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JOB: ACLU, Full-time, Full-Stack Engineer


Full-time, Full-Stack Engineer


Full-Stack Engineer [PTEC-15]
American Civil Liberties Union
Product & Technology Department, New York, NY

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.


The ACLU’s Product Development team is looking for a mid to senior level full-stack engineer to help lead our newly launched effort to create public facing products in support of the organization’s mission. Product Development is a multidisciplinary team working with stakeholder groups in communications, advocacy, grassroots organizing, fundraising, and within the broader Product & Technology department. In close collaboration with these stakeholders, the team will brainstorm, roadmap, build, and refine web and mobile software products that both educate constituents about their rights, and provide direct opportunities for meaningful political action. We will introduce entirely new interactive tools and experiences, as well as improve the user experience of existing systems.


The FullStack Engineer will report to the Head of Product Development, and will play an important role in establishing this team’s process and approach, including:

  • Serving as the initial lead on server side development, evaluating and selecting tools and frameworks for web and mobile applications.
  • Establishing a workflow for designing, writing, reviewing, testing, and deploying systems that promotes intra and inter-team communication and enables reusability, flexibility, and frequent iteration.
  • Working with other engineers and product designers to create and maintain a toolbox of code libraries, micro services, page templates, and interaction patterns that supports long running apps, but can also be quickly remixed in response to current events.
  • Collaborating with engineers across the Product & Technology department to integrate with existing content management and data systems.
  • Working with stakeholders to tease out goals and product requirements through a user-centric mindset, proposing alternate and multistep solutions, and balancing development speed and scope.
  • Providing a knowledgeable viewpoint on development discussions and decisions, while remaining open-minded to new technologies and approaches.
  • Serving as a lead on some projects and an individual contributor on others, and contributing to multiple areas where needed, including product and project management.
  • Mentoring and educating members inside and outside of the team to improve understanding of current industry standard development practices and technologies.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • Performing other duties as appropriate and assigned.


  • 5+ years of experience with complex web applications in a production environment.
  • Experience with one (ideally more) server side languages and frameworks, including Flask or Django with Python, Node.js with Express, Go, and Ruby on Rails.
  • Production experience with MySQL and/or PostgreSQL, and a range of additional data stores such as Elasticsearch, Redis, or MongoDB.
  • Deploying and managing applications and services in a cloud environment such as AWS/Azure/GCE, as well as managed platforms like Heroku, Docker-based containerization, and CDNs (Fastly, Cloudfront, etc.).
  • Interest in and knowledge of tradeoffs in different application and systems architecture patterns, including traditional MVC, micro services, and serverless/function as a service.
  • Experience working with, massaging and integrating data of varying formats and quality including API integrations, SQL, CSV/JSON processing and ETL, spiky workloads and large volumes of data, geospatial data with PostGIS or similar, and semistructured sources like web scraping.
  • Experience with continuous integration and testing, and DevOps practices including configuration management, monitoring and logging, security, privacy, and autoscaling.
  • Using A/B testing, feature flagging, and other forms of incremental rollout to measure changes in user behavior and system metrics.
  • Strong understanding of DOM, CSS and JavaScript fundamentals, as well as some hands on experience with current client frameworks (React, Vue.js, etc.).
  • Awareness of mobile and desktop development tradeoffs, along with a commitment to web accessibility and progressive enhancement.
  • Enthusiasm for building open source software, including engaging with a wider community of civic technologists, and an “open by default” mindset.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Please send a cover letter and resume to  Reference [PTEC-15/ACLU-W] in subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU email address. This email address is specific to the Product and Technology department postings. In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”


Read more here.