Participatory Politics Foundation: – Rails Programmer

Posted by | September 13, 2012 | Web Pro Job Tips


Location: Anywhere


David with the Participatory Politics Foundation here, a non-profit organization with a mission to increase government transparency & civic engagement.
Our flagship project is– the most-visited non-profit website in the world for tracking bills and votes in the U.S. Congress. OpenCongress receives over 4 million visits per year, with 300,000 registered users.
Our next major project is – bringing the OpenCongress model of transparency & accountability to government at the state, city, and local levels.
OpenGovernment (OG) launched last year in a public beta with information for six U.S. state legislatures. More about OG. Now, we’ve secured charitable funding to roll out to all 50 U.S. states and a handful of city councils around the country. We have some exciting ideas about how to make OpenGovernment a popular engagement tool.
We’re now hiring a Rails programmer to bring OpenGovernment national – and down to the city level.This is an six-month contract position, approx. Oct. 2012 – Mar. 2013, telecommute-OK, full-time during that period, with the possibility of continuing afterward. The Rails programmer will be working in partnership with a generalist front-end Web developer and me as a quite-sensible, reality-based product manager, plus some design help. We welcome someone to represent OpenGovernment in the greater open-government software development circles, but such is not required by the position. We’re looking to get started immediately. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re easy to reach & eager to chat. 
OG is built on PPF’s GovKit Ruby gem for accessing open government APIs from around the web. The OG web app is in Ruby on Rails, with a PostgreSQL back-end. It also uses PostGIS; GeoServer, for geospatial data; MongoDB & Rack; DocumentCloud; Jammit; and more. Good to know Git, Javascript, and third-party APIs too. 
Our work is entirely free, libre, and open-source, active in #opendata advocacy and dedicated to providing value to the community via our developer hub and here on GitHub and on our open API.
Since 2007, OpenCongress has been a leading free & open-source resource in the #opengov & #opengovdata movements. We’re a small team, horizontal by nature & in practice, open to lots of input on technologies & development strategies … but we know that OpenGovernment must succeed on delivering an empowering user experience to visitors in engaging with city-level elected officials. Not only emailing them, but engaging in continual, reciprocal feedback with the many people who represent us in state & city governments. So our development points necessarily towards user-friendly design (trying not to type “agile” or “lean”, avoiding cliché) – for examples of our look & feel, check our sibling organizations the Participatory Culture Foundation and Fight For the Future.
Help us build a radical new Web tool for participatory democracy and fighting systemic corruption in government. Here’s to a more informed & engaged civic future.

To apply: Simply email a resume or links to david at, or message me on Skype at davidmooreppf to chat voice in more detail. No need for cover letter or formal statement of principles or anything, just let me know your experience leading Rails programm

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