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Web Developer

Part Time

Salary: Negotiable

HTML5 CSS3 Javascript basics (u... PHP Mysql / MariaDB


We are an online music education company which is growing fast and having significant impact in changing the future of music education. We provide a unique kind of musical training at Musical U, reaching over 1 million music learners per year through our website and serving 10,000+ students through our membership and courses.

You can learn more about our vision and mission here and more about how we do what we do here.

As a fast-moving company which leverages technology to provide the best user experience and allow us to accomplish much more than other companies our size, it’s essential that we have strong technical capabilities in-house.

We are looking for a web developer who is sharp, diligent and has strong communication skills to join our team and take ownership of both new development tasks and overall systems maintenance. 

You will have responsibility for developing new features for our WordPress-based membership site, from small bugfix-type things to larger multi-week projects. You will also be the go-to person for managing and maintaining other SAAS apps we use (e.g. Zapier, CloudWays, WPEngine, SendGrid).

Core skills required include coding in PHP and Javascript, web development (modern HTML+CSS), maintaining WordPress sites (staging and deploying plugin updates etc.).

You will be taking over these responsibilities from an existing team member whose role is changing, and so you will have plenty of support and guidance as needed to get up to speed with our systems.

This is a part-time role but we expect our tech needs to grow significantly over the next year or two - so we are keen to find somebody who would be excited to continue learning and extending their skills, and growing into a larger role with our team.

We initially need 10-15hrs/week, growing to full time in the future. Working hours are flexible with a couple of standing requirements (details below). Salary is negotiable and we’re prepared to pay a strong salary for the right person, reflecting their level of expertise and experience. 

We are a people-first company with a really friendly and supportive culture. We take our work seriously and take pride in producing great results - but we also believe in maintaining a spirit of “ease and joy” in the work we do. People who join the MU team tend to stay with us because they enjoy the work, love seeing the impact we have on our students, and know that the rest of the team has their back and care about helping them succeed.

It’s important to us that team members have a genuine personal connection to what our company does, so we prefer to hire people who are musicians of some sort. 

So if you are a coder by day and hobbyist musician by night…

If you are a growth-minded person who takes a positive attitude…

If you fit the role described below and feel a personal connection to our mission…

… then we want to hear from you!

About The Company

At Musical U we provide passionate music-learners with the most effective and enjoyable musicality training to set their inner “natural” free and help them reach their true potential in music.

We are on a mission to transform the way people learn music, empowering them to escape the play-like-a-robot status quo and instead become free, confident and creative musicians.

Musical U was born as a “music education technology” company, creating innovative iPhone apps for musical ear training, and although our focus on technological innovation has softened, it is still at the heart of what we do and we will be re-focusing on new technology creation in the years ahead. 

In 2021 we are embarking on an exciting and extensive revamp of our membership platform which will offer plenty of interesting development tasks along the way.

About The Role

We are looking to hire an in-house web developer who will be confident and proficient with maintenance, bug fixing and new feature implementation for a WordPress-based membership site. 

Additionally you will be the go-to team member for other tech-related tasks. Our team are all very competent with technology so we’re not talking about “how do I reset my password?” stuff - more like configuring SAAS apps, understanding how all our systems work together so that you can fix or replace things as needed, setting up new automations in Zapier and so on.

This role is currently performed by a team member who has a computer science background and will remain with the team in a different role, so we have the in-house knowledge you’ll need to train up successfully.

This role is fully remote with flexible working hours. The only fixed requirements are:

  1. We have a team videocall twice a week which is scheduled to be at a reasonable hour for both Europe and the US, and
  2. We would expect you to have some availability every weekday since sometimes tech-related issues are urgent. We use Slack for day-to-day communication.

