Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Hiring, part II

I wrote this post in 2005, more than 18 years ago. It may be very out of date, partially or totally incorrect. I may even no longer agree with this, or might approach things differently if I wrote this post today. I rarely edit posts after writing them, but if I have there'll be a note at the bottom about what I changed and why. If something in this post is actively harmful or dangerous please get in touch and I'll fix it.

Want to work for the most innovative news organization in the country, if not the world? Want to join a team of the best and brightest online media developers? Want to get paid to create award-winning web sites?

Well, have I got the job for you: World Online is looking for a kick-ass front-end web developer.


This position has been filled; thanks to everyone who applied. We’re still hiring a back-end web programmer, though.

About the job

Unofficially, the job description is “build cool shit.” Our goals are nothing short of being the coolest and most innovative web team in the world. We’re the people the newsroom comes to when they need to implement special features and new sites, and your responsibilities will include:

  • Implementing advanced designs (yours or someone else’s) in clean, valid, semantically correct HTML and CSS.
  • Developing dynamic templates (in the Django template language) for CMS driven sites.
  • Planing and implementing user interface behavior in Javascript using unobtrusive DOM scripting and AJAX.
  • Managing site architecture and assets (templates, media, etc.) for CMS-driven sites.
  • Interacting with commercial clients and the rest of the team on feature requests, bug reports, and new projects.

Our team is very small so we all pitch in where needed. “Not my job” is an unknown mentality here.

About you

We’re looking for an experienced web developer who falls somewhere in the middle of the continuum between programmer and designer. We don’t need a Michelango, but you should have a good aesthetic sense and be capable of making informed design decisions. You should have lots of experience with Javascript, and you should know the difference between bad, intrusive scripting techniques and proper unobtrusive DOM scripting. Above all, you should be passionate about web standards and best practices and your past work should reflect this passion.

The ideal candidate will have proven experience developing templates for database-driven sites, a basic understanding of back-end scripting languages (e.g. Python, Ruby, PHP), and a general understanding of the architecture of database-driven sites.

Strong preference will be given to candidates with experience with Django and a history of participation in the Django community. However, we’re much more interested in intangibles like passion and a proven ability to learn new tricks, so we’ll happily train the right person.

About the company

World Online is the online division of the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper in Lawrence, KS. We’re widely known as one of the most innovated new media operations in the news industry. Our sites — lawrence.com (music), ljworld.com (news), and kusports.com (sports) — win massive numbers of awards.

We take great pleasure in overkill. We don’t just cover little-league baseball games with a story or two in the Sunday paper; we treat T-ball like it’s the World Series. We devote an entire print publication and Web site to youth sports, complete with cell-phone updates, weblogs and intensive team, league, and field databases.

The company goes to this effort not only because it’s successful (it is) but because they feel a strong commitment to the community. Unlike most other newspapers the company does not demand huge profit margins, but instead demands that we serve our community. The owner is fond of saying that if we take care of Lawrence, Lawrence will take care of us. The company is family-owned, and that family is incredibly kind, will know your name, say hello to you in the halls, and listen very carefully to your opinions.

About the town

Lawrence could be one of the coolest towns in America. If you take every negative stereotype of Kansas and turn them on their heads, you’d get Lawrence. We have an amazing local music scene (which lawrence.com exhaustively covers) and a downtown so vibrant it put a mall out of business. Lawrence’s reputation as a “music town” reaches far and wide, and so we get great national acts that bypass most towns ten times Lawrence’s size.

If you’re used to the insane cost of living in most big cities, Lawrence will blow your mind. You’ll easily be able to afford a brand new apartment, or one within walking distance of downtown, or a turn-of-the-century house. Food’s incredibly cheap, too; the best barbecue dinner of your life is less than ten bucks.

How to apply

Drop an email to [email protected] and tell us why we’ve absolutely got to hire you. Plain-text or HTML resumes only, please.