Lead Software Developer

About Portable

Our mission is to seek out areas of social need and policy failure and make transformational change using design and technology. We believe that government, organisations and businesses can be forces for good. But there’s a gap in their understanding of, and ability to meet, the expectations of those in need of positive change. Our job is to use design and technology to narrow the gap between those with the power and responsibility to make a positive change, and those who need it.


About the role

As a Lead at Portable, your job is to provide direction, support and learning for your discipline. A Lead is an authority in the discipline, delivers high quality work for clients whilst also guiding team members towards quality, best practice and the company’s strategic priorities. You have the technical skills required to personally execute large projects, and you have the social and mentoring skills required to effectively improve and guide the development team to continually improve.

Working with other leaders in the business, you’ll use your understanding of the people you work with and their skills in order to ensure that projects are resourced with the right people, in a way that aligns with their motivation and development needs. You’ll take an active part in the development of your discipline along with the skilling-up of other team members. You’ll know the tools and the processes and be able to expand and improve upon how these are used in your discipline. 


As a Lead, you’ll be expected to deliver the following results:

  • High quality project work that clearly demonstrates meeting the needs of users and our clients
  • Projects are set up to be delivered by the right people in the right time frame, on budget
  • People in your discipline are engaged and growing
  • People in your discipline are engaged in contributing to business activities (such as business development and marketing)
  • The strategy for your discipline is informed by, and connected to, the company’s strategy (led by the Head of with support from Leads)
  • The practice in your discipline is regularly improved through the contribution of new tools, processes, methodologies and approaches


As a developer, we are looking for someone who is:

  • technically proficient and prefers to lead the team by example, rather than by explanation
  • able to influence the decision making of managers and the team
  • able to solve complex problems across different domains of the business, not just the technical aspects
  • able to give effective feedback and grow the capability of others in their discipline
  • aware of the team’s motivation and capabilities and sets appropriate learning goals in place to enable reaching those goals
  • able to work well with others and can bring a team together
  • able to have challenging conversations when required

As an agency we have a number of projects running in different technical stacks. Some of our preferred stacks include:

Front End

  • NextJS/React
  • Typescript
  • CSS-in-JS
  • Chakra UI


  • Javascript/PHP
  • NestJS, Serverless, Drupal
  • JSON API, GraphQL
  • AWS

CMS websites

  • PHP
  • Wordpress via roots (Sage, Bedrock, Trellis), Silverstripe
  • Kinsta


  • AWS
  • Terraform
  • Bitbucket Pipelines (CI/CD)


An example of what a day a Portable as a Lead Software Developer might look like:

  • Spending a few hours writing some code on a project, either pairing or solo, to help a team get started on an appropriate implementation or assisting in getting others unstuck
  • Reviewing pull requests and giving encouraging and constructive feedback on the code, which enables others to learn and improve the code as a result
  • Catching up with one of the people that you manage, having a coffee and/or meeting up in a virtual 1-to-1 meeting
  • Helping lead our PDX (Portable Developer Experience) meetings where we discuss, have workshops and generally look at how we go about development at Portable as a team
  • Collaborating with project managers to advise on scope for features as well as assist with the execution of the overall project architecture
  • Assisting the team in implementing and coming up with a deployment plan and clear documentation for the project team and the client.
  • Participating in development team rituals such as technical sprint kickoff meetings and helping to guide the conversations to yield accurate and useful information that can inform the team’s approach and/or flag anything that needs attention early in the process
  • Participate in our Fortnight-of-Foresight where we confirm project workloads and teams prior to bringing those projects into the studio



The salary range for this role is between $125,000 - $150,000, depending on your level of experience. We are committed to building a diverse team - people from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.


How to apply

To be considered, please send us your resume and a cover letter answering the following questions:

  1. Tell us about something that you’ve been learning recently. What is it, how are you learning it and what made you decide to learn this thing?

  2. What’s a challenging technical problem you or your team have solved? What made it challenging, how did you solve it and what part did you play?

  3. Tell us about a great working relationship you’ve had with someone you have led. How did you work together? What’s something you learned from that experience?
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