Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. As a national online force driven by over one million members, we help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us, moving decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. We activate our members to take action on crucial issues — from criminal justice to media representations to the social safety net and voter freedom — so that we can build the power necessary to transform the written and unwritten rules of society.

Role Summary & Background:

Nobody is currently building software tools specifically designed to help Black people and their allies win social change campaigns. As Color Of Change expands its staff significantly in 2020, we are building in-house engineering capabilities because many of the solutions we need do not currently exist as off-the-shelf software. Some of these software products will support our internal team by making their workflows easier, while others have our members and volunteers as end users. This role is the first hire on an initial team of three engineers.

  • Help to vet software engineering hires
  • Make the key decisions that define the engineering team’s stack
  • Establish the culture of software development at Color Of Change, including decisions about the specific framework the team will use for agile development
  • Build the team’s communication infrastructure -- both verbal like stand-ups but also through coordination tools like Slack, Kanban boards, etc.
  • Steward the process of taking ideas from prototype to minimum viable product to full application
  • Be intentional about introducing stakeholders to software development concepts (including best practices around timelines and process) to ensure success, especially in an environment where an in-house engineering team is new to the organization
  • Put internal application ideas through a rigorous process of defining end-users, use cases, and any steps required before beginning a build
  • Establish the importance of user research and user testing as inputs on the way to a minimum viable product, and beyond, to ensure applications are built with a clear user base in mind
  • Ensure quality by establishing strong processes on unit and integration testing, and implementing all other tenants of test-driven development
  • Troubleshooting bugs as they emerge when moving between staging and production environments
  • Technical leadership of an agile development approach utilizing responsive design, MVC frameworks, REST-api systems, and test-driven development
The ideal candidate will have:
  • A perspective on how racial and class disparity are apparent throughout technology and data, as well as an eagerness to engage with the team to identify solutions
  • Ability to successfully manage a team to deliver products: the quality of your code matters, but the management and coaching you provide is just as important 
  • Experience as a software engineer (back-end), full-stack developer or similar role
  • Experience developing web or mobile applications to become at least minimum viable products
  • Comfort with Javascript and at least one front-end framework (e.g. React, Vue, D3, etc.)
  • Fluency in multiple back-end languages (strong command of Python is preferred but we are open to other languages) 
  • Proven success with a web framework (e.g. Django, Rails, Spring, etc.)
  • Familiarity with databases (e.g. MySQL, Postgres, others), web servers (e.g. nginx, Apache) and UX/UI design
  • A working knowledge of DevOps tools like Git, Docker, Chef, Puppet, or Ansible

  • Ability to build relationships and communicate effectively about software development with technical and non-technical audiences
  • Commitment to the mission of Color Of Change: to help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us, moving decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America
Our tech stack includes:

  • Field tools like TargetSMART, NGP VAN, and EveryAction
  • Digital tools like ThruText, ThruTalk, ActionKit, and Google / Facebook ads
  • Data warehousing tools like Civis Platform
  • Dashboard tools like Periscope and Tableau
  • AWS products like EC2, S3, and RDS

You'll likely be building products that use ActionKit's REST API, Civis Platform, as well as microsites built with various platforms including Django or Express.js.

Prior experience with any of the systems commonly used in the progressive movement is helpful, but not required. We are strong believers that if you have the fundamental technical skills required above but lack domain experience, a hungry desire to learn is a compelling substitute. 

How to Apply:

Click the "Apply for this position" link below and submit a resume and cover letter. Your cover letter should include a 2-3 paragraph answer to the question: Why do you want to work on the data and tech team at Color Of Change? 

Applications are due June 3, 2020.

More Information:

The salary for the Senior Software Engineer is $120,000. This is a full-time exempt position. Color Of Change also offers a competitive benefits package.

Color Of Change (COC) is an equal opportunity employer. COC prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, genetic characteristics, disability, status as a special disabled veteran or veteran, marital status, sexual orientation, sexual identity or any other basis prohibited by law.


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Minimum qualifications