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Software Development


2015-01-03 21:38


Hire date: Jan 15th, must be able to participate in annual trip to Kenya 2/2-2/6

The role

We are looking for a passionate, experienced, full-time mobile software engineer to be part of Ushahidi’s Ping team. As part of the team you will be focusing on building and launching the newest mobile features and tools.

You are a passionate developer with 5+ of work experience and an entrepreneurial drive for international develop and social justice. After hacking away at your own projects and/or busting your chops for awhile in the corporate world and startups, you’re looking to use your skills to develop software that has a tangible social good.

New cultures, people and experiences give you energy; you work effectively and efficiently on distributed teams with diverse experience across many time zones. Given the freedom to work anywhere, you are self-guided and can work autonomously with superior communication skills. Chaos gives you joy, order is your satisfaction.

Software Development (80%)

  • Collaboratively design, build, document, debug and ship amazing software that changes people’s lives.
  • Design requirements, build scalable software, write great code, and document along the way.
  • Participate and lead in annual strategy meetings, bi-annual team strategy meetings, weekly team huddles and daily code reviews and collaboration.
  • Learn new languages, platforms, toolkits, libraries, tools and application development paradigms as necessary.
  • Contribute to open-source projects as appropriate.

Partnerships (15%)

  • Represent Ping and Ushahidi at events.
  • Engage stakeholders and suggest product strategy to meet their needs.

Strategy (5%)

  • Work with developer team and CTO to guide technical strategy.
  • Create long term and quarterly platform and product roadmaps.
  • Evaluate tools and technologies.

Required Experience

  • 5-10 years of software engineering experience developing mobile software for both corporate and startup businesses with full stack experience
  • Intrinsically motivated. Ushahidi came from Nairobi, but team members work all around the world. If you need to come into an office and talk to your boss everyday to stay motivated, this job is not for you. If all you need is a crazy cool project, wifi, and coffee, then you’ll fit right in.
  • Ability to get things done and ship. We’d love you to write beautiful elegant code every time but at crunch time: getting things done matters. You’ll need to pick the right balance between doing it right and doing it fast.
  • Desire to work with the community, dig into their use cases, and help them solve problems. Ushahidi has a large and dedicated community whose needs have evolved. We’re trying to reboot the platform to be a better fit.
  • Languages: Swift/C# & Java
  • Tests: Phpspec, Behat, PHPUnit
  • Various third-party API integrations (sms/email, payment gateways)
  • Collaboration on GitHub and Phabricator.
  • Designed using the model of the clean architecture.

Nice to have Experience

  • Languages: PHP & JavaScript, some ruby & shell
  • Server/VM: MySQL, Redis, Nginx, Supervisord, Ansible, Vagrant (Docker in the future)
  • Frameworks: Symfony, Laravel, Twig templating, AngularJS, Foundation

Why the job is awesome:

  • We reward taking risks. Ushahidi works on the bleeding edge of technology for social change, that means taking risks with our efforts. We don’t celebrate failure, but we definitely celebrate swinging for the fences, regardless of the outcome.
  • Our goal in hiring is to find great people first, great skills second.
  • We generally don’t care where you live. As long as you have Internet access, live wherever you want. Ushahidi team members currently live all over the world: from Japan and New Zealand, to Nairobi and San Francisco.
  • We don’t care when you work. There are no “business hours” at Ushahidi, we are milestone based, not a sit-in-your-chair from 9 to 5 company.
  • Quality of life. Ushahidi attracts workaholics, so we all work hard to make sure everyone has a work-life balance.

Why you might not be a good fit:

  • We pay competitively at Ushahidi, however, keep in mind that we are still a mission driven non-profit.
  • You only want to wear one hat. Ushahidi is growing (30+ employees) but we take on the goals of much larger organizations. In practice this means that all Ushahidiers end up wearing multiple hats and working on multiple projects (case in point: I am writing this job description). If that excites you, great! If you are set on never venturing out of your job title, you’re going to get frustrated fast.
  • You want to be in an office surrounded by colleagues. You will most likely be operating on your own unless you are based in Nairobi, where about half our team is based.

About Ushahidi

Ushahidi started as an ad-hoc group of Kenyan bloggers hammering out code in a couple of days from various locations, trying to figure out a way to gather more and better information about the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya.

Ushahidi is a non-profit technology company that builds open source platforms to help citizens, journalists, organizations, governments, and others gather, manage, analyze, and visualize crowdsourced data. Our tools have been used by tens of thousands of individuals and organizations fighting for social causes in over 159 countries — whether for monitoring corruption in Zimbabwe, gathering real-time data on local poverty issues, or giving people a voice in the Syrian crisis.

We are now a worldwide team of technologists distributed across 11 times zones, building software that has tangible social impact. Everyone at Ushahidi comes to work here because we know that every day people around the world use the tools we build to improve the lives of millions. In other words, in the fight for a better world, we aren’t 007, we’re Q.

Our team tends to think big and rewards creativity and an entrepreneurial attitude. Over the past six years, we have also built the iHub – the tech community hub in Nairobi, the BRCK – a redesign of connectivity for the developing world, and other projects like Savannah Fund, AfriLabs, and Crisis Mappers. Our ethos – we don’t just build products, we solve problems.

About Ping

Ping was borne out of the anxious days following the Westgate mall siege that rocked Nairobi. Most of our team members call Nairobi home and we met together to discuss issues around the attack — and what we could do to help. One issue we all strongly shared was the hard time we had in checking in with each other.

So we built Ping.

Starting out, we determined a core set of requirements:

Small groups, families, and companies need to quickly check in with each other. It has to be something incredibly simple, that requires little thinking to use. The service needs to work on the simplest of phones. Anyone, anywhere in the world should have access to this service. While we can’t stop all crises from happening in the world, we can quickly find out whether our families, friends, and teams are safe.

Ping is currently in a private alpha as a web desktop tool. We’re looking to build out our mobile experience before launching widely next year.

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