Internet Freedom Nonprofit Seeks Metrics Data Architect
The Tor Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization advancing
human rights and freedoms by creating and deploying free and open source
anonymity and privacy technologies, is seeking an experienced Data
Architect to take our metrics work to the next level.
Tor is for everyone, and we are actively working to build a team that
represents people from all over the world — people from diverse ethnic,
national, and cultural backgrounds; people from all walks of life.
Racial minorities, non-gender-binary people, women, and people from any
group that is generally underrepresented in tech are encouraged to apply.
Our Metrics Team has been collecting data since 2004 to help improve the
tools we build and learn more about the Tor network. For example, we
monitor the number of relays and clients in the network, their
respective capabilities, the number of clients connecting via bridges,
fluctuations in network speed, etc. Gathering this data results in huge
data archives, so we are also working to develop tools to process this
data and make it available to everyone.
How we achieve our goals:
• Robustness (We want to avoid bugs and/or bad design decision that
cause us to miss data)
• Timeliness (users need up-to-date network status information)
• Scalability (as the network grows, so does our data)
• Transparency (our community rightly wants to know what data we're
The Tor Metrics team presently consists of two full-time developers;
this position will be the third. Our team works asynchronously on each
person’s own schedule, but we sync regularly via Git, Trac, IRC, e-mail,
and an occasional video chat.
The most interesting challenge for the Metrics team is how to gather
data on an anonymity system without de-anonymizing users.
The person in this position will work directly with helping us design
and refine systems for gathering and analyzing data. The bulk of our
code is written in Java, but smaller portions are written in R, Python,
bugs in our current code and review patches. We will also be migrating
parts of our code from Java to Python, and the person in this position
will help with that.
• Have experience finding your way into existing
Java/Python/R/PostgreSQL code bases and the ability to review patches
and make changes to fix bugs/smaller enhancements.
• Able to identify shortcomings in our data pipeline and suggest
improvements to reduce complexity and future maintenance efforts.
• Experience working with Git and Trac or similar issue tracking tools.
• Ability to learn quickly and can adapt to our current processes; are
able to improve future processes for releasing software and operating
• Understanding of the inherent privacy implications of gathering data
in an anonymity system, the security implications of gathering metrics
data from semi-trusted relays in the Tor network, and the challenges of
processing large amounts of data per day (specifically performance and
• Ability to work remotely 90% of the time, as most team
synchronization happening via email and/or IRC.
• Participation in weekly IRC meetings and monthly team video chats.
• Willingness and ability to travel internationally up to four times
per year, to semi-annual Tor meeting plus up to two team-internal meetings.
• Language: write and speak fluent English.
• Comfortable posting to a public mailing list or speaking up in a
public IRC channel to ask questions, even when you think the question
might be obvious or silly.
• Data analysis: Ability to make sense of data sets and use data
analysis tools to find and visualize interesting patterns.
• Open source attitude: You're accustomed to a pattern of early and
frequent releases without attempting to finalize things on your own and
have contributed to open source projects before.
• Scientific writing: Experience writing technical reports about data
• Mathematics: Knowledge of basic statistics.
• Networking background: Experience working with networks and
measurements in the past.
• You support Internet Freedom!
This is a full-time position that can be done remotely/internationally
or in our office in Seattle, WA. To apply, send a cover letter that
includes a statement about why you want to work at the Tor Project, your
CV/resume (including three professional references), and a link to a
code sample or some non-trivial software project you have significantly
contributed to. All documents should be in PDF format labeled with your
name. Please send to job-metrics at torproject dot org with “Metrics
Data Architect” in the subject line. No phone calls please!
Flexible salary, depending on experience. The Tor Project has a highly
competitive benefits package, including a generous PTO policy; paid
holidays (including the week\
between Christmas and New Year's, when the office is closed); health,
vision, dental, disability, and life insurance paid in full for
employee; 401(k); and flexible work schedule. (Please note that benefits
package specifics can vary slightly from country to country, but we aim
to treat everyone equally.)
The Tor Project's workforce is smart and committed. The Tor Project
currently has a paid and contract staff of around 47 developers and
operational support staff, plus many thousands of volunteers who
contribute to our work. The Tor Project is funded in part by government
research and development grants, and in part by individual, foundation
and corporate donations. If you’re new to the Tor Project scene, are
curious what our workplace culture is like, or just want to read about
how fun our semi-annual meetings are, hear what our new Development
Director had to say about all of it:
The Tor Project, Inc., is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.