The Lead Developer serves APA by leading the architecture, coding, deployment, and support of web and mobile software within a small team of developers. The position sets the technical direction for the team, performing technical assessments and championing best practices while participating as an active code contributor. The position engages stakeholders, subject matter experts, and users throughout discovery, user-experience modeling, development, testing, documentation, and support. The position also engages APA members and other end-users to learn and gather feedback to inform development decisions.
The Lead Developer is a member of APA’s Information & Technology team, working in a collaborative, fast paced, agile environment.
Duties and responsibilities
Lead Web & App Development
Plan, architect, develop, and integrate new features for the planning.org website and other digital products, primarily in a Python/Django codebase.
Own critical development tasks such as API development and data/object modeling. Architect and document APIs.
Take a leadership role in evaluating technical risk and forming architectural decisions.
Mentor other developers and conduct code reviews.
Coordinate with the content team, marketing team, and others to produce deliverables that match the creative vision for APA’s digital products and communications.
Coordinate with Quality Assurance to define test-driven requirements. Write automated tests and guide others through best practices for automated testing.
Lead best engineering practices for the team, including:
Ensuring that code adheres to software quality standards agreed to by my team, including writing friendly, valid, well-commented code.
Using source control to maintain and track code, and owning the team’s source control workflow.
Owning the team’s build and deployment processes.
Recommending security best-practices.
Develop and revise code to guarantee that the product meets test requirements as defined by Quality Assurance. Collaborate with stakeholders, subject matter experts, quality assurance, and testers to ensure acceptance criteria are met.
Respond to critical issues and bugs as reported in APA's issue tracking system.
Gather ideas and feedback from APA staff and stakeholders to articulate user needs and offer insight based on technical experience.
Provide recommendations to help guide product development and support, including “buy-vs-build” recommendations.
User Engagement & User Experience Modeling
Understand the technical needs of APA’s membership of city planning professionals. Make technical and strategic recommendations that address these needs.
Organize user interviews and provide usability recommendations based on feedback.
Lead the creation wireframes and other visual prototypes to plan compelling user experiences.
Communicate user experience questions and decisions to all team members and foster a collaborative requirements discovery process.
Research web analytics and make recommendations based on data.
Qualifications (Education and Experience)
Bachelor’s or higher degree
5+ years professional software development experience required, preferably with full-stack development in Python/Django or a similar framework
Proven ability to lead development decisions
An understanding of principles of good software design and development, with the ability to explain these principles clearly to both technical and non-technical team members
Strong experience with front-end development frameworks
Solid understanding of best engineering practices
Experience with Agile methodology preferred
Experience working within the association or non-profit industry preferred
Experience working on projects for Civic Tech, or other city-planning oriented projects preferred
APA is a professional membership organization consisting of planners, planning officials, and other professionals and individuals with an interest in planning and a desire to develop great communities. APA’s mission is to provide leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support... necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change. APA is incorporated in the District of Columbia as a 501 (c) 3 organization, for charitable, educational, literary and scientific research purposes to advance the art and science of planning and the activity of planning -- physical, economic and social -- at the local, regional, state and national levels. The Association includes the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), which is responsible for the certification of professional planners and for the enforcement of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.