Hiring: PHP Developer Seeking to Leave Freelancing

The Sterner Stuff team is growing! We’re seeking a self-motivated PHP developer fresh off a solo-preneur endeavor.

You: a self-motivated PHP developer always seeking to learn. Obsessed with doing things the “right way”. At some point, you decided to try your hand at freelancing, either due to circumstances or for a shot at something new and setting your own schedule.

But maybe it turns out that running your own shop wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and you’re ready to do something different. If this sounds like you, Sterner Stuff wants to chat.

We’re seeking to bring on a dev who has made a run at solo-preneurship and has found they’d rather move back into a dev position. Someone who has decided that new sales and cultivating existing clients isn’t what gets them going in the morning.

Ideally, this person has a book of business they want to bring with them that we would fold into Sterner Stuff. This book may not represent 40 hours/week worth of business, but has some recurring work and loyal customers.

For you, this represents an opportunity to refocus on the development work you enjoy the most and get rid of the sales and administrative work you don’t care for, while at the same time, being at a small company where your voice drives business decisions. If you’ve had trouble keeping your backlog full of paying clients, this may also be an opportunity for an immediate pay raise.

For us, this move allows us to bring on an experienced developer with a track record of self-motivation and self-reliance. We have work for this kind of individual, and by bringing some work with you, we mitigate the endless cycle of hiring developers to meet a flow of work, and then hiring sales people to keep those developers busy during slow periods.

The Skills

The right candidate should love the modern web, but also value efficiency and reliability. Using the right tool for the job. You’re comfortable utilizing modern web technologies that often make a mobile-first web app a strong alternative to an expensive native phone app.

You shouldn’t be interested in cutting corners. You should be wary of plugins you’ve never used before and interested in properly vetting them before rolling them out to a client’s production website.

Your duties will mostly include building out new features on existing websites. These projects generally range in skill level, from:

  • Install and configure WooCommerce out-of-the-box
  • Integrate WordPress plugins X and Y (or integrate plugin Y with a third-party service) without depending on yet another tool, like Zapier
  • Build out X new feature from scratch on this Laravel site

Sterner Stuff is a small shop and our most common feedback from happy clients is that they love having a personal relationship with their web developer. While you won’t be a project manager, you should be comfortable – perhaps enjoy! – interfacing directly with clients from time to time and should be able to manage yourself in large part.

While remote work is acceptable, especially in the current public health landscape, we prefer a local candidate that can stop into the office from time to time. Camaraderie is important around here.



  • Basic Git competence
  • Comfortable writing object-oriented, properly namespaced PHP, not just dragging-and-dropping WordPress around
  • Experienced using WordPress actions and filters to customize plugin and core behavior without forking anything
  • Experience creating child themes in WordPress (a good handle on the WordPress template API) and, ideally, building a theme from scratch based on design assets
  • Experience integrating with third-party REST APIs
  • Ready to embrace the WordPress block editor (Gutenberg) when appropriate rather than pout about it
    • Reliance on ACF to create custom blocks is totally okay


  • Experience building and maintaining Laravel sites and tools, sticking to established Laravel patterns when possible
  • Familiarity with Vue, React, or another modern JS framework. You might have a preference, but you’re not dogmatic
  • Basic understanding of various levels of caching on the web
  • Server management experience (Laravel Forge handles most of our nitty-gritty)

Tools We Love

These are some tools we commonly use. Familiarity with them will give you a leg up.


Pay for this position depends on both your experience and your existing client base. We look forward to offering retirement and healthcare benefits, and depending on the existing business you can bring into the fold, we may be available to offer these immediately.

Who Are We

Sterner Stuff is a web development shop based in Eugene, Oregon. We focus on three lines of business:

  • Simple, fully-managed WordPress hosting and maintenance for brochure-ware sites
  • Custom, enterprise, at-scale WordPress development services
  • Custom web applications built in Laravel

Our clients range from local Eugene businesses to national publications handling 3000+ concurrent users at any time. We seek out results-based work: how can we demonstrate a return on investment to our clients and advise them when a project may be a poor investment.

We currently service about 25 clients on an ongoing basis at a variety of levels.

Please email resume, cover letter, and link to your GitHub profile to [email protected] to apply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.