We started Inviqa in my North London loft in 2007 and since then the group has expanded rapidly. On meeting Zend’s Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, they asked us to represent their company in the UK. Their message was clear: “Help us take PHP to the enterprise level, so it can get acceptance and recognition to become an enterprise level software”. With the assistance of our then CTO, Ivo Jansch, we set out to build the best open source focused PHP company in Europe. Six years and four offices later, we have a team of 80 developers from across the globe. They all share our philosophy of openness and honesty; we complement, energise, motivate and inspire each other! I urgently need more of these passionate developers and software engineers who understand performance, scalability, architecture, and security. However this isn’t a drive to place people in positions, I’m looking for a unique team who’ll develop the next arm of Inviqa in their area.
The Sheffield story
The Sheffield office was unique in its creation, in the fact that I never really intended to create it. Developers Rowan Merewood and Ben Longden worked together for a large corporation and saw a position at our London office tweeted by Lorna Jane and both unknowingly applied. On discovering the other’s intention, they offered me a tempting proposition. Rather than working remotely, they told me they’d flourish most effectively by creating their own Inviqa office, together in Sheffield. Knowing how difficult it is to find this calibre of developers, I gave them a challenge: convince me!
Their response was intriguing… “We’ve been putting a lot of serious thought into what would be needed to make Sheffield a success. I’m pretty confident we’re up to the challenge, it would be great to bounce our ideas off you and see where we can go from there. Why don’t we come to London one evening and discuss it – We believe we can make it work”. Rowan continues, “We liked Inviqa’s strong community involvement, their presence at conferences and admired their work online.” Ben adds, “Inviqa were doing the things that we believed were right. The development community for PHP is surprisingly small, so for us to do what we wanted to do in PHP, Inviqa was the place to do it”.
So in December 2009, Rowan and Ben came to London and spent an evening with Paul Wander, Inviqa Co-Founder and myself in a Turkish restaurant in North London. We were extremely impressed by both of them and were blown away by their maturity, experience, desire and drive, along with their passion for PHP and open source. They convinced us that we should give it a go.
And we did! The Sheffield arm evolved organically and was probably one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. We now have a superb team of 16 and their contribution is invaluable. And the best part is – we’re recognised as the leading PHP company in Sheffield. On the back of this success we opened two more offices in Liverpool and Manchester, and we want to open more.
We know this works
My aim is that the new office will join the Inviqa professional services team and participate either as part of a virtual team or be completely self-sufficient. They’ll be able to take on large projects that demand a Project Manager, Business Analysts, Team Leaders, F/E developers, B/E developers and QA. We currently have projects with distributed teams, who communicate on a daily basis (Agile, Scrum) and meet each other for sprint planning and demos. These teams are delivering some of the largest PHP and eCommerce projects (Magento) in the UK.
Do you have what it takes?
My proposal is unique. I’m looking for established developers who want more than a job, they want a challenge. Launching the next Inviqa office in your area will make an impact on a burgeoning business. You’ll be given the independent responsibility to assemble an incredible team and make the office a success. Business stuff like sales, marketing, admin, HR and finance will all be taken care of at the London HQ. To make this a success, the next additions to team Inviqa should take Ben and Rowan’s lead: “Our plan was simple and straightforward: create an environment where we’d want to work and use that to show other local developers that they’d want to work there too.”
What qualities will the right person or team of people have?
· Technical knowledge is obviously essential but you’ll also have the invaluable skills required to build a team.
· You’ll prosper without instruction. Guidance will be given, but you’ll come to us as a team, ready to build an Inviqa office in your area as successful as those before it.
It’s the rewards and challenges of a start-up without the associated stress
If you’ve contemplated creating your own PHP company, but been unsure about the risks, this provides the perfect solution. Our already-established client base will allow you to execute quality development on interesting projects; we’re proud to work with a range of interesting organisations like BBC, PZ Cussons, William Hill and online retailers like Missguided, Acne and Smythson of Bond Street.
You’ll be working alongside some of the most talented developers in Europe. They’re regular fixtures at PHP conferences, Rowan Merewood gave 11 talks last year and you’ll have seen the rest of my A Team speaking: Marcello Duarte, Konstantin Kudryashov, Ben Longden, Richard Miller, Alistair Stead, Michael Stillwell and Jakub Zalas and many more. If you’re passionate about PHP and open source and can prove to us you’ve got what it takes, get in touch today…