Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Job: Library Developer at LibraryThing (Telecommute)

Code! Code! Code!

LibraryThing, the company behind LibraryThing.com and LibraryThing for Libraries, is looking to hire a top-notch developer/programmer.

We like to think we make “products that don’t suck,” as opposed to much of what’s developed for libraries. We’ve got new ideas and not enough developers to make them. That’s where you come in.

The Best Person

  • Work for us in Maine, or telecommute in your pajamas. We want the best person available.
  • If you’re junior, this is a “junior” position. If you’re senior, a “senior” one. Salary is based on your skills and experience.

Technical Skills

  • LibraryThing is mostly non-OO PHP. You need to be a solid PHP programmer or show us you can become one quickly.
  • You should be experienced in HTML, JavaScript, CSS and SQL.
  • We welcome experience with design and UX, Python, Solr, and mobile development.

The highly-photogenic LibraryThing staff only use stock photos ironically.

What We Value

  • Execution is paramount. You must be a sure-footed and rapid coder, capable of taking on jobs and finishing them with attention and expedition.
  • Creativity, diligence, optimism, and outspokenness are important.
  • Experience with library data and systems is favored.
  • LibraryThing is an informal, high-pressure and high-energy environment. This puts a premium on speed and reliability, communication and responsibility.
  • Working remotely gives you freedom, but also requires discipline and internal motivation.


  • Gold-plated health insurance.
  • Cheese.

How To Apply

  • We have a simple quiz, developed back in 2011. If you can do it in under five minutes, you should apply for the job! If not, well, wasn’t that fun anyway?
  • To apply, send a resume. Skip the cover letter, and go through the blog post in your email, responding to the tangibles and intangibles bullet-by-bullet.
  • Also include your solution to the quiz, and how long it took you. Anything under five minutes is fine. If it takes you longer than five minutes, we won’t know. But the interview will involve lots of live coding.
  • Feel free to send questions to tim@librarything.com, or Skype chat Tim at LibraryThingTim.
  • Please put “Library developer” somewhere in your email subject line.

Labels: jobs


  1. Christine Ruste says:

    I’m recommending my friend, Arlyn Amores, for the job. She is an excellent programmer. You can send her a message on Facebook. Here is a link to her profile: https://www.facebook.com/arlyn.alcorizaamores

  2. Theodore M Rolle Jr says:

    I would love to work for LibraryThing!
    I know about Dewey, MARC, LCC, …

    Read before you trash this reply.

    I can code in a number of languages, from S/370 assembler to PHP and C.
    My alternate e-mail address is ted@php.net. 🙂

    I coded (programmed) for a number of years.
    I have x years of experience, not 1 year x times.

    Code must be elegant, not generated by hitting the ‘Copy’ key. I’ve seen and maintained such code. It’s awful.

    I arrived at the solution in less than a minute: language implementation is trivial after finding an algorithm to accomplish the task.

    The solution? A linked list that stores words by letter count. Build, then traverse the tree, printing each node.
    This accomplishes the goal, is easy to program, works, and is blindingly fast.

    To code it, I would consult Kernighan & Richie’s “The C Programming Language”, 2ed, chapter on “Self-Referential Structures.” An alternative would be Donald Knuth’s “The Art of Computer Programming” series, volume 2, “Seminumerical Algorithms.”

    I’m a retired programmer.

    I can turn a phrase; I wrote and edited documentation at IBM.

    ‘Nuff about me. Your turn.

  3. Ted Rolle, again.
    I’m the guy who didn’t provide code because implementation is trivial after finding the right algorithm.

    OK, to prove that I really can code, here’s an example that I’m developing for the Masonic Grand Lodge of North Carolina. You can view the underlying source code with the “View Source Code” option in your web browser.

    Salient features:
    1) User-friendly design: important elements are “in your face;”
    2) Colors are NOT “in your face.”
    3) Simple, non-cluttered presentation; rounded corners on the boxes take away the “geek” look;
    4) CSS3 displays and arranges the elements. This makes it accessible to different browsers (read: cell phones).
    5) PostgreSQL database for the events; soon the user will be able to enter events.

    Ted (stercor@gmail.com)

  4. Further: the page is served from my laptop.
    I built the Apache web server and PostgreSQL data base engine from source code; it uses no “hosting service.”

  5. SRG says:

    Hi! I love free books, and I know a fabulous programmer, Kevin Noah. This is a link to his github: https://github.com/kevin

  6. Sean Weintz says:

    Brilliant! Doesn’t have a degree but lots of experience and excellent references.

    • Stephanie Wilhelm says:

      What I was trying to say is that Sean Weintz is brilliant and I am referring him for the job. You can contact him through the email address provided in previous comment.

  7. Kristy says:

    I put forward Benno Lang. Definitely qualified. Based in Australia and has plenty of experience in remote work with others. 🙂