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The Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) is a nonprofit watchdog research group that investigates power and corruption at the intersection of business and government. We publish high-impact research; collaborate with journalists, academics, and activists who are investigating and challenging powerful individuals and institutions; and build and maintain our flagship research site, LittleSis.org (the opposite of “Big Brother”). LittleSis is a free, online wiki database of who-knows-who at the heights of business and government that is used by activists, journalists, and academics researching networks of power and influence.

Though we only have one job opening at this time (see below), we are always looking for people with a strong belief in our mission, experience that aligns well with our work, and skills that can help us fulfill our mission – in research, technology, communications, or operations. Get in touch if you have a strong mix of experience in these areas, so that if jobs open up in the future we have your resume on file.

We currently hiring for a web developer position:

Web Developer – LittleSis

About LittleSis

LittleSis.org (the opposite of Big Brother) is a free, open source power mapping database and research wiki. The site publishes data on the political, financial, and social networks of over 200,000 powerful individuals and organizations, from corporate executives and politicians to banks and think tanks. By bringing transparency to these networks, we work to challenge the excessive influence of billionaires and corporations in our democracy.

Responsibilities

We are seeking a full-time, full-stack web developer to help bring LittleSis.org to the next level of functionality, visibility, and data coverage. We are looking for someone who wants to put their coding skills to work to challenge the power structure, in tandem with a growing community of watchdog researchers, journalists, and activists.

The developer will work under the direction of the site’s founders, Matthew Skomarovsky and Kevin Connor, and will often work closely with journalists, activists, and LittleSis research staff. Remote work is acceptable, though we are based in New York City and Buffalo and we would prefer a developer based in the Northeast.

Day-to-day work will involve a healthy balance of new features, experimental projects, refactoring old code, and basic maintenance. Major projects will include:

  • writing web scrapers to integrate valuable data on corporate leadership and investment networks, campaign finance and lobbying relationships, and nonprofit funding structures
  • improving analytical tools on the site, with a focus on Oligrapher, our network visualization tool
  • building more powerful and user-friendly data editing tools, including a bulk data uploader that makes use of automated entity name resolution to streamline the upload process
  • The ideal candidate for this position is energized by LittleSis’ mission, user-centered in their approach, and equally skilled at rapid prototyping, thoughtful application architecture, and patient debugging. We strongly prefer a developer with some UX and web design experience.

    Technology Stack

    You should be familiar with most of our technology stack and interested in learning the rest:

    Ruby: Rails, RSpec
    JavaScript: jQuery, D3, React, Redux
    PHP: Symfony, WordPress
    Bootstrap, SASS
    SVG
    MySQL
    Memcache
    Apache
    Ubuntu
    AWS
    Git
    Docker

    In the future our stack might also involve:

  • graph databases, graph analysis, GraphQL
  • Natural Language Processing for web scraping and named entity resolution
  • ElasticSearch
  • continuous integration
  • How To Apply

    Before applying for the job you should spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the LittleSis website, its API, its network visualization tool, and some of our past successes.

    http://littlesis.org
    http://api.littlesis.org/documentation
    http://github.com/skomputer/oligrapher2

    Pay is generous for a non-profit and includes health benefits.

    To apply, write to jobs@littlesis.org with your resume, cover note, and a link to your github account or a relevant code sample.

    We are committed to a diverse workplace. People of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.