Author Topic: Work With Us! New Tech lead needed  (Read 1746 times)


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Work With Us! New Tech lead needed
« on: November 23, 2017, 06:55:42 PM »
Work with us! Technikos applications open!

This is announcing that we're opening external applications for the role of Exilian's technical officer (formally entitled the Technikos). The Technikos is Exilian's head of technical staff, and indeed usually takes responsibility for most of the tech work across the site. Like all other staff roles on Exilian, this is a voluntary position: no member of the site team is remunerated for their time working on Exilian, which is strictly a non-profit volunteer collective. Our Tech is a completely vital role to keep Exilian running and support all the other things we do, supporting lots of amazing articles and creative projects. It shouldn't be a seriously time consuming role: the site needs very little regular maintenance, and the required time for it shouldn't exceed an hour or so a week on average. Here's the overview:

Key roles
The Technikos has responsibility for the front-end site and the technical aspects of keeping Exilian running - server issues, hosting, the site's programming and software, and so on are all within their remit.

Important powers/functions
- Control over the technical aspects of the forum and website
- Responsibility for look & layout
- Responsibility for the integrated functionality of site applications and content
- Along with the Basileus, responsibility for contact with site hosts

Regular tasks
- Website updates and edits
- Helping other staff and mod teams use the site
- Adding updates and mods to the forum to increase user utility

To describe the role further I've written an FAQ section below:

First things first - can you explain what Exilian is?

Exilian is a nonprofit, volunteer collective that supports geeky creative projects. We've existed for nearly 10 years, and among other things along the way, we've run three small conventions, provided forums for classic game modification titles such as Warhammer: Total War and Mount & Blade Southern Realms, supported projects including the dieselpunk tabletop RPG Frozen Skies, the indie beat 'em up/roguelike Son of a Witch, and the ant-based strategy game Empires of the Undergrowth, and also hosted a wide range of other competitions, discussions, writing, artwork, and more. We quite like llamas, or possibly guanacos. There's a minor debate about that one. Anyway - if we're going to keep doing all this awesome stuff we need someone to help us keep the technical infrastructure behind it running.

What will this role involve?

Aspects of the role may include:

  • Ensuring Exilian's forum software is as up to date and user friendly as possible, including interface improvements, adding functionality, and improving look/theme and styling
  • Helping update and improve the currently outdated front end website to better showcase the creative work done on the webforum
  • Helping with site and server-side maintenance, including responses to hacking or ddos attacks if those occur (unlikely, but a once-every-few-years event thus far)

Not all of these have to be done by the Technikos directly, and other staff members are on hand with a long term depth of experience in all the above areas who can provide help and advice - the Technikos is however ultimately responsible for ensuring they happen, and should be able and willing to cover at least some significant portions of the above work themselves - knowledge of HTML/CSS and PHP would both be useful in this role. The Technikos is also a member of Exilian's administrative council, and will be able to provide input to staff discussions on all other site matters. The Technikos is able to appoint junior tech staff at any times where this is necessary, subject to ratification of that appointment by the site's voting members.

Who will I work with?

The Technikos is likely to need to work with various other Exilian staff - in particular the head of staff (currently Glaurung, a database programmer based in eastern England who sits on hoards of gold sometimes) and the executive officer (currently Jubal, a digital humanities doctoral student based in Austria who may or may not be a pangolin). On a day to day basis the Technikos is essentially their own boss, though they should maintain a line of communication with the head of staff; ultimately all staff answer to the citizens (voting members) of Exilian, which includes providing them with brief updates on the current state of the site's infrastructure on a twice-yearly basis, and occasional ratification votes to signal that members are happy for staff members to remain in post.

What state are things in currently?

Exilian runs Simple Machines Forum software, which is fully up to date and has a number of minor customisations including spam filtration, additional BBCode forum tags for YouTube and Soundcloud embedding, and so on. We already have regular automated backup systems both with our server hosts (Vidahost) and independently on webspace kindly provided by the Chiark server team. As such, the site should need relatively little regular maintenance work.

There is a set of static webpages that can be accessed via the site's top bar, which are mostly out of date: working out the best way to get that site front-end area working again in a useable, low maintenance way is a current priority for us. Both the main site homepage and the articles page may also need redesigning for better user friendliness, and looking at implementing such improvements could be part of a new Technikos' role. There are often possibilities for additions and tweaks to be made to the forum as well, which may include editing and varying the forum's CSS "skins" or making interface updates. The Technikos will have full access to Exilian both at the forum control panel level and the server-side cpanel level, which includes ssh access.

In large part, exactly what the Technikos does themselves out of this will be up to them: Exilian functions effectively for the most part, and the Technikos has a lot of scope for different ways in which they can help keep that running secure or help work on making things smoother and improving them at the interface level.

I don't know PHP/CSS/both/this sounds scarily difficult but I have time and would be willing to learn
Then you're very welcome to apply. Our current staff members have all the relevant skills and are happy to provide any training and mentoring needed. We do our best to take looking after our staff seriously, and we want the new Technikos to get as much out of the role as possible - if that means we provide help teaching new skills, then great!

How do I apply and what is the process?

Applications will be open for at least two weeks from the date of posting. Just post a reply below this post with any details you want about yourself. If there are multiple applicants, the citizens will elect one of them to the position; if there is only one, the citizens will be asked to ratify them in the position. If there are no applicants in two weeks' time, the thread remains open until someone does apply and that application is then forwarded to the citizens.

I have a question not covered here

Comment below, PM me, or email exilian (at ) exilian (dot) co (dot) uk - we're very happy to answer any queries :)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 07:33:26 PM by Jubal »
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