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Rails React Web App Programmer

We are developing several new applications in Rails and React. These projects are in various states of development, from ‘proof-of-concept’ to ‘ready-to-deploy.’ The work also includes leveraging new technologies such as AI and machine learning as service type technologies for custom application implementation. Our work is joined by a common thread of being human-centric and intended to serve our clients with solutions rooted in ethical principles.

Our teams include back-end and front-end developers, UX designers, graphic designers, product managers, QA technicians, and project managers. We work closely and collaboratively and meet regularly with the clients. Our teams are distributed around the world and meet via video conference.

Who We’re Looking For

CoLab coworkers bring a wide range of talent and perspectives to our collaboration. We’re looking for people who try to meet complexity with simplicity and can communicate about it with their peers. As a co-op, we embrace both autonomy and mutual aid. You’ll have clear responsibilities in your role, as well as opportunities to contribute in other areas. We have no criteria around particular background or credentials; we care about your proposals, what you produce, and your growth and happiness with our team. Does CoLab sound like a place for you? Read on.

What you'll need
  • 5+ years working with Rails, in a service-oriented architecture environment, both classic rails and api only projects
  • 3+ years experience managing production code with version control and project management tools
  • Strong knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, CSS
  • Solid understanding of object-oriented programming
  • Identify bottlenecks and bugs, and devise solutions to those
  • Experience successfully taking design handoffs from UI/UX concept to production application launch.
  • Experience working in Agile Development Methodologies and frameworks such as Scrum
  • Maintain code quality, organization, and automatization
  • Deliver quality, professional work on a daily basis as a matter of principle.
  • Work with distributed teams using online collaboration tools like Slack and Zoom.
  • Support project ‘retrospectives’ with insightful feedback.
  • Support reviews of peers and help to optimize processes.
  • Desire to actively engage in constructive code and design reviews with peers and partners.
The Kinds of Problems You’ll Work on Include:
  • API design structures
  • Unit and functional testing challenges
  • Creating engaging and responsive interfaces
  • Building intuitive data-driven interactions
  • Developing efficient and reusable front-end components
  • Making data more accessible using natural language technologies
  • Analyzing and improving application usability
Human Qualities
  • A commitment to doing impactful work that benefits the common good.
  • A love for simple, elegant solutions.
  • Clear communication when setting and managing expectations.
  • Commitment to meeting expectations to the best of your ability.
  • Show care for yourself, your peers, the planet.
  • A flexible mindset when considering how best to work and collaborate together.
  • Open to contributing and receiving growth-oriented feedback.
  • Empathetic, service-minded, when working directly with clients and peers.
  • Ability to communicate in a clear and sensitive manner.
Bonus Points
  • 2+ years of experience working with React.
  • Experience with other custom application frameworks like Django and/or Node.js.
  • Experience building client and peer trust and goodwill in an agency role.
  • Ability to spot problems before they happen and suggest solutions.
  • Experience with technical estimation and roadmap planning.
  • Experience with Typescript and component-based development
  • Experience with bash scripting and basic Linux server administration.
  • Experience with automated user interface testing frameworks.
  • Experience with continuous integration and deployments.
Like Design?
  • Evaluate features through a human-centric lens.
  • Demonstrate good design principles so that app development work has rhythm, balance, and ease of use.
  • Ability to apply quantitative reasoning and UX design principles to building applications.
  • Demonstrated sense for web design and UX fundamentals, including usability and accessibility best practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to make practical design/implementation tradeoff decisions when choosing how to implement feature requests.
About CoLab

CoLab is an international, worker-owned tech collective that builds custom apps and websites for a better world. Our co-op was founded in 2010 to co-create simple, purpose-driven solutions to global problems. We are committed to our clients for the long haul, and we bring our entire team to every engagement. We run a very open, flat, and collaborative organization, and invest in one another as friends and coworkers. Our co-op has a path to becoming a member-ownership, which we hope you’ll consider.

  • A path to member-ownership for every worker at CoLab.coop.
  • A commitment to work at the intersection of technology and social and environmental justice.
  • Welcoming of a diversity of perspectives and experiences. Stronger together.
  • Be curious. Listen deeply. Reflect, learn, and grow together.
  • Value generosity and transparency.
  • Values a familial environment, where our core strength lies not in smarts, but in our togetherness.
  • See business relationships, and specifically co-operative economics, as a central pillar of efforts to better our communities.
  • Recognize that we are humans before we are of any particular gender, race, class, or religion.
  • Understand that our work is collaborative, from the ground up. We support worker agency, listening with empathy, speaking with balance, and cultivating unity.
  • Each is equitably valued for their contributions, regardless of their appearance, identity, or beliefs.
  • See that working in collaboration with peers as a duo is an inherent strength in most situations.

We are open to receiving applications from wherever you are based including to applicants living outside of the U.S. We prioritize hiring within locales where our current work community resides when possible to allow for in real life meetup opportunities.

Our working hours are mainly +/- 6 hours Eastern time zone. We currently have teammates and clients from California to New York to the EU to the Asia Pacific region.


Hourly, commensurate with experience

Time Commitment

Flexible project based work. Contractor agreement determined by skills, capacity, availability and project fit. Opportunity to grow to full employment and member ownership.

Key Dates

Applications are due by January 15, 2020. Anticipated start timing is immediate.


Please email jobs@colab.coop with the subject line “Web App Programmer.”


Please be prepared to share the following:
  • A brief, 2-3 paragraph cover letter about your background, interest in co-operatives and what you hope to bring to this work
  • A resume or CV and portfolio or professional links
  • Availability to start and other considerations
  • 2 questions you have for us
  • 2-3 work references

We look forward to talking with you!