Azavea is a civic technology firm based in Philadelphia that uses geospatial data to build software and data analytics for the web. As a B Corporation
, our mission is to use advanced geospatial technology for civic, social, and environmental impact. Most of our work deals with local governments, non-profit organizations, and academic or federal research projects. We build custom web applications, perform geospatial analysis, and contribute to open source projects. Our engineers work across the technology stack, from modern browser-based front-ends to robust service-based backends residing on scalable infrastructure.
We are looking for a Software Engineer who is passionate about building and operating applications that will have a positive impact. Ideal candidates are interested in public service, but not necessarily in working for a government or a non-profit organization.
We’re excited about what we do, we’re growing, and we hope you will join us.
Skills & Requirements
Azavea has five software teams, all of which develop web software for processing and visualizing geospatial data. The teams differ in terms of the specific projects they develop and whether they are primarily product or service focussed. The GeoTrellis
team develops an open source software framework that enables low latency, distributed processing of geospatial data; the majority of our work is currently funded by the U.S. Federal government. The project is based on Scala and Apache Spark
. It is used in many types of web applications, including processing satellite imagery
, climate change, precision agriculture, public transit travel-sheds
, and watershed modeling
. GeoTrellis is a member of the Eclipse Foundation’s LocationTech working group
. A significant focus of the past year has been developing Python Bindings
in an effort to expand the pool of developers that can benefit from GeoTrellis. GeoTrellis is growing, and we need your help to expand the framework and make it more useful to other developers.
What You’ll Do
- Build scalable back-end software where performance is critical.
- Implement new features, algorithms, data processing operations, benchmarks and tests for a large Scala-based software framework.
- Engage in multidisciplinary work that applies an agile process (scrum board, daily stand-ups and two-week iterations) to design, architecture, development, testing and deployment.
- Support the development of an open source community around the GeoTrellis project.
- Contribute to both a growing company and to the open source communities that support our work.
- Demonstrate fluency with at least one functional programming language such as Scala, Clojure or Haskell.
- Be able to adapt and lean in order to keep innovating on a cutting edge open source project.
- Have experience with Amazon Web Service or another cloud-based architecture.
- Interested in working with a small, collaborative team on meaningful projects.
- Get excited about contributing to a large, complex open source project.
You get extra points for
- Experience with Spark, Akka, or other Scala-based distributed processing frameworks.
- Having worked with distributed data processing frameworks, like Hadoop, Amazon MR, etc.
- Demonstrating your open source or other community service contributions.
- Strong background in algorithm development where performance is critical.
You’ll notice that we don’t cite N years of experience or a Computer Science as requirements. Formal credentials like these are valuable, but we are primarily looking for people who have gained real-world experience successfully building sophisticated web applications.
Office and Benefits
Our Philadelphia headquarters is located in a brightly lit office on the 5th floor of a converted factory building in the Callowhill neighborhood, a short walk from Center City, the Reading Terminal Market, and SEPTA subway and regional rail stations. For bicyclists, we have in-house bike parking, a shower and lockers. The office itself is assembled as an open office plan with several smaller rooms for team meetings and concentration time. You get your own desk with a high-end Linux workstation or Apple laptop and extra monitors. We have flex-time to deal with personal stuff, and most people work a 40 – 45 hour week on a regular schedule. After the first six months, our staff can also spend up to 10% of their time on an open source, professional development, or R&D project. Recent 10% time projects include experiments with machine learning, Python 3, Reactive Native, and various forms of serverless processing with Amazon Lambda.
We offer a salary commensurate with skills and experience and a benefits package that includes:
- Fully subsidized health care, dental, prescription plan, including for spouse/partner and children
- Fully subsidized life and long term disability insurance, plus voluntary short term disability insurance
- Medical reimbursement plan to cover what the health insurance does not
- Retirement plan with matching percentage
- Almost 4 weeks paid vacation plus additional paid sick/personal time off
- Family and medical leave
- Flexible work schedule
- Paid maternity and paternity leave
- Child care subsidy
- Paid time off for voting and volunteering
- Education assistance plan
- Student loan assistance
- Public transit and biking reimbursement plans
- Monthly guest lectures with lunches on the house
- 10% time for research or learning projects
- Profit-sharing bonus plan
- Financial transparency through an open book policy
- Kind, capable and thoughtful colleagues
We welcome qualified candidates from all walks of life and value diversity in our company. We prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, military service, disability unrelated to job requirements, marital status, or domestic partner status.
Azavea is on the map for the company’s mobile and web geospatial data applications. Employees say the client-based and internal projects are the most challenging they’ve ever taken on. It’s not surprising; Azavea has taken on projects with the U.S. Department of Energy, The World Bank and NASA.
The 65-person company doesn’t view “company culture” as ping pong tables and happy hours, though both have a place in its office in the Callowhill neighborhood of Philadelphia. Instead, “culture” is a reflection of the values the company already has. When the company was established in 2001, founders Robert Cheetham and Rachel Cheetham-Richard considered forming a nonprofit company but came to the conclusion that it’s possible to be a for profit company that’s not only for profit. B Corp certified, Azavea is committed to improving the world. The commitment is reflected in projects like NYC TreesCount! for NYC Parks, GoPhillyGo for the Clean Air Council or OpenDataPhilly. If it harms communities or the environment, they’ll pass, even when evaluating new business opportunities.
The growing company treats its employees with the same respect. In addition to a generous set of benefits, team members successfully balance hobbies, family and friends — and take their vacation days. Azavea’s culture is democratic throughout the hiring process and allocation of profits — at least 2 percent a year — to nonprofit organizations. Every team member has a voice at the table.
The office itself is as open-minded and inclusive as the company. Meetings are held in the expansive kitchen or smaller rooms named after cities. Visitors may find Azaveans tucked in the library nook or collaborating in the open floor plan. Employees often stop to talk around the healthy snacks selection (an idea submitted during Azavea’s annual meeting to solicit feedback from employees) on the kitchen island.