The Washington Post | Senior Software Engineer - Technical.ly

Senior Software Engineer

The Washington Post | Washington DC | Dev / Eng

Job Description
Company Culture
Technical.ly Coverage

We’re looking for an ambitious Senior Developer to join the Publishing Systems Dev/Ops team. Our Developers work as a team with UX Designers, Product Managers, internal clients and across Engineering teams to deliver high quality print publishing and enterprise applications. Developing new products to transition legacy applications to modern technologies. In, addition to ensuring key publishing applications are on-line and available during peak production hours.

We use a variety of  technologies: Java, MySQL, Oracle, Node.js, Angular.js. You will be responsible for producing high quality, test driven code to meet and exceed product requirements.

More about what you’ll do in this role:

  • Participate in all stages of software development – from early brainstorming to coding and bug fixing
  • Write excellent, performant code and associated tests
  • Evaluate and improve existing print publishing workflows, applications and interfaces.
  • Discuss product requirements with others, both inside and outside of engineering
  • Ensure Print Publishing Application readiness during peak production hours
  • Interface with external vendors as required.

More about what we’re looking for:

  • 2+ years development experience.  Previous development in a media or print media environment preferred. Any combination of knowledge or experience with print publishing methods helpful (page planning, ad layout planning, file pre-flight, 4-color processing, PDF standards, page processing workflows through plate process.)
  • Combination of experience with Java frameworks, Node.js, Angular.js,  MySQL (or another relational database),  cloud technologies and working knowledge of networking technologies required.
  • Passion for problem solving and building end-to-end solutions
  • Desire to work in an agile environment and transform legacy applications to modern technologies.
  • Looking for a highly motivated individual, unafraid to share ideas, and take responsibility for learning about and maintaining existing feature implementations and for developing new features within the existing application framework
  • Team player, ability to teach as well as learn. Ability to work collaboratively with internal customers, and team members.
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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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