Net-a-Porter, the luxury online clothes retailer, is looking to double its IT team to 200 people.
According to James Christian, head of innovation at Net-a-Porter, the company relies on its in-house IT staff to support the company’s unique business mix of media and e-commerce, and give the company the agility it needs to add new features.
“We are a media company as well as e-commerce. We are not just a shop. So our systems have to be able to support both,” said Christian.
“We have always had systems developed in-house. Our guys know the code inside out. We are very confident about introducing new features very quickly.”
One of its recent changes is a software, Net-a-Porter Live, that allows customers to view anonymous browsing and shopping activity of other users on the site.
Net-a-Porter is looking for employees from across a range of skills, including Java, CSS3 and HTML.
Its public-facing websites use Java technology, and the company’s back office systems, such as its product inventory, are based on the Perl programming language.
“All of our code is built on open source technology, on the Spring and Catalyst frameworks,” Christian said.
As it grows, the company is restructuring its teams into smaller disciplines. Christian said that this means that new IT recruits will have to be able to adapt to working with business as well as technical colleagues.
He said: “They will be co-located with other developers and with business owners. For example, the product merchandiser will have their team. We want people who want to work with a mix of people and different skills sets.”
This differs to how Net-a-Porter worked at the beginning, where it wanted generalist IT staff who could work on a wide range of technologies. It now requires more specialist skills, for example, it has a dedicated team of mobile developers.
“We need people who really want to take business problems and create solutions for them,” Christian added.