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Python Developer (Django) for Lookit Project Full-time

Published at 2021-01-30 - Viewed: 1130 times - MIT Early Childhood Cognition Lab in United States

MIT’s Early Childhood Cognition lab is hiring a full-time software engineer to lead development of Lookit, an open-source online platform which allows researchers to design webcam-based developmental research studies and families to participate from their home computers at their convenience, rather than coming to a lab. Our goal is to lower the barriers to conducting – and participating in – reproducible, representative research about how children learn.

Engineer will be responsible for the entire stack, focusing primarily on the participant and researcher interfaces and backend API written in Python (Django framework). Challenges are diverse: “user experience” encompasses parents with squirming babies on their laps and researchers debugging study protocol specifications. Responsibilities include:

  • strategic feature prioritization and planning;
  • developing scalable tools to support research workflows and improve the participant experience;
  • contributing to the library of experimental components researchers use to specify study protocols implemented in Ember.js;
  • conducting code reviews of contributions from other codebase contributors;
  • managing automatic code deployment and hosting materials on a cloud-based platform;
  • writing documentation and incorporating unit tests;
  • managing contractors for a periodic security risk assessment;
  • ensuring the security of personally-identifiable data.

May mentor undergraduate student contributors.

Currently remote, with option to work in Cambridge, MA office once possible. Must be located in USA for compliance reasons.


  • Telecommuting is OK
  • No Agencies Please



  • at least one year of professional experience;
  • full stack web development experience, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Django (or another framework), and Python;
  • comfort with distributed version control;
  • desire to learn new technologies and write clean code others can understand;
  • comfort planning time strategically.


  • experience with Django and/or Ember;
  • one year of experience managing cloud-based resources with Google Cloud Platform;
  • basic DevOps experience with deployment and continuous integration tools;
  • experience using containerization technologies (Docker/Kubernetes);
  • interest in child development or human subjects research experience;
  • familiarity with accessibility best practices;
  • bachelor’s degree in computer science/related technical field;
  • experience maintaining an open-source project.

About the Company

You’d be part of a small team (a few other people) within the Early Childhood Cognition Lab working on this project. We ask how long things are going to take to build and schedule around that, rather than the other way round. We strongly believe in putting family and health before work (even though we love our work). See codebase ( & Github projects ( for an idea of what sorts of features you might work on.

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