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Blog posts tagged as 'hiring'

Join our Little Printer and BERG Cloud team

We’re looking for someone to join our engineering team to work on Little Printer and BERG Cloud!

This is a full-time role in our London studio, and is primarily focused on the backend systems that power Little Printer and all other BERG Cloud products. You’ll need a strong core knowledge of Ruby on Rails, and a few other skills we’ve listed in our Stack Overflow Careers job listing.

http://careers.stackoverflow.com/jobs/26841/backend-ruby-engineer-web-connected-physical-berg

Little Printer is the first of many ideas we want to bring to life. If you’re the kind of person who’s fascinated by the prospect of writing code not only for the Web but for actual physical objects, then we’d love to hear from you.

Email us at jobs@berglondon.com to get in touch.

BERG is looking for a game artist!

We don’t often post on our blog when we’re looking for folks to help out on projects – we’re blessed with a great network of collaborators, some frequent, some less regular. But sometimes acts of God happen, and a Game Artist we had lined up for some brilliant work with us has just been offered a year-long project of a lifetime! Which is super news for him! But it means we’re looking for someone to help us on a project which is slightly more humble but which still promises to be excellent fun.

We’re looking for someone to pick up a super, slightly unusual Android smartphone game which we’ve made an early prototype of, and to run with it to develop the visual design / graphics further for a new version of the game. It’ll be an 8-week contract gig ideally working here in our studio near Old Street, working to create simple, playful and characterful graphics with some animations, working with another game / UX designer here, plus sound designers. The game will be built by a development team based elsewhere who will be heavily consulted throughout.

If this sounds up your street (or up the street of someone you know), please get in touch with me at sp@berglondon.com. We’re looking for someone to start immediately!

Update on Friday 26 October: We have now filled this position. Thanks very much to everyone who helped spread the word and to those who got in touch  - I’ll be in touch individually with everybody over the next couple of days.

Hiring

Quick update on Monday January 23rd: thanks to all who’ve applied already! We’ll be accepting applications for these positions until Friday 27 January.

We’re looking to expand the studio a little more as we begin 2012.

BERG is a thirteen-strong design studio at present, made up of a mixture of multi-skilled designers and creative technologists researching and developing media and technology. We also have a super team of extras who help us out. There’s more about our work here.

We’re beginning the search for a couple of new people to join us!

Firstly a Business Development Manager, part time. This person will manage our pipeline of upcoming consultancy work, finding and shaping new projects, working with existing clients and finding new ones with whom BERG can do exciting work.

Secondly – another Project Manager. You’ll be working across a few of our internal projects like Little Printer and BERG Cloud as well as client projects, ensuring things run smoothly and efficiently in the studio.

If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, then you can download the full job descriptions.

To apply, please send your CV with a covering note in to info@berglondon.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

Vacancies!

Update: We’ve had a bunch of great responses! We’re no longer looking to meet folks through this route — keep an eye on the blog for future vacancies and more formal hiring. Thanks! -Matt.

So, we’ve got a few projects coming up, and I’d like to expand our network of awesome collaborators.

We’re a little studio — there are only 13 of us permanent, plus a handful of totally excellent regulars. We’re always busy, researching and developing media and tech for a wide variety of companies. And we work on our own stuff too.

There are a handful of roles that I’d like to find folks for, probably as contractors. I’m not going to write up these as full job specs yet, because it’s still early days. This is a gentle testing of the waters, and I won’t treat it like a full skills screen/interview/etc process. If we meet and hit it off, brilliant, we’ll make some magic. Otherwise I’ll put out a more formal call in a month or so!

Given all of that… if any of these gigs sounds like you, drop a note + your CV to info@berglondon.com, and we’ll sort out a coffee if it looks like we have a match.

