As a Backend Developer you will join a team of fellow developers (Frontend and Backend) who design, build, and launch web applications and native iOS and Android mobile apps. You will work with enterprise web content management systems including our own Titan CMS.
We use the best software development tools, and meet as a team often to discuss and share innovations, new tools and techniques, and better ways to work.
Our solutions are used AIG, Snapon, Briggs and Stratton, Wells Fargo, City of Milwaukee and 450 other organizations - large and small.
The team of 35 web professionals and we're intensely proud of that the average tenure of developers here is going on 8 years -- that four times better than the national average!! We're a great place to work which is hard to explain in a job posting, so you'll just have to send us your resume so we can interview you and share more about the cool stuff that make us a programmer paradise.
There are many reasons you should work here. Our people say they like how we think about programming, so at the bottom of this page we have shared a few of our secrets. If you agree with our approach, send us your resume!
- Web development in the Microsoft stack.
- Five years of experience is preferred, but it's really about talent and aptitude. Developers with similar experience in different languages will be considered.
- Mobile app experience in native iOS or Android a big plus
- Microsoft SQL and IIS experience
- Specification writing experience
- We'll want to know what you know about reusable, maintainable code, and how you code to handle errors and make your code secure.
- We're all about team. Backend developers do a lot of sharing of ideas, problems, solution, processes and standards. Really. Team cohesion is very important to us.
- We don’t like cowboys. Egos are encouraged to work for our competitors.
Your Background and Values
- You tend to learn new stuff on your own, often before everyone else.
- You’re not afraid to go into the boss’s office, and share your ideas for improvements. But, you’re also pragmatic enough to not share every hare brained scheme that pops into your head. (That’s the boss’s prerogative.)
- You believe that your family comes first and want to work with like-minded people.
- You enjoy working in a fast paced, evolving and dynamic environment.
- You have social skills (we know you’re a programmer, but you do need to make occasional eye contact).
- You may have a degree in something other than Computer Science, and that's ok as long as you've discovered that programming is your first love.
The First Three Months
- Learn all about Northwoods. (Figure out where the bathrooms are and where to put your lunch.)
- Learn our time tracking, estimating, source control, and development processes and systems.
- Take on a small job and work alongside existing programming staff to learn the ropes.
- Listen a lot.
- Get to know Mary.
- Attend a Northwoods workshops on Titan CMS, Writing, Intranets, Manufacturing, Non-profits.
- Attend code review sessions.
- Enjoy some popcorn.
The amount of time spent on each will vary from day to day.
- Full lifecycle application development.
- Consulting, designing, coding and debugging.
- Performance tuning, re-factoring, load balancing, usability, testing.
- Support, maintain and document software functionality.
Developers say they like to work at Northwoods because we have ping-pong tournaments, drink beer, and engage in spirited debates on the latest trends in software development. But, I think they like it here because our work is always interesting. One day they might be building an inventory system for a liquor distributor, the next day an email blast system for a church. Here are a few of the groups we serve:
- Real Estate
We stay up to date on the latest Microsoft technologies and web standards including:
- .Net C#, ASP.Net
- SQL 2012
- Windows Server 2012
- .Net Mobile Apps
- Visual Studio Team Edition
- CSS 2.1, CSS 3.0
Here are a few of the custom apps we've built in the past few years.
- Drag and drop catalog builder allows sales team at a major manufacturer to quickly produce custom catalogs
- Find a doctor application matches doctors to the needs of web visitor for several hospitals
- Dashboard provides Business Intelligence charts and graphs to executive and managers at large corporation
- Swine Feed Calculator determines the best balance of food to maximize growth while minimizing costs.
- Healthcare assessment information is entered on mobile hand-held devices that sync with home office
- Law office portal enables document collaboration with clients on iManage Document Management System
- Private Messaging system allows secure communications from insurance brokers to the home office for large insurance company
Here are a few of our 400 clients:
- Medical College of WI
- Briggs and Stratton
- City and County of Milwaukee
- American General Life
- Heartland Funds
- Archdiocese of Milwaukee
- Ministry Health Care
- Children’s Hospital
Questions we will ask in the interview
- How do you learn?
- Explain your strategies for writing code that is maintainabile and scaleable.
- Who are your software development influences?
- Diagram a system you've built on our whiteboard.
- Define an unreasonable client.
- Tell us about testing, builds, source control, code reviews, and your most recent programming experiment.
- How do you deal with other smart people who may have different opinions on a technical topic?
Northwoods employs an in-house team of developers, designers, information architects, and account managers. We are not a staffing firm. No new cubicle every six months. No bench. You work with the same 30 really smart people day-to-day. They're (mostly) very friendly and they all like beer. Our work is never boring.
Travel is very limited and 98% in SE Wisconsin. We offer great benefits including 401(k) and great salaries. We offer health, dental, long term, and short term disability insurance, paid vacation, no limit on health days, paid holidays, paid maternity/paternity leave, and free lunch on occasion. Northwoods is an Equal Opportunity employer.
At Northwoods we have created a very free and relaxed work environment. You can do what you want with your office space, dress the way you want, and even work from home if you need to.
All employees get two monitors, the latest hardware, and free popcorn on Thursdays. No need to wear shoes around the office. The boss doesn't. We also have kids and dogs occasionally running around the office. (Yours are welcome if they don’t make too much noise.)
Need a break? Challenge your coworkers to a game of ping pong or foosball. You can even take a nap if you're dragging and just need 30 minutes of shut-eye to be productive again.
Secrets of Good Programming
Good programmers know that designing and testing are as important as coding. Our engineers only spend about 40% of their time writing actual code. The rest is spent working on tasks that ensure high quality, on-time, on-budget projects.
Here are the 12 secrets we've learned:
- We always start with requirements and a specification. Even for small projects. (Small projects have small specs.) Specs save money, time, and arguments. We start our software projects with a clear definition of what is in and out of scope, and a technical plan for getting to the finish line on time.
- We break all big projects down into small tasks of 40 hours or less and track progress daily.
- We keep an up-to-date schedule.
- We use the very best software development tools and computer equipment we can get.
- We employ full time testers.
- We employ Account Directors who are technical and “get” programming.
- We do usability testing.
- We use source control.
- We do daily builds on larger projects.
- We fix bugs before writing new code.
- We have a bug tracking system.
- We offer all our programmers a large office space with plenty of quiet time if you want it. This makes a huge difference.
How to Apply...
If it looks like Northwoods might be the right place for you, please e-mail your resume and whatever else you want us to know about you to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Senior Developer in the subject line.