Software Developer

Website sassafrastech Sassafras Tech Collective

Tech consulting, software development

We are looking for a full-time software developer to join our team as a prospective member. Specifically, we are looking for someone who has had previous experience developing and delivering web applications freelancing or as part of a team. We are looking to grow our capacity to take on additional software projects, and need people who can work independently and as part of a team.

We do not expect the candidate to have experience in all of the different technologies and languages mentioned here or that you might encounter while working with us, but rather to have enough experience to apply and learn concepts across different technologies as needed. In general, we expect a successful candidate to be engaged in the following kinds of activities day-to-day:

Technical Leadership

  • Leading small software project teams or solo projects
    Constructively communicating technical concerns to the team, client, or group as they arise
  • Estimating software and using techniques for mitigating risk
    Effectively breaking down features into a clear technical path using small user stories
  • Balancing big picture, UX, cost, speed, and developer happiness appropriately for the project

Software Development

  • Developing software for the web using web frameworks
    Working with relational database systems (for example Postgres, MySQL, MS-SQL, etc)
  • Identifying performance-critical portions of the application code and writing efficient code and database queries to meet performance constraints.
  • Writing code that is well-organized, easy to understand, and maintainable
  • Identifying and enacting appropriate testing strategies, including writing automated tests.
  • Managing source code using Git
  • Designing backend systems with an eye towards supporting successful integration into frontends and a variety of frontend framework.

You may want to work with us if…

  • You like the idea of working in a small organization and doing impactful work through mutual learning, consentful practices and relationships, and consensus-building and collective decision-making.
  • You’re interested in the rewards and challenges of working in and building a just and democratic workplace through mutual accountability and commitments to anti-oppressive practice, especially around power dynamics and equity.
  • You’re excited about being part of an organization that values abundance, reciprocity, compassion, and an ongoing commitment to justice and solidarity, including but not limited to: Black and Indigenous sovereignty, gender fluidity, autonomy, the destruction of capitalism, accessibility and disability justice, and environmental relationship.
  • You want to help build the future of work as part of the global cooperative movement dedicated to worker ownership and democratic governance.
  • You’re interested in the complex and ever-evolving social, technical, and cultural problems we have dedicated ourselves to solving.
  • You want to belong to an organization that cares about reasonable, sustainable workloads and prioritizes people over profit.
  • You are excited to support work with clients such as The Carter Center, The Working World, Hollaback, Ford Foundation supported artists, and academics.

Other requirements for the role…

  • You’re comfortable working with a distributed team and using digital collaboration and communication tools.
  • You’re able to reliably and consistently attend meetings during our shared core hours (10 am – 3 pm Eastern Time with staff in US Pacific, Central, and Eastern time zones).
  • You like working both independently and in teams, and are comfortable giving and taking direction from other staff.
  • You are able to interface and communicate constructively and creatively with organizations and structures that may not share our anti-oppression commitment.

You can learn more about our basic day-to-day work practices through our basic worker expectations document on our website.

Pay and benefits
Pay at Sassafras is hourly. Our individual rates are transparent and based on a formula meant to reduce pay inequity due to bias. This role is full-time at 25-30 hours per week. Because we do not log break time, this position is about equivalent to a 40 hour/week position. We have a strong culture of discouraging overwork and encouraging sustainable workloads and time off. The rate we choose to pay ourselves is meant to keep us accessible to the clients we want to work with.

Based on this structure, you can expect to make about $70-$95k per year in this full-time position. Our paid time off (PTO) is calculated based on time worked / 6, where a worker earns 1 hour of PTO for every 6 hours worked. For example, averaging 25-hour weeks for 3 months, you will accrue ~51 hours of PTO, which can be used for 10 days off (two 25-hour weeks). PTO encompasses vacation, holidays, and sick leave. Along with this, we offer high-quality health, dental, and vision insurance. Each worker is also entitled to yearly professional development, including conference attendance and education.

About us
Sassafras Tech Collective is a worker cooperative that builds technology in service of global justice movements. Our small but mighty team of worker-owners collaborate to design, develop, and maintain complex custom software systems for our clients. With the help of our clients and movement partners, we aim to build relationships and technology that move us away from patterns of oppression and towards humanity.

We were founded and are headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan where we maintain an office, and our team is distributed across the US. Sassafras is made up of five worker-owners and one staff member from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including a range of formal and informal education, academic and industry experiences, and community organizing. We commit to leveraging our collective resources and expertise in the service of anti-oppressive and liberational technology design, development, maintenance, and consulting. We hold each other accountable through our practices and foundational documents, which represent our vision, values, and organizational culture. These documents are publicly accessible on our site, including our Bylaws, Code of Conduct, Cultural Values and Practices, Anti-Harassment Policy, and Conflict Resolution Policy.

Unfortunately, we currently do not have the capacity to accommodate applicants outside the United States. While we highly value perspectives and practices from other countries and regions, we are a small team that is not currently equipped to handle the complex bureaucratic and legal burdens imposed by state-sanctioned institutions and settler-colonial/capitalist logics.

Our recent projects include:

An open-source platform used for election monitoring and public health efforts worldwide.
Tools for combatting online and real-world harassment, and supporting healing spaces for harassment and abuse survivors.
Software for non-extractive loans for cooperatives and democratic funds.
A consentful, anti-abuse, moderation-first, user-owned social platform.
Applications for diabetes management, cancer risk assessment, and other health efforts.

How to apply
Please apply by filling out our application form. Black and Indigenous people of all genders, people of color, trans and gender nonconforming people, queer people, disabled people, people from poor and working class backgrounds, and women are encouraged to apply. Please note that Idealist requires us to put a hard start date, but we are looking for this position to start approximately end of October/early November.


If you have any questions, concerns, or other needs feel free to reach out to us at and we’ll be in touch.

To apply for this job please visit

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