News

We're Hiring: Three New Open Positions

By fianxu on March 25, 2021, 12:54 a.m. GMT

Three New Open Positions

I’m very excited to announce that we have three new open positions at Metaculus:

  • Junior Designer

  • Full-Stack Developer

  • Public Policy Data Scientist

Below is a description of each of the roles, along with some background and context for each. Future teammates: we can’t wait to meet you!

Junior UI Designer

The overall Metaculus design hasn’t changed a whole lot in the last six years, so we feel it’s time to add some design energy into the mix!

We are seeking a junior designer with 1 to 2 years experience to help us define, expand, and apply a new design language and UX sensibility within the Metaculus platform.

Background

Until recently, the vast majority of the Metaculus team’s effort and mindshare have been dedicated to the core functional and foundational aspects of the system – things like creating our track record tools and scoring rules, building backend capabilities for features like our track record, and maintaining a high-functioning forecasting community. In the intertwined relationship between form and function, function mostly led the way.1

Today, Metaculus is growing on several fronts. We’re adding new capabilities for power users, making onboarding easier for new forecasters, and adding pathways for specific types of partnerships, such as nonprofits. Later in the year, we have more planned for additional types of stakeholders, including policy makers, educators, finance analysts, and journalists. To do all of this, we need to give design a bigger role.

Much of the design work that lies ahead is about translation into new spaces2 – in the sense of creating value through probabilistic forecasting for stakeholders and communities of various kinds (i.e. showing not telling). There are lots of ways to do this: building examples, making trying new things easy, externalizing the internal (showing what’s going on under the hood), making learning fun, and more. Solving the design challenges ahead will require a series of creative acts, robust collaboration, good judgment, a practical mindset, and an attitude of fearlessness in prototyping.

Role Structure

The junior designer for Metaculus will report to Metaculus Advisor, consultant, and design leader Steven Schkolne. Getting to work with Steven completes the trifecta of awesomeness for this position.

Without Steven, it may have appeared to the interested design candidate that in Metaculus, you would have an opportunity to work on a project that 1) has the potential for high impact on institutional decision making3, and 2) is intrinsically interesting and fun.

“But,” such a design candidate might wonder, “will I also have the opportunity to grow as a designer in this role?”

Thanks to Steven, I can, without hesitation, answer in the affirmative. He is a truly exciting designer, an inspiring leader, and a teammate I gratefully trust and rely on. Plus, he’s fun to be around. You can check out some of his past work here.

Responsibilities
  • Participate in various design projects from concept to completion

  • Produce drafts, prototypes and engaging design solutions

  • Listen to feedback to hone skills and improve design

  • Use various techniques to create drafts, models and prototypes

  • Produce final design solutions, primarily focused on user interfaces (versus things like logos)

  • Pitch creative ideas for UX and UI

  • Collaborate with team members to launch projects

  • Take on special design tasks (e.g. forecasting graphics updates)

Requirements
  • Familiarity with design techniques (e.g. prototyping)

  • Understanding of visual elements (layout, type and fonts)

  • Teamwork skills

  • A keen eye for detail

  • Time management and organizational abilities

  • Creativity skills and problem-solving aptitude

How to Apply

Email (hello [at] metaculus [dot] com) with your CV and/or link to LinkedIn/personal site, and tell us about:

  • Why you're interested in Metaculus

  • What your ideal role looks like

  • What your ideal timeline looks like ("when can you start?")

  • Anything else you’d like us to know :)

Full-Stack Developer

Background

Since the start of 2021, the development of the Metaculus platform has once again been under the full-time leadership of our founding CTO, Max Wainwright. In that time, we’ve upgraded our backend web infrastructure, restructured our database architecture to enable entirely new capabilities for organizations, updated the Metaculus Prediction, created new scoring rules, added a slate of new user-visible features, expanded our testing capabilities, brought our sprint planning process up to speed, and outlined an exciting roadmap that will keep our (growing) team busy building entirely new capabilities for Metaculus through the end of this year, and beyond. We are looking for an extremely talented developer to help us build and support Metaculus's core features and to expand into new and challenging areas.

Role Structure

In this role, you will report directly to the CTO. You will be responsible for taking ownership of new features, building them from the database level up to the final touches in the UI. You will work closely with product managers and designers and write code to spec. You will also work closely with other developers; reviewing code, coordinating feature dependencies, and providing support where needed. You will be expected to write code that is efficient and well-tested.