Those gigs:

  • Book-keeper: 1-2 days/week. We’re looking for an assistant to Kari, our studio manager. As part of her job, she runs payroll, does the book-keeping, receives and pays invoices, run VAT returns, and provides information to our accountants at year-end. Kari has written an operations manual on how our book-keeping works, and the position will start with shadowing her for a month or more. This will be an ongoing, part-time role, ideally kicking off before the end of the year. Experience with Xero (our accounts software) highly desirable.
  • Designer-coder(s) au fait with openFrameworks (we’ll be looking at public code contributions), projection mapping, and live video manipulation, for a project or two beginning later this year. Experience in computer vision is a plus, as is the ability to blog publicly about work. The project definitions will start off pretty loose — we’re looking for collaborators to work with the software and ideas we’ll have already developed, and find and show off new possibilities. We’re looking at starting very early in 2012 for this, maybe earlier, and would like to start meeting people now.
  • A developer highly skilled with 3D and manipulating 3D models, large polygon counts, and graphics. Additional skills: making beautiful visual output; tight code for future mobile output. The first iteration is a clearly defined project, for delivery before the end of the year for an internal prototype. This would be a contracting position, starting as soon is practical.
  • Producer with experience working with specialists in interaction design; product design; short-run manufacture; electronics; software development. We’re increasingly getting projects that run from experimental prototyping to speculative short-run manufacture of physical products with screens and electronics. While we have project management and hardware producer/R&D skills, in the long-term I’d like to expand the team, and so this is a good opportunity to work with a new contractor producer dedicated to a single project. Great communication is a must: this is a client-facing role, and being able to define and demystify roadmaps will be a big part of it. So a background in prototyping and/or embedded software would be very useful. I reckon this a 50% role for 3-6 months, and will likely involve a little travelling. It starts as soon as we meet the right person.

All roles are based out of our East London studio — we’re not quite big enough for remote working. No guarantee that we’ll actually take anyone on at this point. It’s all contingent on finding the right brilliant person!

Anyway, drop info@ a note if any of these gigs resonate.

Thanks, and please feel free to pass this on!

Welcome Andy Huntington

So I’m terribly pleased to announce that this week we are formally joined by Andy Huntington. We’ve known Andy for many years and began working with him as “Schulze & Webb” on the Olinda project. More recently, for the last year or so, he’s been designing and prototyping products with us.

Andy Huntington

Andy’s joining us as a Hardware Producer & Designer. He’ll be shifting between the design landscape and the dark pit of component sourcing, board design and manufacture. No doubt he’ll rub shoulders with Nick too in embedded software stuff. Initially his focus will be split between physical prototyping on Chaco and internal new product development on Barringer.

I first knew Andy during our studies at college. I sat at the next desk. Much of Andy’s work is around design of sound installations and musical instruments. I can only hope that his indentured servitude here can pay back a small percentage of the psychic debt he incurred at college during the development of his tappers project.

tap tap tap……..

tap…

tap..

*solder solder*

tap tap tap…

I still wake up screaming from the taps.

He’s a great force and I can’t wait for him to punch products into the world.

Creating a warm welcome

I’ve been thinking about new employee orientation lately. We’ve had four new people join BERG since the start of 2011 and we’re about to add two more, so there’s been a lot of orientating going on here.

When I worked at a company with more than 600 employees and was directly responsible for hiring and training a team of 10 employees, we had a very in-depth orientation programme that lasted for weeks and had been continually refined over a couple of decades.

New employee orientation for a small, relatively new company like BERG is obviously a very different thing. For one thing, since we’re so much smaller, it takes a lot less time to learn about the organisation and the people in it. That doesn’t mean, of course, that it’s any less important to have some sort of induction process.

Early in 2010, shortly after I started working at BERG, Matt Webb – being the wise and good company manager that he is – had me start compiling a checklist of all the things we needed to make sure happened when a new person joined us. At the time it was mostly geared toward short-term contractors since that’s mostly who were joining us in the spring and summer of 2010. Since then the list has grown and evolved and its focus has turned toward full contract employees. It seems like every time a new person comes on we think of two or three more things that need to be added to the list. The checklist is divided into four categories:

  1. Things the new employee needs to be provided with (keys, an email address, computer kit, access to the network server)
  2. Things the new employee needs to provide us with (biog and headshot for the website, details to get on payroll)
  3. Things the new employee needs to know (who everyone else is and what they do, general company policies, how to request holiday, location of the first aid kit)
  4. Admin that needs to happen (add their details to various spreadsheets, get them on payroll, add them to the blog rota)

I’ve been wondering if there’s anything else that we’re missing – other things we should be doing to ease new people into the BERG culture besides having a checklist. I had a quick browse around the internet which wasn’t particularly helpful – most of what I found was either blindingly obvious or not especially relevant for very small companies like BERG. I did stumble across a couple of things, though, that seemed relevant for companies of any size and worth sharing.

