We’re changing renting and we’re hiring for our technical team in Manchester
A few months ago I was walking back to the office from lunch and a Facebook Messenger notification popped up on my phone.
I replied to this casual message with a typically wordy and overly-detailed reply: I have a job, I like it, and I’ve also been doing some advisory work for startups that I’ve been enjoying very much. Perhaps it would be worth having an initial conversation on that last strand and maybe I could help out with some team building?
“Wanna better job?”
It was unconventional approach, but the opportunity turned out to be irresistible: the chance to take the rentals industry and turn it on its head. As such, I’ve now joined Resident.ly as Co-Founder and CTO.
We’re starting from a pretty strong point: we are an existing, successful and profitable property business which has a great team behind it. We’ve got funding and we’re building a technology team that can create a great product for today’s renting population.
The current rental industry is not set up for a generation who are used to ordering an Uber, swiping on Tinder and getting whatever they want from Deliveroo. In 2017, over 50% of 20-39 year-olds now rent privately — that’s up from 20% in 2000 and still growing.
Renting is the new norm and we envisage a world where you find a property, arrange a viewing and sign contracts (and pick furniture, and report faults etc, etc — it’s a long list) online. If, like me, you’ve been a tenant your whole adult life you’ll know this is sorely needed.
It’s a big problem with lots of regulation and legal requirements involved and the stakes are high — these are people’s homes so we have to get things right. For landlords, this is their livelihoods. It’s not going to be easy or simple but I think you’ll agree; it’s a problem that deserves to be solved.
All of that is why I’ve come on board as CTO and am now building up a tech team in Manchester. I was previously developer #1 for On The Beach Travel which I started in 2005 and worked on for 5 years — this is now one of the North West’s most successful companies and biggest centres of excellence for software development. I’m very proud of what it’s become.
More recently I was the Head of Engineering at Shutl, one of London’s strongest tech teams delivering working software to production every day as part of an awesome culture of learning and personal growth. I was part of the team that sold the business to eBay in 2013, and I subsequently spent a number of years as a senior manager at eBay running shipping projects all around the world.
I’m now back in Manchester, my adopted home, and ready for a new challenge. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to build a great tech team with the brilliant talent in this city.
We’ve already hired an awesome engineer and a fantastic designer. We’ve had great sessions on the roadmap and have a plan of action. We’ve got a backlog of properties queued up ready to start letting so we can start learning.
We’re now looking for our second and third full-time engineers.
We’re offering a market-rate salary, equity and the normal startup benefits of having flexibility around hours, tools, technology and working style. More than this, this is your opportunity to take a massive industry and change it for the good of all of us, to join early and have a prominent voice in the process. We’ll be passionate about delivery, getting the right things done and learning from what we release into the wild.
We’ve had this job advert live for a few weeks and whilst we’ve had a few candidates in, I’d love to see more. I’m passionate about diversity in technology and want to see a much more diverse range of candidates. We’re going to build primarily in Ruby (where it’s the right choice) but I’m happy to speak to people who come from other worlds and ecosystems and who want to learn.
As a team we’ll be focused on getting the best out of each other through mentoring, feedback and teaching. We’ll be hiring junior developers and/or apprentices to make sure we’re giving back to the industry that’s given us so much. I’ll also be starting as Lead Instructor of the new Manchester General CodeFirst: Girls chapter.