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Junior Developer: Teach Your Monster to Read

  • 6 month initial contract, with opportunity to extend
  • Pay negotiable depending on experience
  • 3 - 5 days a week
  • Remote (southern UK preferred, or location within 3 hrs of GMT)

Teach Your Monster to Read is a multiple BAFTA award-nominated game series which helps small children learn to read. It is now one of the world’s leading literacy products, having been played over 40 million times and is growing in usage year on year.

Our games are built as a collaboration between game developers Popleaf and the Usborne Foundation. Popleaf is looking for a Junior Developer for an initial 6 month contract, who will take over maintenance of our existing games and work on small prototypes while we work on the Next Big Thing. 

This is a great opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and experience. You’ll be working in a range of programming languages and have opportunities to practice rapid prototyping, learn how our game engine works internally, and even work on our server-side code.

Working on Teach Your Monster to Read gives you an opportunity to work on a project which is delivering real social value all over the world, but run more like a startup.

If you have any questions about the role before applying feel free to email [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help.

What you’ll be doing:

  • Maintain the Teach Your Monster to Read game portfolio. You’ll be taking charge of day to day maintenance of our existing games, this includes implementing small features in response to customer requests, bug fixes, integrating changes from the rest of the development team, preparing new builds for release and deploying them.
  • Help us move towards a rapid-release model. Work with the Usborne Foundation and the rest of the team to organise and prioritise our backlog and plan regular new releases of our games.
  • Help improve our release workflow. Identify bottlenecks and build new tools and processes that help speed up the preparation, testing and deployment of new releases.
  • Quality Assurance. Replicate bugs in a systematic way and test your work thoroughly before it goes for external testing.
  • Prototyping and Design. Work with us to design and prototype new ideas.

What we’re looking for:

  • Excellent attention to detail. You’re going to be responsible for a deceptively complex ecosystem of games played by a huge audience, so you need to be absolutely focused on making sure nothing slips through the net.
  • Strong self-motivation and organisation. Both Popleaf and the Usborne Foundation work remotely, so we need someone who can be proactive in identifying what needs to be done and manage their time accordingly.
  • Problem solving ability / determination. We use a custom game engine and some moderately obscure tech (Haxe), which means that Stack Overflow is unlikely to have the answer to many of the problems you encounter. We need someone who can push through this and systematically get to the answers they need.
  • A desire to help children learn. Working on children’s games isn’t for everyone, so we need someone who’s excited to work on a game that caters to the needs of very small kids and their carers.
  • Demonstrable game programming ability. We’re happy to train you in our chosen languages / tools / engine but we do need to see that you understand how a game is put together through playable examples and code samples.
  • Familiarity with source control. We don’t expect you to be command line GIT wizard, but you’ll need to understand and have some hands on experience of source control.

How to apply

  • We’re much more interested in what you can do than your qualifications or work history, so please send playable demos / games and code samples. If you have any open source projects, even if they’re small, we’d love to see them.
  • Send your work alongside a CV and a note introducing yourself to [email protected].
  • No recruiters please.

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