The first was from William H Truesdell who, in 1998, wrote on The Management Advantage Inc’s website:

Explain your organisation’s mission and its philosophy of doing business.

  • “The way we do things around here…”
  • “We believe that our customers are…”
  • “Nothing is more important than…”

Those would be good things for a company to think about and have an answer to even if they aren’t doing it for the sake of new employee organisation. It seems to me that last one in particular – “Nothing is more important than…” could give a lot of great insight in the space of just one sentence to a new person joining the organisation.

The second thing was from Alan Chapman on businessballs.com. Chapman has quite a lot of material there about new employee orientation and training which emphasises ‘whole-person’ development, and he suggests saying something along these lines to a new employee:

“You’ve obviously been recruited as a (job title), but we recognise right from the start that you’ll probably have lots of other talents, skills, experiences (life and work), strengths, personal aims and wishes, that your job role might not necessarily enable you to use and pursue. So please give some thought to your own special skills and unique potential that you’d like to develop (outside of your job function), and if there’s a way for us to help with this, especially if we see that there’ll be benefits for the organisation too (which there often are), then we’ll try to do so…”

A little later he says,

So much of conventional induction training necessarily involves ‘putting in’ to people (knowledge, policies, standards, skills, etc); so if the employer can spend a little time ‘drawing out’ of people (aims, wishes, unique personal potential, etc) – even if it’s just to set the scene for ‘whole person development’ in the future – this will be a big breath of fresh air for most new starters.

Based on my experience, I think he’s probably right.

That’s a little bit of BERG’s still very new and very evolving New Employee Orientation story. If your company does anything interesting or creative for new employees that you’ve found to be helpful, fun, innovative, etc, we’d love to hear about it!

Hiring!

Update on Thursday 31 March: We’ve been contacted by some great folks! So we’ll stop accepting applications for these particular roles on Sunday. But please don’t let that stop you getting in contact if you’ve got something really special! We look at all CVs and portfolios, even when there aren’t any positions open, and keep everything on file for when there are.

So, we’re looking to grow a little!

BERG’s a small design studio, just nine of us at the moment. We’re always busy, researching and developing media and tech for a wide variety of companies. And we work on our own stuff too.

And I’m looking for a couple of folks to join the team.

First, a project manager. We’ve never worked with a project manager before, so a lot of this is about you being a great fit with the room. But we also know we’re a bit scatty and divided between too many projects, so we’re ready for a cracking communicator with top-notch organisational skills to manage development and delivery across the whole studio.

Second, a creative technologist. You’ll be working on new and existing projects, in small teams and alongside other technologists. You’ll be a self-starter, pushing forward development using your own good product instincts. And you’ll have different technical skills and itches to bring to the room too, ones we don’t currently know we need.

If either of these positions sounds like you, download the job descriptions here.

If it sounds like someone you know, please do pass this on!

And then send your CV with a cover note to Kari at ks@berglondon.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We’re planning to interview in early April, and make decisions soon after.

Are you an iOS developer in London?

There’s no particular project quite yet, but we’re talking with a number of people about iPhone and iPad work. More than we can handle with our usual crew if it all comes in.

So I want to expand our iOS developers network!

If you develop for iPhone or iPad, and would be interested in working with BERG on short or longer contracts, please do get in touch to introduce yourself, and we’ll keep your details on file. London-or-nearby folks only… we’re a tight-knit studio, and we really like it when people working together are sitting in the same room.

Email Nick at nl at berglondon dot com and please include your CV, a list of apps in the App Store and what you did on them (bonus points if you were the sole developer), and the name of the coolest app installed on your iPhone. (My current favourites are calvetica and Little Uzu.)

And we’ll keep you in mind whenever something comes up!

Recruiters: we’re happy to hear from you, but please ensure your candidates would be cool with contract work, and that you include their answers to the extra questions above. Thanks.

Hiring developers!

