The following post is from Jason Kitcat, Operations Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

The Open Knowledge Foundation is currently looking to hire more developers! In brief:

  • What: Seeking top-notch Python and Javascript coders (do not have to be both!)
    to work on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s world-changing projects including CKAN and OpenSpending
  • When: We are continuously recruiting, we’ll review applications every three weeks.
  • Where: We’re open to applications from any English-speaking candidates, no matter where they are located (remote-working is possible), but we have a slight preference for people close to our core hubs of London and Berlin.
  • How: Please send an introductory email with CV to
  • Rate: Whilst we are a not-for-profit we recognise the value really good developers can bring to a team and your pay would reflect this.

If you are a really good developer with a keen interest in developing tools and infrastructure related to open knowledge and especially open data as part of a thriving community we’d love to hear from you.

More info

The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit founded in 2004 that builds communities and tools for the creation, sharing and use open knowledge — any information that people can use, reuse and redistribute.

The Foundation is a great place to work. It’s a small team, so there’s opportunity to make a big difference. There’s always lots of stuff going on; interesting people popping in and out all the time; press exposure; quite a broad remit; and open-ended possibilities. In keeping with the spirit of the organisation, you can find out a lot about the different projects using Google.

Between us at the OKF we have skills in JavaScript (jQuery, Backbone, Protovis, Raphael, HTML5 etc) Python, Pylons, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Genshi, Solr, AMQP, cloud server deployments, project management, analysis and design, the semantic web and RDF.

The more of these you have experience with the better. For CKAN, on the Python side knowledge of SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL and Pylons plus REST principles would be perfect. If you’re a javascripter knowledge of jquery and building rich client side apps would be desired. In general we want people who are self-motivated and eager to learn.

About the CKAN project

  • CKAN:
  • Current team members:

CKAN allows users to submit, search and find open data packages. As well as powering CKAN software runs the UK Government’s site and it also powers over 20 other catalogues around the world for example in Norway, Holland and Finland and the list is constantly growing. Providing central places where people can register, find, and download datasets is a key part of building the web of data.

There are often discussions on our mailing lists about new functionality that has been suggested by someone in the community or new features required by a particular government organisation. The tasks are then broken down into tickets on our trac so that the community can see what we are planning. We are all working towards a common goal so to a large extent team members usually choose what they want to work on in a particular week. We also have a team Skype meeting at 9:30 am UTC every Monday to bring everyone up to speed with updates to the project. Those of us that live in similar locations also try to work in the same place as much as possible.

Here are some of the things we are doing this month on CKAN:

  • Building a new revision model and front-end interface to support a moderation model similar to wikipedia
  • Providing facilities for geo-spatial data and the ability to harvest information from INSPIRE metadata records as part of the UK Location Programme, as well as to visualise geo-spatial information on a web-based viewer
  • Designing a new authorization system that is pluggable to allow different organisations to have a different authorisation model
  • Refactoring the internal model to better support the ideas of collections, datasets and distributions to facilitate interoperability between different catalogs
  • Implementing a set of “harvesters” to be able to scrape or import data from other catalogs, as well as between different CKAN instances, as a first step towards being able to support a federated metadata model

To find out more about the software, you can do a developer install of CKAN from source, browse the ckan-discuss and ckan-dev mailing list archives, or try submitting any real data sets you know of to

About the OpenSpending project

  • Open Spending:
  • Open Spending Wiki:
  • Team members:

The work is varied and interesting but here’s a snapshot of the sort of things we are doing this month on OpenSpending:

  • Creating new JavaScript-based data visualizations to display financial breakdowns and flows.
  • Finalizing an OLAP-like cube store API to allow clients to query spending and budgetary data.
  • Improving our loading process both for budgetary and spending data.
  • Integrating spending supplier records from multiple sources into a common database by reconciling department names and company records.
  • Supporting journalists and policy experts in their analysis of financial data.

Project organization and development is similar to CKAN so please read the CKAN section to get a sense of how things are run.

Website | + posts

Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge.