Associate Software Engineer

John White

With over 30 years of birdwatching experience, John White, CEO, and Co-founder of Birda, merges his passion for nature and technology with expertise gained from companies like Coca-Cola and Deutsche Bank. With a passion for writing content that helps people connect with nature and an MBA from the University of Cape Town, he's known for his ability to simplify complex concepts. As Birda’s CEO, John’s been featured on Fox News, ABC News, and BBC Radio, as one of the leading voices in birdwatching today. With a flair for bird photography and a love for all things avian, he's not just a CEO but also a dedicated field tester for Birda. Off-duty, he enjoys swimming, running, windsurfing, skiing, and family time. Follow his adventures on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for a glimpse into one of the people behind Birda's success.


This position has been filled

πŸ“„ Summary

  • React Native (iOS + Android)
  • Next.js web apps
  • Node.js backend
  • Typescript
  • 1-2 years experience (possibly your second job)
  • Work in conservation while still paying your bills
  • Mostly remote – 1 day a fortnight in London (Kings Cross)
  • Contact:

πŸ¦‰ About Birda

Our purpose is to help people experience the natural world so that they’ll fight to protect it. We are building a birding app for anyone who is curious about the living world. Enabling people to record and share their birding experiences so that they can motivate themselves and others to spend more time outside.

Think ‘Strava for Birdwatching’. Even in 2022, a birder’s main field tool is a notebook. We know we can do better than that. We are building an app that will enhance the humble notebook by digitally logging bird sightings (in the field or at home), adding GPS-enabled mapping, gamified challenges, badges and social features too. Like ‘Pokemon Go’ but with birds, in real life.

We’ve been going since Jan 2022 and are growing quickly. We launched in Europe and Southern Africa and rolled out in the US in September 2022 and then globally shortly thereafter. We move quickly but take a great deal of care and responsibility in what we do, quality matters to us and so does our users’ data security.

The team is currently made up of:

  • πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’Ό John – CEO and spreadsheet menace
  • πŸ‘ΈπŸ» Natalie – Design queen
  • πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’» Dom – CTO
  • πŸ’β€β™€οΈSilvia – UX/UI wiz
  • πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸŽ€ Dave – Senior Software Engineer
  • πŸ§” Tim – Associate Software Engineer
  • πŸ‘¨β€πŸ”¬ Morgan – Associate Software Engineer
  • πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Sarah – Community Engagement Manager

πŸ”­ What we are looking for

We’re looking for a full stack engineer to help us build more features across the mobile app, web app and server platform. You’re early in your career and haven’t specialised yet – although you absolutely can do so as we grow. We’ve been careful to pick technologies that mean it’s easy for engineers to work across the stack – the web and mobile apps both use Apollo Client, React and Tailwind, with the same lint settings so everything looks the same. On the server it’s much the same story. Everything is in Typescript – you don’t need to have used it before as you’ll pick it up really quickly, and learn to love the way it prevents so many bugs!

You are good at your job and care about the quality of your work. You know that tools like automated tests are the best way of delivering great code that works reliably.

You’ll need an interest in conservation and nature. You don’t need to be a full-on bird-nerd but outside should be your happy place and you own a sturdy pair of shoes or boots.

πŸ“± Tech stack

You don’t need to have all of these exact things, we value your skills over specific experience.


  • typescript
  • jest
  • eslint & prettier
  • circleCI
  • mixpanel
  • docker


  • react native
  • expo
  • apollo graphQL
  • sqlite
  • tailwindcss


  • react
  • nextjs


  • nodejs
  • apollo graphQL
  • postgres
  • postGIS
  • Google Cloud Platform
    • PubSub
    • Cloud Vision
    • BigQuery
    • Cloud functions
    • Data studio
    • Text to Speech

πŸ’΅ / πŸ’š What we give in return

Your life is too precious to spend it making something that doesn’t matter. Many of the greatest challenges that all humans will face both now and in the future will involve managing climate change. Encouraging an appreciation of the natural world is a small but vital part of rising to these challenges. We believe that getting people excited about the plants and animals that inhabit our planet will lead to people making different decisions about how they lead their lives.


Of course, you can’t pay your rent / mortgage / deliveroo habit on good feelings so we’ll be paying a respectable salary. We won’t be able to compete with banks or large tech companies though, so our mission will need to matter to you.


We have an employee-friendly (gradual vesting, long exercise period) stock options grant. If you stick with us, you’ll share in any success we achieve. It’s still very early days for us which means that the amount of equity on offer will be meaningful – it’s your baby too.


Flexible working – if you need to bail early to make the school run, that’s not a problem. Work when you are productive. For Dom that’s 6.00 in the morning but he’s weird πŸ™„.


There’s all the usual holiday (we’ll make you take it too) and equipment stuff too. Although not every startup has loaner DSLR’s πŸ˜‰.

🦠 Post-pandemic working

We are still figuring this out ourselves. We’ve all been working remotely through the pandemic like everyone else. We’ve liked saving time, money and our carbon footprint by not travelling, but we’ve also really missed not hanging out together – both professionally and socially.

Our current thinking is that we will divide our time up into ‘doing’ and ‘collaborating’. Doing can be done wherever you choose, but collaborating should be done in person, probably somewhere quiet with whiteboards and coffee. Like an office. We think that’ll be one or two days a week. Perhaps every week or maybe 2-4 days in a row every fortnight. Central London is a likely location for this as it’s an easy place for lots of people to get to. The pubs and restaurants aren’t bad either.

We realise that not everyone’s home environment is conducive for working so we are also considering allocating budget for a better desk / chairs or even a co-working space near to you.

We’d be interested in what you think about this too…

πŸ‘©πŸ½β€πŸ’Ό Interview Process

This will all be remote…cute pets joining in is a bonus. While there are a few stages, we’ll move as quickly as you can. Nobody likes an interview process that takes months.

πŸ‘‹πŸ» Step 1 - Say hi to Birda

20 minute introduction with John White our Founder and CEO. Find out if you think it’s worth going through the hassle of the rest of the process…

🏠 Step 2 - Take home tech thing

Yes, we know you don’t like these, and we are sorry. It’s possible that very experienced candidates with large open-source portfolios might skip this bit. If not, we try to make it as painless as possible. There is a pure javascript (ie no frameworks) exercise. We send you a link, you fill in the missing code and send it back. We’ve found that it takes about 40 minutes to complete but there’s no time pressure, you can complete it at your leisure.


There will also be a link to a design for a real feature. We’ll use that as a prop for the 3rd stage…

πŸ€“ Step 3 - Tech interview with the CTO

We’ll do all the usual interview stuff like talking through your experience / portfolio, what makes you tick etc. There will also be a technical part, we’ll discuss the designs we sent and talk about how we could go about implementing them, what architectures, design patterns or testing methods we could use. We’ll try and find a topic you know a lot about and do a deep dive. Maybe something you know less about too – it’s no fun if it’s easy.

There will be no algo challenges or other silly hazing exercises.

πŸ€” Step 3.5 - Ask us anything

This is a follow-up call with some combination of Dom / Natalie / John. Ask us anything, any concerns or issues you want to be clarified – now’s the time. It’s a big decision for everyone and we want to take every opportunity to ensure it’s the right one for everybody.