Scholars' Lab Blog //Are you our new Digital Humanities Developer?
Blog //Are you our new Digital Humanities Developer?

Are you an enthusiastic software developer with an interest in the humanities or cultural heritage? The internationally-recognized Scholars’ Lab is seeking a digital humanities software engineer to join its innovative Research and Development group. At the University of Virginia-based Scholars’ Lab, you’ll work on projects like Neatline and collaborations with UVa faculty and students, mentor graduate fellows, and help teach in our Praxis Program. In addition to contributing to all of these facets of digital humanities work at Virginia, you will also be eligible for ”20% time,” where you are encouraged to pursue your own (often collaborative) R&D project or scholarship.

As a Digital Humanities software engineer reporting to the Head of R&D for the Scholars’ Lab, you will be responsible for building, testing, and debugging code, developing documentation, and helping to manage our server infrastructure. You should possess a fine attention to detail and a high level of accountability and responsibility. We’re looking for someone who enjoys technical challenges, likes to figure out how things work, and stays involved in the latest web and digitial humanities technologies. You will need to fit in with a creative and collaborative group of software engineers to help create the next generation of scholarly interfaces. We particularly encourage applications by women developers and members of other under-represented groups.

Demonstrated ability with one (or more) of the following:

  • Your Github/Bitbucket/other repository
  • Your Open Source Work
  • Your awesome blog
  • Code samples from side projects
  • Your production website (handling real traffic)
  • Ability to work with technical and non-technical collaborators

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Build, test, and debug open source software
  • Estimate effort for software projects
  • Brainstorm and prototype new concepts and approaches into real things
  • Server and service deployments, server and database installations and configuration management
  • Ability to draft and communicate design concepts
  • Writing and updating internal documentation of systems and processes
  • Knowledge of systems and network security issues and trends
  • Maintain distinct environments such as development, staging, and production


  • Experience with configuration management systems and concepts (e.g. puppet, chef, Ansible, cfengine)
  • Experience building web applications
  • Knowledge (or ability to learn) our technology stack, which includes:
    • Ruby/Ruby on Rails/Sinatra
    • PHP/Omeka
    • MySQL/PostgreSQL/PostGIS
    • JavaScript/CoffeeScript (Backbone, Ember, jQuery)
    • Testing frameworks (PHPUnit, RSpec, Cucumber, Jasmine)
    • git
    • Cocoon
    • JSP
    • Capistrano/Vagrant
  • Passion for growing your skills, tackling interesting work and challenging problems
  • Ability to design and write well-structured, maintainable, well-documented code that balances beauty and pragmatism
  • Strong communication skills
  • Experience in the digital humanities is a plus

To Apply

For full details, and to apply for this position, see the official posting (posting number 0613484 if you search Jobs@UVa). The University of Virginia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, strongly committed to achieving excellence though cultural diversity. The University actively encourages applications and nominations from members of underrepresented groups.

Cite this post: Wayne Graham. “Are you our new Digital Humanities Developer?”. Published January 06, 2014. Accessed on .