HomeData Science JobsCortico | Hiring | Engineering Team Lead | BigDataKB.com | 08-04-22

Cortico | Hiring | Engineering Team Lead | BigDataKB.com | 08-04-22

Job Location: Remote

full-time; remote (US-based)


Cortico is looking for an Engineering Team Lead to guide the building of the Local Voices Network, a platform that gathers, connects, and amplifies under-heard voices from communities around the world. We are looking for somebody with experience leading highly productive teams and who is comfortable across the tech stack, particularly in the frontend. The role is best suited for someone who is passionate about building software that acts as a complement to deep human interactions.

Specifically, you’ll be working on our online conversation platform and app-assisted hardware product that supports community organizations, journalists, local governments, and community members in gathering people together for constructive dialogue, amplifying voices from these conversations to a wider audience, and making sense of large collections of public conversation data.

As a member of the Cortico engineering team, you will be working with a large corpus of audio and transcript data from facilitated conversations. In the past three years, we have collected, transcribed, and indexed over 100k minutes of audio data, all of deep local community conversations. Due to Cortico’s unique relationship with the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, you will also be able to work with researchers and experts in areas from natural language processing to civic engagement.

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You will be managing a team of four engineers, as well as working closely with our Product Manager to plan sprints and our Senior Director of Partnerships to ensure proper communication of technical developments. You will also be coordinating with the MIT team on integrations and research. You can expect to spend ~25-40% of your time managing and the rest of your time contributing to the codebase.

The compensation range for this role is $125,000 – $140,000 and we have competitive benefits which can be found here. Unfortunately, we do not currently have the resources to sponsor visas.

A note about culture

Cortico’s team is kind, collaborative, inquisitive, and inclusive. We have high standards for quality and Cortico’s product and engineering team is kind, collaborative, inquisitive, and inclusive. We have high standards for quality and ethics, and help each other learn in order to reach our objectives. We think technology is best built by teams with a diversity of background, thought, and experience. Every team member is a human first, and we strive to create a culture and environment that supports your career goals and respects all of the hats you wear in life, not just the ones that earn you a paycheck.

Qualities we’re looking for

  • You’ve read about our mission and values and they strongly align with yours.
  • You’re passionate about the problems we’re working on.
  • You believe in the power of conversation data and are also thoughtful and careful about its collection.
  • You are comfortable working on a small team and shifting around the stack as needed.

Our stack

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  • Languages: TypeScript, JavaScript, SCSS
  • Frameworks: React + Redux
  • Testing: Cypress, React Testing Library
  • Visualizations: D3, deck.gl/Mapbox


  • Languages: Python
  • Frameworks: Django, Flask, Falcon
  • Testing: unittest, pytest
  • Database: PostgreSQL with PostGIS, sqlalchemy bindings


  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • RabbitMQ
  • Celery
  • Continuous Integration via GitHub Actions
  • AWS

    • S3 for audio and transcript storage
    • RDS for databases
    • ECR for docker containers
    • EKS for Kubernetes
    • CloudFront for CDN

Check out these resources by Cortico engineers to get a sense of the kind of work we do:

  • Topics-based insights for conversations
  • Audio data engineering at Cortico
  • Taming EKS for machine learning on a budget
  • Controlling a Raspberry Pi with a phone

Minimum qualifications

  • 2+ years leading and managing an engineering team that shipped products at scale.
  • 3+ years of experience in a software engineering role, mostly in a frontend or fullstack role (React, TypeScript, Python, preferred).
  • Excellent and flexible communication skills, whether with members of an engineering team, non-engineering coworkers, researchers, or partner organizations.
  • Demonstrated involvement in significant technical decisions.
  • Experience working with teams to develop plans for deliverables, from development to testing to deployment.

Preferred qualifications

  • A passion for user experience and design justice.
  • Experience working in the civic tech space.
  • Experience working on a SAAS data product.
  • An interest in audio data.

Bonus Points

  • Experience in data visualization or data science.

Next steps

Please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

  • A cover letter detailing your interest in the role and in Cortico
  • A resumé / cv
  • Any links you think may be relevant (i.e. portfolio, GitHub, etc.)

If you are unsure if you are qualified, please consider applying anyway.

The process

  • Phone call with the hiring manager to set expectations and determine role alignment.
  • Time bound (2-4 hours) React take-home assignment. The assignment will give you a chance to work with some of our data, but won’t involve building anything of value for Cortico. We want to make sure the take home isn’t extractive, but instead gives you an opportunity to assess what it may be like to build software with us.
  • Discussion about take-home assignment with members of the Cortico engineering team.
  • Presentation of your values as a manager to the Cortico team.
  • An overview of Cortico’s system architecture and discussion.
  • Conversation with members of the product and partnerships team to chat about incoming projects.
  • Meet with our CEO.
  • Reference checks.

We aim to review and respond to all applicants within three weeks of submission.

About Cortico

Cortico was created in 2017 out of a desire to transform our polarized and toxic national discourse into a thriving public sphere. As we built the organization beginning with deep expertise in media and technology, we realized that building a healthier public sphere would require not just software and data analytics, but also hardware and technologies for community building. The Local Voices Network was born of the understanding that it is not enough to understand existing behavior and attitudes; in order to affect the health of the public sphere – and our democracy – we must create experiences of meaningful encounters, deeper understanding, and opportunities to surface new possibilities.

Cortico maintains a strong policy of equal opportunity in employment. It is our objective to recruit, hire, and retain the most qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. Our equal employment philosophy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, compensation, benefits, training, promotions, transfers, job benefits, and terminations.

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