Technical People Lead


Washington, DC or Remote based in USA EST

Development Seed is seeking an engineering and technical savvy Technical People Lead to grow and nurture a highly-talented, passionate, and diverse technical team and to put that team in a position to do the best and most meaningful work. You will play a vital role in building a team and culture that delivers impactful data products. You will lead hiring, learning and growth, and community engagement for technical team members. You will deeply understand the needs of our engineers and designers, strengthen relationships with open science communities, and nurture Development Seed’s talent. You will help to shape and evolve our engineering-led culture.

We believe in the power of data to enable decision-makers to solve the world’s toughest problems. We help NASA manage planetary scale satellite data, work with the World Bank to expand electricity access and renewable energy, and built Washington Post’s live election maps seen by millions. At our core, Development Seed is an impact-driven organization, working to make positive social and environmental change by providing decision-makers with the information they need to make smart, well-informed decisions. We embrace diversity as a strength and believe that teams with a variety of perspectives and backgrounds deliver rich and humane data products.

Development Seed is a unique and rewarding place to do this work. We hire curious, empathetic people with high intrinsic motivation and a growth mindset. As a low-turnover team, we invest in team members for the long haul. The speed of innovation requires a culture of continuous growth, sharing, and improvement. We invest heavily in R&D that drives the field and regularly reinvent the nature of our work. Most team members work with technologies that didn’t exist a few years ago. We actively contribute to the sector. We support fellow developers and designers through our open source work, by sharing knowledge and project examples, and by advocating for data-driven decision-making. We are fortunate that our contributions in the sector generate relationships with excellent candidates.

As a Technical People Lead, you will:

  • Cultivate, sustain, and, most importantly, nurture a high talent team using your engineering and technical savvy.
  • Build coaching and advocacy structures for our engineers, data analysts, and designers.
  • Develop a pipeline of excellent candidates through DevSeed open source work and broader engagement in engineer and design communities.
  • Report directly to the CEO.

About You

You are an owner, a shipper, and a listener. You bring an owner mentality to the work that you do and you care deeply about your work and your teammates. You have a bias toward action and you put those around you in a position to accomplish more. You are curious and empathetic; you recognize the validity of lived experience and acknowledge that no one has a monopoly on the right answer.

You’re the perfect motivator, un-blocker, the glue between Biz and Tech. You are passionate about self/others’ development and moving organizations forward.

You have experience building and growing teams. You can assess what skills a team needs and interview, assess, and onboard new team members.

You are a natural coach and are passionate about helping others fulfill their potential. You give clear, actionable feedback and you model good reception of feedback. You communicate clearly and concisely. You love problem solving. You recognize your own limits to scale. You write documentation and build structures and skills for peer coaching and feedback.

To be successful in this role you need to understand the work of technical teams. You have either done technical work yourself or you’ve worked directly tech-adjacent (scrum master/agile coach, developer advocate, software developer, architect, technical evangelist, consultant, technical educator, community manager, product manager, engineering lead). You need a familiarity with how technical work is done, where friction and pain points tend to arise, and paths for growth. You will need to understand our sector and our technical work well enough to speak with clarity in our communities and to help us identify the talent that we will need into the future.

Bonus points for:

  • Participation in open source software or other open knowledge communities
  • Experience engaging with developer communities on social platforms.

As a Development Seed team member, you:

  • Collaborate — Working as a team makes us stronger than any individual developer. You write clear Github tickets and communicate effectively on Slack and in-person.
  • Learn — We constantly evolve our technology stack and techniques to deliver the best work to our partners. You don’t need to know any particular language or framework upfront but you need to demonstrate you’re able and excited to learn new ways to build.
  • Care about the world and believe that we can do better — Social change is the foundation of everything we do. You are impatient about solving the world’s toughest challenges.

Not sure you tick all the boxes? We encourage you to apply. We have a culture of learning, and if this job description sounds exciting, we’d love to hear from you.

Development Seed embraces diversity and equal opportunity in a serious way. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.

Apply now

Take DevSeed to the next level of global impact.