The Digital Services Studio is housed within the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Innovation and Performance. We're tasked with designing, building, and maintaining great apps to help residents easily access government services. 

We're a small, newly established team (now seeking employee #4) with plans to deploy our first application this year. We're applying insights gained from the private sector to implement an agile development practice within government. If successful over the next year, our team could expand to become the locus for the city's in-house software development, and this is a chance to get in on the ground floor. 

We're on a fact-finding mission for interest and input about what this role should be. It will pay $75,000/yr. This may be a significant pay cut for the seasoned developer we need, but we hope to attract candidates who feel called to public service, and excited by the chance to help build a mission-driven team. 

The City offers great benefits, including health plans with no deductibles and comparatively low premiums, out-of-pocket maximums, copays, and coinsurance. Tax-free retirement accounts and the City pension program may also be options. Note also that if coming from the coasts, you'll benefit from a much-reduced cost of living.

Please let us know what you do and what you want to do. Here are some starting assumptions:

The senior software engineer will serve as the team's main technical architect, making high-level decisions about project direction while also writing code and pairing with less experienced developers. Our bias is towards Node.js, but you'll influence the conversation about what technologies are most appropriate for our challenges. 

We're open to a broad range of candidates, from those with expertise in user experience to backend data processing. This is an opportunity for a seasoned technologist with an interest in learning about government and building software for the public good. 

Skills and responsibilities

  • Lead the architecture, development, and maintenance of scalable, public-facing digital products.
  • Engage in the product-development process to understand features, requirements, and constraints. You'll have the chance to speak with city residents about the real-world challenges they face.
  • Help guide decisions about development tools, platforms, and frameworks. 
  • Serve as a technical resource in evaluations of vendor software (build vs. buy). 
  • Support more junior engineers as they develop their skills and learn the realities of software development.
  • Understand the city's ecosystem of data sources and build tools to integrate with them as needed. 
  • Ensure best practices in information security, proactively designing solutions to mitigate risk.
  • Work on-site at the City-County Building full-time, managing the administrative processes of government with patience and good humor. 
  • Understand the balance between efficiently navigating bureaucracy and respecting city laws and procedures. 


  • Location:
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Minimum qualifications

  • Five years' experience in front-end, full-stack, or data engineering.
  • Expertise in at least one modern programming language (e.g. JavaScript, Python, Ruby).  
  • Familiarity with cloud providers including Amazon Web Services.
  • Experience with test frameworks. 
  • Ability to learn new technologies as needed.