Junior Developer

Who are we and why work with us?

Here at Portable we care about the world. We seek out areas of social need and policy failure and use our expertise in research, design and technology to make a positive impact for our community. Our clients are as passionate as we are and work in government agencies and nonprofit organisations. Our job is to help them define, design and deliver new products, services and ways of working to improve life for all Australians. 

There are currently 55+ of us working as researchers, strategists, designers, developers, producers and visionaries towards our mission from our office in Collingwood and working remotely from home

We’re looking for a junior developer to join our team and contribute our projects and technology discipline. You have probably spent a few years programming on side projects and have built a web application or two on your own as part of a course, but might get stuck when starting on a new framework or language without having someone guide you through how to make things work and more importantly understanding why they work.

This might be the right role for you if…

You have a passion for technology and learning with a strong focus on gathering as much feedback as you can which you integrate back into your daily practices. You're willing to ask for help and speak up to ensure that quality and standards are kept, even though you are developing the skills to deliver to that standard, you work together to get there with others.

You have a natural curiosity to understand why things work or don't work in the way that you expect so that you can develop not just a surface level understanding of problems and their solutions, but how to resolve or tackle those again in the future. You also persist through difficult problems in order to reach an understanding that satisfies your curiosity.

You would enjoy working with multidisciplinary teams of designers, developers and producers on a wide range of projects. You actively participate in retros, planning sessions and being involved in other project and company rituals.

You also demonstrate excellent teamwork and communication and are proactive in identifying gaps in your capability. You understand the importance in managing your time and priorities, as well as communicating clearly in written and verbal communications.

As an agency we have a number of projects running in different technical stacks: 

Most of our work to-date has been in PHP and Javascript (actually Typescript, but we will help you learn if you need). At the moment we also have projects in .NET, Go and Java. We love to learn (and teach) new skills.

We favour React, but have worked with Vue. We like Laravel, but have worked in NestJS and other frameworks. We create amazing things using WordPress and SilverStripe.

As most of our projects are delivered via the web, our junior developers will have experience in HTML, CSS and plain old Javascript and have probably built an application or two using a popular web framework.

An example of what a week at Portable as a Junior Developer might look like:

  • Pairing and being mentored by senior and lead developers to help with your growth professionally as a developer
  • Contributing to (and occasionally chairing) our PTX (Portable Technology 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 and leads to sense check the scope for features on a new project
  • Spending time writing code - implementing new APIs for a justice project and adding new elements to the UI components for a public sector project
  • Reviewing a few pull requests to help individuals and the team grow with their ability to commit good code to projects
  • Working through some online tutorials with our company Pluralsight subscription to help develop your technical skills
  • Participating in a design & ideation workshop with a Design Strategist and Law Researcher for a legal project
  • Working with the team to do some sprint planning, writing up some tickets in Jira


The salary range for this role is between $50,000 - $70,000, depending on your level of experience. This is available as a full-time or part time role. We are committed to creating a more diverse team and industry with a focus on introducing more female and non-binary developers. Whilst all applications will be considered equally, our goal is to hire a candidate from traditionally underrepresented groups.

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. How did you work together? What’s something you learned from that experience?
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