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Punchbowl News is a membership-based news community founded by Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman, John Bresnahan and Rachel Schindler focused on power, people, and politics in Washington. Punchbowl News’ theory is that power in Washington emanates from the Capitol—and that’s the center of our focus.


The Punchbowl News team is growing! Browse our current openings, or learn more about Punchbowl News on our About page.

  • Lead Engineer

    Washington, D.C. or Remote; East Coast hours required




    Punchbowl News is a news content and software company led by Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman, John Bresnahan and Rachel Schindler focused on power, people and politics in Washington. We are looking for a Lead Engineer to join our team.


    Punchbowl News’ primary focus is breaking news about power, the nation’s political leadership and explaining to our audience of political junkies how Washington works, in addition to providing our audience with the government affairs software and services they need for their day-to-day work. We produce (at least) three newsletters each day, a daily podcast, dozens of events and more. Punchbowl News’ theory is that power in Washington emanates from the Capitol — and that’s the center of our focus.


    Our audience includes members of Congress, high-ranking officials in the Biden administration, lobbyists, top-level reporters, media executives, Wall Streeters, tech and Hollywood executives and everyday political fans.


    About the job:


    We are looking for a Lead Engineer to join our expanding team, taking charge of advancing the technology and development of our SaaS platform. You will report directly to our VP of Product.


    As a Lead Engineer, you will be crucial in building, optimizing, and maintaining our applications and infrastructure while ensuring a seamless and engaging user experience. You will work collaboratively with our product team, outside tech firms, design talent and more to implement and build innovative new features and products.




    Technical Leadership:

    • Provide technical guidance and expertise to the wider organization.
    • Recommend architectural approaches while clearly communicating tradeoffs to stakeholders.
    • Ensure adherence to coding standards and best practices, including ideation, development, testing, deployment and documentation.
    • Strong project management skills with a demonstrated track record of technical projects led by you.



    • Partner and collaborate with product to assist in defining user stories and other technical requirements.
    • Work closely with cross-functional teams to understand business needs to translate them into technical solutions.


    Front-end Development:

    • Develop responsive and user-friendly web interfaces.
    • Collaborate with product and design teams to implement visually appealing and intuitive user interfaces.
    • Ensure the website’s compatibility across various browsers and devices.


    Back-end Development:

    • Design and manage APIs and databases, ensuring efficient and scalable performance.
    • Optimize codebases, queries and systems to enhance overall application responsiveness.


    Security and Performance Optimization:

    • Implement security best practices to safeguard user data and ensure data privacy.
    • Optimize application performance and responsiveness through code and infrastructure improvements.


    Quality Assurance and documentation:

    • Ensure good test coverage, including unit, functional and end-to-end tests.
    • Keep technical documentation up to date.



    • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or a related field.
    • 5+ years of proven experience as a lead or senior engineer in a growth-stage startup
    • Experience building applications at scale and familiarity with Agile methodologies
    • Experience with front-end and back-end languages, libraries and frameworks, including Python, Django, ElasticSearch, PHP, & Javascript (eg. Vue, React, etc).
    • Experience data modeling in relational and non-relational databases, data integration and data visualization.
    • Familiarity with version control systems and CI/CD pipelines such as Bitbucket or other DevOps related tools.
    • Solid experience with AWS, including services such as Aurora, S3, EC2, etc. Experience with Solr a plus.
    • Experience leading and mentoring other developers.
    • Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced startup environment.
    • Passionate about technology, innovation and journalism.
    • Eligible to work in the US.


    Punchbowl News is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. We understand the importance of fostering a workplace where every individual is valued, respected, and can contribute their best work. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are dedicated to hiring the best talent for the role and encourage candidates from underrepresented groups in tech to apply. Our commitment to inclusion drives our innovation and success.


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