The CalMatters product team is looking for an innovative, results-oriented, passionate Full-Stack Web Developer to help build and shape the future of our products, including our WordPress content management system, and audience-facing products such as our mobile and web properties and newsletters.

We’re a nonprofit, nonpartisan news startup. At the tender age of six, we’re already the largest newsroom covering California policy and politics. We reach millions of people on our website and others through partnerships with 250 media outlets, but we want to engage many more Californians with our work so they can better engage with our democracy.

You’ll join a small, cross-functional team, working closely with our Product Managers, Designers, and a fellow Web Developer to collaborate with colleagues across the company. 

About You

  • You have a passion for the role journalism and technology can play in improving the health of our democracy and are charged up by our mission
  • You’re excited about the prospect of developing web-based tools that support our journalism, improving the lives of our reporters by making their work easier, and using technology to support the entire storytelling process, from newsgathering to reporting to delivery, through to measurement.
  • You are an engineer who empathizes with both how audiences use products and how those products must work within complex systems. 
  • You use a mix of intuition, discussions, research, and metrics to make informed development decisions. You value the fact that data provides a common language to cross-functionally discuss product decisions.
  • You’re aware of technical constraints, resources, and opportunities, and are able to distill that knowledge into estimates and priorities that helps the team make decisions.
  • You are a strong communicator and work well with other functions, such as designers, product managers, and analytics managers. You enjoy having a seat at the table during product discussions and clearly communicate technical details and difficulties to various audiences.

Technical Experience

  • 5+ years of web development experience with WordPress including experience extending and customizing the WordPress Administration Dashboard, developing custom plugins, and building highly performant and reliable interfaces with other systems. Knowledge of and some experience with the WordPress Block (Gutenberg) editor. 
  • Strong command of PHP and JavaScript programming languages.
  • Experience with Git, MySQL (MariaDB), JSON, REST, HTML, and CSS.
  • Experience with JavaScript and PHP linting/unit testing, and cross-browser testing.
  • Experience with Jira/Agile methodology is a plus.
  • Experience with Google/Search technologies (SEO, Analytics, AMP) is a plus.


  • Execute as an engineer to iterate and improve upon the WordPress stack that powers a majority of our current digital presence. This includes developing and refining the architectural approach, working with internal and external partners on evaluation of various plugins, developing our own plugins where needed, and interfacing with our hosting and technology partner NewsPack.
  • Be adaptable to various styles of execution necessary in different stages of product development – building intentionally scrappy code when prototyping, then building sustainable systems to support stable products over the long term.
  • Discuss with the team the pros/cons of technology choices based on business and audience value, scalability, maintainability, product delivery performance, vs time/effort to build.
  • Drive toward solutions independently, seek feedback when appropriate, prioritize and manage work, and adhere to critical project timelines in a fast-paced environment.

Education related to computer science would be a plus, but is not required. If you meet at least 75% of the qualifications above please apply, and don’t be shy about showcasing additional skills we haven’t listed that would help our organization. 

Compensation and Benefits

The base salary for this position is $100,000 per year; higher compensation may be available for someone with advanced skills and/or experience. 

CalMatters offers a complete benefits package with medical, dental and vision insurance (we cover 90% of the cost for employees and 70% for dependents) from a range of HMO and PPO providers. We’ll match contributions of up to 4% of your salary to our 401(k) program, provide life insurance at no cost, and give you an allowance for personal use of your cell phone and a budget for professional development opportunities like classes and conferences.

We are an expanding and collaborative newsroom, successfully forging a new model for sustainable, intelligent, nonprofit journalism. We’re committed to reflecting the people of the state we serve and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. If you’re interested, please provide a resume, a cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job, and any other links that help showcase your experience and/or previous work samples.

We’re based in Sacramento but we’re a fully-distributed product team. We’re open to creative arrangements with people elsewhere, depending on the candidate.

If you have trouble with this form or prefer to apply by email, write to with the job title in the subject line.