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2014-06-24 06:34


The Role:

You're a talented software engineer and dev manager who wants to help build a more just and sustainable global economy by coming on board as our first full-time engineering hire and our Director of Engineering.

SumOfUs.org is hiring a Director of Engineering to build and manage a world-class technology program and team in service of our mission. We are thought leaders in the digital campaigning space, and we’re looking for a technologist who wants to push boundaries while also improving our current platform and tools.

You will:

  • Build your own team, drive your own technical roadmap, and innovate on our existing technologies.
  • Own features from concept to deployment, help shape product strategy, and push for technical excellence.
  • Play a major role in non-technical program development (i.e., changing the world!) by building best-in-breed technology that changes the way online campaigners scale their advocacy efforts and engage ordinary citizens in extraordinary work.

If you’re looking for a place to use cutting-edge technology to drive deep social change, this is the job for you.

About SumOfUs:

We are a fast-growing non-profit tech startup -- arguably the fastest growing campaign advocacy group in history, with almost over 4 million members just 2.5 years after launch. We represent the best of both advocacy campaigning organizations and ‘traditional’ tech startups. Our mission is to rein in corporate power and build a fairer global economy. Sorry, we know we’re not done yet :-/ But, in our defense, we’re still young. We’ve already won some pretty great campaigns: For example, we helped get 100+ companies (from H&M to Adidas) to sign an accord protecting the lives and working conditions of workers in the Bangladesh garment industry; we helped get Kellogg’s to commit to eradicating conflict palm oil from their supply chain; and we helped stop the telecommunications industry from monopolistic gouging of interstate phone calls from the families of prison inmates to their loved ones.

We have a strong, and awesome, internal culture that combines the best of the lean startup space with the best of the global activism world -- which is how we’ve grown so fast. You can find our topline cultural principles here. Our whole 20-person global non-technical team is tech-savvy and really freaking excited about the innovations our new Director of Engineering will bring to our campaigning work. We’re already working at the cutting edge of mobile and social sharing in the campaigning world, and we plan on being the first to embrace whatever comes after mobile. That’s why we need you!

We need someone who:

Organizational Fit

  • Is just as excited about our mission and culture as she is about technology, and will serve as an internal organizational and cultural leader;
  • Communicates equally well with engineers as she does with less-technical staff, and is capable of explaining the intricacies of technology in easily-understood non-technical terms;
  • Is excited about building out a team, including managing the contractors who’ve built our in-house tools to date;

Technical savvy

  • Is experienced in a breadth of technologies, including at least some of python, django, postgres, Less.js, and jquery (our current stack);
  • Keeps abreast of the changing tech landscape, loves new technologies, and still chooses older, established technologies when it’s the right way to go;
  • Makes sound technical decisions which ensure code that is scalable, maintainable, secure and readable to other developers;
  • Is comfortable driving all aspects of development, from front-end to API to database. If your middle name is full-stack, you’re likely our dream candidate.

Project and product management

  • Excels at product and project management, and can keep other team members focused and on track;
  • Makes strong UX and product decisions, including evaluating whether a market exists for a product we’re contemplating and enjoying working closely with program staff to serve their internal technology needs;
  • Rapidly prototypes, and can deliver value quickly without compromising code quality or security;
  • Is remarkably creative when it comes to brainstorming potential solutions to problems and remarkably practical when it comes to picking the correct path forward;
  • Embraces data-driven decision making in all aspects of the job: from design to user workflow;
  • Can’t even pronounce “waterfall” - you’re agile and you live for the tight feedback loop between engineering and stakeholders.


  • Ability to travel internationally 2-3 times/year.
  • Located in/willing to move to a timezone that allows for easy engagement with North American- and Europe-based SumOfUs staff and technical providers -- preferably between Central Europe and US West Coast. (We currently work with team members who are based in timezones between Vancouver and Tel Aviv.)

Big pluses include:

  • Track record of building successful mobile products;
  • Demonstrated design or product vision/management excellence;
  • Experience working on building a CRM and/or CMS; Experience with high-traffic/bursty websites;
  • Demonstrated aptitude for hiring and getting the best out of talented developers and other technical staff;
  • Deep knowledge of technical security issues, especially as they relate to activism;
  • Depth of statistical knowledge and/or experience with modeling and data mining;
  • Extensive experience collecting and analyzing user data, including setting up and analyzing controlled experiments;
  • Experience combating email deliverability issues;
  • Understanding of the landscape of digital campaigning/marketing platforms and toolsets -- such as ActionKit, BSD, ControlShift, Attentive.ly, ShareProgress, etc;
  • Experience working closely with communities affected by corporate accountability issues -- from indigenous communities to low-wage workers;
  • Experience living or working in multiple regions of the world (and/or speaking multiple languages);
  • Prior experience working on a remote team;

Compensation & Benefits

Compensation is competitive for the advocacy sector and will be determined based on a combination of seniority and the region you live in. (For some context: This position in a major US city would likely pay in the range of USD$90,000-120,000 depending on experience and seniority; the compensation level will be adjusted in other regions based on cost of living.)

We offer significant benefits, including five weeks paid vacation (plus additional sick leave and all major holidays off), contributions to retirement, and the ability to work from home and set your own hours. We cover 100% of a private health insurance premium for employees and dependents who live in countries without public insurance. As a start-up, we are still establishing policies around employee benefits -- in particular, around time off for professional development, maternity/paternity leave, and others. Bottom line: you can be assured we treat our employees fairly, if only because we campaign against corporations that don’t.

The Director of Engineering will report to the Executive Director or the Chief of Staff.

A diverse workforce is a successful workforce.

SumOfUs is an equal opportunity employer. We provide equal employment opportunity to all applicants for employment and employees and not to discriminate because of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, personal appearance, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, matriculation, genetic information, or political affiliation. Equal employment opportunities will be provided in employment, recruitment, selection, compensation, benefits, promotion, demotion, layoff, termination and all other terms and conditions of employment.

People from communities that traditionally experience discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or immigration status; women; people with disabilities; and LGBT people are especially encouraged to apply.

Excited yet? Ready to Apply?

Please use the form below to send a resume or CV in English. Instead of writing a traditional cover letter, answer these three questions in English (no novels! Keep it concise):

  • Why are you applying for this job? (Suggested word limit: 125);
  • What’s one idea, big or small, that you have for how advocacy organizations can use technology better? (Suggested word limit: 200)
  • List which of the “BIG PLUS” qualifications above you believe you bring to the table, with a few words of explanation if that’s useful (but keep it short!)

The application deadline is Monday, June 30, at 11:59pm Pacific time. But we may begin processing applications on a rolling basis before then, and if we find an awesome candidate we will move ahead -- so get your application in soon!

Application Info

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Preferably between Central Europe and US West Coast

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