organisation, and at times outside it, to prioritise fixing and improving our current systems, including new features, and entire new products. For example our next generation public action tool “Flow” is currently in development and on track to replace our current tool in the next 6 months.
- This is a leadership rather than a hands on coding role. Let other members of the Software Development team take ownership of projects & products where appropriate, setting clear goals for the project to measure progress & gauge success.
- Keep stakeholders informed of progress, and work with them to reach a good solution to the problem, often within short timeframes.
- Plan for the long-term support of new projects & products – how will they be updated and maintained.
- Work with and manage contractors when necessary to deliver projects to tight deadlines.
- Be accountable for security and compliance of 38 Degrees software
- Review of the security of 38 Degrees’ in-house software, and incrementally improve this over time.
- Work with our external Data Protection Officer and senior tech team members to ensure 38 Degrees is aware of and compliant with new & upcoming legislation – such as GDPR, Age Appropriate Design, etc.
- Oversight of Tech Risk register – Work with Directors to identify key security & compliance risks, and put in place mitigations to reduce the risk.
- Contribute to organisation-wide projects and priorities
- Feed in to discussions around organisational strategy and strategic priorities, and ensure the team – in particular the software development team – are clear on what the organisational strategy means for them.
- Contribute to task management and objective setting for staff who are not software developers, but are performing some technical duties in their role – for example, data analysts.
Other – any other duties as a result of a change in priority or organisational strategy
Your experience should include:
- Experience of designing or redesigning teams to implement and deliver on strategic goals.
- Experience leading a technical or software engineering team
- Experience line managing technical staff
- Hands-on experience of delivering technical projects through the full development lifecycle – from requirements gathering to deployment and support / maintenance
- Experience of compliance, such as GDPR, a bonus.
More about you
- Strategic technical team leadership
- Designing teams and implementing strategy
- Demonstrable skills in consulting with stakeholders, requirements gathering, architecting solutions, prioritising features, and supporting systems
- Accuracy, attention to detail, and with an eye to mitigating risk – particularly in relation to building and rolling out software & business continuity plans.
- High level understanding of the programming skills needed to deliver multiple professional-level projects. We primarily use Ruby/Rails and TypeScript, so experience with these is a bonus, but this is not a ‘hands on’ role.
- Good high-level understanding of software security principles.
- Good interpersonal skills, collaborative style and approach to leadership & management, and able to communicate complex technical ideas to a range of people, including non-technical audiences
- Able to adjust personal and team priorities in a fast-moving organisation
- Commitment to the mission and values of 38 Degrees
There are no formal education requirements for this role. As long as you can show us you have the skills we don’t mind where you got them from! Also important to us is your potential to learn and grow in the role so even if you don’t have 100% of the skills listed we want to hear from you.
38 Degrees is striving to build a team that reflects the diversity of our membership and our locations, and is truly inclusive. We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particularly people of colour, trans and non-binary people, and disabled people. For this role we would also like to strongly encourage applications from women, who are currently underrepresented on our tech team (although well represented in the rest of the organisation).
Your commitment – You will have a commitment to 38 Degrees’ mission and values and will work as part of our wider team to drive and support change initiatives to achieve a sustainable culture.
Our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
38 Degrees wants to make democracy work for everyone. That means living up to that mission by having a team that represents our membership and our location, making 38 Degrees a genuinely inclusive space to work. We are currently under-represented by people of colour, trans and non-binary people, older people and disabled people. We welcome applicants from these groups.
38 Degrees is deeply committed to inclusive working practices, so during the application process we commit to:
- Paying for childcare whilst you’re at 38 Degrees interviews or tasks
- Paying for your travel costs to the office and back
- Paying you for any trial days
- Making any reasonable adjustments – for example ensuring we have BSL interpreters organised in advance if you’d like them
- If there anything else you’re concerned about or think we could provide, please let us know
The first step of our recruitment process is for you to answer a few questions alongside sending us your CV.
- What attracted you to apply for this position at 38 Degrees?
- Tell us about a time you’ve had to decide on a technology strategy for an organisation. What considerations did you take into account and what process did you go through to come to a solution?
- Tell us about a project or achievement at work where your leadership made a major impact: what was the outcome, what was your role?
- Thinking about your leadership role in teams, tell us about a sensitive or difficult decision you have led or implemented which had an impact on others. How did you handle this? What was the outcome and what did you learn?
- Describe how you’ve motivated teams to achieve their best performance.
You can apply for this role by emailing your CV and answers to the above questions to email@example.com