My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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Seeking: Boston-based developer for prototyping work with moi

Back in the day, I used to build interactive visualizations and other tools to mark up and analyze data. My research agenda is leading me back there and so Microsoft Research has kindly agreed to give me the resources to try out working with a developer.

Thus, this is a call for a Boston-based developer interested in working as a contractor on a full-time basis. This is not a permanent gig, but there’s budget for at least the next three months. This position is being contracted through Talent Source and you would be officially reporting to someone who is more code-minded. You would be working in Kendall Square amidst a bunch of lovable researchers who speak in mathematical equations, physics models, and social science mumbo jumbo. Start date is effectively now.

The ideal candidate would be fluent in C# and Java, comfortable working with SQL servers, and have a penchant for learning new web technologies for fun. There’s a decent chance this project will involve a combination of Python, Processing, Rails, AJAX, etc. or whatever tool makes the most sense for the situation. This will also involve learning various APIs (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and toolkits (e.g., Guess, Prefuse).

The ideal candidate would love prototyping off of half-baked drawings scribbled on napkins in crayon. This is not going to be a good gig for someone who needs a proper spec or development process. The “products” are going to be research probes and will need to evolve with use. The end-goal is far more prototype than stable product and the goal will be to iterate quickly at the expense of stability.

The ideal candidate would be self-motivated and patient with an eclectic work environment. The work environment is a research lab and my management style is quite flexible (a.k.a. virtually non-existent). This is not going to work for someone who functions best through heavy management or direct intervention. Flexibility and patience are pretty critical and I expect a bunch of eye-rolling when I make crazy suggestions.

The ideal candidate would enjoy thinking about how to interact with data and coming up with new adhoc ways of scraping, aggregating, sorting, manipulating, analyzing, visualizing and interacting with online social data. Someone who loves social data and would enjoy understanding the patterns in large data would find this gig especially fun. The ideal candidate might even have a personal interest in research themselves.

If you are interested in this position, please reach out to the Talent Source Program Office via email at TSPHelp@microsoft.com and/or call 1-877-673-8877 and reference the Job ID 7819-1. Talent Source will connect you with an approved temp agency right away.

Feel free to pass this on to anyone who you think might be into this gig, especially folks who you think might gel well with my quirkiness.

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7 comments to Seeking: Boston-based developer for prototyping work with moi

  • Alas, C# is not a language I’ve invested any time in learning, though the rest sounds like a blast.

  • DC

    I don’t know if you’ve looked into it, but a lot of the Adobe products are geared toward exactly what you describe (e.g. Flex). Doing a prototype in Java takes about 20 times as long as doing the same prototype in Flex, though the Flex prototype won’t be able to do as much. Anyway, I don’t know the specifics of what you’re working on (and this suggestion may actually be completely stupid!), but I just thought I’d throw that out there.

  • Wow, what a great opportunity!
    I’ve trying to find something exactly like this for quite a while now.
    I’ve had experience developing visualizations in Java and C# but unfortunately, very few of those exists here where I live.

  • Curses, this sounds supremely interesting (and a good match for my skills if I may say so myself, especially the eye-rolling part). I don’t have a green card though, and a H-1B isn’t the cards according to the recruiter I spoke to.

    Hope you get someone great :-)

  • Curses, this sounds supremely interesting (and a good match for my skills if I may say so myself, especially the eye-rolling part). I don’t have a green card though, and a H-1B isn’t the cards according to the recruiter I spoke to.

    Hope you get someone great :-)

  • This sounds like a lot of things I have done in the past, and you’re one of the social researchers I most respect – but alas I live in Los Angeles and cannot move currently.

  • We should talk! I’m at Berkman working with SBW and some friends of mine are starting to do research along these lines.

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