The Catholic University of America

We have a long journey ahead

You need to get here.

 We're Hiring!

October 16, 2012

This page gives some expanded information about our positions in Web Development, Research and Academic Applications.  

Web Applications Programmer: The official posting is on our Human Resources site, position 101080.  There are also summaries of benefits and associated logistics on that site.

If you like what you see here, you WILL have to go back to the Human Resources site and follow the formal application process.

 You are not required to wear eye-patches or epaulets

We're moving to Phase II - can we count on you?

Web Applications Programmer

The Job

Let's break it down:

Web: 82% of your day to day work will be in support of Web sites, both client-side and server-side.  The other 18% varies widely and wildly.

Applications: This position primarily supports custom data collection and reporting ColdFusion mini-apps that are included in existing web sites, but it also handles whatever far-fetched ideas our community can come up with.  Scrolling list object with pop-up media player for tablet format?  No problem.

Programmer: This is a junior-to-mid level position; you won't be doing a lot of architecture, but every project includes a little bit.  You are a member of the team, however, and everyone's ideas are welcomed and considered.

Team, Collaboration, and How You Fit In

Fortunately (if you like small teams), we're a small team.  We cross train on each other's projects, but for the most part one person takes the lead to design, develop, deploy, and support each app.  Because we're so small, we each wear every hat in the SDLC.  A successful applicant therefore needs to be competent in areas outside of technology, and should feel adequately described by the following:

Friendly, approachable, patient, charming, witty, serious, professional, patient, easy-going, curious, studious, adaptable, patient, creative, sociable, patient, generous, calm, and patient.


Why It's So Cool To Work Here (this one goes to 11)

  1. We work here, and we're cool
  2. Wide range of academic schools and departments; we do projects for them all at some point or another.  You will learn things you never knew were available to learn, and you never suspected that someone would even want to learn, but you will learn them anyway!
  3. You get an .edu email address (and we aren't talking about your alumni forwarding account).
  4. We use cool technologies every day, including and not limited to: CF9, jQuery, Adobe stuff, Win7, CSS, mobile stuff like CSS and jQuery for mobile devices, Hg, MSSQL, Oracle 10 (although we were enumerating cool technologies...), AWS+EC2, and numerous homegrown apps
  5. We are highly collaborative, voracious learners, and some of that is bound to rub off (we share what we learn)
  6. We have 2½ choices for lunch within easy walking distance, but the entire city of DC can be your lunch destination if you can get there, buy lunch, eat it, and get back in an hour.
  7. Starbucks is ON CAMPUS! Sort of.  Anyway, you can usually find company if you need to make a *$ run (no, that is not a pointer joke).
  8. We're never afraid to try a new technology, and provided it's free, we can even implement it!  Unless it's hard to support or annoying.
  9. We have flexibility to get the tools you are most comfortable with, except for anything with a blade over 2.5" or that spins in excess of 1,000 rpm.
  10. We score 6.0221415 on The Joel Test.
  11. Skunkworks.  We haz it.


What to Expect in the Interview

You should come prepared to:

  • Answer both general and specific questions about technology, particularly tradeoffs
  • Give your opinion about what "should" be done in specific scenarios
  • Recount things that you actually did in previous jobs or during your educational career
  • Read code, find bugs, write pseudocode, and draw pretty diagrams

You won't be asked to:

  • Repeat what is already on your resume. We read them beforehand.
  • Write actual code that runs (we don't want you to peak too soon)
  • Explain the running time of algorithms.  We wish we had that problem.
  • Answer riddles, estimate the number of golfballs that will fit in a bus, or do puzzles.

We'll assume:

  • If you wrote something on your resume, you can talk about it in excruciating detail.
  • If you pass the phone screen and set up the interview, you are actually interested in the job.
  • You can understand and express complex requirements and instructions in spoken and written English.

What to expect:

  • Interviews take approximately one hour.
  • If you are interviewed, but not selected, we'll let you know.


What You Should Know Before Applying

This is Higher Education, not the private sector, not the public sector, and not exactly a non-profit.  However, we do resemble each of these in some ways. 

Some myths about working in higher ed:

  • Not everyone holds an advanced degree (but it helps if you do)
  • It is not stress-free
  • It is not slow-moving (at least, not for us)
  • We are neither bleeding edge nor legacy
  • We are not grossly underfunded

Some "well-known facts" that happen to be (at least partly) true:

  • It may not pay as well as equivalent careers in the private sector
  • You can work on your own degree with some caveats
  • Careers tend to be very stable, even in times of recession (but it still helps to be friendly, cheerful, and get things done)

This is a junior-mid level position.

You are not formally required to work on hardware 

State-of-the-Art Toolset.

Concerning this position....

We can't:

  • Cover moving expenses
  • Make structural changes to an office
  • Offer telecommuting - local candidates only
  • Time shift away from 9am to 5pm, Mon - Fri

The only reason to not work here is so you can apply to work here.- Solicited quote from a former employee of "webdev"

How to Apply

If you have read this entire page and are still interested in applying, then follow the instructions at the top of our current position listings, gather all your electronic documents together, and email them with your resume to

Then what happens...

We review your resume and application materials.  If you qualify for the job, someone will call you and ask a few questions to get a feel for whether we should proceed to a face-to-face interview.  If we both agree that an interview is the next step, we'll schedule one.

Apply...or apply not.  There is no try. It is difficult if not impossible to achieve this volume of plant growth in our offices.

"Apply...or apply not.  There is no try."