Principal Software Engineer, Visual Interfaces (Front End / Full Stack) - London at Synthace Ltd. (London, UK)

Principal Software Engineer, Visual Interfaces (Front End / Full Stack) - London at Synthace Ltd. (London, UK)

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Location: London, UK
Type: Full Time
Created: 2021-12-13 05:00:55

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We're looking for a hands-on Principal Engineer to play an active part as a technical leader in helping us to continue developing and scaling our products and infrastructure.

You're a problem solver with UI frameworks experience and a passion for creating good looking interactions to join our team.

Good software products are hard to make. They require compassion for impatient users with work to do. They require careful tradeoffs between many features that would all be great to have. They require taking ambiguous, complex problems and turning them into simple, coherent features that make users feel smart and capable.

Synthace's users are scientists in laboratories using robots to do experiments that humans are physically not capable of doing. Our users are working on next-generation drugs and treatments to help cure illnesses including Covid-19, cancer, Alzheimer's, and more.

To explain it further, our software platform is effectively a visual IDE for scientists to design biological experiments, run simulations, and control automated robotic lab equipment such as liquid handling machines.

We are building a full-stack product development team - each member is somewhere on the scale between pure Front End specialist to all-round Full-Stack engineer.

About Synthace:

Named by the World Economic Forum as one of the world's 30 Technology Pioneers 2016, and one of Gartner's 'Cool Vendors in Life Sciences' 2018, Synthace is completely revolutionising biology in a way that has never been done before!

We have created a pioneering automation platform that allows scientists to easily automate experiments on their desired lab equipment, without any programming or automation expertise.

Our universal and intuitive interface allows teams to confidently generate complete data sets from as many experiments, with as much complexity, as needed to gain critical scientific insight.

We lower the level of entry for scientists wanting to introduce automation to their work, while allowing specialist technicians to get even more out of the existing equipment in the labs. It is directly contributing to faster, more efficient research into hard to cure diseases such as Cancer.

Following a milestone year in which we grew our annual recurring revenue by 225%, scientists in five out of the top 10 global pharma companies are now using Synthace, as well as other innovators such as Microsoft Research and Oxford Biomedica. If social impact is important to you, it doesn't get much better than this.

Read more about us on our 'Engineering at Synthace' and 'Careers at Synthace' pages.

The team and the role:

We realise that 'Principal' can mean different things in different companies. As a Principal Engineer at Synthace you will be hands-on with the code at least 75% of the time, while also making technical decisions and/or leading teams if this is of interest.

In the interfaces team, you will be responsible for writing code to experiment, iterate and deliver on new product objectives.

You will be a technical leader within Synthace, championing technical and architectural excellence and promoting consistency and engineering best practices. As a valued member of an autonomous, cross-functional team you will collaborate with a team of engineers and UI/UX designers to build state-of-the-art web-based tools to help scientists.

As a Principal Engineer you'll also play a part in coaching and mentor other engineers, sharing knowledge, performing peer code reviews, etc. You won't find any micro-management here - we're all about trust, enablement and personal ownership.

We give you space and autonomy to solve complex problems, while offering support if/when needed. We have a clear company vision, and we're building a strategy and roadmap to go around this. Everyone knows how their work directly impacts the goals we're working towards, and everyone's voice is heard.

Followers of best practice will fit in well, but pragmatism is key. We generally take the approach of using the right tool for the job rather than being fixed to any one particular way of doing things.

Our main stack is React and GraphQL, but you don't necessarily need to have deep experience with these - we're looking for adaptable coders who are curious and who are problem solvers first and foremost.

When it comes to personal development and progression, we operate a parallel track meaning that 'Senior' doesn't have to mean 'people management'. We love promoting from within, and if you do want to learn leadership skills we can support you. However, you have a choice and if your preference is to stay hands-on, you can become a senior 'individual contributor' and help to lead on technical decisions and direction.

We're currently set up to work remotely, but over time as life returns to something more like normality we would suggest that individual teams decide amongst themselves whether it makes sense for them to come into the office a couple of days a week.

The interaction with the Lab team and colleagues in other departments is helpful to get a full understanding of how our software is used, but we aren't currently planning on making it a fixed requirement to come in.

About you:

  • This is the sort of challenge that will suit you if you enjoy solving hard technical problems and you have a broad range of experience as a software engineer - you've probably worked in different sectors, or had to adapt to different types of challenges
  • As a Principal Engineer, you should have experience designing and architecting solutions and advising on technical direction, as well as being an extremely competent hands-on coder
  • You're highly skilled in JavaScript/TypeScript, HTML and CSS
  • You have experience with React or other similar frameworks
  • You care about the UI and the UX of the product that you are building
  • Experience working throughout the full web technology stack
  • Have a firm understanding of design patterns, data structures, web architecture, and understand how to apply your craft to design pragmatic solutions
  • Experience being a technical leader and mentor, and take pride in keeping up with current standard methodologies in your areas of expertise
  • You have a passion for working in an environment where you constantly experiment and iterate quickly
  • Quality is important to you and you know what it means to ship high-quality code
  • You see the value in sound engineering practices like continuous delivery, defensive programming, and reliability
  • You enjoy working in collaborative teams and sharing knowledge - there are no lone wolves here
  • Excellent communication skills are also a must - we move fast but we talk to each other to make sure we don't break things

Why join Synthace:

  • Work with genuinely extraordinary people
  • Open, collaborative, and friendly culture
  • Challenging, groundbreaking and exciting work
  • Chance to be a part of the 'fourth industrial revolution', helping us to create tools and systems that allow scientists to do things like cure cancer faster!

Salary: £100k-140k + equity, depending on experience

Other benefits: 10% pension, private health, and more! Further details available on our careers site (

Location: West London. In 'normal' times this is primarily an office-based role (3+ days a week on-site). During lockdowns, we're set up to work remotely.

Our diversity gives us strength. We value the wealth of knowledge, different perspectives and insights that come from having a truly diverse group of amazing colleagues, and an important part of the way we work is based around sharing knowledge with each other.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, colour, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.

Any personal data we collect from you as part of the recruitment process will be processed in accordance with the GDPR; please see our Privacy Policy for more information, which can be found at: