PHP/Drupal Technical Lead

Wunderman Thompson

Department: Technology

Expertise: Technology

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Who we are:

At Wunderman Thompson we exist to inspire growth for ambitious brands. Part creative agency, part consultancy and part technology company, our experts provide end-to-end capabilities at a global scale to deliver inspiration across the entire brand and customer experience.

We are 20,000 strong in 90 markets around the world; our people bring together creative storytelling, diverse perspectives, inclusive thinking, and highly specialized vertical capabilities to drive growth for our clients. We offer deep expertise across the entire customer journey, including communications, commerce, consultancy, CRM, CX, data, production, and technology.

We’re looking for an experienced PHP/Drupal Technical Lead. The role will be focused more on team leadership and solutions architecture

Key Responsibilities:

Gather functional requirements

One of the first duties of the solution architect during the project development lifecycle is to gather requirements and specifications from clients and users. This aspect of the role may require working closely with sales team members and enterprise architects to gain a complete sense of client expectations and limitations before undertaking a major development project. As part of this process, the solution architect may examine existing systems and programs to identify areas for improvement and integration.

Develop specifications

Before developers can begin work on a project, a solution architect uses their familiarity with functional requirements and existing systems to develop project specifications. They may develop schedules and test plans, prepare documentation based on analyst reports, and assemble documents presenting project guidelines and milestones to team members. At the same time, solution architects may identify potential issues between systems and client specifications and propose new solutions to work around these limitations.

Determine project scope

A solution architect is also responsible for determining a project’s scope before developers begin any major work. They may conduct extra research on a client’s existing systems and configurations to determine whether added time and work is necessary to align the project with enterprise-level systems. They also identify areas where implementation may require more solutions to be successful. Throughout this process, the solution architect communicates directly with enterprise architects, developers, and clients.

Lead development teams

Throughout the development lifecycle, a solution architect directs and oversees the activities of a team of developers, answering questions or helping to resolve issues as they arise. This aspect of the role requires the solution architect to ensure that specifications and requirements are clearly articulated to their development teams. They monitor timelines and progress to ensure that team members are adhering to these specifications. The solution architect may also serve as a liaison between client-facing personnel and developers.

Interface directly with clients

From the initial conversations to determine project scope and specifications to the final presentation of software solutions, a solution architect meets directly with clients to provide feedback and updates on development projects. They may prepare reports and presentations, as well as demonstrations, to keep the client informed about issues that arise during development and report on integration and deployment. They may also receive updated specifications and requirements from clients throughout the development lifecycle.

Manage external vendors

For many projects, solution architects work with outside vendors to develop and implement specific aspects of the software solution. This aspect of the role may require the solution architect to consider costs and timelines and ensure that vendors meet deadlines for deliverables and project elements. They may review proposals and estimates from these vendors and determine whether they fit into existing budgetary and time restrictions and ensure that external solutions work with internal development projects.

Solution architects need to be highly technical and able to translate functional requirements into robust software solutions. Companies typically hire individuals for this role who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, along with the following skills:

·       Technical literacy – Solution architects possess a high level of technical literacy, which helps them determine how a software solution fits into an organisation’s current structure and assists in the development of specifications and requirements

·       Analytical assessment – This role requires a high level of analysis since solution architects need to examine a client’s current systems and determine overall project needs and scope

·       Schedule management – Solution architects need extensive time management skills to determine development schedules and milestones and ensure that deliverables are completed on time

·       Team leadership – Because solution architects oversee and direct development teams throughout the project development lifecycle, experience with team leadership and motivation is essential

·       Communication – In this role, solution architects are responsible for communicating with team members, clients, and external vendors, so they exhibit excellent written and verbal communication skills

·       Problem-solving – Solution architects need to be excellent problem-solvers, able to quickly change direction based on updated client specifications or system limitations

Your experience and skills:

Technical skills Architecture

·       Can create technical specifications, data flows, server architecture diagrams, ER diagrams, API framework documentation

·       Follow strict security patterns

·       Follow strict architecture patterns

·       Some project management skills, preferably in agile


·       Ability to manage internal and external development teams

·       Ability to cost projects with project managers

·       Ability to put a project plan together with project managers

·       Ability to articulate solutions well to clients and developers

Code Review

·       Dev languages (optional)

·       PHP + PSR 7 compliance

·       Python

·       HTML

·       CSS / SASS / LESS

·       Javascript / ECMA6

·       Frameworks (optional)

·       Drupal / Symfony / Magento / Laravel

·       VueJS / React / React Native


·       SQL

·       MySQL


·       Cloud

·       Docker

·       Redis

·       Elastic Search

·       NPM

·       GIT

Continuous integration

·       Automation

·       PHPUnit

·       Jenkins or other

·       SonarQube


·       Linux

·       Windows

·       Apache / Nginx

·       Server Monitoring

Our way of life

Our behaviors embody the way we show up for each other, and our clients. If you can identify with these, you just might be right for us:

  • We listen more than we speak. We see conversation as a chance to discover and understand, not get a point across.
  • We’re at our best when we work together: with our clients, with our colleagues and with our partners.
  • We challenge convention in every aspect of our work. Creative describes how we act, not the department we sit in.

We seek solutions to problems and always find a way forward. We bring passion and positivity to every situation we encounter

At Wunderman Thompson, we are committed to actively building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcomed, valued and heard, and is treated with dignity and respect.  As leaders and creative partners across industries, it is our responsibility to cultivate an environment reflective of our greatest asset; our people. We believe that this commitment inspires growth and delivers equitable outcomes for everyone as well as the clients and communities we serve.

Wunderman Thompson is a WPP agency.  For more informationplease visit our website and follow Wunderman Thompson on our social channels via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  

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When you click the "Submit Application" button below, this will send any information you add below to Wunderman Thompson. Before you do this, we think it's a good idea to read through our Recruitment Privacy Policy. California residents should read our California Recruitment Privacy Notice. This explains what we do with your personal data when you apply for a role with us, and, how you can update the information you have provided us with or how to remove it.

When you click the "Submit Application" button above, this will send any information you add below to Wunderman Thompson. Before you do this, we think it's a good idea to read through our Recruitment Privacy Policy. California residents should read our California Recruitment Privacy Notice. This explains what we do with your personal data when you apply for a role with us, and, how you can update the information you have provided us with or how to remove it.