Jobs at Zotero

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.

Zotero and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media are committed to providing equal employment opportunity and a work environment free from any discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, pregnancy status, or genetic information.

Backend Developer

The Zotero team is looking for a remote, full-time, contract developer to work primarily on Zotero’s server-side architecture.

Some things you’ll do:

  • Extend the public web API that powers the Zotero ecosystem
  • Build backend services to enable new user-facing features
  • Help manage an extensive AWS infrastructure
  • Streamline configuration management and service deployment
  • Improve logging, instrumentation, graphing, and monitoring
  • Find creative ways to shave milliseconds off requests
  • Build tools to efficiently process and analyze terabytes of data
  • Brainstorm new ways to help people manage their research more effectively

As part of a small team, you’ll have responsibility over core components of the project and the freedom to experiment and contribute across the stack, including to the desktop client. Most importantly, you’ll participate in a vibrant global open-source community with amazing community developers and passionate users.

The core development team meets up occasionally in person, but you’ll primarily be working remotely, communicating with Zotero developers and users via chat rooms, forums, mailing lists, and GitHub. We have a highly collaborative but asynchronous workflow, and you’ll be in control of your own schedule. Our hours are flexible and variable: we might be debating a new feature at 1 p.m. or deploying a major upgrade at 1 a.m.

You should have:

  • Experience with multiple server-side languages (we’ve used JavaScript/Node.js, Python, and Go for recent projects, and we have some legacy PHP code)
  • Experience with open-source infrastructure software (we use MySQL, Memcached, Redis, Elasticsearch, HAProxy, Postfix, daemontools, Docker, Ansible, Nagios, and others)
  • Experience managing Linux systems
  • Experience with Amazon Web Services
  • Strong attention to privacy and security issues
  • A love of free and open-source software
  • Strong communication skills — we discuss and debate nearly everything we do, so it’s critical that you can (and want to!) take part in that

Bonus Points

  • Previous remote work experience

Interested? Send a cover letter and résumé to with the subject line “Zotero Backend Developer”.