Job opening at OpenGeo for GeoNode

by Sebastian Benthall

It looks like OpenGeo is going to be getting a lot of business in the coming year for GeoNode–so much that we can’t handle it with the size of our current team.

So we’re hiring a new Software Engineer.

What we’re looking for is somebody who has both the engineering chops to handle our complex stack (which includes Django, GeoServer, GeoNetwork, and GeoExt) and the inclination and aptitude to provide on-site consulting, training, and support to clients. Because of our partnership with the World Bank, many of these deployments will be around the world. So this job will likely offer the opportunity to go interesting places and meet interesting people, on top of coding for a very well poised open source, open data project.

OpenGeo, I have to say, is a kickass place to work. I’ve been working for it and our parent organization OpenPlans for almost three years now, and I am challenged and inspired daily by the intelligence of the people around me and the dynamism of the organization. It’s also committed to openness with a sincerity that is extraordinarily compelling to the right kind of person.

This blog post, for example, divulges crucial information about our business strategy in an unprofessional medium. “What is going on?” you might ask. “Why is he doing this? Is it a corporate ploy?” No. Our business strategy isn’t a secret. On the contrary, we want as many people to know about it as possible so that more people will get involved in our open source projects and communities. And though our work and life itself demands humility, on rare occasions (just as when we are trying to attract applications from Software Engineers) we get to brag about how great we are.

Something else I like about us? We are scrappy. OpenPlans has subsisted primarily on donations from Mark Gorton for most of its existence. We are in a turbulent time, because the LimeWire lawsuits mean that we can no longer depend on Mark. But seriously in the nick of time, we warming up our business development machines.

The leads are coming in, and we are growing (did I mention that we are hiring?). It feels like the helicopter is lifting off just as the ground beneath us is melting into hot lava. And yet, we aren’t afraid. Yesterday I saw Vanessa Hamer give a budget report for OpenPlans. The gist of it was: even assuming that lots of things go wrong with our funding pipeline, we are well prepared to thrive in the future. I have never had more confidence in this organization than I do now.

This is a great thing. It is great because OpenPlans and OpenGeo are working on great things. OpenGeo in particular is in the early stages of transforming the geospatial software industry from one dominated by proprietary desktop software to free web software. It is providing tools that will help institutions transform their closed and cobwebby data silos to nodes in a vibrant, open geospatial web. For great justice.

“Are you for real?” Yes, I’m for real. OpenGeo is that good. I know we’re that good because we have attracted successful geospatial software industry entrepreneurs (1) (2) (3) as our upper level management in the past year. These folks aren’t just all geniuses. They are geniuses with domain expertise who are passionately dedicated to transforming an industry with an impact on millions of people.

We also have some great connections going on. I believe I’ve mentioned that we’ve been working with the World Bank’s CAPRA initiative on this GeoNode project (the one we are hiring for). The people behind CAPRA are rockstars within a superorganization with a mission to save Central America from natural disasters.

Oh, and we’re going to be working with the Global Earthquake Model soon. Those guys are a crack team of brilliant scientists with a mandate to unite all earthquake modeling under one banner using open source software. If it works, it will have an impact on everyone who is in an area that suffers earthquake risk, because earthquake modeling is used by everyone from humanitarian NGO’s who do disaster relief to insurance companies who wind up taking on a lot of the corporate/economic risk of natural disasters. It’s a mandate that would be ludicrously ambitious if it weren’t happening right now with web technology that has just recently been perfected and available.

It is so fucking cool I can hardly contain myself. I have to suppress these thoughts normally so I don’t get so distracted by how cool it is that I don’t get any work done. It is so cool that it’s hard to talk about publicly because it all just seems so unbelievable.

That is what we are hiring for right now.