Public Lab Research note

Job Posting: Web designer/developer

by Shannon | May 07, 2014 14:51 07 May 14:51 | #10438 | #10438

Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science: Web designer/developer

Start Date: Late May 2014

Location: Remote

Terms: Contract

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community--supported by a 501(c)(3) non-profit--which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

We are looking for a contract-based web designer/developer to work on two Public Lab projects related to indoor air quality monitoring and aerial image sorting over the next several months.


Seeking web designer/developer for contract web development project related to collaborative grassroots research on indoor air quality issues related to formaldehyde.

Public Lab is collaborating on a project to enable people facing indoor formaldehyde air contamination by selectively sharing health and symptom information with others experiencing similar issues. The site will feature a series of questions related to exposure and symptoms, and site users will be able to tell their stories and exchange information with others, anonymously if they wish.

We are planning for a Ruby on Rails or Node.js website with:

  • user authentication
  • Bootstrap interface
  • mobile (fluid) layout
  • graphs with d3 or flot

Candidates should have experience with:

  • git/Github workflow
  • user interface design (preferred)
  • database design
  • work on open source projects and/or with open source communities

Browse some of our initial design steps here:

Seeking web designer/developer for contract web development project involving a partial rewrite of an existing project known as, for scalability and maintainability. The project was designed to help distributed groups sort through thousands of photos of disasters on desktop and mobile browsers, and has been notably used during the BP oil spill to identify clear photographs of oil contamination and during Hurricane Sandy to facilitate disaster response efforts. The main challenges are batch image uploading of 1-8GB image sets and resizing and storing hundreds of thousands of images.

Existing code can be found here:

Optimizations will include:

  • integration with Amazon AWS/S3 and/or Rackspace cloud storage systems
  • improved batch uploading system with drag/drop function
  • possible interface improvements and page-load optimizations for mobile devices
  • better metadata and naming convention prompts and forms

Candidates should have experience with:

  • Amazon and/or Rackspace storage service integration, possibly with the Rails "Paperclip" gem
  • Ruby on Rails application development
  • JavaScript client-side development, esp. related to asynchronous uploading (see
  • Experience optimizing and scaling web services; possibly doing image resizing client-side where possible

Please send a short cover letter and a link to your Github profile (or equivalent) to by May 16th. Please indicate your preference (if any) among the projects above. Public Lab has no geographic preference for where this position is located.

Women, people of color and LGBT people are always strongly encouraged to apply.


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