Main Benefits

  • Competitive salary. We expect to pay in the range $10-20/hour for this role depending on experience and expertise. We review team salaries each year and are pleased to increase rates as roles expand into greater responsibility and contribution.
  • Flexible working. This is a fully-remote role and apart from the two details noted above you are free to choose your own working hours each week.
  • We're invested in your growth. We believe in contributing to our team members' personal and professional development and are glad to support your growth by providing access to training and time for learning. You will also have full access to Musical U's musicality training material, representing several thousand dollars worth of value - for the right candidate this should be an exciting perk!
  • Share in the success. Although we don't have a formal bonus policy in place yet, we have paid all team members substantial bonuses each year and expect to introduce a profit-sharing system in the next year, so that all team members feel they can share in the financial success of the company as it grows.
  • Relaxed and enjoyable work environment. We have a great internal culture which has led to extremely high retention of team members. This is a friendly, supportive and fun place to be part of the team!


Main Responsibilities

1. Custom development for membership site based on WordPress, bbPress, BuddyPress, BadgeOS and LearnDash. This includes both traditional theme development (e.g. creating or modifying specific page templates) and custom functionality (e.g. orchestrating between BadgeOS and LearnDash/bbPress/BuddyPress to give awards based on behaviour, creating or modifying new learning-tracking functionality on top of LearnDash/BadgeOS)

Skills and abilities required:
- HTML/CSS. Specifically the ability to implement new page designs, especially in context of a WordPress theme.
- Javascript
- We don't require you to have experience working with the bbPress/BuddyPress/LearnDash/BadgeOS plugin codebases but any prior experience with these or similar WordPress plugins (or ability to demonstrate you will be able to skill up quickly) would be an advantage.
- You have experience working from a high-level requirement without detailed development specifications, and enjoy both finding solutions independently and working with a business owner or project manager to uncover the details you need to produce a result that exceeds expectations.
- You take pride in the code you write and are able to find the sweet spot between careful development and testing and still being able to move quickly.
- A decent design eye - we won't expect you to create sophisticated designs, but you should be able to judge if something looks professional and whether there are issues e.g. with responsive theme not looking acceptable in certain screen sizes

2. Basic WordPress server administration. Proactively staging, testing and deploying WP core and plugin updates (some linux/unix experience preferred)
- You understand the critical importance of protecting membership site uptime and have experience working with a dedicated staging server to develop and test new or updated functionality before deploying it to the live server.

3. Investigating and finding solutions for issues with SAAS apps. For example misconfiguration of integration, bug diagnosing and working with SAAS support to resolve, investigating alternative services to replace or extend our existing systems as needed.

Example Tasks

Here are a few recent real-world examples of tasks we would expect this role to be responsible for. 

- Our UpDraft Plus plugin is not respecting the setting for deleting local copies of backups after they have been uploaded to cloud storage. Support has advised to wipe the plugin settings and reconfigure it the same.
Task: Document the current configuration, reset the settings and reconfigure, then verify it's working as expected. If not, continue working with UpDraft support to resolve the issue.

- A number of plugins are out of date on our membership site Wordpress install - however we have custom code which uses both their official APIs and also a small number of unofficial functions from these plugins.
Task: Familiarise yourself with those sections of custom code and document some validation tests, then mirror the live site to staging, upgrade the plugins and ensure that the custom functionality still works as expected. If not, implement fixes as needed.

- When members sign up to our site we want to check if their desired username is already in use. We use an Infusionsoft-based membership system and so this needs to be done via Infusionsoft, not purely in WordPress. We have a custom PHP script which acts as go-between when someone signs up, checking the username they enter against our WordPress site before either forwarding it on to Infusionsoft for registration, or returning an error. This works 95% of the time but sometimes users still somehow sneak through and end up with a username with a "-2" appended, which then requires manual cleanup.
Task: familiarise yourself with how the current setup works, investigate possible causes of this loophole, and propose one or more modifications which would prevent this problem in future.

There will also be larger-scale development projects, for example developing a new custom system for tracking student progress within the membership site. You would work with other team members to determine requirements, define the specifications, and plan the work required.

How To Apply

Hit apply and include a link to your CV along with a cover message sharing a bit about your background and what makes you a good fit for this role. Please also take this short communication-style assessment and include a link to the results.

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