We're looking for a software engineer with a strong interest in mobile applications who enjoys coding, consulting, and architecting solutions.
We are a team of 35 web professionals who design and build large interactive websites, complex software applications, and mobile applications. We're also the folks who designed and built Titan CMS, the Enterprise Content Management System installed at AIG, Snapon, Briggs and Stratton, Wells Fargo, and 450 other organizations.
Our programmers are the reason we have a reputation for excellence.
There are many reasons you should work here. Our people say they like it here because of how we think about programming, so we thought we'd share a few of our secrets. If you agree with our approach, please read the job description that follows and see if you might fit in.
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.
Your Job Requirements
- Mobile app development experience
- 1+ year of web development. A few years of experience with the Microsoft .Net environment is a big plus, but similar experience in different languages will be considered as well.
- Technical and functional specification writing experience
- Understanding of web technologies, security, protocols, and hosting
- Team leadership and mentoring experience
- Mature set of coding standards and disciplines
- We don’t like cowboys. We like team players. Egos are encouraged to work for our competitors.
- SQL and IIS experience
- Software Engineers typically bill 70-80% of their time
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 some 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.
Your Ongoing Duties
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 40 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.
Smart people doing innovative things with interesting technology – that’s what Northwoods is all about.
With a relaxed environment, fresh hot popcorn, and the obligatory ping pong and foosball tables, we enjoy the amenities expected from a cutting-edge tech company. But that’s not what makes us love our jobs – it’s the people and the work that makes Northwoods great:
- We learn something new each day. From Fortune 500 companies to industrial manufacturers to local non-profits, we work on a wide variety of projects. The diversity of our client pool and our commitment to forward-looking technologies and strategies means we’re constantly engaged and learning new things.
- We trust and value each other. Ego has no place at Northwoods (our president sits in a cubicle like the rest of us), and we don’t focus on titles. When any one of us has an idea, solution, or criticism, we know we can voice it openly and honestly – and we listen respectfully when our colleagues do the same.
- We hire people, not skillsets. We don’t just find people familiar with specific tools or technologies; we look for motivated self-starters who know how to learn and are eager to grow. We hire the best and brightest – leaders, team players, and creative problem solvers – and give everyone the opportunity to make the most of their unique talents.
- Our families come first. We have a strong work ethic and commitment to our clients, but we also have busy lives. Sometimes we work from home, sometimes we choose to work odd hours, and sometimes we bring our kids or dogs (or both!) into the office. Each of us gets to decide for ourselves what the ideal work-life balance looks like.
- We each grow in our own way. As our interests change and career goals evolve, so do our roles with our clients and within the company. We all find new boundaries to push; Northwoods gives each of us the latitude and freedom to pursue our passions and create our own career story.
We’re all driven to constantly do our best – and Northwoods provides an environment that allows us all to do exactly that.
It’s not just a career, it’s a lifestyle.