Open Source Node.js Developer & Technical Writer

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The Open Data Institute is looking to appoint a Node.js Developer and Technical Writer for the OpenActive initiative in partnership with Sport England.

Open Source Node.js Developer & Technical Writer

Location: Shoreditch, London

Salary: up to £60,000 per annum, dependent on experience, plus benefits

Fixed term contract until 31 March 2021

The Open Data Institute is looking to appoint a Node.js Developer and Technical Writer for the OpenActive initiative in partnership with Sport England.

About the ODI 

The Open Data Institute (ODI) was co-founded by two visionary leaders: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, and Sir Nigel Shadbolt, renowned AI professor. Our mission is to work with companies and governments to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem, where people can make better decisions using data and manage any harmful impacts.

The ODI works with governments, NGOs and commercial enterprises all over the world. We deliver advisory, training and research and development services, encompassing public policy, business strategy and technology. Our programme of work is busy and constantly changing. We are committed to producing work at a very high standard and delivering measurable value to our partners and clients.

About OpenActive

The goal of OpenActive is to tackle inactivity in England by making it as easy to book a badminton court as it is to book a hotel room. This exciting programme brings together a growing community of activity providers, technology suppliers and data users. By setting common data standards, and helping organisations to openly publish their timetables and opportunities as open data, we are making it easier for people to get physically active. 

About the role

We are looking for a Node.js Developer and Technical Writer to help develop, improve, and document existing open source tooling and services for the OpenActive initiative, in preparation for the project becoming self-standing and sustainable past March 2021. The role will be reporting into the OpenActive Technical Lead.

Working closely with other members of the OpenActive team, you will be responsible for ongoing maintenance and development of a range of tools (including our open source validator, various SDKs and APIs, and other infrastructure) written chiefly in Node.js, but also involving a range of other languages.  As a Technical Writer, you will also be responsible for documenting how developers can implement the OpenActive standard APIs using these SDKs and open source components. Your documentation should include  sufficient detail and clarity to allow our tools to be readily used, adopted, and extended, and it should be appropriate for a wide variety of audiences, ranging from developers to senior management. 

Despite the overlap between the two areas, we understand that it is unusual within the industry to have developed both software development and technical writing skills in equal measure. This role will accordingly suit both candidates who consider themselves primarily to be developers, but who have some experience of technical writing that they wish to develop further, and technical writers who are interested in building upon and developing  their existing software skills. 

Key responsibilities

  • Ongoing maintenance, bug-fixes, and enhancement of a wide variety of open source SDKs (API client and server libraries and reference implementations), and disparate small-scale software applications and packages
  • Maintenance and management of multiple open source GitHub repositories (e.g., reviewing and merging community pull requests, ensuring issues are kept current, etc.)
  • Working with a team to radically improve the OpenActive developer experience with a revitalised OpenActive Developers community site.
  • Planning and production of ‘quickstart’ and other software guides
  • Planning and production of high-level SDK and API documentation for both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Low-level code documentation, both inline and in surrounding material (e.g. README files)
  • Consulting with both internal (OpenActive) and external stakeholders regarding technical and documentation needs.

About you – skills, knowledge, and experience


  • 3+ experience of full-stack Node.js development, or equivalent polyglot experience
  • 2+ years of writing and maintaining software documentation, ideally for a range of audiences
  • Experience with Git-based tools and versioning software
  • Experience with markup languages such as Markdown, AsciiDoc, or reStructuredText
  • Experience working with a variety of third party APIs and SDKs
  • Fluent written and spoken English


  • At least 2 years’ experience with one or more of the following languages: PHP, Ruby, and/or .NET
  • Previous experience developing SDKs or API libraries, and associated documentation.
  • Experience managing or contributing to open source projects.
  • Experience with React, or other front-end development.
  • Experience coordinating software projects across multiple organisations
  • Experience producing multimedia (e.g. video; slide-deck) instructional materials
  • A familiarity and understanding of open data and licensing
  • A familiarity and understanding of startup ecosystems and/or the physical activity sector 
  • Experience working remotely as part of a team. 

If you feel like you are suited to this role but don’t have all of the skills listed above, we encourage you to still apply. Please do so by outlining why you feel you are suited to the role and the unique skills that you would bring to it. 

ODI values


You are good at what you do. You use your expertise to help with ODI’s mission. You are open and generous with that expertise and experience, and share it outside and inside ODI.

You can get better at what you do. You recognise the limits of your expertise and respect that of others. You are open to and seek advice, opinions and support to develop your expertise, within and outside ODI. You reflect on what works and what doesn’t to consciously learn, improve and grow.


You succeed when others flourish. You support and challenge others to do their best work. You open up opportunities for other people and organisations, and empower them to take them. You are as open as possible about what you are doing and what you have learnt. You encourage others to refine and build on your work.

You empathise with others so you can help them. You find out what people and organisations really need. You have empathy with their motivations and the constraints they operate under. You communicate in terms they understand.


You are trusted because you are honest and responsible. You are open with your opinion, open to hearing what others say, open to being wrong and open to changing your mind. You are not afraid to speak your mind when it is useful or important, and take responsibility for the results of doing so. You actively and curiously listen to others, and take responsibility for your responses to them.

You can do more than you might think. You are bold, creative and open to failure. You know what you do won’t be perfect at first but that doesn’t stop you. You start small and quickly and iterate to improve.


  • 5% contributory pension
  • 30 days’ annual holiday plus bank holidays 
  • Life Assurance cover
  • Long-term disability cover
  • Critical illness cover
  • Flexible working
  • Coaching and mentoring for skills and personal development
  • £750 annual training budget toward your own professional development

How to apply

To apply please send your CV and a cover letter to [email protected] explaining why you would be a suitable candidate.