Arc Publishing is a product engineering and services group at The Washington Post. We build software to meet the needs of The Post, while also making the same software available to customers in media and non-media industries around the world.
The Arc suite of products provides content-centered companies with the tools they need to author, manage and publish content to meet the ever-changing demands of their digital consumers. Arc is quickly becoming the leader in publishing-focused software development.
Built 100% on AWS, the Arc platform follows a microservice architecture. All of our software teams use devops to deliver and maintain products.
Our processes are lightweight, which allows our teams to innovate quickly to bring new ideas to market. New features and products are deployed to our customer base every day.
The platform is operated by Arc as Software as a Service, and our Professional Services team offers both end-to-end project implementation and consulting to help clients implement on Arc.
We are currently looking for a hands on Engineering Lead to manage a small team of engineers, and lead the technical direction of project implementations on the Arc Professional Services team. The ideal candidate is a proactive problem solver that likes to improve on how we run today but should be running tomorrow.
Tell us about your core software product, Arc Publishing.
Arc is a CMS platform that The Washington Post created for its newsroom and now Arc is sold to other companies, including brands in the media and publishing space. It’s a suite of programs developed to write and schedule articles, run testing for headlines, and manage web templates. We also have video and photo digital asset management systems, including support for livestreaming. At The Washington Post the entire website runs on top of the Arc platform, just like companies use Amazon Web Services for cloud hosting.
After we perfected the software internally, we started selling it to other publishing companies across five continents. It’s growing constantly. Almost every week we announce a new partner or publisher. The Arc software development team is now run independently, and The Post is just one of many clients running hundreds of sites, including many of the best-known brands in the world, and more than 600 million monthly unique visitors.
How has The Post tackled moving to a more digital medium?
We approach everything with a digital-first mindset, leading us to build new teams that didn’t exist a few years ago.
At The Post, we’re constantly thinking of new ways to tell stories and the engineering team is an integral part of that process. Whether it’s building completely new tools or improving readership engagement on different forms of media, like Snapchat stories and interactive newsletters, we never rely on staying the same. We are constantly adapting.
What kind of people work at The Post?
Our people are curious, interesting and multi-faceted. They ask really good questions and look for ways to bring their whole selves to work.
This often comes to life on our Slack channels. There’s a running group, a knitting group, a comic group, a ‘Survivor’ group of people who still love the show ‘Survivor.’ They may come in and work at a desk, but they’re so much more than that. They have these fascinating lives and because of that, everyone’s just interested in grabbing coffee and hearing each other’s stories.
What kind of tech skills do you expect candidates to have?
Our goal is to bring in diverse slate of talent. When it comes to tech requirements, we say we’re “language-agnostic.” If you come in knowing certain languages and we need you to know different ones, we’ll teach you.
Ultimately, we’re looking to hire incredible people that want to learn.
How do you encourage growth and learning?
There’s a lot of freedom to chart your own path here. If you have a great idea you’d like to pursue or would like to gain experience in a new area, leadership is behind you and gives you autonomy to tackle it on your own. If you hit a speedbump and need guidance, management is there to support you and answer questions.
We also offer career mentorship through our “Growth Project,” where employees are given the opportunity to connect with members of leadership and ask questions from how to manage up to how to improve their annual review.
How does The Post engage in community outreach efforts?
The technology teams are very active in the D.C. tech community. Between hosting and attending meetups, as well as hackathons, a lot of our engineers are leaders or heavily involved in the community.
We host meetups that include organizations not only focused on technology, but also diversity. For example, we hosted a hackathon that encourages people from underrepresented communities to get involved in tech, and also hosted the Women in Tech summit last year and in years past. Other engineers are involved in community tech groups such as Coffee and Code, Women Who Code, the Code (Her) Conference, Women In Technology, Girls Who Code.
At the Corporate Social Responsibility level, our organization runs the Post Helping Hand Initiative. Every three years, we choose three non-profits in the D.C. area that are working to fight homelessness or to promote educational services for low-income residents. We raise awareness of the nonprofits by giving them coverage on The Washington Post through a special column. We also ask our readers to either give to those three non-profits for get involved through volunteering.
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