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CODE4LIB  January 2013

CODE4LIB January 2013


Job: Lead Web Developer at Victoria and Albert Museum


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Mon, 28 Jan 2013 01:36:01 -0000





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The V&A is the world's greatest museum of art and design, holding in excess of
1 million objects. Each year over 2 million people visit
V&A museums and there over 11 million web visits. The V&A's ambition is to
provide the leading digital experience for art and design on the web and

The Digital Media department's purpose is to deliver a world-leading web
experience that reflects the depth and breadth of the V&A's collections and
engages visitors with art and design, whether directly through our branded
Museum products and services sites, or indirectly through syndicated data
publishing. Our digital services assume open data as
standard as far as possible and our development environment uses predominantly
open-source software.

The Digital Media Department is a small team consisting of the Head of
Digital, the Digital Content Delivery Manager, the Lead Web Developer, a Web
Developer, the Senior Content Editor, two Content Editors and an Admin
Assistant. The team works very closely with departments across the Museum
especially Information Systems Services and Collections Management Department.

** Purpose of job**  
Working with the Digital Content Delivery Manager you will be responsible for
leading the development of digital services delivered by the Museum's web
applications. You will be responsible for managing the
development process to implement enhancements, changes and inter-system
integration work, as prioritised by the Digital Content Delivery Manager.

You will be responsible for ensuring a seamless web experience is provided for
users from the portfolio of underlying web platforms and managed services that
together deliver digital content to our visitors on the web and mobile
devices. You will be responsible for ensuring technical
consistency and best practice, developing and integrating new enhancements and
keeping up to date with evolving web standards and accessibility.

You will work with the Digital Content Delivery Manager to create and maintain
web applications within a dynamic and integrated environment that is data-
driven, modular and scalable. You will manage the permanent Web Developer and
contract developers as required and will maintain the consistent day-to-day
operation of the web applications, as well as the development process that
improves them.

The delivery of content, products and services by the Digital Media department
is based upon a data-driven model. The underlying
foundation is a core data-publishing function that collates content and media
from a number of authoritative systems and makes this accessible to our end-
user services via structured data output served by several
APIs. You will be responsible for maintaining and
developing this core data engine, and the related front-end interfaces that
convert that data into user services. These include the
main website, Search the Collections and What's On as well as other web-
technology based services including mobile mapping and digital labels.

You will also be responsible for integration with other modular services that
may be provided by third parties and for ensuring our content is available via
data distribution to other Museum partners.

Main tasks

1. To develop core museum web applications in-house mainly using the Django
python application framework, as well as SymfonyPHP web application frameworks
and Drupal. This will involve building the applications, creating and
maintaining documentation and overseeing the web application development
process, and managing the permanent Web Developer and other developers as

2. To be responsible for technical integration of Museum web applications with
the main content management and other distributed web and digital systems.
This may include creating and developing output templates in the content
systems (Squiz Matrix, Drupal), data integration with Museum systems or third
party services. This will involve extensive consultation with users and
provision of information, instruction and advice on the web application

3. To work with designers and be responsible for the implementation of designs
created within the overall digital experience.

4. As the developer responsible for the functionality of the Museum's web
services, to advise Museum staff on what functionality it is desirable to
create within the core applications and that which should be provided by
integrated managed services.

5. To be responsible for maintaining optimized performance across the
portfolio of web applications.

6. To provide technical advice to, and liaise with suppliers of underlying IT
infrastructure that supports the web applications and services for which you
are responsible. This will include the Museum IT technical staff (ISSD -
Information Systems Support Department) and other remote managed hosted

7. To assist the Digital Content Delivery Manager in maintaining a general
awareness of new web technologies and to establish whether or not it would be
appropriate to adopt them within the Museum, and the technical impact of
trends in digital that may require us to respond in how we deliver services.
When appropriate, this might involve detailed technical analysis to establish
the limitation and the effects on existing systems of new technology. To
advise other Museum technical staff on the use of web technologies.

8. To establish the data sources of any information required (which may be an
existing database) and how to obtain it. Given the diversity of systems on
which information is currently held, innovative technical solutions may be
required in order to provide the level and type of functionality sought.

