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Software Development


2014-12-08 07:54


Do you enjoy working in Ruby or Python, and JavaScript? Are you looking for smart colleagues, meaningful projects, and fresh technology challenges? Do you want to work from a place that suits you (home or shared office) and not be forced to commute to the middle of a big city? If so, joining mySociety's 15-person engineering team might interest you.

In the UK, we’ve built useful, high impact, democratic open source tools like FixMyStreet.com, WhatDoTheyKnow.com and TheyWorkForYou.com. As we enter our second decade of existence, our focus is becoming more international - we actively support individuals and organisations around the globe to run their own sites and apps based on our tools.

We’re hiring open-source-savvy web developers to join our Alaveteli (Freedom of Information) and Political Tracking teams, working closely with international activists, journalists and reformers, to help them make their projects a success.

No recruiters or agencies, please.

Why you should work with us

There are plenty of reasons!

We are a friendly, user-focused software development team, and we get to work on stuff that matters. Our projects help people to get important things done: holding politicians to account, extracting information from governments, and getting common problems in streets fixed. As well as our UK sites we’ve got strong working relationships with groups in Kenya, Chile, Uruguay, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia and many other places.

We’re not dogmatic about languages - whatever your preference, we can find an interesting project for you, and we’re having fun experimenting with new technologies. Alaveteli is a Rails codebase and much of our parliamentary monitoring software is Django, so knowledge of those will certainly help. It goes without saying that you’ll need decent HTML, CSS and Javascript skills, although we won’t expect you to be a graphic designer - we have colleagues who specialise in that.

We’re widely geographically dispersed, and a lot of people work from home or from co-working spaces. There is a high expectation of self-direction and self-discipline; our project management style aims to minimize pain and distraction, and leave people to get on with doing great work, normally in small groups. You will get to see your colleagues face to face at least every few weeks though.

Being part of mySociety means being in the kind of organisation that is so motivated that the management’s job is often to tell people to take it easy. We welcome people who, deep down, burn to make a difference, but we take work life balance very seriously and we celebrate the idea of quality, not quantity of working hours.

Here’s the minimum skills we need you to have:

  • Programming experience in at least one of Python or Ruby.
  • Perl, PHP, Node.js and others are helpful, but not essential.
  • Experience in working with open source databases (such as PostgreSQL or MySQL).
  • The ability to write clean, maintainable front end HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • A pragmatic approach to automated testing.

As a person, we hope you will be:

  • Passionate about user needs, user feedback, responding to users - passionate about users, in short.
  • Friendly and motivated.
  • Creative and lateral-thinking.
  • Keen to learn and master new developments in technology.
  • Able to balance technical pragmatism and technical purism.
  • Good at managing your own time and avoiding distractions.
  • Aware and realistic about your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • The sort of person who has passions beyond coding.

What mySociety is

mySociety’s mission is to invent and popularise digital tools that enable citizens to exert power over institutions and decision makers. We are 27 staff in total, plus volunteers, and the culture is developer-led.

We’re a UK registered charity and social enterprise. Our main goal over the next few years is to help a relatively small number of organisations around the world to grow citizen empowerment websites and apps that are big and impactful. About a quarter of our employees work on commercial projects, both to generate income and to deliver further positive social impacts.


The majority of our staff work from home. We have small clusters of people around Oxford, Bristol and London and would particularly like to hear from people based near those cities, but will accept applicants from anywhere in the United Kingdom. We only ask that you are willing to travel to other parts of the country to see your colleagues perhaps a dozen times a year.

If you're not in the UK, please don't apply unless you have a clearly documented right to work in the UK, and are willing to relocate here.

Salary & Benefits

£28,000-42,000 plus pension (3% employer contribution, 5% employee). You will be a full PAYE employee.

This is a 12 month contract in the first instance, with the possibility of extension. We’re happy to consider part time working.

Deadlines and Dates

The application deadline is 10am on Friday 16th January and interviews will be on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th February in London. We will aim to notify applicants of whether or not they will be invited to interview on Friday 6th February.

Application Info

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