Metaculus is still a small organization, which means that you will likely need to wear multiple hats (hence the need for a full-stack developer). However, it also means that you can have a lot of input into both technical and product decisions. It's a fun place to work. We’re a friendly crew building some very cool tools for a smart and engaged community, and if certain predictions are to be believed what we build now might be around for a very long time.

Requirements
  • At least 3+ years experience writing production-grade code

  • Complete fluency in modern Python and Javascript (5+ years)

  • Considerable experience with Django and Django Rest Framework

  • Experience with SQL and SQL databases (PostgreSQL)

  • Ability to translate designs into clean, responsive HTML and CSS

  • Ability to translate product specifications into fully-implemented features

  • Comfortable both giving and receiving feedback via in-depth code reviews

  • Works well with Git

  • Experience with angular.js and d3.js is a plus

  • Ability to work effectively with vanilla.js is required

  • Experience with probabilistic reasoning (Bayesian inference, probability distributions, proper scoring rules, etc.) is a plus

  • Significant devops experience is a plus

How to Apply

Email (hello [at] metaculus [dot] com) with your CV and/or link to LinkedIn/personal site, and tell us about:

  • Why you're interested in Metaculus

  • What your ideal role looks like

  • What your ideal timeline looks like ("when can you start?")

  • Anything else you’d like us to know!

Public Policy Data Scientist

Background

If you’re looking for a high impact opportunity, look no further: Metaculus is seeking a technology-fluent Public Policy Data Scientist to work with us on a major new project.

Metaculus is a forecasting technology platform that delivers ML-optimized collective intelligence on topics of global importance. By developing scalable, aggregate forecasts and keeping score for thousands of forecasters worldwide via standardized track records, Metaculus and its community are bringing the scientific method of modeling and prediction to critical, complex decision-making domains in order to improve decision-making, generate consistent feedback on quality of the reasoning of its participants, and foster transparency and accountability in the public domain. Its open access forecasts provide a sense-making utility for hundreds of thousands of readers.

As part of an exciting new partnership, the Metaculus team will be working on creating pathways for accountability in the public media sphere. Specifically, we’ll be integrating forecast tracking tools with the public information ecosystem – in particular, news media – in innovative new ways, and building machine learning models to improve our workflow. We’re seeking a Public Policy Data Scientist eager to dive in and get hands on with projects at the intersection of forecasting and machine learning technologies.

Key Responsibilities
  • Support the development of a positive feedback loop between public policy forecasts in the news ecosystem and the Metaculus forecasting and track record systems

  • Identify and model correspondences between news stories and existing forecasts within the Metaculus database, highlighting gaps for closure

  • Manage the development and curation of a structured dataset pinpointing publicly made forecasts, to be utilized to train ML models, including recruiting and leading a small team data workers to support dataset creation

  • Coordinate and collaborate with AI researchers to refine and shape a scalable data pipeline

  • Build and test a process for QAing public figure forecasting track records for key political office holders

  • Propose, prototype and develop policy-focused forecasting tournaments and content campaigns

Requirements
  • Familiarity with machine learning concepts is required. Comfort working with data is also a must, though extensive coding experience is not necessary.

  • Interest in improving the information ecosystem around public policy

  • Demonstrated ability and experience managing and training people

How to Apply

Email (hello [at] metaculus [dot] com) with your CV and/or link to LinkedIn/personal site by April 15, 2021, and tell us about:

  • Why you're interested in working with Metaculus

  • Why you’re excited about increasing accountability and transparency in public policy

  • Experiences you’ve had that prepare you for this role, including examples of relevant projects that you’ve worked on, and how you’ll bring your experience to bear

  • Anything else you’d like us to know!

Not finding what you’re looking for?

If you’d like to explore a career at Metaculus that doesn’t fit into any of these categories, feel free to send us a note anyway with your CV and what you have in mind to hello [at] metaculus [dot] com.


  1. In some cases to such a great extent that certain platform capabilities became so difficult to find as to become unintended Easter eggs! (We’ve since made it easier to find things like our Forecasting Calibration Tutorials, but there are still some hidden gems… and we’re not prepared to say goodbye to this tradition completely.)↩︎

  2. I love Kelsey Piper’s formulation of the act of translation: “hard-to-fake signal[s] of welcomingness.” Read her whole post to learn more.↩︎

  3. Plus, the potential for impact would be nominally increased by accepting an early role in the organization.↩︎