9. To evaluate and analyse approved web project proposals, and to design or
arrange for the provision of technical solutions to them.

10. In conjunction with the Digital Content Delivery Manager, to liaise with
third party developers on all technical matters to provide advice and guidance
on the specifications to be fulfilled under the terms of any contract.
Providing advice to developers on the use and facilities offered by existing
databases and any access issues to be complied with. Quality assuring work
produced under any such contract to ensure that the required specifications
have been achieved.

11. To ensure the security of all web-accessed facilities, analysing the
systems involved to ensure that no unauthorised access to source data can be

12. To resolve any technical issues relating to the operation of web services,
as required.

13. Maintaining some aspects of the in-house Apache web server (Linux) caching
(NGINX) and database (MySQL) applications.

14. To contribute to training for Museum staff in the use of tools allowing
local updating of content.

15. To undertake web authoring and editorial duties where necessary,
especially on the more technical projects.

16. To represent the Digital Media Department on certain projects and be able
to uphold our aims and philosophy (technical and non-technical) to the rest of
the Museum.

17. To contribute to team discussions on web issues and to build and maintain
a good relationship with the rest of the Digital Media Department.

18. Be committed to health and safety and ensure familiarity with all of the
Museum's health and safety policies and procedures.

19. Be security conscious, ensure familiarity and co-operation with all museum
security procedures and ensure you wear a security pass at all times when on
museum premises.

20. Promote equality and diversity in all aspects of your work by developing
and maintaining positive working relationships, ensuring that colleagues are
treated fairly and with respect/dignity and actively contributing to
developments that support the museum's strategy for widening access, inclusion
and diversity.

21. Carry out ad hoc duties as requested
by appropriate managers within your department.

Essential requirements

1. Advanced skills in PHP, MySQL, Python, JavaScript and CSS with examples of
live services that you have developed features for.

2. Proven experience in Django development

3. Experience of leading and managing a development team, with ability to
delegate and manage tasks within a development program

4. A strong interest in web development trends such as html5, mobile web
applications, web communities and usability with an ability to learn new ways
of delivering services for web visitors.

5. Knowledge of Symfony

6. Knowledge of Apache web server administration.

7. Understanding of caching technologies.

8. Knowledge of cross-platform compatibility issues.

9. Knowledge of web accessibility issues and web standards.

10. Knowledge of web security issues.

11. Experience of managing or working with a content management system.

12. Experience of software development techniques and coding practices
including use of version control and code deployment.

13. Ability to communicate clearly with non-technical members of staff.

14. To be a self-motivated and reliable worker with the ability to work under

Desirable requirements

1. Experience of developing and integrating content management systems

2. Experience of Drupal development and administration

3. Experience of configuring and using Google Analytics.

4. Evidence of activity within an open source community

5. Knowledge and interest in the work and collections of the V&A.



Net working hours (i.e. excluding meal breaks) are 36 per week.

The salary will be within V&A pay band 4 (£29,942 rising to £35,989 per
annum). Future pay progression will be in accordance with the V&A's Pay
Agreement(s). Normal level transfer and promotion rules will apply for
internal candidates.

Annual Leave

28 days plus 8 days public holidays

Pension benefits

The Civil Service offers a choice of either an occupational pension or
stakeholder pension, giving you the flexibility to choose a scheme that suits
you best. The occupational pension scheme currently has a 3.5% - 5.9% member
contribution rate dependent on annual pensionable earnings, with an employer
contribution rate of between 16.7% - 24.3%.

The 'Partnership' pension account is a stakeholder money purchase pension with
an employer contribution based on age. Further details are available upon
request or appointment.

Other benefits

Free entrance to all the major museums in London as well as many others.

An interest free season ticket or bicycle loan is available after three

Subject to the society's terms and conditions, V&A staff are entitled to
membership of the Benenden Healthcare Society. Further
information is available from HR or via their web-site on hyperlink

To apply

To apply online, please go to the V&A's website at hyperlink

If you have any queries regarding the recruitment process, you can email us -
[log in to unmask] or telephone us on 020 7942 2937.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 11 February 2013

Interview expenses will not be paid unless there is a prior agreement.

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