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OpenCongress Hiring a Senior Technical Director

October 14, 2009 - by David Moore

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

Good news: OpenCongress is growing. We’re looking to hire a full-time Senior Technical Director. Programmers: work on a project you believe in. We’re an agile, collaborative team with a lot of flexibility. Our background is in the free-culture movement, we’re a non-profit organization, and we’re open-source to the core.

You don’t need to be a political junkie or a Congress buff to apply for this position. What is necessary is that you bring a passion for making political information more widely accessible and for giving people the user-friendly tools they need in order to hold their elected officials accountable.

Last month, we put out a blog post announce and a micro-published call for a full-time Rails programmer. Since then, we’ve received over 100 remarkably qualified applications from amazing people, but we wanted to put out the word again to make sure we cast as wide a net as possible. I realize this is not strictly political news, so perhaps it doesn’t seem relevant to you reading this, but having an awesome person in this role will greatly increase our ability to build public knowledge about Congress and keep the site a top-notch web resource.

The Senior Technical Director is a full-time position with basic health care and other benefits. Our preference is for a programmer based in the New York City area to work out of our shared office space in downtown Manhattan, but this isn’t required — most of the OC team telecommutes already, so please feel free to apply no matter where you’re based, we’d like to hear from you. Base salary and additional benefits for the Sr. Tech. Dir. position will be negotiated based on experience. He or she will, put simply, take the lead on all aspects of OpenCongress site development, entailing at least the following mix of responsibilities and experience:

  • Lead development on new web features — fluency & wisdom with Ruby on Rails is a must. Knowledge of semantic MediaWiki is a bonus, but not required.
  • Upkeep our API and help ensure that OC is contributing data back to the commons (i.e., the community of online government transparency resources).
  • Some sysadmin experience is required — not necessarily a ton, and our setup is not terribly extensive, but it’s crucial to keep the site up & feeling zippy.
  • Knowledge of postgres databases & their optimization is highly desired, or at least you have to be willing to get caught-up with the latest.
  • Computer Science background & a C.S.-problem-solving approach would be outstanding, but not strictly required.
  • Previous contributions to open-source web or software projects is even more admirable.

To apply: send a resume & a brief note of introduction to david at opencongress d000t org. Code samples aren’t required but if you have any work up on, say, GitHub or elsewhere, feel free to send a link along. We’ll get back to applicants over the next two weeks — please be patient as we sift through this next wave of folks (we enjoy doing this and appreciate the applications, but it takes time to do right, thanks for understanding).

Women & people of color are warmly encouraged to apply. As always, OpenCongress is a free, open-source, and non-partisan joint project of two 501c(3) non-profit organizations, Participatory Politics Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation. If you don’t mind, you can help spread the word by re-tweeting this call for applicants. Thanks.

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