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Backend Engineer/Developer - REMOTE Full-time

Published at 2021-07-21 - Viewed: 1056 times - Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (H.O.T) in Palma, Spain


Work Location: Remote, global; Must overlap at least 3-4 hours daily with U.S. Mountain time zone (UTC-6) business hours
Application Close Date: 8 Aug 2021
Estimated Start date: 01 Sep 2021
Department: Technology Innovation
Reports to: Senior Technical Lead (Direct Manager), and to the Module Owner (Functional Manager)
Terms: Full time, one year initial contract

About HOT

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) sits at the nexus of participatory mapping, community-led development, humanitarian response, open data and tech. With a talented and diverse team spread around the globe, HOT is an NGO which supports a dynamic global community of thousands of dedicated volunteers using maps and open data for humanitarian response and the Sustainable Development Goals. Working with humanitarian and development partners like the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, UN agencies, governments and others, the HOT community maps in solidarity with those affected by or at risk of disaster, contributing the maps and data aid workers need to do their lifesaving work.

In 2020 the work of the HOT community was recognized by TED’s Audacious Project, a collaborative philanthropic initiative that serves as a springboard for social impact on a grand scale, leading to an exciting new phase of growth. HOT is expanding its activities: opening four regional hubs and scaling up its support to local mapping communities with the audacious goal of mapping an area home to one billion people in 94 countries at high risk of disasters or experiencing poverty - mapping with communities before they are in crisis.

About the Role

The HOT_tech Backend Engineer is a keystone of the HOT tech team. The Backend Engineer is expected to collaborate with the HOT Technology Innovation team and the rest of the project team in developing quality and valuable FOSS software for humanitarian data. In partnership with the Senior Technical Lead, The Backend Engineer plays the critical role of translating design research and user stories into technical solutions that can be developed by the HOT Technology Innovation engineering teams. The Backend Engineer will be responsible for supporting the engineering teams to improve the quality and efficiency of solution development and deployment. is a consolidation of 10 years of direct experience in developing and deploying open source technologies to support HOT’s humanitarian mission to enable collaborative mapping and geospatial data collection and production. It brings together HOT’s diverse product offerings into a single and streamlined workflow to make the collection and consumption of geospatial data a simple, enjoyable experience for HOT’s community of volunteers, stakeholders and users.

The Backend Engineer will advance HOT’s mission by operationalizing the HOT_Tech core ethics:

Human: Our Human ethic is our commitment to people as our priority. At the centre of all our technology sits a human. The ultimate purpose of our technology is to improve human conditions. We use technology to enable and amplify human efforts.
Open: Our Open ethic permeates all we do. Our actions reflect radical openness and transparency. We encourage open inputs and outputs. Our team and technology openly welcomes and engages community, collaboration and contribution.
Truth: Our Truth ethic reflects an OpenStreetMap core principle; the ‘truth on the ground’. Our activities and decisions will be guided by this ethic, where not easily resolved will defer to this as a core principle in order to define what best reflects the truth on the ground.
HOT_Tech Principles: Can be found here

The Backend Engineer will remotely support engineering teams and collaborate with key HOT_Tech supporting functions including the Director of Technology, Senior Technical Lead, DevOps Manager and the Community directly.

Priority Areas for Action and Responsibilities

Priority Areas:

Code quality & evolution: The Backend Engineer will at all times pioneer and promote code quality and integrity. This will be based on robust standards that will ensure HOT’s technologies meet reputable security and scalability and perform optimally on current and developing codebases.
Agile Development & Open-Source: The Backend Engineer will work in an agile development team supporting user-centric design and development, driving the open-source community conversations, encouraging the diversity of participants, and ensuring transparency of the process throughout while driving continuous redesign.
Regular coordination with Community & Partners: The Backend Engineer should understand and support the integration of volunteers and paid staff in all the projects that we develop and maintain.
Engineering support: By facilitating open and dynamic conversations and combining it with evidence-based decision making, the Backend Engineer will help guide the selection of emerging and outdated technologies to help HOT’s tools remain both optimal and sustainable. They will have experience supporting and working with talent across a range of skill levels, geographies and cultures.


Support and work with an Agile team designing, developing, deploying, testing and maintaining HOT tools
Work with product and ‘business’ owners to clearly define and prioritize product backlogs
Take ownership of tasks and thereby contribute to the success of planning, execution and success of complex software solutions
Clear understanding of the requirements and sprint goals
Uphold and advocate good development practices at all times.
Manage technical debt by targeting 80/20 rule
Ensures coding standards are in place and met by engineering teams
Develop test plans for and ensure unit testing is performed before deployment
Review the test cases and help investigate issues
Code review from community and peers
Improve and expand on project documentation.

About You

We are seeking an open source technologist with demonstrated experience contributing to open source technology development, community development, and product evolution. The Backend Engineer will be able to support engineering efforts of a rapidly growing team and community. Furthermore, you will be a great community facilitator that can draw out the needs and desires of a HOT’s wider free and open source community including individual members, NGOs, private sector partners and multi sector donors.

Qualifications and Experience

Possess 3-5 years of recent and relevant software development experience
Experience working in an agile development teams
Experience working with diverse, distributed teams over multiple geographies
Experience implementing free/open source software
Experience developing in Python
Experience with Rest API design and development
Experience with Postgres and Postgis desired
Familiarity with C++ would be useful
Familiarity with code configuration management, and continuous integration
Experience writing unit and integration tests
Experience working across a range of server related architecture and infrastructure (AWS, Azure, physical and others) is desired
Geospatial sector experience/familiarity may increase your job satisfaction

Role Specific Skills

Participate in team and community discussions, support data driven decision-making
Able to make good and critical technical decisions in a time efficient manner
Be passionate about data from organization and expression of data stories
Be able to work with open source communities, including a mix of paid staff, volunteers and private sector partners providing in-kind developer hours.
Proven track record of delivering data driven solutions with a user-first mindset
Be driven by compassion, humanitarian ethics, and a sense of humor.
Utilize strong verbal and written communication to articulate complex concepts across varied audiences to build consensus and lead change.
Be fluent in working in a fully or partially remote work environment
Speak and write English fluently
Engineering experience in or with low resource contexts and environments would enable someone to excel in this role.

Are you missing a few of the technical skills listed? We would still like to see your application. While the skills above fit our vision of this role, we are open to those candidates with a strong knowledge foundation that are fast learners and highly motivated to close any skill gaps.


HOT values transparency and equity. All HOT compensation globally is set according to a framework detailed on our website. HOT offers a work-from-anywhere culture, flexible working arrangements, a variety of health care options, retirement savings plans, and 24 days of annual leave for full-time employees, in addition to 12 paid holidays.

HOT is a leader in flexible working arrangements. As an innovative and open organization, we provide ample space and opportunity for personal initiative and growth.

Equal Opportunity

We seek to recruit persons that reflect the diversity of the communities we work with and further, to support their retention and advancement within the organization. HOT does not discriminate on the basis of ability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. Our staff includes people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, lived experiences, and perspectives on the world. HOT is an equal opportunity employer. We seek to live our values and promote inclusivity in all locations. All of our staff work collectively and individually to promote a constructive and sensitive approach to others from a variety of backgrounds, where the work of all is valued and respected.

HOT is committed to diversity and inclusion within our team, and recognizes our role in closing the digital divide, including identifying obstacles that certain groups face in developing skills needed for roles in the humanitarian & technology sectors. Women, nationals of developing countries, and members of other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply

Please complete the application by August 8, 2021. Your CV/resume should not exceed 2 pages.

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