Ushahidi: Senior Backend Developer

Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya


We are only looking for candidates in Latin America at this time. Note: workable requires that we post a location, but this is a remote position, and it is open to all of Latin America.

Ideal timezones: GMT-2 to GMT-4. If you are in another timezone in Latin America, you can still apply, but please keep in mind that you will work closely with other members of the product team in North America, Europe and Africa, plus our CTO who is based in Uruguay. Team-wide meetings are usually held after 8:00 AM GMT-3.

About us

We are a small, passionate team building open source technology for the humanitarian sector. We are always looking for ways to deliver more value to the people who depend on our tools, we are a non-profit and have been officially operative since 2008.

Check out our About page here

Read our Impact Report here

If you want to know what we're up to right now and where we are going, please check out our Roadmap.

About you

You are a thoughtful, curious software developer with a few years of work experience and an interest in open-source, international development and social justice. You are not afraid to ask questions, and collaborate effectively in a remote environment.

You’re looking to use your skills to develop software that has a tangible social good.

New cultures, people and experiences give you energy; you work effectively and efficiently on distributed teams with diverse experience across many time zones.

You know that coworkers who aren't engineers are just as smart as you and that you can learn from each other. You recognize that you grow faster when you are part of a team with diverse skill sets and use your colleagues’ feedback to boost your growth.

Given the freedom to work anywhere, you are self-guided and can work autonomously. You bring empathy and effective communication to your day to day work.

About this role

Ushahidi is seeking a collaborative, senior backend developer. You'll partner with our teams to help others achieve their goals in improving their communities, raising their voices and being heard by those in power.

We'd like it if you have experience interacting and working with open source communities, but please still apply if you don't. We are more than happy to help you get up to speed.

You will be a part of the Ushahidi product team, working closely with design, engineering, QA, customer support, and others. You should be comfortable collaborating with multidisciplinary teams and sharing your knowledge with others so that we all grow and learn. You will report directly to our CTO.

What we are looking for
  • Willingness to help out where you’re needed: responding to coworkers, helping a community member fix a bug, or working deep in the code.
  • A combination of technical ability with empathy and a genuine interest in helping our users. We don't want you solving the same problems over and over again; we want you improving the product so that common problems go away.
  • Drive for international development and social justice.
  • Eagerness to take feedback, grow and further your skills.
  • Keenness on technical literacy: appreciation for reading, writing and communicating with precise technical language, following and leaving records of technical work.
  • Experience with PHP and Laravel or a similar stack, preferably while designing and building REST API implementations.
  • Experience with MySQL or other relational databases.
  • Experience developing for distributed systems that operate at scale for a global diverse audience.
  • Experience running applications on Linux cloud infrastructure.
  • Willingness to participate in our DevOps processes by operating and developing with automation tools such as Ansible and Terraform.

Why You Might Be A Good Fit

  • Independent and intrinsically motivated: the team agrees upon goals, but how they are accomplished is left largely up to the individuals. Nobody will be leaning over your shoulder telling you what to do every day, we expect you to be able to do that yourself.
  • Team-oriented: the desire to work with and support other developers in the team. We rely on team members to support each other, review each other's code, and generally help keep each other productive and happy.
  • Ability to get things done and ship: we’d love you to write beautiful elegant code every time but getting things done matters. You’ll need to pick the right balance between doing it right and doing it fast.
  • Empathy and an interest in helping our users: a desire to work with the community and customers, dig into their use cases, and help them solve problems.
Why You Might Not Be A Good Fit

  • We pay competitively at Ushahidi, however, keep in mind that we are still a mission driven non-profit.
  • You only want to wear one hat. Ushahidi is small, but we take on the goals of much larger organizations. In practice this means that all Ushahidians end up wearing multiple hats and working on multiple projects. If that excites you, great! If you are set on never venturing out of your job title, you’re going to get frustrated fast.
  • You want to be in an office surrounded by colleagues. If you need to come into an office and talk to your boss every day to stay motivated, this job is not for you. While we have people working from 4 different continents, we only have an office in Nairobi, Kenya.
Why you may like working at Ushahidi

  • Our goal in hiring is to find great people first, great skills second.
  • Ushahidi team members currently live all over the world: from Uruguay to Washington DC to Nairobi.
  • Work when you want. While we have meetings that you will be expected to attend, there are no “business hours” at Ushahidi, we are a milestone-based company, not a sit-in-your-chair from 9 to 5 company.
  • Generous vacation policy: minimum 25 days/year, with a limit of 35 days. More vacation days are available with the approval of senior management. Because we are an international team, this limit includes national holidays.
  • If you are not in Nairobi, a co-working space reimbursement of up to USD 250/month is available. For folks who live in Nairobi, you can always use The Batcave, our one and only office.
  • Work with an international team on challenging problems.
  • A Laptop provided by us (or reimbursed). It becomes your property after 18 months.
  • In Kenya, we provide healthcare through our health care provider, who we review for best rates and coverage annual. For international employees, we will reimburse your healthcare premiums up to $250/month.
  • Parental leave: 12 weeks for primary caregivers.

Because our salaries are calculated with a standardized location-based formula, we will send the salary range based on your location if we invite you to interview.

Interview process

We will send an interview kit if you are invited to interview. This kit will include details such as the interview team and the evaluation process.

Please apply. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, physical disability, or length of time spent unemployed.

Please note, the deadline to apply is February 20th, 2020.

To apply:


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