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Front End Developer, Communications

Front End Developer

At the Vera Institute of Justice, our vision is of a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for all. At a propitious moment for justice reform, we are standing up and driving change on a variety of fronts—ending cash bail, ending mass incarceration, vastly improving life behind bars, ensuring that immigrants get due process, and centering all this work in racial equity. Convincing people to change the way they think and act in order to serve justice is in our DNA. We leverage our access and influence with government partners and work collaboratively with community stakeholders to transform the systems we rely on for safety and justice. If you want to learn more about life at Vera click here. Are you interested in helping a super-dedicated and productive team use best-in-class communications strategies and tactics to drive change in the justice system?

If so, read on.

Over the past five years, with 2.3 million people behind bars—we’ve reached a tipping point, and justice reform has become mainstream. It’s on the front pages, it’s bipartisan, it’s got new funders, it’s attracting cultural attention. Vera has been on the cutting edge of this change. Long known for our research and technical assistance, communications has more recently become one of the core pillars of how we do our work. We embed communications in our program and project work from the start. Our efforts have paid off—with an award-winning rebranding and website overhaul, significant media attention, dramatic growth in digital engagement, and new partnerships.

We need to leverage the increased attention to justice and to Vera’s work in particular by deploying communications and digital strategies to elevate our issues and our brand. We are seeking a Front End Developer to join our diverse and growing team to use web design to help Vera tell our story, turning design into interactive and engaging digital experiences.

Candidates must be excellent and creative developers, with a diverse portfolio, strong knowledge of web development, code syntax and architecture, excellent communication skills, strong visual instincts, and excellent communication skills.

The ability to work on multiple projects and prioritize competing deadlines while maintaining meticulous attention to detail is a key responsibility in this role.

The Front End Developer will report to the Digital Engagement Director in Communications, collaborate closely with the Web Engagement Director, and join a communications team of content creators (editorial, design, blog, website), media and messaging, digital, and public affairs strategists.

What You’ll Do

The Front End Developer will work in close collaboration with members of the digital team—Digital Engagement Director, Web Engagement Director, Content Editor, Community Managers, and Designer—to create digital web products that inspire, inform, and engage Vera’s audience.

The Front End Developer will:

  • Work closely with the Web Engagement Director, who oversees Vera’s web properties and strategy, to create web products that elevate Vera’s key campaigns, initiatives, and brand.
  • Write semantic, responsive HTML5/CSS/Javascript.
  • Develop website components, modules, and templates on Craft CMS.
  • Implement an array of APIs, CRMs, and third-party tools.
  • Conduct cross-browser and cross-device testing.
  • Work closely with Digital Designer to develop and deliver engaging web products.
  • Manage modifications, updates, and improvements on previous projects.
  • Work in concert with an external agency on complex and large scale web development projects, as needed.
  • Work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • Maintain awareness of industry best practices and trends in content and marketing (user experience in particular).

What We Need in You

  • Passion. A demonstrated commitment to social justice.
  • A proven track record. Experience developing web products and projects in a professional setting.
  • Project management. Demonstrated experience managing and delivering digital web projects from conception to implementation. You are detail-oriented but can see the big picture. You have keen time management and multitasking skills, including the ability to take initiative, prioritize tasks and duties, pay close attention to detail, and work independently while meeting specific deadlines.
  • Expertise. Exceptional visual design skills. The ability to take beautiful design and turn it into into accessible, persuasive, and elegant solutions.
  • A deep commitment to racial equity. In a system built on racism and inequity, we are working to ensure equity both in our workplace and in the world. You incorporate this value and share it with others.
  • A collaborator, rigorous thinker, and problem-solver. Collaboration is a Vera value. We thrive when we learn and build on each other’s ideas. We’re open to giving and receiving feedback—both in our team and across the institution.
  • Emotional intelligence. You demonstrate strong social and emotional awareness with your team and external partners. You’re open to opportunities to learn and grow. You exercise good judgment and don’t allow urgency to trump relationships.

Additional Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree preferred.
  • At least two years of experience in web development.
  • Experience with Craft front-end development
  • Experience with JavaScript (jQuery), HTML5, CSS3
  • Experience with responsive development and vector graphics (SVG)
  • Strong working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite (mostly Photoshop and Illustrator)
  • Strong understanding of modern web design principles, user experience, information architecture, and social media
  • Ability to operate under pressure and within short deadlines. 


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