Bright Oak Laravel / PHP Developer Position

Zach Mettra

Zach Mettra

Creative Director

Thank you for visiting our job post! Please read carefully below and then follow the steps at the bottom. Please no recruiters or people outside of the US.

Why we’re hiring

We’ve been fortunate over the last several years to find and retain client partnerships across the US, Canada and Switzerland that have allowed us the opportunity to grow dramatically. So this really just boils down to a simple cause and effect — be fiercely committed to producing high quality work and exceptional white glove customer service and voila, you are going to have to hire more people to keep things operating smoothly and live up to high expectations that our loyal clients have.

TLDR: We’re growing and need your help to keep up with the workload.

About Bright Oak

If you go over to our home page you will be able to see the types of services we offer our clients, but I think the biggest thing I want you to take away from that page is our philosophy — that regardless of the problem, there is always a solution. That mindset is what has allowed us to get where we are at today. If you want more to the story, check out this post that I wrote on how we got our name and really how Bright Oak came into existence. 

In short, we’re a small young team that loves problem solving and are looking to add a new member to our team to help us better service our client partners. Some other fun facts about us:

  • The average team member at Bright Oak has been here for 3 years
  • The oldest person is 40, and the youngest is 24 making the average age 29
  • We have 3 full-time people in Portland, 3 in California, 1 in Toronto, 3 in Maryland, 1 in North Carolina, and 1 in the Ukraine and then a few other part-time folks peppered around the US
  • We have a side project called Pizza for Portland where we go out and buy a bunch of pizza to hand out to the less fortunate around Portland
  • Not all of us have met each other in the flesh
  • We all grew up on AIM (rip)
  • 4 of us have dogs

What you’ll be doing / what’s expected

Working together with the rest of our development team, you’ll have a hand in creating custom web applications in Laravel, developing modern WordPress sites using Roots Sage, and making improvements to existing client websites on a variety of platforms. You need to be comfortable developing locally using Laravel Homestead and utilizing a multiple branch git workflow. Most importantly, we need you to be able to learn quickly, follow high-level instructions, ask good questions, and communicate well. Here is a more specific breakdown of what we’re looking for:

Required Skills

  • Deep and thorough understanding of building Laravel applications. You will need experience with the following:
    • Advanced Eloquent Model usage including eager loading
    • Routing
    • Job Queuing & Laravel Horizon
    • Events, Listeners, and Observers
    • Blade template inheritance
    • Caching
    • Notifications
    • Mailables
    • Broadcasting
    • Console commands
    • Vue components
  • Ability to create custom WordPress themes. We do our best to make WordPress as modern as possible.
    • Roots Sage 9 is our preferred WordPress framework for building new themes
    • We use composer to install plugins so the dependency is noted in the repo but the actual plugin code is not.
    • You will need to be comfortable utilizing action hooks and filters to accomplish various tasks.
    • Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies are common in our themes. Be sure to understand what they are and how best to use them.
    • We heavily utilize theme options and custom fields. Be sure you understand the difference between them and when you would use one or the other. Advanced Custom Fields Pro is our preferred framework.
    • We use PSR4 autoloading to load our custom theme dependency classes (yes, even in WordPress)
  • You need to be able to set up Laravel Homestead for local development quickly and easily. On occasion, we may need to use other vagrant boxes, depending on the circumstances, usually because a legacy application needs Apache.
  • Make sure you possess an understanding of PSR4 autoloading and using it for PHP dependencies. Hand in hand with this is an understanding of PHP namespacing.
  • We like to use tools such as to diagnose and correct performance issues. Make sure your comfortable learning new tools, and feel free to suggest ones you’ve used as well.
  • We use yarn and webpack for all frontend dependencies, but as quickly as things change in that space, we may end up using something entirely different before too long.
  • We have some clients with legacy Magento 1.9 applications. Experience creating modules and modifying themes for existing Magento applications is very helpful.
  • Basic server operations are highly valued. We use AWS and Digital Ocean, depending on the needs of the project. The majority of duties are provisioning, firewall setup, setting up a project for deployment, and adjusting configuration files for Nginx and PHP-FPM.
  • As our team grows, the importance of being able to work in a multi-branch git workflow is paramount.
  • Even though we usually abstract through PHP, a deep understanding of MySQL and how relational databases work is of great importance.
  • Make sure you’re comfortable using third party API’s as well as implementing custom API’s for others to use. We prefer REST API’s whenever possible.

