Looking for a Full Stack Developer

September 30, 2013 BY danariely

Project Description

We are currently seeking a Full Stack Developer to join our team to develop and support a growing collection of software for collecting and analyzing internal research, as well as developing software that will be marketed and released to a public audience.

This position will help build and maintain a suite of fun and innovative web and mobile apps to help people make better moral, financial, and health decisions. This suite includes user-facing mobile apps, admin-facing web applications, and backends for interaction between the two. Among the projects currently in motion is an internal iPad app that helps the Center and its collaborators around the world run experiments on the go. Another app, (Sample) Size Matters, is publicly available and currently being used to collect data from participants all over the globe who download the app. Developing this app is one of the Center’s main priorities, and we are excited to improve it so that it ultimately becomes the best method for data collection worldwide.

While some applications will only be used internally (and the programming focus will be on functionality), others will be distributed to the public and will therefore require a greater focus on interface design and consumer usability.

Overall, the position will be responsible for programming and maintenance of apps, including:

  • data collection instrument design
  • survey implementation across multiple mobile platforms (e.g., Android and iOS, phones and tablets)
  • field-based direct data collection and quality control
  • secure device and cloud server storage (Heroku/Mongolab)
  • secure transmission of data using mobile platforms

Specific Responsibilities

  1. Build Software/Apps for Internal Research Purposes. Serve as the technical lead with a team of researchers to identify innovative approaches for collecting, storing and synthesizing data captured through mobile devices. Develop innovative ways of using mobile platforms for the deployment of study materials. Design, develop, implement and document research software tools. Manage cloud-based web/application servers, configure server software and manage the technology to ensure secure transmission, storage and data sharing.
  2. Build Software/Apps for Public Consumption. Oversee the development of commercial applications with a focus on well-designed, attractive, user-friendly applications. The software/apps for public consumption will be designed to teach consumers about behavioral economics. The primary aim of these applications is to educate and nudge people toward making better decisions, helping people in moral, financial, and health domains.
  3. Maintain Legacy Software/Apps for Internal and External Use. Support the suite of applications currently in use by the CAH (for both research purposes and public consumption). Maintain pre-existing apps, as well as update software when necessary. Work collaboratively with the original developers to understand the important features of the apps and revise the software appropriately.
  4. Optional: Specialize in user interface, human-computer interaction, and design. Preferences include experience with 1) design software such as Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator and 2) video editing software such as FCPX, Motion. While this is not a necessary skill for the position, applicants with experience in this domain will have an edge on others.

Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.


Technical (required):

  • Python (with webframe work experience)
  • Javascript (with jQuery)
  • iOS (Objective C)/
  • Web development (HTML5, CSS3, web APIs)
  • Experience with databases (preferably NoSQL MongoDB)


  • Android (Java)
  • VPS Services (Heroku)


  • Curiosity and a passion for inquiry
  • Experience working in a research environment
  • Ability to adjust rapidly to evolving needs of multiple researchers and projects
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people of varied technical backgrounds
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, as well as manage multiple collaborations and research projects at once
  • Ability to meet strict deadlines and work in a timely manner, keeping researchers up to date with progress being made on the applications
  • Experience preparing and maintaining form and procedure manuals to effect implementation and the continuing operation of apps
  • Knowledge of data security and prior experience acting as an administrator for networked file systems

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.

Minimum Qualifications


Work requires a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics or computer-related field, or equivalent coursework or technical training.


Work requires one year of programming or analytical experience with knowledge of several computer languages, programs or systems OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE.

What is the Center for Advanced Hindsight?

The Center for Advanced Hindsight is Dan Ariely’s behavioral economics lab at Duke University. We are interested in how and why people make a wide range of decisions, and how certain forces influence our thoughts and behavior. Our research focuses on the faulty assumptions of rational decision making, and strives to unveil how people make decisions in the real world – all kinds of decisions, from what inspires us to work those extra hours, to how much we are willing to spend on black pearls, to what we choose to eat for lunch.

Broadly, our primary research interests include:

  • Moral decisions
  • Health decisions
  • Financial decisions
  • Social and environmental influences on behavior

What About Duke?

Duke has been named as a best place to work by several publications and organizations, including Carolina Parent, Computerworld, The Scientist, and the American Association of Retired Persons, among others. The organizations recognizing Duke represent a diverse range of interests, from family-friendly and preventive health to the needs of IT professionals and academic researchers.

Duke’s comprehensive benefits package includes paid time-off (vacation, holidays, sick leave), health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, retirement, educational assistance, and support for professional development and training. As an employee of Duke University you would also enjoy numerous discounted services such as health club memberships, movie tickets, dining, and entertainment.


The CAH is a unique working environment, and has acquired a reputation for hosting activities like spontaneous pancake parties, snow cone shindigs, or a lab-wide Color Run. The space is filled with color and hanging chairs, a “Thinking and Dreaming” room, and the occasional art exhibit as a part of our Artistically Irrational series that bridges the gap between the worlds of Art and Science. The lab boasts an airborne remote-control shark, mini hydroponic garden, and the occasional pet sea creature. Not to mention onsite espresso and an ever-changing selection of scrumptious snacks. The work environment is flexible, always evolving, and moves at a pace that even the most highfalutin startups have a hard time keeping up with, and we embrace the momentum with an impassioned sort of grace. It’s not the lifestyle for everyone, but if this sounds appealing, then the CAH might just be the perfect place for you.

Our lab members are as diverse as our daytime activities, with backgrounds ranging from academia to advertising and business to software development. Our work is highly creative and collaborative, and we don’t hesitate to ask for help or to help our peers. And yes, we do walk around in our personalized lab coats that function purely as fashion accessories.

To apply for the position, visit http://www.hr.duke.edu/jobs/apply/ and view Requisition # 400770209 or click here to get to the post directly.