Ballotpedia is a team of fast learners who are eager to work hard to make the world a better place. We believe the world would be a better place if every voter cast an informed vote in every election in which he or she is eligible to vote. We work to present the available information about elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, and more in a way that enables our readers to vote with confidence and to act as engaged citizens outside of the polling booth.
Ballotpedia readers, like Ballotpedia staff, are special people. And in 2016, we got curious enough about what made our readers special to commission an in-depth study to answer that question. Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:
Readers are characterized by their decision to run toward knowledge, instead of retreating. This sense of “onward” characterizes the Ballotpedia readers—they recognized a problem with the media they had been consuming and sought out a different way.
Readers have found and continue to find our articles in droves. It turns out there is an unclaimed audience out there—people who want straightforward facts about political issues, and are willing to read at length instead of just scanning the headlines.
We’re discovering “If you build it, they will come” applies to our work engaging and informing voters: our readers come to our neutral oasis in growing numbers; by 2016, fully 20% of American voters read one or more of Ballotpedia’s 250,000+ encyclopedic articles in the six weeks leading up to election day. Mostly, they came from Google. Google has always loved our detailed, well-sourced articles because their algorithm is excellent at figuring out what their searchers are after.
That search engine dominance got us past one BILLION lifetime pageviews in September 2018, and helped make us the 92nd most-visited website in the U.S. during the month surrounding the November 2018 midterms.
We scarcely had an email list before 2016. We now have over 250,000 subscribers on more than a dozen separate lists. We are working in numerous ways to help put our neutral information in front of people at the times when they most need it. We firmly believe that our readers, and the mindset we help them cultivate, are essential, as too many others in our industry are fighting to get us all addicted to sensational clickbait headlines and the irrational decisions they foster.
And, with all that, we’re just getting started, knowing that the opportunities and growth ahead are limitless. If this is a mission you’d be willing to work hard to achieve, and if this is a team you’d be willing to work hard with, join us.
Ballotpedia is seeking a full-time Web Developer to join our organization. Ballotpedia’s IT team supports the rest of the staff in making high-quality political data and unbiased encyclopedic content available to the American public by improving many aspects of Ballotpedia’s web presence and the behind-the-scenes tools used by staff. This is a full-stack role that may include various aspects of engineering, development, design, programming, architecture, testing, and tooling.
As a Web Developer, you will:
- Work on various types of improvements for Ballotpedia’s main products or areas of the Tech team’s oversight:
- MediaWiki site
- Database editing interfaces
- Single-function staff tools
- Sample ballot lookup apps
- Building/maintaining widgets for editorial coverage
- Mobile app support
- Online payment processing
- Support for marketing/communications/ads integrations
- Keep Ballotpedia.org and any future sites live, especially in high-traffic times
- Communicate with the team/other staff about work completed/work to be done
- Maintain existing products (troubleshooting, updating, documenting)
- Participate in recurring team calls
- Build on-site components
- Build tools to help staff work more efficiently/accurately and develop more automated workflows
- Front-end development
- Web design/mobile responsiveness
- Develop the database schema
- Import/update bulk data within the database
- Strive for continued education about new technology
Qualifications and Characteristics
A Web Developer must:
- Be dedicated and willing to work hard to support the mission of Ballotpedia
- Be humble, seeking to improve the work of the rest of the staff, and approaching projects as a team member
- Have an unending appetite for learning and mastering new technology
- Have at least two years of related experience
What are the metrics for success?
- Completion of major projects according to deadlines
- Number of errors/bugs in completed work
- Completion rate of staff requests
- Staff and/or reader satisfaction with products and features developed
- Streamlining/improving existing code
- Satisfaction of fellow team members with your work
The Web Developer will work remotely from his or her home location. All Ballotpedia staff work remotely. To join Ballotpedia, you must have a computer with internet access. Ballotpedia uses the Google Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive, and more), Slack, and Asana to accomplish our goals. Some familiarity with the Google Suite, Slack, and Asana are helpful.
Ballotpedia has a flexible work environment in which every employee is 100% accountable to the results and 100% autonomous over their time. Each employee will be oriented to the principles of Ballotpedia’s flexible environment during new employee training.
The pay range for the Web Developer is commensurate with experience; compensation reviews occur each December after the completion of an initial review period.
In addition to salary, Ballotpedia offers bonuses based on performance and a $6,500 annual benefits stipend, which may be used to pay for a full benefits package, including health, vision, and dental insurance; retirement accounts; and more. If benefits are not elected, the $6,500 stipend is taxed as regular income and added to salary.