Contract News Apps Developer

The application deadline has been extended. Applications are now due Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 11:59pm eastern.


A thriving, mission-driven multimedia organization, NPR produces award-winning news, information, and music programming in partnership with hundreds of independent public radio stations across the nation. NPR listeners value information, creativity, curiosity, and social responsibility – our employees do too. We are innovators and leaders in diverse fields, from journalism and digital media to product design and software engineering. Every day our employees and member stations touch the lives of millions worldwide.

NPR Visuals is looking for a civic-minded contract developer to join our news applications team for three to four months to help cover the 2018 midterm elections. You will write software that matters, in close collaboration with the fantastic reporters and editors in our newsroom.

Our team is composed of developers, designers, photo and video journalists. You will have to work quickly in a dynamic environment. Making software on deadlines is difficult – there’s no room for cruft and little margin for error. You will encounter new problems everyday and will wear many hats, as a data wrangler, web developer, cartographer, sysadmin, etc. We are always open to new tools and to teammates who bring experience with different technologies and disciplines.

The ideal candidate would be able to work at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., starting in March 2018.

What we are looking for:

  • Strong communication skills to coordinate with teammates, understand quickly changing project requirements and explain complex information to diverse audiences.
  • A team player willing to collaborate in an open environment.
  • Love for using and contributing to open-source software.
  • Tidiness and clarity of code.
  • Sincere curiosity, attention to detail and love for making things.
  • A genuine and friendly disposition.


  • Translate editorial goals into sustainable applications and infrastructure.
  • Work with developers and designers on our team, as well as reporters and editors throughout the newsroom, to design and build NPR’s coverage for the 2018 midterm elections.
  • Document your software and show newsroom users how to use it.

Required skills:

  • Experience with Python and familiarity with Python web frameworks such as Flask or Django.
  • Comfort developing across the full stack of a web application. You might be a stronger backend developer but you must also be able to write code that runs in a browser.
  • Knowledge of developing applications using relational databases. You should have some experience using SQL queries and ORMs to work with data.
  • Experience writing code to consume REST APIs and structure data delivered to client applications.
  • Familiarity with Amazon Web Services and provisioning AWS resources using the console, CLI and API.
  • Experience developing software projects using the Git version control system.

Preferred skills:

  • Previous experience with coverage of U.S. election results, especially using data from the Associated Press.
  • Solid news judgement. You can think of software in terms of the information needs of the audience.
  • Fluency in JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3, including media queries and responsive web design techniques.

How to apply

Does this sound like you?, please email and include your resume, cover letter and GitHub profile. Applications are due Friday, February 23, 2018. The application deadline has been extended. Applications are now due Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 11:59pm eastern.

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