Working in Information Technology at ICI
University Title: IT Professional 3/Application and Software Developer | University Job ID: 352006
Short Description: We are adding an additional back-end developer to our team who will primarily perform back-end web development work. The successful candidate will spend significant time working with the Check&Connect App . Currently, the tech used to run the app is Python/Django/Postgres, but by the time you get here, we will likely have moved it to MySQL.
University Title: IT Professional 3-App/Software Developer (Web User-Interface Engineer) | University Job ID: 352311
Short Description: We are adding an additional front-end developer to our team to help us meet the demands of an increasing project portfolio. We will rely on your expertise to help us create fantastic user experiences for websites, web publications, learning modules, web applications, and data entry and reporting systems. Ensuring that all of your work is accessible and friendly to all will be a key component of your work.
What it is like to work in Information Technology at ICI
With funding of over 30 million dollars and a portfolio of more than 45 active projects, ICI is a busy place. Our mission is to improve policies and practices for children, youth, and adults with disabilities and those receiving educational supports, so they are valued by and contribute to their communities of choice.
In IT, our work mainly centers on dissemination, technical assistance, and entrepreneurial projects. Growth in our entrepreneurial projects is why we can add new positions to our team.
We encourage you to learn more about ICI if you are interested in working with us.
Why would you want to work at ICI?
- Your work will be meaningful and makes a difference
- You are encouraged to innovate and be creative
- Your areas of expertise are respected and valued
- You will have a hybrid work environment with flexibility
What kind of work do we do at ICI? What kind of work will you be doing?
If you come to work with us, you will work as a front-end or back-end developer.
Over the past 5-7 years, our development efforts have focused on creating a web framework that meets several needs for us and our content partners. The goals of our work have been to:
- Standardize the look and feel of our websites and web publications while still allowing for some customization
- Build a digital publication system that is accessible so that we can reduce our dependence on PDFs. We could not find one that already existed, so we created one. Our criteria are that it must meet current WCAG standards and be friendly and usable for everyone. If you have worked with digital accessibility, you quickly know there can be a divide between accessible and usable.
- The framework allows us to respond quickly to requests to develop new websites and web publications. It has allowed us to keep our team lean while still responding to a large volume of requests. It also puts content editing in the hands of our content partners while also managing much of the accessibility for them.
If you work with us, you are likely to contribute to the framework in some way as we continue to develop and enhance it to meet the needs of ICI. We are all about improving and extending the systems we already have and are excited to hear any new ideas you will bring to the table. Check out two of our flagship publications that demonstrate some of what the framework can do:
You will also be a key contributor to our entrepreneurial work. If you are hired as a back-end developer, much of your time will be spent working with our Check & Connect program. We have recently inherited the Check & Connect app from another organization. Our team will be responsible for maintenance and future updates of the application. In addition, we provide tier 2 and tier 3 technical support for more complex technical problems encountered by users. Technical support happens during standard business hours, Monday-Friday. Internal staff members initiate requests for support. We do not directly interact with customers of the app.
Another exciting project underway is to build an extendable system to input and report data to help organizations that employ direct support professionals better understand their workforce challenges. It will also help organizations track their progress in improving their workforce challenges. The data input system is ready for use by two funded projects, and we will soon begin work on the reporting features. When the system is fully developed, it will include a suite of tools that assists organizations in implementing best practices for managing their workforce. The work on this project is particularly exciting because we are in the early stages, so there is a lot of opportunity for you to contribute your best ideas and solutions.
Who is on the team, and how do we work together?
Currently, our team comprises one director, three developers, and one academic technologist. We are always interested in improving what we do and value input and suggestions that will make our work better. We are eager to welcome you and the ideas you bring to our team!
Members of our team are respected for the expertise each of us brings to the team. That expertise drives our development, and you are entrusted to use best practices and make good decisions for ICI. Our most recent major initiatives, such as the framework, began because our team members saw a need and worked to meet it. It changed the way we do work online at ICI. We are encouraged to innovate by ICI leadership, and our contributions are valued and respected.
Accessibility drives everything we do. If you don’t already know a lot about digital accessibility, you will if you choose to work at ICI. It’s okay if you don’t know a lot, to begin with, but you do have to bring a willingness to learn and to implement accessibility into your work. Making our products accessible directly means more people of all kinds of abilities can experience the awesome work of the institute!
Where do we work?
ICI is located at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain (MIDB) at 2025 East River Parkway. It is accessible by shuttle from the UMN campus, but no public transportation exists. Parking is plentiful, and there are paid options and free on-street parking. There are covered spaces to lock your bike if you like to ride.
MIDB offers many amenities, including abundant natural spaces. We have large kitchens that are well-supplied. Coffee is important at MIDB, and there are many ways to make it! MIDB offers numerous spots to work privately or collaborate with colleagues.
The university is a hybrid work environment. We would like you to work approximately three days a week in the office, at least for the first six months. For any institute-wide meetings, you are expected to attend in person. You have the freedom to schedule your work hours for the times that work best for you though you must balance that with the needs of your position. When collaborating with others, you would likely need to make sure you are available during standard working hours, Monday-Friday. Members of our team work a variety of schedules.
We are an open office environment. You will have a cube in the office area where the rest of the IT team works. It is adjacent to the communications team and entrepreneurial programs.
What would your first few months be like?
Before you arrive, we will order a computer, monitor, and peripherals for you. You can choose a Mac or a PC, whichever is your preference. Most, but not all, of the team uses Macs.
When you arrive, we will begin to get you set up with some of the tools you need to do your work. Some of the tools we love on our team: are Slack, Wrike, Docker, Zoom, and GitHub. Your choice of development tool is up to you. Our team mostly uses Visual Studio Code. We will also introduce you to colleagues throughout ICI and make sure you become well acquainted with our partners with whom you will work closely.
Once the basics are out of the way, most of your time will be focused on becoming acclimated to how we do web development at ICI. We use recognized best practices and well-documented tools. We will pair you with another developer, and they will walk you through our systems and talk with you in detail about the current work we are engaged in. You will have time to experiment independently, but someone will always be nearby to answer questions in person or via Slack or Zoom.
As you become more acclimated, you will begin to take on more independent work. Currently, our front-end and back-end developers work closely together. Adding a new back-end developer and a front-end developer makes exciting new collaboration options possible!