Software Engineer [PTEC-27] - Product & Technology Department, NY

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Jan 10, 2019
Full time Software Engineer

Job Description

Software Engineer [PTEC-27] - Product & Technology Department, NY


Office:  National Offices, New York, NY

Location:  New York

JANUARY 9, 2019


Software Engineer [PTEC-27]

American Civil Liberties Union

Product & Technology Department, NY


For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.



The ACLU’s Product Development team is looking for a full-time junior to mid-level Software Engineer to join our Product Development team and contribute to public-facing products in support of the organization’s mission. We’re a multidisciplinary team working with stakeholder groups across the organization and within the broader Product & Technology department. In close collaboration with stakeholders, the team brainstorms, builds, and refines web and mobile software products that both educate constituents about their rights, and provide direct opportunities for meaningful political action. The team is introducing new interactive tools and experiences, as well as improving the user experience of existing systems.

The Software Engineer reports to the Head of Product Development, and will play an important role on our small team.



  • Contribute to server­-side development on multiple projects; evaluate and select tools and frameworks for web and mobile applications
  • Help refine the workflow for designing, writing, reviewing, testing, and deploying systems that promotes intra - and inter - team communication and enables reusability, flexibility, and frequent iteration
  • Work with other engineers and product designers to create and maintain a toolbox of code libraries, microservices, page templates, and interaction patterns that supports long-running apps, but can also be quickly remixed in response to current events
  • Collaborate with engineers across the Product & Technology department to integrate with existing content management and data systems
  • Work with stakeholders to tease out goals and product requirements through a user-centric mindset, propose alternate and multi­step solutions, and balance development speed and scope
  • Provide a knowledgeable viewpoint on development discussions and decisions, while remaining open-minded to new technologies and approaches
  • Play a lead role on some projects and a supporting one on others; contribute to multiple areas where needed, including product and project management
  • Educate members inside and outside of the team to improve understanding of current industry-standard development practices and technologies



  • 2+ years of experience with complex web applications in a production environment
or equivalent education and hands-on coursework
  • Experience with one (ideally more) server-side languages and frameworks, including Node.js with Express, Flask or Django with Python, Go, and Ruby on Rails
  • Experience with MySQL and/or PostgreSQL, and additional datastores such as Elasticsearch, Redis, or MongoDB
  • Understanding of how to deploy and manage applications and services in a cloud environment such as AWS/Azure/GCE, as well as managed platforms like Heroku, Docker-based containerization, and CDNs (Fastly, Cloudfront, etc.)
  • Interest in and knowledge of tradeoffs in different application and systems architecture patterns, including traditional MVC, microservices, and serverless/function – as – a - service
  • Experience working with, massaging and integrating data of varying formats and quality, 
including API integrations, SQL, CSV/JSON processing and ETL, spiky workloads and large volumes of data, geospatial data with PostGIS or similar, and semi­structured sources like web scraping
  • Experience with continuous integration and testing, and DevOps practices including configuration management, monitoring and logging, security, privacy, and auto-scaling
  • Understanding of A/B testing, feature flagging, and other forms of incremental rollout to measure changes in user behavior and system metrics
  • Strong understanding of DOM, CSS and JavaScript fundamentals, as well as some hands­-on experience with current client frameworks (React, Vue.js, etc.)
  • Awareness of mobile and desktop development trade-offs, along with a commitment to web accessibility and progressive enhancement
  • Enthusiasm for building open source software, including engaging with a wider community of civic technologists, and an “open by default” mindset



The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.



Please send a cover letter (with salary requirements), a resume to  Reference  [PTEC-27/ACLU-W]  in subject line.  Please note that this is not the general ACLU email address.  This email address is specific to the Product and Technology department postings.  In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address.


Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and accepted until the position is filled.


This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The Department of Education has determined that employment in this position at the ACLU does not qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact:  Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.” 




The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.