FrontlineSMS:Jobs? Yes, we’re hiring!

Update 24/02/10: Applications now closed. Please don’t apply for either of these posts. Thanks! \o/

After four years of steady growth, FrontlineSMS has witnessed a dizzying rise in activity over the past few months. One full-time position has increased to three with the hiring of Josh Nesbit as our FrontlineSMS Ambassador and Alex Anderson as our lead developer. And thanks to new funding from the Rockefeller Foundation last month, we’re now looking to build our team further and fill two more positions – in Software Development and Project Management.

Thanks to the seemingly inexhaustible support of our friends over at Wieden+Kennedy, we’ll be locating our small but growing team in their amazing central London offices – a hotbed of creativity, if ever there was one. As a result, we’re limiting our search for new team members to London and the surrounding area for now, but will look further afield as we get further established as an organisation.

So, who are we looking for?

Project Management

This might not be the best title for a role which requires the candidate to have a wide array of interests – software testing, fundraising, website maintenance, creating promotional materials and brochures, training, and helping scope new projects. We’re also going to need them to help out with community-building and support, and to run smaller specific FrontlineSMS-related projects as they arise. This position is a real moving target and, as part of a small team the candidate will have the opportunity to shape the role for themselves. All we ask for is hard work, dedication, a passion for social mobile, and a strong desire to help see our organisation grow.

Software Development

We’re also looking for a Junior/Intermediate Java Developer to assist with the maintenance and development of new features on our multi-platform desktop Java application, FrontlineSMS. There will also be opportunities to help out on another exciting web-based project we’re working on in partnership with the GSM Association and Accenture, and to help us explore the potential of iPhone, Facebook and Symbian extensions to our projects. Above all, we’re looking for someone with a passion for exploring the social potential of mobile technologies, and a willingness to contribute to all stages of the software development process, including architecture, UI, testing and deployment.

If you’re based in or around London and interested in either of these positions, click here for further details and then get in touch as soon as possible! Feel free to share a link to this post with any lists or individuals you think might be interested.

With hopes of further funding on the horizon, these are unique opportunities for individuals interested in mobile technology and social change to join and influence a small, active, growing team. Join us on our journey, and you never know – it may well be the start of a new journey all of your very own. \o/

NASA on Mars vs. Development in Africa?

Better late than never, I’m about to start reading “Dead Aid“, Dambisa Moyo’s much touted book. I’ve already read a few blog posts and reviews – some about her, some about her book – and the Guardian’s “An evening with Dambisa Moyo” seemed worth a look. In an otherwise downbeat review, one statement stood out a mile.

“Africa is to development what Mars is to NASA” – the ultimate development studies essay question. It certainly got me thinking. To what extent is Africa development’s playground, a place to ‘try things’, to experiment? Often with so little accountability – see Bill Easterly‘s “White Man’s Burden” – it’s easy to see why it’s thought of as an easy place to pilot, to test, to try out. “And if it goes wrong, well, let’s try something else, somewhere else”.

During a workshop at IDS a couple of weeks ago, I commented that the development sector in Africa was littered with the carcasses of failed projects, a kind of ‘elephant graveyard’ for the well-intended.

I’d love to see an ICT4D/African technology conference pick up on the “NASA, Mars, Development, Africa” theme. And I’d love to be in the audience. Any takers?