Lead Systems Architect/Engineer- Reinvent Ebook Access for Libraries at NYPL Labs

New York City
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Created: January 21, 2014


Seeking: an experienced systems architect engineer to help reinvent eBook discovery and access for public libraries.

With the support of the federal government and a broad coalition of library partners, The New York Public Library is building a small, empowered product team to develop a mobile platform for ebook lending and reading that could serve as model for public libraries across North America. The ideal candidate is that rare intersection of software super geek (Google keeps calling you) and social do-gooder seeking to improve public access to knowledge and information. If you're game to help re-imagine the public library eBook experience, then make that vision real (and scaleable), then we want you.

This project will be incubated in NYPL Labs, The New York Public Library’s in-house “skunkworks” unit. You'll be working mainly on ebook access, but dipping into a range of fascinating library experiments, collaborations and elective hacking. 

About NYPL Labs:
Based at The New York Public Library's landmark central branch on 42nd Street, NYPL Labs is an award-winning design and technology team working to re-imagine The Library for the Internet age. Labs developers work closely with librarians and curators to create imaginative tools, apps and experiences around library content and services, often engaging the public directly directly in the work of improving, organizing or remixing library data. At NYPL Labs, you'll be joining an amazing creative team working at the crossroads of public-sector technology in New York. In addition: a great benefits package, ample vacation time, and a sane life/work balance all make NYPL a fantastic place to work and create.

  • Play a lead role in the design and development of a mobile application backend platform for eBook discovery, transaction and delivery
  • Participate in the overall maintenance of the application, including bug fixes, performance enhancements and runtime production support
  • Work with mobile client-side engineers to define service APIs to access eBook content services and related library systems.
  • Write clean, well-documented and unit-tested code
  • As needed, generate technical documentation for various aspects of the application
  • Work with front-end (UI) developers to integrate server-side code with UI artifacts
  • Work with third party technology stakeholders to define realistic integration specifications
  • Engage with the eBook hacker community through blogging, public speaking, hackathons etc.

Key Competencies:
  • Creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Passion

  • At least 3-5 years of experience building and leading the development of scalable web services and application services.
  • At least 4-5 years experience as a developer, with a mastery of programming concepts and methodologies.
  • Be prepared to envision a long-term, scaleable but deployable technology stack for backend for multiple instances built on open technologies
  • Experience with single-sign-on, encryption, Solr/Lucene and library catalogue systems a plus.
  • Strong familiarity with client-server concepts
  • Demonstrated ability to convert design and specification artifacts into scalable enterprise applications and service oriented architectures
  • Strong appreciation for architecture, problem solving, testing, and agile development
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Computer Science or related discipline is preferred
  • Passion for building scalable and maintainable applications
  • Self-starter, with ability to work under pressure on multiple tasks
  • Write and speak as well as you can code (NYPL Labs developers are part of an active community of public-interest technologists, and there are frequent opportunities to write and present about our work inside and outside NYPL)
  • High energy and a positive attitude in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial, start-up environment
  • Strong desire to make a huge impact on how the public is able to access knowledge.

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:44 UTC