API Software Engineer, Global Forest Watch

Data Analysis & Technical Research Washington, District of Columbia


Program Overview

To stop deforestation, we need to know where it is happening and who is responsible in time to take action. Global Forest Watch (GFW) is the only free online platform providing near-real time information and analysis about when, where and why forests are changing around the world. Our specialized application GFW Pro empowers the private sector to manage their decision making on sourcing and investment decisions to conserve forest landscapes.

Global Forest Watch uses machine learning algorithms and expert analysis to distill satellite imagery, crowdsourced information, and hundreds of open datasets into actionable insights and policy-relevant information about forests worldwide. GFW’s online platform is simple to use, allowing anyone with an internet connection or a mobile phone to access data, create dynamic maps, and produce custom analyses with just a few clicks.

Designed for action, Global Forest Watch enables researchers, government officials, companies, civil society organizations, and concerned citizens anywhere to make better-informed decisions about managing and conserving forests.

Job Summary

We seek an API software engineer to join a dynamic team that’s changing the future of forest and land-use monitoring. You will be working within a matrixed group across both technical and non-technical teams within Global Forest Watch, including product managers, GIS analysts, internal software engineers and external web developers.

Your tasks will include building microservices for the GFW/ ResourceWatch API using Python and NodeJS, automating data processing, and managing saved datasets in our API for display on various GFW websites.

To apply, you should be an intermediate to expert Python or NodeJS developer with experience building APIs with Flask or Express. You should know how to use Swagger to design and document our RESTful API and Docker, Jenkins and Kubernetes to deploy it.

Job Responsibilities

The main areas of responsibility will include the following: 

API Development (80%):
  • Author, update, and debug API microservices
  • Contribute to API design and architecture
  • Write comprehensive unit and end-to-end tests
  • Write documentation for API and other backend processes that meet developer needs and WRI quality standards
  • Diagnose and mitigate performance issues
  • Write code to automate data updates and streamline data management
  • Use GitHub for version control and code review 
User Engagement & Coordination (20%):
  • Serve as the technical point person for GFW API and represent GFW in internal and external meetings
  • Provide technical training for WRI staff and partners as needed
  • Attend occasional conferences to present the API and other technical aspects of GFW 

Job Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Geography or similar
  • Minimum 2 years of relevant full-time work experience
  • Proven experience with Python/ Flask or NodeJS/ Express
  • Experience in microservices/service-oriented applications development
  • Familiarity with AWS, Docker and Linux
  • Ability to quickly learn new technologies, architectures, and best practices
  • Tireless problem-solver; motivated to contribute to solving today’s most pressing environmental and/or international development problems
  • High proficiency in English
How to Apply

The position will be based in Washington, DC. International applications are welcome.

Finalists will need to complete a coding test.

We are committed to ensuring gender equity across our program portfolios. As such, you will support attention to gender where appropriate.

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Candidates should provide links to code samples (1-2 repos) or their portfolio with their application.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 800+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in AfricaBrazilChinaEuropeIndiaIndonesiaMexico and the United States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.  

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.  

The World Resources Institute (http://www.wri.org) is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.