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Senior Software Engineer Full-time

Published at 2021-04-06 - Viewed: 1473 times - OpenAQ in Remote, United States

OpenAQ is a 501©(3) environmental tech non-profit based in Washington, DC, but with a global reach. Our mission is to aggregate and harmonize open air quality data across the globe and to build an ecosystem of people across sectors and geographies to use these open data to fight the unequal access to clean air to breathe — air inequality. As context, according to the WHO, air pollution is responsible for 1 out of 8 deaths, making air pollution one of the biggest public health and human rights issues of our time.

The OpenAQ Platform currently houses over two billion data points (and growing) from 100+ countries and is the largest open air quality data platform of its kind. The platform is entirely open source and we receive ~35 million data requests/month to the API, and recently expanded to include low-cost sensor and mobile data as part of a key pilot.


We are looking for a talented, full-stack senior software engineer to be part of our small, but growing non-hierarchical 100% remote (US-based) team. You are passionate about open-source mission-driven organizations, and love finding ways to anticipate and solve technical challenges that have immediate positive impact, working with our team, and in collaboration with our many community members which include software developers, scientists, as well as journalists, activists, governments, communities and individual citizen scientists.

What you will do

  • Maintain, expand and scale OpenAQ platform infrastructure, including: 1. New and existing public data sources (e.g. government, research, community, low-cost sensors) 2. Data capacity and data-sharing capabilities 3. Platform performance through greater automation, testing and monitoring
  • Design and develop cutting-edge open source tools, visualizations and platform enhancements in alignment with diverse stakeholder needs, and current and emerging technologies
  • Engage, enable, and prioritize open source community contributions to the platform, support community projects, and guide the use of platform tools and open data
  • Provide technical guidance to OpenAQ projects and help manage software development projects with other organizations
  • Collaborate frequently with the rest of the OpenAQ team via video conference
  • Occasionally travel (when safe travel resumes): ~5–10%


  • You have 5–7+ years experience in cloud-computing architecture and administration (AWS EC2, S3, etc); experience with Linux administration and security including shell scripting, Docker, and Git
  • You have 5+ years experience running production applications on AWS
  • You have 5+ years experience with Node.js, Python
  • You have 3+ years experience with SQL (e.g. PostgreSQL) and NoSQL databases
  • You write code focusing on both performance and maintainability. You know when to use a quick fix and when to invest more time refactoring
  • You have experience developing modern web applications
  • You are an effective remote collaborator, using clear and professional communication on GitHub, Slack, email, and video chat applications
  • You enjoy working and empathizing with the perspectives of a team and community with diverse technical, non-technical, and geographic backgrounds
  • You are highly self-motivated and self-directed and like to get things done and find ways to solve problems
  • You care deeply about improving the quality of air for people to breathe around the world
  • You are excited about the possibility of using technology for good and can figure out how we can take advantage of big data, IoT and other emerging technologies to enhance our platform as we increase data and capabilities

Awesome if you have one or more of the following:

  • Experience with database administration and working with large datasets
  • Experience with agile and/or human-centered design principles
  • Experience as an open source project maintainer
  • You have previously participated in OpenAQ-related projects
  • You have experience working within a nonprofit or NGO environment
  • You have experience working with geospatial software and data


In addition to monetary compensation, OpenAQ offers competitive benefits including:

  • a 401(k) with 10% match
  • a QSEHRA health reimbursement plan
  • Paid holidays and unlimited PTO (and we really do encourage our team to take vacation because we all need to rest and recharge)
  • A fully remote but highly engaged workplace
  • Additional family-friendly flexibility and leave policies

Following OpenAQ’s commitment to environmental justice, we are continually striving to become more inclusive and equitable in our organizational culture and approach to our work. Our goal is to make air quality data universally accessible and open to everyone. In order to do this, we firmly believe that we need a team that is more reflective of the global OpenAQ community. We are looking for team members that can provide diverse perspectives, lived experiences, and problem solving approaches to help meet our mission. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds and lived experiences to apply.

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