DevOps and full-stack maintenance engineer
We are now looking for a DevOps and full-stack maintenance engineer to join the team!
weseethrough is a tech-driven market research startup. We’re less than two years old, and we’ve already won large contracts from big-name clients like Unilever and we won the 2015 MRS award for innovation in research methodology. Business is booming.
We help our clients understand their consumers’ real behaviour: how they use their products, how they interact with advertising, how they perceive brands. Traditionally this has been done through surveys and focus groups, or sending researchers to participants’ homes as they use cleaning or food products etc. These approaches have major drawbacks:
- Reported behaviour and actual behaviour can be very different. People might claim they only add one teaspoonful of salt, but they actually add three… or they think they take 20 minutes to clean a room, but actually take 40.
- Sending a researcher to observe someone in their homes as they use a product is expensive, and it’s hard to get participants to relax and act naturally when there’s a stranger watching them!
We address these issues by giving participants wearable devices like Google Glass or GoPro to wear as they perform activities like cooking or cleaning. We use these devices to record hundreds of hours of first-person video. We then use our Haystack platform to find the 0.1% of the footage that’s insightful: the moments which help our clients better understand their customers.
We’ve conducted these studies in >20 countries across five continents; from Tokyo to Lagos to Moscow to Milan. To give an example, we had a client in Brazil who wanted to understand why their recently-launched house cleaning products were not selling well. To investigate, we got participants to clean their homes with Google Glass. As well as recording video and audio, our custom Glass software posed pre-recorded Portuguese interview questions as they went around their homes, using proximity beacons in each room to ask the right questions at the right time. We were able to use the recordings to write a report for a client giving deep insights into common behaviours, and a few quirks you wouldn’t think to ask about, like participants throwing buckets of undiluted bleach over their floors without moving furniture out of the way!
A more detailed example in this case study.
We have a web app to analyse the videos we collect. Our crowd team annotates the videos with ‘behavioural codes’. If it’s a study around cooking, then these might be some relevant codes:
- Ingredient prepared – item (e.g. parmesan, garlic, Maggi stock cube) – action (e.g. sliced, crushed, crumbled)
- Storage opened – unit (e.g. fridge, freezer, cupboard)
- Ingredient picked up – brand – item
These codes get added every time they occur. Once this coding process is complete, our researchers can search through the video and easily find every time someone uses Heinz ketchup, or every time someone crushes a stock cube, etc.
The role is twofold:
- Devops. Our platform is split between:
- A pair of dedicated Linux servers (prod + test), running node.js, a lot of batch video processing with ffmpeg, and a bit of data in Redis
Also, often when we receive a lot of videos from a client for processing, the project managers need a helping hand organising it.
- Platform maintenance and troubleshooting – both backend and frontend.
- We’re looking for someone who can fix bugs and make small functional changes across the full stack, but we won’t be asking for huge overhauls of the UX.
- In tandem, we are looking to redevelop the platform from the ground up, but this will be a slow process, and we need to continue to provide bug fix support and tweaks to the existing platform in the interim. (Opportunity to switch to working on the new platform once we’ve transitioned!)
We’re a small startup, and it’s crucial that you’re comfortable with all that that means!
- You’ll have a lot of responsibility early on, and if you do a good job you’ll see a real difference to how the company is doing.
- We’re likely to ask you to go outside your comfort zone and perform tasks outside a narrow reading of your job specification.
- Lateral thinking and problem solving for unfamiliar tasks are hugely valued here.
- There’s no room for big egos here! In large companies, it’s possible for an individual to do well as the company flounders – here, we all make a success of the company, or… we don’t.
- We want someone who is hungry to work in a startup in general, and our company in particular. Startups have a very different culture from large corporates and you should have a clear idea of this going in, even if you’ve not worked for a startup before.
- Linux system administration (we use Ubuntu)
- Build automation tooling – we’re using Bamboo
- AWS – currently we use S3, CloudFront, EC2; may start using Elastic Transcoder and others in future
- Basic HTML & CSS
- Angular 1.3
- Deep understanding of Chrome developer tools
Nice to have (/can learn on the job):
- ffmpeg / video processing
- Performance test experience