Finding opportunities where you can apply your technology skills to public problems—in governments or nonprofits—is difficult. The field of “Public Interest Technology” is in its infancy. And our slice of public interest tech—what we call “policy technologists,” or individuals who have technical expertise, and apply that to policy challenges—is even smaller. You can count the current number of these policy technologists, who work with everything from autonomous vehicle regulations to investigating data breaches, on four, maybe five hands.
This deficiency is the reason TechCongress exists. Megan Smith did great work bringing technologists into the policymaking process during the Obama Administration. It was one of her top three priorities in the White House, and by the end of her tenure technologists were required to be present during every major policy deliberation. We want TechCongress be the force replicating this model across Congress and all policymaking bodies, from Congressional Committees to City Councils.
Where do you start if you’re a technologist looking to work on public problems? Below are some good places. And if we’ve missed a job board, or a group, or a fellowship, drop us a line and we’ll update the list.
ILP Foundry: Tech policy jobs.
The Bridge: Policy and technical jobs, with a focus on bridging government and tech.
Code for America: Focus on jobs in Public Interest Technology.
Fast Forward Nonprofit Jobs: Technology jobs at tech nonprofits.
Lincoln Initiative: Community of libertarian professionals working in technology.
Other Fellowship Opportunities
New America’s Public Interest Technology Fellowship: One-year fellowship for technologists to build tech with nonprofit or public interest groups.
Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellowship: 10-month fellowship for policy technologists to build tools for an open internet.
Code for America Fellowship: One-year fellowship embedding programmers, designers, and engineers with local governments.
Ford Foundation Technology Fellows: Two-year fellowship embedded with program teams at the Ford Foundation in New York.
Coding it Forward: Summer internships aimed at undergraduates for programmers, designers, and engineers in federal agencies.