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Software Engineer, PubPub

Published onFeb 24, 2020
Software Engineer, PubPub


The Knowledge Futures Group is hiring a software developer to help us build PubPub1, a collaborative and open publishing tool for the academic web. We’re looking for someone with strong full-stack web development skills. You’ll get to experiment and make significant contributions to product direction. We will pay you competitively, let you work from wherever you want, and take you and your ideas seriously. Join us!

About the Knowledge Futures Group

The Knowledge Futures Group, founded as a partnership between the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab, is a not-for-profit consortium that builds technology for the production, curation, and preservation of knowledge in service of the public good.

About PubPub

PubPub is an open-source publishing tool used by over 500 journals, conferences, books, and other diverse types of communities. At its heart, it features a collaborative document editor with strong support for academic standards. Layered on top are features for discussion and organization. In the works are powerful tools for editorial review and enabling small and large communities to thrive on PubPub. Underlying all of this is a belief that better publishing tools can help researchers focus on doing the best work of their lives, rather than adapting their work to the whims of rent-seekers and gatekeepers.

About The Role

  • Lead the planning and implementation of key parts of PubPub’s frontend and backend.

  • Identify opportunities and problems based on user feedback and work with the product team to design features to address them.

  • Work with the team to organize and manage open-source issues, features requests, and project goals into a coherent development timeline that can be acted upon.

  • Champion best practices internally and externally to the open-source development community.

About You

  • You’re an experienced Web developer with an interest in advancing the original use-case for the Web: bringing research communities together.

  • You’re comfortable making significant contributions to web applications, across the stack. We use React, Node.js, Postgres, and Heroku; your level of experience with these tools is much less important than your readiness to learn them.

  • You have a solid grounding in what makes a backend secure, performant, and maintainable, and what makes a frontend snappy, intuitive, and accessible.

  • You want to work on a team that respects your ideas about the design, user experience, and ethics of software, not just the code you produce.

  • You want to build tools that empower people without preying on them.

  • You’re ready to work on a small product team that will expect you to make and own significant decisions about software architecture, and engage with questions about product and design.

  • You want breathing room to experiment, be thoughtful, and get things right, but without losing sight of an active user base and an ambitious roadmap.

Working With Us

  • Work with a distributed team: we have a small office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but the majority of the PubPub team works from elsewhere. You’ll be expected to make a few monthly trips to Cambridge, and then come roughly quarterly after that.

  • Enjoy industry-standard perks: unlimited PTO with a yearly minimum, your own computer of choice, a nice and shiny office in Kendall Square brimming with snacks – or, the ability to work fully remote with a team that prioritizes remote participation.

  • Contribute to our larger mission at the Knowledge Futures Group: we’re building a future where the infrastructure to create and access knowledge is controlled by people who serve the public interest, starting with core projects like PubPub and The Underlay. As a KFG team member, you’ll be able to contribute to those efforts as well, and we’ll support any ambitions you might have to publish in our journal, the Commonplace, and beyond.


If you’re interested, please send us an email with a resume or CV and brief cover letter and we’ll be in touch!

We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds with diverse skillsets. If you have significant personal experience or engagement with low-income communities, international communities, or fields and languages that are underrepresented in academia, scholarly publishing, or open data, we strongly encourage you to apply. This job description is intended to be a guidepost, not a checklist. If you feel like you could do a great job in this role, even if you don’t exactly meet every qualification, please consider applying.


You must be legally authorized to work in the United States to apply for this role.


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