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Junior Data Engineer & Researcher (Remote)

Company: MessageGears
Location: San Antonio
Posted on: January 16, 2022

Job Description:

Ballotpedia is a collaborative team of fast learners and creative problem solvers who are eager to work hard to make the world a better place. We believe the world will be a better place if every citizen has access to information to make informed decisions about their vote in every election in which they are eligible to vote: primary, general, and special elections; federal, state, and local offices.

We work diligently to present the available information about elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, policies, and more in a way that enables our readers to vote with confidence and to act as engaged citizens outside of the polling booth.

Ballotpedia readers, like Ballotpedia staff, are special people.

When we launched in 2007, we did not go out of our way to seek new readers. Starting with our small team of visionary idealists, nerds, and aspiring political journalists, we just wrote the best unbiased online articles we could, especially about ballot measures. Readers found those articles in droves. It turns out there was an unclaimed audience out there-people who wanted straightforward facts about political issues, and were willing to read at length instead of just scanning the headlines.

"If you build it, they will come:'' our readers came to our neutral oasis in growing numbers; we've had many millions of lifetime pageviews, we reached nearly half of all voters in 2020, and, in the month surrounding the November 2020 election, we were the 77th most-visited website in the U.S.

We've come to realize that we need to meet our readers where they are. In doing so, over the past five years, we've grown our email newsletter program from infancy to include more than 1,000,000 opt-in subscribers with more than a dozen newsletters to choose from. We are working in numerous ways to help put our neutral information in front of people at the times when they most need it, including on mobile phones while you're standing in the voting booth. We firmly believe that our readers, and the mindset we help them cultivate, are essential to the preservation of our great civilization in a world where too many others are fighting to get us all addicted to sensational posts and the irrational decisions they foster.

If this is a mission you'd be willing to work hard to achieve, and if this is a team you'd be willing to work hard with-JOIN US.

The Position

Ballotpedia is seeking a full-time, remote Junior Data Engineer & Researcher to join our organization.

Ballotpedia's Tech team is looking for someone with a love for both research and programming who can develop automated workflows to aid in data collection and cleaning for local election information across the U.S., as well as perform manual research and outreach where information is lacking or poorly standardized online. This is a full-time role split between junior-level programming tasks and research. The goal is to further Ballotpedia's mission of making elections and political information freely available online to voters.

Common tasks will include research to identify candidate lists and election rules, data scraping, working with RPA tools such as UiPath to develop automated workflows, data review/cleaning, integrating with Ballotpedia's database and election products, and developing reusable functions and tools for the above to pass on to other researchers.

Metrics of success for this role include the amount of election data ingested, the quality of such data, repeatable processes and functions developed for other staff, as well as consistently meeting commitments.

This position is part of Ballotpedia's Tech team, which supports the rest of the staff in making high-quality political data and unbiased encyclopedic content available to the American public by improving many aspects of Ballotpedia's web presence and the behind-the-scenes tools used by staff.

Skills And Experience Desired

Technical: Familiarity or experience with most or all of the following:

  • Basic web development (HTML/CSS/Javascript)
  • Advanced spreadsheet functions
  • SQL databases
  • Scripting languages
  • Basic algorithms
  • Regular expressions
  • RPA tools
  • APIs

    Research: In addition, we would like to see skills related to online research, communication and outreach.

    You may be asked to respond to some test questions prior to an interview in order to demonstrate some of these skills.

    In terms of soft skills, the ideal candidate:
    • is willing to work hard to support the mission of Ballotpedia
    • is humble, seeking to improve the work of the rest of the staff, and approaching projects as a team member
    • has an unending appetite for learning and mastering new technology


      The Junior Data Engineer & Researcher will work remotely from their home location. All Ballotpedia staff work remotely. To join Ballotpedia, you must have a computer with Internet access. Ballotpedia uses the Google Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive and more), Slack, and Asana to accomplish our goals. Some familiarity with the Google Suite, Slack, and Asana are helpful.

      Ballotpedia has a flexible work environment, BP Flex, in which every employee enjoys unlimited vacation and flexibility in scheduling. Each employee will be oriented to the principles of Ballotpedia's flexible environment during new employee training.


      The starting pay range for the Junior Data Engineer & Researcher is $60,000-$70,000, commensurate with experience.

      In addition to salary, Ballotpedia offers an annual benefits stipend equivalent to $7,000 that is paid out in equal increments in each paycheck once an employee becomes benefits eligible. The stipend may be used to pay for a full benefits package, including health, vision, and dental insurance; retirement accounts; and more. If benefits are not elected, the stipend is taxed as regular income and added to salary.

      To Apply

      To apply, visit the Ballotpedia job opportunities page and fill out the form.

      Please attach the following in PDF format:
      • r--sum--
      • cover letter detailing your interest in Ballotpedia's mission, this position and your salary expectations
      • a Github link or project sample in your resume or cover letter is helpful, but not required

        Please ensure that either your r--sum-- or your cover letter include your current address.

Keywords: MessageGears, San Antonio , Junior Data Engineer & Researcher (Remote), Engineering , San Antonio, Texas

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