Simon Willison’s Weblog


Fancy a job?

29th June 2004

My placement here in Lawrence, Kansas comes to an end in a few months time, and I’m now in the interesting position of needing to find my own replacement. I’m not going to beat around the bush: this is a fantastic job and an excellent opportunity for anyone looking for a way in to the online news industry. The team here has won so many awards it’s hard to keep track of them all, and is very well respected within the industry.

We’re looking for an experienced server-side web developer. Our platform here is mod_python on Apache, but detailed knowledge of Python is not as important as a solid understanding of the web, web technologies and how to build useful web applications. Some Linux systems administration experience is essential as we are responsible for a number of servers. Applicants must have a solid understanding of SQL (we use PostgreSQL) and relational database theory. Design skills are not important: we have a talented designer on staff (who is also a dab hand at CSS).

So why would you want to move to a tiny town in the middle of Kansas to work for a local newspaper? Firstly, Lawrence is not at all like the rest of the state. It’s a college town (home of the University of Kansas) with a vibrant downtown area, a thriving music scene and a great atmosphere. The cost of living is low, the quality of living high and the bright lights of Kansas City are only a 40 minute drive away. Check out our local entertainment site,, for an idea of just how much this little town has going for it.

More to the point though, you should move out here because this is a job like no other. We work in a highly creative atmosphere, with the time between someone having a great idea and that idea rolling out on one of our sites measured in days, if not hours. Our unofficial mission statement (according to my boss, Rob Curley) is to “build cool shit”—and we do. I’ve written very little about things we’ve done here over the past year but I plan to make up for it this week by publishing an entry every day focusing on one of the sites we’ve built.

If you have any questions, post a comment or contact me directly. If you want to apply, send a résumé to aholovaty and swillison both at

Adrian has more information.

Update: This position has now been filled.

This is Fancy a job? by Simon Willison, posted on 29th June 2004.

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