Digital Humanities Lead Developer

Stanford University

Digital Humanities Lead Developer

Job Number:

Software Developer 2 The Stanford Literary Lab is a research group that specializes in the computational and quantitative analysis of textual materials, particularly literature. Housed in the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), the Literary Lab maintains a roster of internal research projects, as well as a set of collaborations, both within Stanford and with other research centers and scholars outside of the University, both nationally and internationally. The Lab's work involves text mining, natural language processing tasks, statistical modeling and visualization design. For more information on the Literary Lab, please see:

JOB PURPOSE: Execute all programming tasks, including programming, analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, modifying, and maintaining computer programs. Work on systems of moderate size and complexity or segments of larger systems.

This is a two-year fixed term position at 80% time. The Literary Lab seeks to hire a lead developer who will provide close computational and analytical support to current and future researchers at the lab. The lead developer will work closely with lab members, both faculty and students, to create new analytical workflows on a project by project basis and to develop and implement code that supports the core research work of the lab. One of the developer's primary responsibilities will be maintaining the Lab's textual corpus repository, including maintaining and extending an interface and/or API to provide access to this material. Additional duties include serving as the lead programmer on lab projects, writing code for feature identification and extraction, designing new visualizations for research outcomes, and attending project and lab meetings on a regular basis. As the demands of individual projects at the lab are unique, the lead developer will be responsible for designing ad hoc computational solutions on a case by case basis, as well as developing multi-use programs that are accessible to researchers in the humanities. The lead developer will coordinate their efforts with the wider digital humanities community at Stanford, including CESTA's other labs and projects.

We expect and desire that the lead developer will dedicate a portion of their time designing and implementing their own research projects, in keeping with the research goals and mission of the Literary Lab and in close consultation with lab directors. As a member of the Literary Lab and in accordance with our research practices, the lead developer we seek to hire will also be credited on lab publications for projects that they support.

  • Conceptualize, design, implement, and develop solutions for complex system/programs independently.
  • Work with a variety of users to gain information, and develop intra-system tradeoffs between different users, as necessary.
  • Document system builds and application configurations; maintain and update documentation as needed.
  • Provide technical analysis, design, development, conversion, and implementation work.
  • Work as a project leader, as needed, for projects of moderate complexity.
  • Serve as a technical resource for applications.
  • Compare, evaluate, and implement new features and technologies, and integrate them into the computing environment.
  • Follow team software development methodology.
  • Mentor Lab-affiliated students and staff through the process of acquiring specific technical skills.
* - Other duties may also be assigned; not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: Education & Experience:

Bachelor's degree in a relevant field (humanities or sciences) and five years of relevant experience, or a combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Expertise in designing, developing, testing, and deploying applications.
  • Proficiency with application design and data modeling.
  • Ability to define and solve logical problems for highly technical applications.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills in both technical and non-technical contexts.
  • Ability to lead activities on structured team development projects.
  • Ability to select, adapt, and effectively use a variety of programming methods.
  • Knowledge of application domain.
Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in collaborative or team-based work.
  • Demonstrated experience with high level scripting and/or programming languages or software environments and their associated frameworks (e.g. Python, R, Ruby/Rails, PHP, or Java).
  • Demonstrated experience with text mining software, including Mallet, the Stanford Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK), and LIWC.
  • Demonstrated experience with networking software (e.g. Gephi, Tulip, igraph, Neo4j).
  • Demonstrated experience in data organizational framework including relational database design (SQL, MongoDb, etc).
  • Some graduate (Masters) level or equivalent research work in a humanities or social sciences context.
  • Significant experience (3+ years) with digital humanities research projects, particularly collaborative work.
  • Background in digital archive or collection management with a strong focus on API design.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of web-based markup (XML, XSML, TEI) or web design (HTML, CSS).
  • Demonstrated experience with statistical, web-based or otherwise dynamic visualization software (D3, JavaScript, ggplot, Tableau).
  • An active digital humanities research agenda.
  • A commitment to increasing diversity in the digital humanities through research, community-building, and mentorship.
  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently sit, grasp lightly/fine manipulation.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, writing by hand.
  • Rarely use a telephone, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds
* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

  • May work extended hours, evening and weekends.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,
ABOUT STANFORD UNIVERSITY Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, is one of the world's leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world.

Supporting that mission is a staff of more than 10,000, which is rooted in a culture of excellence and values innovation, collaboration, and life-long learning. To foster the talents and aspirations of our staff, Stanford offers career development programs, competitive pay that reflects market trends and benefits that increase financial stability and promote healthy, fulfilling lives. An award-winning employer, Stanford offers an exceptional setting for professionals looking to advance their careers.

Stanford University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer, committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce. We encourage applications from women, members of minority groups, veterans, persons with disabilities, and others who would bring additional dimensions to the university's research and teaching mission.

Job: Information Technology Services

Location: Dean of Research
Schedule: Part-time
Classification Level:

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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