Blog Post

Serve Your City: Be our Neighborhood Services Engineer

Historic Map of San Francisco
Historic Map of San Francisco

Want to improve the experience in San Francisco neighborhoods? Well, we’ve got a job for you. We are hiring a Neighborhood Services Engineer to reimagine what it means for residents and businesses to track what’s happening in their neighborhood.

Your mission

More than 20 departments send out notices to city residents and businesses about activities and permitting nearby. The sheer volume and variety of this noticing activity can overwhelm residents and perversely, leave them wondering what’s happening in their neighborhood. You will help us improve access to city information and services by deploying a neighborhood notification system and other systems as needed. To address this, you will build:

  1. A website to find City projects and permitting decisions by supervisor district
  2. A system that allows users to electronically subscribe to information from the website

If you are a user-centered technologist, join us to validate and develop our use cases and figure out the best way to help residents navigate this dizzying array of information!

Your responsibilities

This is a temporary (approximately 1 year) appointment to research and develop a neighborhood noticing system. You will report to the Chief Digital Services Officer and work closely with the Chief Data Officer and DataSF team. The City currently contributes data feeds from the open data portal to, which allows users to subscribe to event updates via text or email for a given dataset near a given location at a given frequency. You will:

  1. Conduct user research and assess the current state of noticing in San Francisco
  2. Develop a process and technical approach to improve noticing, including but not limited to:
    • Work with departments to prepare data
    • Automate relevant data feeds to SF OpenData
    • Expand the scope of CityGram, if appropriate, to include the additional feeds
    • Customize CityGram, if appropriate
  3. Develop a website to complement the noticing and subscription service

Skills we expect

We are looking for people with:

  • Experience with back end development and database management, in particular familiarity with Ruby on Rails or equivalent
  • Experience with agile development and methodologies
  • Experience with front end development and web standards
  • Experience in GIS and mapping concepts and tools or equivalent
  • Experience translating business needs into technical implementations, including mapping out business processes and data models
  • Willingness and ability to learn new tools as needed, including programming languages
  • Experience with user-centered design and techniques
  • Familiar with the concepts of open data
  • Comfort creating, following, standardizing, and automating business processes to support program management
  • 3+ years experience in related work
  • BS/BA in GIS, computer science, engineering, user-centered design or related field

Skills we want

We would love applicants who also have the following:

  • Passion about improving government through open data
  • Enthusiasm about empowering use of data
  • Advanced experience with front end development
  • Experience with Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) from SAFE or similar ETL toolkits or frameworks
  • Experience with Drupal

How to apply

Complete application #PEX-1043-077362 at the City’s Jobs Portal. Include a cover letter and a resume with your application. And the City’s application is a little clunky - so don’t leave it to the last minute ;-) Or you can send the cover letter to datasf at sfgov dot org.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The City and County of San Francisco is committed to equal employment opportunity. Read more about our equal employment opportunity policy.