Media Cloud Data Architect, Civic Media

by Jessica Sisavath

Aug. 7, 2019

Job Description

 The Media Cloud project (, a project of the center for Civic Media at MIT, builds and maintains data-centric media analysis tools that investigate and track how hate speech moves across the internet. Our existing archive includes more than 1 billion stories with more than 700,000 new stories added daily. Working with a diverse team of researchers and technologists and using a combination of social, computer and data sciences skills, the Media Cloud Data Architect participates in the full life cycle of application development enabling collection and processing of these stories, making them available to researchers via an API.


  • Evaluate, design, build and maintain the Media Cloud back-end server architecture and data pipeline including creation of technical specifications and test scenarios;
  • Establish and clearly communicate to other staff a technical vision for Media Cloud’s data architecture;
  • Collaborate with other developers, designers, and system administrators to develop and implement a technical roadmap to meet research needs and complete responsibilities;
  • Write new code to scale systems to handle rapidly growing data requirements, architecting code for scalability;
  • Build, maintain, and upgrade systems within existing codebase;
  • Troubleshoot existing code, fix bugs, prioritize features, and improve back-end data tools to support high volume usage;
  • Communicate project status internally and externally;
  • Serve as a technical resource for both the technical and research teams;
  • Other duties as assigned.

This position is not eligible for visa sponsorship.



  • At least seven years’ experience working as a software engineer/architect on big data-related projects;
  • Programming fluency in Python;
  • Five or more years of experience working with text-based data system (ie. NLP), PostgreSQL databases or Solr databases;
  • Experience writing, maintaining, and optimizing SQL queries against large databases and scaling platforms to handle large data sets;
  • Experience implementing and maintaining a production ETL pipeline;
  • History of crafting, building, testing, and deploying robust code;
  • Demonstrated ability to iterate quickly through prototypes;
  • Demonstrated ability to use data to validate architectural decisions;
  • Interest in working on issues related to hate-speech, democracy, gender, race, or health;
  • Experience working on diverse teams, with strong interpersonal skills to interact with different disciplines.


  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Programming fluency in Perl;
  • Experience writing web crawlers or API scrapers;
  • Demonstrated ability to scale platforms to handle more users;
  • Real passion for solving difficult engineering and data problems;
  • Knowledge of and interest in social sciences.

To apply, go to and search for job ID# 17813.

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