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Tech Lead GovTech

Do you want to join us on our mission to shape democracies for the digital age? Are you looking for an international and fast-paced, yet collaborative and inclusive environment to thrive in?

You have come to the right place.

CitizenLab, a global social impact scale-up with its HQ in Brussels, and presence in New York, works to make public decision-making more participatory, inclusive, and responsive. The SaaS platform is already being used by 300+ local governments and organizations in over 18 countries, facilitating two-way communication between governments and their residents. Since it was founded in 2015, CitizenLab has given 750,000+ community members a direct voice in local politics, has earned recognition as the 'Best Social Impact Startup in Europe', and was featured in outlets such as The New York Times and Forbes.

CitizenLab is looking for purpose-driven talent to join us on our mission to enable millions of people in cities across the globe to shape the future of their communities.

Tech Lead at CitizenLab

As a Tech Lead at CitizenLab, your goal is to help your product development squad align on priorities, task decomposition, and planning. As the Tech Lead, you are not only contributing code yourself, but you are also coaching and enabling your squad colleagues to contribute more effectively.

The small, cross-functional squads consist of a product manager, designer, and 4-5 engineers. We are opening the Tech Lead position on the Engagement and Insights squads. Engagement’s main goal is to build innovative methods for input collection and deliver a seamless participation experience for citizens. Engagement is the squad working on our core product and has a strong focus on our social impact. Once the input is collected, Insights will make the data actionable for policy-makers and help them better inform their public decisions. Insights builds product features to optimally support input processing through natural language processing, and visualise the data insights in a compelling and user-friendly way.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Taking responsibility for the week-to-week planning of the squad, in close collaboration with your engineering colleagues and product manager.

  • Guiding the squad through technical specifications and decomposition of tasks.

  • Giving feedback to the designer and product manager on feasibility and effort.

  • Follow up on feature progress and report to the product manager and CTO.

  • Identifying blockers and issues early on, and working together with the squad to prevent them.

  • Implementing continuous process improvements to boost developer experience and productivity.

  • Acting as a sounding board to developers and helping resolve technical challenges.

  • Aligning with the CTO and lead architect on the technical direction of the product.

  • Contributing code yourself, when all of the above has been taken care of.

At CitizenLab, we work in small teams where members collectively take ownership of the outcome of the features they build. We work in very small iterations and release continuously. We’re strong believers in user testing and understanding live product usage.

What do we expect from you?

  • You have several years of experience in a technical leadership position, preferably in a tech scale-up environment.

  • You have a collaborative, empathetic, and participatory leadership style. We are looking for a facilitator and mentor, more than a manager.

  • You know Ruby well and have contributed full-stack to user-facing web applications.

  • You have some experience with React and Typescript.

  • (Only relevant for Insights:) You have dealt with end-to-end complexities of web applications that apply machine learning or big data before as a developer, from the AI models, through the back-end APIs, to the UI. You understand the fundamentals of machine learning and have toyed around with Python.

  • You are a great communicator and listener. You enjoy making people around you grow.

  • You have a keen interest in contributing to our digital democracy mission through our product and working on the topic of citizen participation.

  • Relocating to Brussels is not a must, but would be a big plus. Working in more or less the same time zone (CET) is a must.

Eagerness to learn, talent, and enthusiasm are more important than ticking the boxes. Even if not all desired requirements are met, but you're very excited about the role, we want to hear from you.

What can you expect from us?

  • Unlock your full potential and create social impact at scale. Day-to-day, we work with local government leaders across the world to help them connect with their communities.
  • Become a key factor in our rapid transition from a startup to a scaleup (50 employees), and our international expansion.
  • Work in a fast-paced, collaborative, and supportive environment. We share a participatory culture of autonomy and ownership by everyone, not only by leadership.
  • Be part of our dynamic, international team. We are as serious about our work in digital democracy as we are about having fun on our journey together.
  • Enjoy an informal work vibe with open communication and full transparency on results.
  • Participate in our various hybrid (in-person/remote) team events, inspiring team lunches, our company book club, bi-quarterly strategic town halls, and yearly global team retreats.
  • Spend 10% of your time on personal projects and self-development for the long run. We’re committed to both collective and individual growth.
  • Receive a competitive salary package, incl. perks such as 26 paid holidays, a professional development budget, a collective bonus plan, your own laptop, full flexibility on working from home, and much more.

CitizenLab is committed to being a diverse and inclusive workplace. We encourage applicants of different backgrounds, genders, experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.


Click on the apply button to get to know better about this opportunity.
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Tech Lead GovTech

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Seniority level

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Contract type


Salary range

Not Informed