Art. World. Jobs.

Software Developer

Royal Academy of Arts
Art Museums and Institutions, Digital
   Location: London
   Salary: Up to £50,000
Experience: Mid - Senior Level
  Organisation: Royal Academy of Arts
Deadline: 09/06/2019

About the Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is one of the UK’s foremost arts institutions. We are best known for our programme of world-class exhibitions including Ai Weiwei, Abstract Expressionism and Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse. It is a particularly exciting time in our history. An ambitious ‘Masterplan’ by David Chipperfield RA has recently been completed, redeveloping our 2.5-acre campus in Mayfair in time for our 250th anniversary this year. The works have united our two buildings, created new galleries for more exhibitions, a 260-seat lecture theatre, learning studio and new spaces dedicated to free displays of our Collection, works by RA Schools students, Royal Academicians and as architecture projects. We are an innovative, forward-looking and commercially astute organisation that receives no government operating subsidy.


About the role

Digital is core to our aims of helping deepen our user’s engagement with the organisation and to clearly outline our offering. The main technologies we use are Ruby on Rails and React deployed on AWS.  You will have the opportunity to work across the whole stack, however we are mainly looking for someone with Ruby and/or infrastructure skills. Ability and potential are as important as knowledge of those specific technologies: we will help you to grow and learn.


The benefits we offer

  • A very generous pension, contributing up to 10% of your salary into a defined contribution scheme
  • In addition to 25 days’ holiday and 8 days’ bank holiday each year, we close between Christmas Eve and New Year, allowing staff additional paid leave
  • Staff are encouraged to attend free History of Art and life drawing classes on site
  • We also have a staff choir, running club and craft club
  • Best of all, we have reciprocal agreements with many leading museums and art galleries in London and New York that enable you to enter for free with your staff pass.


How to apply

Please upload your CV and a covering letter to be considered for this position. You will find details in the How to Apply section of the Careers page on our website:


Closing date for applications: 9 June 2019 (midnight)

Interviews to be held week commencing: 17 June 2019




Job:                Developer (Ruby)

Department: Digital

Reports to:    Technical Lead



This role sits within the broader digital team which covers a range of areas from content and product managers through to more technical aspects such as data management and developers. We are in a unique position as we get to engage with every aspect of the RA.

Our internal tech team is responsible for a range of products.  The main website is a custom CMS built on rails. We work with our content editors to develop new features.  Recent examples of projects we’ve worked on include partnering with an external agency to make our collection available online.

The main project the team (and the rest of the RA) have been working on the past couple of years is implementing Tessitura, a SAAS solution for ticketing, membership and CRM.  Our team have built integrations with the API into our current CMS as well as adding extra features to the white label checkout process.

Every year we release a new version on the Summer Exhibition Explorer, a rails-based app that allows users to view and purchase artworks in that year’s exhibition. There’s been a huge growth in online purchases and we look to maximise that growth as well as adding new features each year.

There are a number of other projects ranging from a tool to manage artworks lent to the RA for exhibitions through to how information is shown in digital screens around the building.

The team uses modern tech tools and processes and has some of the feel of a small start-up, with the benefit of working in an established and respected institution.



  • To work with the RA’s Digital teams to carry out IT and web development and enhancement for the Royal Academy’s systems.
  • To work in an agile team and deliver work quickly and to a high quality after every sprint period.



  • To design, write and fix code in collaboration with Technical Lead and the rest of the team, always respecting any guidelines and architectural features as may be specified and agreed upon. This role is focused mainly on backend and infrastructure.
  • To work directly with product managers and end users (internal and external) as required to ensure functionality delivered matches user expectations
  • To take an active part in development team discussions; From technical planning through to weekly sprint reviews.
  • Comply with all relevant Health & Safety policies, procedures and regulations and takes appropriate and reasonable care for the safety of colleagues and visitors to the Academy.
  • Undertake any other duty which may be allocated by the Technical Lead, Digital Director or other senior officer.



Technical skills and experience

  • Experience working, with Ruby and Rails. Alternatively, you will be proficient in other languages/frameworks and have an interest in picking up a new skill
  • Some experience or a keen interest in learning more on the infrastructure side. We use AWS and are responsible for everything from server configuration, load balancers through to cache configuration.
  • Some experience with tools similar to Github, Codeship, Code Climate, Chef, Capistrano, Jira and Slack.
  • Demonstrable experience pushing code to production, working to debug and troubleshoot issues


Personal Qualities

  • Self-motivated, detail-oriented and well organised
  • Willingness to learn and commit to continuous professional development
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of an agile team, estimating work accurately and delivering within timelines
  • Able to communicate effectively and clearly with developers, product managers and non-technical staff
  • Ability and interest in mentoring and sharing your knowledge with the team

Art. World. Jobs.