Preferred Skills

  • While this role is primarily backend, the lines between frontend and backend are blurring more and more. You should be capable at writing ES6 JavaScript and able to adjust existing HTML and CSS as needed.
  • Automated testing is an area we have identified as an area for growth for our team and we plan to begin implementing it soon. The more experience you have with PHPUnit, Laravel Feature Tests, and Laravel Dusk, the more value you can add to our team.
  • While we don’t require it, we would certainly consider it in your favor if you’re a Laravel Certified Developer

High Level Stuff

  • As part of this role, you’re going to be asked to solve problems – whether that’s an existing project that’s broken or a real world problem that a client wants us to solve with code. You need to be able to quickly diagnose problems (even if the real problem is different than what you’ve been told) and identify solutions.
  • You need to be able to ask good questions of clients and other team members in order to get the information that you need to accomplish your tasks. Experience in the discovery interview would be helpful.
  • Our team is 100% remote, and while we are flexible with scheduling, we need you to be punctual and reliable. If you find you’ll be deviating from your agreed-upon schedule, we’ll need to know as much in advance as possible so that we can manage expectations for everyone.
  • You need to enjoy problem-solving. You’ll be doing quite a lot of it – the more you enjoy it, the better off everyone will be (especially you).

Compensation & Payment Details

Here are some basic things to know, but we are constantly evolving the benefits package for our team:

  • We will be offering at least $75k for this position and to go north of that will depend on your skillset & experience
  • This is a full time & long term remote position (W2 not 1099 / freelance)
  • We ideally need you to be living in the Pacific Time Zone, but if you’re the right person, you’re the right person
  • All of us are in different stages of our lives and want different things, so we tailor our benefits package to you
  • There are commission opportunities for helping bring in new business
  • Payroll is every Friday via Gusto
  • We provide you with a 100% covered bronze PPO medical insurance plan via United Healthcare 

How to apply

This is going to be a pretty straightforward process :)

  1. Email [email protected] and CC [email protected] with the subject line of “Bright Oak PHP Position”
  2. Send links to git repos for 2-3 projects you’re proud of (read-only access for a private repo is perfectly fine).
  3. Because we’re a remote team, we mostly communicate in writing. In a few sentences, tell us about a new technology you recently used or learned about in the PHP world and how you would encourage other team members to learn about it.
  4. Have you played any team sports before? If so, what was your favorite?
  5. Have you successfully completed the Laravel Certification Program?
  6. What do you do you in your free time to stay balanced between work/life?
  7. What is your favorite quote?
  8. What is your favorite sports team or favorite type of pizza?


Q: What if I don’t live on the West Coast?
A: You can still apply of course, but if it comes down to a tie between you and someone else, we will likely default to whoever is in or closest to the West Coast. This is because our lead developer is on the East Coast and we want to open up our development window to better accommodate our client base that spans multiple time zones. 

Q: When will I start working?
A: Very soon. We are looking to make a final decision by the end of the month if not sooner.

Q: Do we provide equipment?
A: It’s 2018, so we assume you have all the essentials to be productive. For some employees, we do offer reimbursements for critical equipment needs and in some cases will offer to help cover other costs such as internet, mobile phones, etc…

Q: What if I am not as proficient in WordPress as I am Laravel?
A: Totally fine. You will be spending the vast majority of your time in Laravel but there will be times where we need you to support us on other projects — mostly just WordPress and occasionally Magento and Shopify.


Other Jobs journal entries

Zach Mettra

Bright Oak Senior PHP Developer Overview

Why we’re hiring We've been fortunate over the last several years to find and retain client

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