About Code for America

Code for America is a startup non-profit with a great culture and a huge opportunity to make a difference. We work in cross-functional teams, collaboratively and agilely and value high-quality, user-friendly work product. We strive to learn from everything we do and regularly host talks from leaders in the civic technology movement. We respect each other, work hard, and have a great time together.  We’re looking for individuals who share our vision, our values, and our willingness to do what it takes to achieve an ambitious mission over the next few years.

What is the Community Fellowship?

The Code for America Community Fellowship program strengthens the relationship between local Code for America Brigade Network leaders around the country and their local governments — to create conditions where change can “stick” and help transform government from the inside out.

Code for America fellows will spend 6 months collaborating with government staff, researching user needs, meeting with key stakeholders, and improving service delivery to vulnerable populations. The product could be an early-stage application, an improved procurement, an open data release, or other projects that improve the delivery of a government service or function, at a fraction of the cost typical in government.

The process acts as a vehicle for driving cultural and structural change inside of government — encouraging innovation, reducing risk by involving users early and increasing capacity for serving the public.

Who are the Code for America Fellows?

  • Experienced, mid-career professionals from your community who are invested in strengthening local services and government with long-term, sustained relationships and have been an active part of your local Brigade
  • Highly sought-after engineers, designers, researchers, and project managers, and storytellers;  just 5-10% of fellowship applicants were selected in past iterations of the program
  • Professionals who are passionate about applying user-centered, iterative, data-driven approaches to community challenges; fellows consider this a time of giving back and serving the public

Anyone affiliated with a Code for America Brigade can apply for a fellowship. Affiliation can mean that you’re a Brigade Captain, a member (attendee), or a government employee who works with a local brigade. Brigade members and their government partners are invited to submit applications for projects that build on discovery work that brigades and government will have done together, and serve vulnerable populations. 


  • Location:
    Includes 20% travel.
  • Salary:
    , Duration of fellowship is 6 months.
  • Deadline:


Minimum qualifications

Fellowship teams are cross-functional teams of 2-3 people with primary skills in software development, design, data science, and product management. Additional experience in GIS, community organizing, non-profit management, government, and policy work can be highly valuable. Here are some of the core competencies we’ve identified for each primary skill set:

Software Developer:
  • Proficient in one full web stack
  • Strong software architect who knows when to build code to throw away and when to build code that will last
  • Solid understanding of agile and iterative development processes
  • Work closely with the designer to ensure that application is user-friendly
  • Work closely with designer and product manager to identify a reasonable development process
  • Flexibility in trying new things
  • Strong people skills
  • Comfortable with leading your team and external stakeholders through a human-centered design process
  • Translate research findings (both generative and usability) into a design strategy
    Generate design materials, including: user requirements specifications, storyboards, scenarios, flowcharts, design prototypes, wireframes, and design specifications (redlines)
  • Care deeply about accessibility and building things that work for everyone from the start
  • Work closely with the developer to ensure that designs are implemented according to specification
  • Work closely with the project manager and developer to identify a reasonable design and development schedule
Product Manager:
  • Experience with agile and iterative development and comfort walking your team through that process
  • Solid background with understanding and/or hands-on experience in software development or design
  • Strong Stakeholder Management communication skills to convey the importance of your project vision
  • Ability to identify and track key product metrics to understand the impact of your team’s work
  • Experience leading a team to build something from scratch
    Work closely with designer and developer to identify a reasonable work plan
Data Scientist:
  • Synthesize a wide variety of data sources to understand the impact of your project, and train your government partners on how to measure their progress.
  • Use strong people skills to effectively communicate with your team and government partners
  • Work closely with data managers in partner governments and your team’s developer to build a sustainable data infrastructure for your project.
  • Have the patience to work with often frustrating government data systems.
  • Collaborate with the team’s designer to build visualizations the communicate key findings, and with the project manager to build informative project updates.
  • Have comfort with a wide va

Preferred qualifications

What does a successful fellow look like?

2019 Fellows will come from a variety of backgrounds in technology, and in life. Some may come from large companies or startup environments, while others have experience working in government or social impact organizations. All fellows will work to support their own communities.

All of our fellows bring a few key traits to the table:
  • Highly Collaborative. Fellows are able to actively engage with their teammates as an equal partner, motivator and teacher. They openly and directly provide and ask for feedback, and they want to work with their governments as partners.
  • Comfortable Wearing Many Hats. In small teams, it’s vital to the success of the team that teammates are able to jump in and out of roles and tasks to push their product forward. They are scrappy, resourceful and creative problem solvers.
  • Adaptable. There is no real “typical day” as a fellow. While teams often define some sprint planning and decisions making processes, routines change often. Fellows need the ability to travel to Code for America Summit, Fellows’ Orientation, Brigade Congress, closing ceremony, and other public interest tech events. Travel estimated at 20%.
  • Able to work independently. Fellows are a core part of the Code for America team and often work adjacent to the focus area staff in the areas of food, jobs, and justice. They are self-motivated and ask for help when they need it. Fellows must be able to successfully work remotely and with remote teammates.
riety of tools and methods and the flexibility to try new things.