sensational ag is hiring

Sensational AG is the company I founded
together with a collegue back in 2000. Ever since then, we had a very
nice combination of fun, interesting work and a very successful
business.

We’re a very small team – just four programmers, one business guy and a
product designer. Me personally, I would love to keep the team as small
and tightly-knit as possible as that brings huge advantages: No
politics, a lot of freedoms for everybody and mind-blowing
productivity.

I’m still amazed to see what we manage to do with our small team time
and time again and yet still manage to keep the job fun. It’s not just
the stuff we do outside of immediate work, like UT2004 matches,
Cola Double Blind Tests, sometimes
hosting JSZurich and much more – it’s also the work itself that we try
to make as fun as possible for everybody.

Sure – sometimes, work just has to be done, but we try as much as
possible to distribute the fun parts of the work between everybody.
Nobody has to be a pure code monkey; nobody constanly pulls the
“change this logo there for the customer” card (though, that card
certainly exists to be pulled – we just try to distribute it).

Most of the work we do flows into our big eCommerce project: Whenever
you order food in a restaurant here in Switzerland, if the restaurant
is big enough for them to get the food delivered to them, the stuff
you eat will have been ordered using the product of ours.

Whenever you visit a dentist, the things they put in your mouth likely
have been ordered using the product of ours.

The work we do helps countless people daily to get their job done more
quickly allowing them to go home earlier. The work we do is essential
for the operations of many, many companies here in Switzerland, in
Germany and in Austria.

From a technical perspective, the work we do is very interesting too:
While the main part of the application is a web application, there are
many components around it: Barcode Scanners, native Smartphone
applications and our very own highly available cluster (real, physical
hardware) that hosts the application for the majority of our customers.

When you work with us, you will have to deal with any of

  • The huge home-grown PHP (5.5)-application (its history goes back to
    2004 and it has changed version controlling systems three times so
    far – from CVS to SVN to git)
  • Backend Jobs written in PHP, Ruby and JavaScript
  • Frontend-Code written in JavaScript and Coffee Script (heck, we were
    using XmlHttpRequest before using it was called AJAX)
  • Software for Barcode-Scanners written in C#, C and soon whatever
    we’d like to use on Android
  • Software to read data from USB barcode Scanners written in
    Objective-C and Delphi of all things
  • Puppet to manage our cluster of 5 physical and about 25 virtual
    machines (though if only I knew about Ansible when we started this)
  • git where all our code lives, some on github, some on our own server.
  • PostgreSQL which is our database of choice (constantly updated to be
    able to play with the latest and gratest toys^Wfeatures) and I love it
    so much that no day goes past where I don’t try to convert people over
    :-)
  • Ubuntu Linux which is the underlying OS of our whole server
    infrastructure.

The platform we use to develop on is everybodys own choice. Everybody
here uses Macs, but whatever you are most productive with is what you
use.

All of the code that we work with daily is home-grown (minus some
libraries, of course). We control all of it and we get to play with
all the components of the big thing. No component can’t be changed,
though we certainly prefer changing some over the others :-)

Between the Cola tests and the technical versatility and challenges
described above: If I can interest you, dear reader, to join our
crazy productive team in order to improve one hell of a suite of
applications, then now is your chance to join up: We need more people
to join our team of developers.

You’d have to be able to live with the huge chunk of PHP code though
as that’s too big to migrate away from, no matter how much we’d all
love to, but aside of that, chose your battles in any of the above
list of technologies.

Also, if your particular problem is better solved in $LANGUAGE of your
choice, feel free to just do it. Part of the secret behind our
productivity is that we know our tools and know when to use them. Good
code is readable in any language (though I’d hve to brush up my lisp
if you chose to go that route).

Interested? I would love to hear from you at
phofstetter@sensational.ch.