I’m currently looking for two developers for some iPhone work, and my usual networks have run dry. Here’s who I’m after:

iPhone developer. Great knowledge of iPhone APIs and developing. There’s a lot of UI and network activity with this app, so you’ll need to be rigorous to identify and catch possible failure modes to keep everything smooth. As ever, awesome user experience is what we’re after, so you’ll be working closely with experienced designers and an incredible lead architect and developer, and you’ll need to translate conversations and requirements into solid, beautiful code. You’ll need to learn fast.

Back-end developer. There are multiple servers that support this app, all interacting with one another. So you’ll need a good eye for Web services, both designing and implementing the protocols. Scaling and robustness are key, so you’ll be able to make a judgement about what we need and get the right solution. You’ll probably work with Rails, since this system is patterned on one we’ve just developed and we’d like to build on the same effort. You’ll need to go all the way from setting up staging and production servers and databases, to tools for deployment and ops, to rough and ready client-facing front-ends for managing content.

What I’ll be looking for, in both roles is…

  • experience. Have you done this before? We need to get this right with the minimum of iteration. Show me what you’ve done: we love working with people better than us.
  • London-based. We work better when we sit together. You’ll spend at least half your time in a small but busy design studio, with multiple big projects and certain kind of culture… you can get a picture of that from the weeknotes.
  • responsibility and team-work. You’ll need to take ownership of challenges and come up with solutions before other people even notice, and communicate and listen constantly so we’re all playing well together.

It’s short notice: starting in a week or so, for a two month contract.

Know anyone like this? Please pass this on!

Is this you? Get in touch! I’d like to be speaking with candidates late on Monday 8th, so drop me a line by the end of the weekend: mw@berglondon.com.

Cybernetics: researcher wanted

I’m into cybernetics. Or rather: I think that the cybernetics movement of mid last century is the hidden nexus of interconnected postwar history.

cybenetics interconnections

The 1946 Macy Conference is kind an aleph moment. In attendance were people intrinsically involved in computers and prosthesis (the collaboration of man and machine), modern anthropology and modern neuroscience (what it means to be human), game theory (the Cold War and the conversion of people into cogs). We can trace direct paths through counterculture and social organisation, decentralisation and the Web, and to a socialist Chilean internet. There are connections to cults, advertising, social software and games, rocketry, suburbia, complexity theory and ecology. Historical roots lie in golems and pneumatic tubes, science fiction and weaving, pataphysics and the telegraph. The language of our information society was created, often knowingly, by these people. Cybernetics is the beautiful and ugly and ambiguous heart of our information society.

I have a dozen or so books in my collection that directly speak about these era. Two that stand out are both by Steve Joshua Heims: Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America: The Cybernetics Group, 1946-1953; and John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death.

What’s wonderful about this history is that it’s a history of people. It’s all people who know people. The messy social world of this invented science that then vanishes undermines its own contention that humans can be modelled as components. It is a story that cannot be linearised, it is a hypertext history; a hyperhistory of actors and networks, only tellable through contradictory, subjective points of view. Yet there are aspects of known history that, I believe, only make sense when you see the hidden particle traces, the lives of the attendees of the Macy Conferences and who they knew.

It has been a pet project of mine, for a few years, to somehow tell this story. Many of the key participants are no longer with us. Understanding the modern world, in this time of change, is important. It should be known that common practices in our innocuous online spaces were thrashed out as military efforts. Conversely it should be known that the mindset computers were borne out of was reactionary and weird and perverse from the very outset.

Help wanted

I’d like some help assembling the research. I’m not sure precisely where it’ll go – for a while I thought I’d write a book, and now I have other ideas – but what I do know is that I’d like to work with a researcher for 3-6 months to turn books, articles and references into research notes: the foundation for future work.

I have a starting set of books, and a pretty clear idea of what I need as output (one reference point is Anne Galloway’s re/touch encyclopaedia). If you’re the researcher I’d like to work with, you’re already knowledgeable about postwar America and one or two of the topics associated with cybernetics. You’re good with book research, following leads like a hungry investigative journalist, and diligent with references. You’re probably in research academia in an allied field, and you may have your own use for this work. This is a part-time job, and it’s maybe another small piece of funding for you. You’ll be a self starter, and glory in interconnections and libraries both.

Why am I talking about this in public? Well, I don’t know the right researcher. Is this you, or is it someone you know? It’s speculative work – just following my nose – and I can put about £3,000-5,000 aside. If you’d like to have a chat, please do get in touch.

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