JOB: Sunlight Foundation Hiring Developer ‘Blind’

The Sunlight Foundation’s Sunlight Labs is hiring a software developer to help them build tools to increase government transparency and reporting of government data. They’re also doing blind screening in order to try and recruit a more diverse team. We spoke with Sunlight Lab’s Director Tom Lee to learn more.

Sunlight Foundation 2011

About Sunlight Labs

Sunlight Labs is an open source community of thousands dedicated to using technology to transform government. Paid staff of Sunlight Labs are employees of the Sunlight Foundation a 501c(3) non-partisan non-profit organization. Their work involves building tools for developers and journalists to get a better sense of what the government is doing. Sunlight Labs Director Tom Lee explains below:

About the position

The Sunlight Foundation is looking for an enthusiastic software developer to join their team in DC. Lee explains about the position here.

We’ve also copied the job description below.

The Sunlight Foundation is looking for an enthusiastic software developer to join our ranks in Washington, D.C. and expand the breadth and sophistication of our work with government data.

We collect huge amounts of information throughout the day from all over Congress, the U.S. executive branch, and state and municipal governments. We use this information to build powerful, useful websites (such as Open States and Scout; mobile applications (such as our Congress apps for Android and iOS); and APIs (like these). Along the way, we make heavy use of GitHub to work with other groups and developers to build an ecosystem of tools and datasets for the entire open government community (you can see some examples at and

We want to do more of all of this. If you take this position, you’ll be asked to:

Help us maintain and improve systems that serve millions of people.
Find and incorporate new sources of useful data into our APIs and applications.
Create new open source tools that solve real problems for Sunlight, our users and others in the open government community.
Research and develop cutting edge ways of using our data to create innovative features and solve new kinds of problems.
Notice what we’re not doing but should be, and do it.
You’ll also be asked to use a wide variety of programming languages and technologies.

Some technologies we use at Sunlight:

Web, system, and tool development with Ruby, Python, and Node.
Front-end and data visualization in JavaScript (and especially D3).
Both SQL and NoSQL, with PostgreSQL and MongoDB.
Searching lots of text using Elasticsearch and language analysis.
Native app development on Android (Java) and iOS (Objective-C).
You don’t need to know all of these, but you should know a couple of them, and be able to learn some others.

Sunlight works in both cyberspace and the physical world, so in addition to writing code, it would be an extra bonus if you enjoy writing about your work, public speaking on Sunlight’s behalf or meeting with people both inside and outside of government.

Developers at Sunlight contribute to open source projects, blog posts, policy papers and even enacted legislation. We are looking for people who are excited about using digital tools to make our society better.

This job is based in our Dupont Circle offices in Washington, D.C. You will need to live in the area or be willing to relocate.

To apply, click on the button below and submit a resume, cover letter and your contact information. We ask that applicants remove their name and other personal information from their resume and cover letter so that our candidate screening process can be conducted impartially. More details are available on the form submission page.

We will use email to confirm receipt of all applications. No phone calls, please.

A Blind Screening

The Sunlight Foundation wants to gain a diverse team. In order to get to that point, the Sunlight Foundation is going to be doing a ‘blind screening’ where the applicant will separate their personally identifying information from their resume and cover letter. This way, the screeners will only see the talent and not gender or race. Tom Lee explains below.

How to Apply

If you’re interested in applying, go to the Sunlight Foundation website!