Posted Mar 13

Back-End Software Developer

East Timor (or anywhere) Full Time

The 'Back-End Software Developer' will join the Catalpa team as part of an exciting phase of growth for the organisation. You’ll work in a talented and interdisciplinary team, with a strong creative culture, and help us deliver high impact work that seeks to address international development challenges.

This position is ideal for someone who thrives in a creative environment, loves building amazing applications that are simple to use and create impact.

In this role you will be engaged in range of projects and in all stages of the software lifecycle from design through development, testing and deployment. You will also be working on projects that solve problems across a variety of areas — health, education, water and sanitation, aid transparency and more.


Liga Inan: In Timor-Leste Catalpa is using mobile technology to better connect expectant mothers to health providers. An evaluation found that children of participating women are more than 5 times more likely to be checked by health professionals than children from non-participating mothers.

Mohinga: In Myanmar Catalpa is working to improve the management and transparency of aid flows with the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Mohinga is an open data platform that allows development partners to report aid activities, spending and results in a simple and intuitive manner.

Hamutuk: Hamutuk is a multi-sector nutrition program delivered in partnership with the Australian Government and InnovationXchange. Catalpa is developing a mobile and online platform to improve co-ordination and targeting.


  • Participate in brainstorming sessions and contribute ideas to our technology and products.
  • Work with the product and design teams to understand end-user requirements, formulate use cases, and then translate that into a pragmatic and effective technical solution.
  • Resolve feature requests and issues across multiple projects.
  • Help improve our code quality through writing unit tests, automation and performing code reviews.
  • Support the maintenance and deployment of multiple projects.

This position assumes diverse, hands-on professional experience. We expect colleagues in this role to be quick learners, extremely disciplined, and demonstrate interest and aptitude in a variety of technologies, tools and languages. Additional characteristics include:

  • You are passionate and self-motivated.
  • You enjoy developing alongside designers, researchers and other highly skilled people.
  • You are continually uncovering and sharing new developments and technologies.
  • You are comfortable working with a diverse set of colleagues (co-workers, clients and mentors) to complete a project.
  • You are inspired by shaping products from their inception to their release into the wild.

You also meet most (if not more) of the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field, or an intriguing reason for not having one.
  • 5+ years of relevant experience in software development.
  • You have solid understanding and experience of UNIX/Linux server management.
  • You have used complex relational databases and are capable of administering PostgreSQL installations, and developing against them using an Object-Relational Mapper (ORM)
  • You have experience in developing applications using server side scripting languages. We use Python and the Django Framework, but experience with other languages is quickly transferable with a bit of desire and effort.
  • Experience using source control. We use Git, but if you’re used to other versioning software, you’ll get on fine.
  • You have previously worked in a team to collaboratively build software, completing assigned tasks and resolving bugs and issues.
  • A passion for making great products, and most importantly;
  • You’re fun to work with.


If you're interested, we'd love to hear from you! Women are especially encouraged to apply. Please send your application by email to with a cover letter and CV. Also, please share your Github repos, blog and/or website, and 3 projects that best represent your capabilities and interests. You may elect to apply for this position as a remote developer. In this case, please clearly state this in your application. Applications close on 28 April 2017.

A few things to note:

  • We can only accept applications by email. If it takes us a while to respond we're apologise in advance and we will eventually get back to you to let you know whether you've made it through to the next stage;
  • If you can, send your cover letter and CV as a single PDF document;
  • Please don't include copies of certificates or qualifications with your application, if we need these we'll ask you for them later. For further enquiries or questions regarding this position, please send an email to with 'Back-End Software Developer' in the subject line of the email.


Catalpa is an organisation specialised in innovative solutions for improving service delivery in developing countries. We have sector development experts working together with a team of designers and software engineers to craft unique solutions to old problems. Catalpa was founded with the purpose of implementing initiatives that enable people to reach their individual potential. We try to intersect the challenges of international development with the possibilities of human-centred design, modern technology and innovation. Catalpa’s work has included partnerships with the Government of Timor-Leste, the Government of Myanmar, the Government of Uzbekistan, the Government of Australia along with multilateral and bilateral development partners such as DFAT, ILO, FAO, UNICEF, WHO, USAID, UNDP, European Union, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

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