Software Developer


Software Developer

Location: Brooklyn, NY or remote within the US
Target Start Date
: March 31, 2020
Salary Range: Junior to mid: $90K – $110K annually (depending on location and experience)

Mid to senior: $110K-$130K annually (depending on location and experience)

Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Multiple levels, junior through senior

Organizational overview

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process, and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, helps voters register, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national. We’ve signed up more than seven million voters for by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate voter engagement coalition in the country, including more than 300 campuses, nonprofits like Headcount, the Sierra Club, Climate Strikes, and the Hispanic Federation, companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Google, Snap, and dozens more. We also helped (basically) everyone find their polling place through the Voting Information Project. Its data had 123 million impressions in 2016, and over 11 million voters looked up where to vote on GetToThePolls.com. Ballot Scout helps election administrators track absentee ballots through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry. And in 2018, we became the organizational home of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED).

We are currently looking for developers for all our projects, at a variety of levels. Experience with the technologies listed below is helpful, but not necessary; we hope you’ll bring excitement to learn what you haven’t seen yet. We support junior team members by explicitly setting aside time for learning, and providing training from a more experienced developer.

In addition to full-time hires, we’re also looking for two senior, temporary hires for the Voter Engagement team to work with us until the end of 2020 as we prepare for the November general election.

Candidates joining our Voter Engagement team will work on TurboVote and the Democracy Works API. You’ll join eight other software developers and an engineering manager to collaborate with the product and partnership teams in building software that helps voters and future voters. The technology that underpins this work is mostly microservices written in Clojure running in Docker containers on Kubernetes hosted on AWS. These services communicate over RabbitMQ and store their data in Datomic. The web front-ends are written in ClojureScript backed by React.

Candidates joining the Election Administration team will be working on either the Voting Information Project (VIP), or Ballot Scout. For VIP, you’ll join two other software developers to collaborate with the product and data collection teams in building software that helps collect, validate, QA, and publish data about elections, which in turn service millions of queries in major election years. For Ballot Scout, you’ll join a team of two that enables seamless tracking of ballots through the United States Postal Service and allows both voters and election administration officials to monitor progress of the ballots to and from election offices. The technologies that underlay these systems are written in Clojure, Clojurescript, Javascript, Python, and Go, with an emphasis in moving active development towards Clojure and Clojurescript. Infrastructure is hosted on AWS, and developers are beginning the process of migrating to a Kubernetes based deployment.

You will:

  • Write code
  • Participate in processes to build our products
  • Report progress and roadblocks to the team
  • Help others
  • Work on professional development
  • Take the lead when a leader is needed
  • Communicate in documentation, PRs/tickets/stories, PR review, standups, and with non-technical stakeholders
  • Make compromises

You are:

  • Detail-oriented and thorough in your work
  • Excited to learn about the voter engagement process and fixing our voting infrastructure
  • Empathetic
  • Curious

You have experience:

  • Writing and shipping code
  • Working within a team of developers
  • Making tradeoffs in your work

Physical demands

This position requires regular, daily use of a computer to conduct work and communicate with colleagues.

Social expectations

You will have regular 1:1s with an Engineering Manager and regular meetings with the developers and product managers you work with.

Time and travel expectations

Democracy Works’s regular operating hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Eastern time. Two times per year, all full-time staff members participate in a five day retreat in our Brooklyn offices. All staff is held each year in May and November.

Application Instructions

To apply, please send a resume and respond to the following questions (in lieu of a cover letter) using the form below.

In your responses, please include only the following information:

  • How did you find this job listing?
  • In one sentence, what makes you interested in Democracy Works?
  • In one sentence, what makes you interested in this role?
  • Would you be available to start by March 31st, 2020? If not, when are you available to start?
  • Are you willing to work at a non-partisan organization?
  • This role involves a lot of collaboration. Have you collaborated effectively with a team on technical projects in the past, or are you willing to do so in this role?
  • How many years of experience do you have as a developer?
  • Are you interested in one of our available temporary positions for senior hires (working through the end of 2020), or are you only interested in the permanent staff position?

As part of our application, you’ll see an optional form used to collect EEOC demographic information. The data collected in this form is useful in our EEOC reporting and in our assessment of our recruitment practices. However, please keep in mind that the standardized EEOC language used in this form does not reflect the values of Democracy Works–for example, we don’t view gender as binary. We also encourage all applicants to state their pronouns when applying for any job openings at Democracy Works.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do, and aspires to have a team that’s representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector. We conduct an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We’re a woman- and gay-founded nonprofit, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service.



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