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OpenCongress Hiring a Programmer + Seeking Interns

September 8, 2009 - by David Moore


(Right: cc-licensed image of the NYC skyline by joiseyshowaa.)

Good news: OpenCongress is growing. We’re hiring a full-time web programmer to join our non-profit development team.

We’re also seeking to bring aboard three Fall interns in our offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Please forward this widely to anyone who may be interested, not to mention re-Tweet, share on Facebook, all appreciated.

Programmers: Work On a Project You Believe In

(cross-posted to 37Signals Job Board, Craigslist NYC, Political Parsers G-Group, and elsewhere.)

The Participatory Politics Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that builds open-source web tools for political engagement. We believe the web offers an unprecedented opportunity to amplify political actions and make politics more widely accessible.

PPF’s flagship project is the government transparency site OpenCongress, a joint project with the Sunlight Foundation. The site’s code is free, open-source, and non-commercial, written primarily in Ruby on Rails.

We’re seeking an experienced Rails programmer, one who shares our principles of facilitating political organizing online, to join our development team on OpenCongress. As a new full-time programmer, you’d be involved in all aspects of site development, including building new features & integrating new data sets. Solid experience with Ruby on Rails is required — knowledge of postgres database is a bonus, but not necessary. Sysadmin experience is also a big big plus, but not required.

Ideally, you’d be based in the New York City area, but we’re flexible — feel free to apply wherever you are, telecommuniting is OK. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply. We’re a free-culture-friendly, collaborative crew, so feel free to get in touch, we’d like to hear from you. Salary & benefits negotiable as per previous web programming & software development experience. To apply, send a resume and a brief note of intro to drm at ppolitics dottttt org.

Interns: Help Us Open Up Congress

(Right: a building at Spring & Elizabeth Streets near our NYC office, cc-licensed image by QXZ)

OpenCongress is seeking to bring on board up to three volunteer interns between our offices in downtown NYC and DuPont Circle, Washington, D.C.

We’re looking for people with a wide range of skills, from web development and graphic design to researching legislation and communications. College & university students in the NYC or D.C. areas are encouraged to apply — we’re happy to work with your educational institution to ensure that you receive appropriate academic credit for your work with us. While we regret as a non-profit project we can’t provide a stipend or salary for this internship, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply, even if you’re not necessarily already a Congress buff. If you have a basic interest in politics and government, there is an internship position that could work for you.

Back in April, we posted this call for summer interns, and everything of what we wrote there still applies — updated for Fall 2009, of course. In short: our web development process is itself highly transparent and we’re a dedicated, collaborative crew. As a result, this internship is likely to be different from others available to you — by our open nature, you’ll be a core part of the team, free to pursue your interests and work with all team members in order to build a more useful public resource.

In NYC, interns will work alongside OpenCongress Program Manager David Moore at our shared office space in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. Interns will collaborate on a variety of tasks: daily site maintenance, dedicated research projects, writing original analysis of Congressional news, conducting outreach on social networking services, and more. To apply, email a resume and three references to: david at opencongress d0t org.

In Washington, D.C., interns will work alongside OpenCongress Community Manager Avelino Maestas at the offices of the Sunlight Foundation in DuPont Circle. To apply in D.C., email a resume and references to: avelino at opencongress d0t org.

Overall, interning with OpenCongress means you’ll be working with a small but growing project at the leading edge of building public knowledge about Congress and increasing civic engagement. Please feel free to forward widely and write us with questions: david at opencongress d0t org.

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