Community Support Engineer
If you’re interested in this role but are worried you don’t meet all the qualifications, let’s talk.
Zotero is an open-source project that develops software and web services to help people collect, organize, cite, and share their research. Our software is recommended by most universities and used by millions of students, scholars, scientists, and researchers worldwide.
People rely on Zotero for critical, time-sensitive projects, and we work hard to make sure that their experience is as smooth as possible, including getting fast, expert help if they need it. Zotero support works a bit differently from most places, and we’re incredibly proud of it. We don’t have customer service representatives — instead, Zotero developers work directly with users in the Zotero Forums to troubleshoot problems, fix bugs, and figure out ways to improve both Zotero and the support experience going forward.
We’re looking for an outgoing, empathetic software engineer to take the lead on helping people use Zotero. You’ll work with users every day in the forums, answering questions, debugging technical problems, discussing feature requests, identifying common sources of confusion or frustration, and generally learning how people are using the software so you can be an advocate for them within the team. You’ll build tools to make troubleshooting easier or to better convey important information. You’ll write documentation and in-app text to guide users through complex issues. You’ll identify bugs or usability problems and either dive into the code to fix them yourself or collaborate with other developers to do so. Most importantly, you’ll participate in a vibrant global open-source community with amazing community developers and passionate users, working on a product you can feel proud of that’s making a difference in people’s lives.
We’re an international, remote-only team. In happier times, we meet up occasionally around the world (falafel is often involved), but you’ll primarily be working remotely, communicating with Zotero users via the forums and Zotero developers via chat rooms and GitHub. We have a highly collaborative but often-asynchronous workflow, and you’ll be fully in control of your own schedule.
What We’re Looking For
- A desire to talk to people every day and help them fix problems — helping people use technology more effectively should be something that brings you joy
- Strong English writing skills — nearly everything you do will be in writing, so you should be a clear, careful, and elegant writer
- Ability to debug problems in complex systems with many moving parts
- Comfort on a Unix command line
- A solid understanding of internet technologies (protocols, standards, data formats, etc.)
- Ability to quickly absorb complicated technical information
- An obsession with creative optimization of inefficient processes
- Strong attention to privacy issues — Zotero is designed to put users in control of their own data, and we factor that into every decision we make
- Experience building and supporting user-facing software or web apps
- A love of free and open-source software
- Experience with academia and/or research (and/or Zotero!)
This is a full-time position, but we may be open to a part-time role for the right person.
This role is open to applicants worldwide and doesn’t require a fixed schedule, but you should regularly be available during U.S. daytime hours, when Zotero Forums traffic is at its highest.
Interested? Email us at email@example.com with the subject line “Zotero Support Engineer”, let us know why you’re interested in working with us and why you think you’d be a good fit for this role, and include your résumé.