Jacob Harris


I am a web developer with 19 years of work experience and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science who is looking for interesting problems and building software for the public good. I specialize in backend architectures and reliable APIs for important purposes. I live in the DC area, but I am also an experienced and ruthlessly efficient remote worker accustomed to working with distributed teams.


  • C/C++/Go
  • Java/Scala
  • HTML/CSS/Javascript
  • Ruby/Ruby on Rails
  • Python/Flask
  • Scheme/Lisp/Clojure
  • SQL (MySQL/Postgres)


  • Mac OS X/ Linux server
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Docker/CloudFoundry
  • Varnish/Haproxy
  • Apache/Nginx/static sites
  • Redis/Elasticsearch
  • Test-Driven Development


  • Data Journalism
  • API-centric approaches
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Effective remote worker
  • Great communication skills
  • Plays well with others
  • Concerned about inclusion


Innovation Specialist,
18F is a “government startup” that operates within the General Services Administration and consults to build software products for other federal agencies as clients. Notable projects:
  • MyUSA I joined the team on this prototype system for basic single-sign-on that allowed users to avoid typing the same fields and also control what information they share with government websites
  • Micro-purchase I worked with team on website that lets government employees commission software development through open auctions beneath the basic federal procurement thresholds
  • FBI Crime Data Explorer I joined the project in progress to learn Python and work with Open Data. I have worked as part of the API team, creating and optimizing endpoints for the explorer site and power users.
  • Confidential Survey I developed a prototype for surveying our team about its diversity without collecting individual response records that could betray someone’s privacy
Senior Software Architect,
In 2007, I was a co-founder of the Interactive Newsroom Technologies Team, a startup-like group embedded within the newsroom that creates news-driven web applications on agile timeframes. Notable projects:
  • Elections (2008-2014) I helped develop the system in 2008 for loading election data from the AP. I then expanded it for 2010, 2012, 2013 (NYC mayor) and 2014 election years. In 2012, I helped formulate strategy for more dynamic coverage online and developed a modular API-based approach for providing data to various parts of the site.
  • Olympics Results (2010/2012) I was part of team building a system to load Olympics data from the IOC and update the Times’ Olympics site in near-realtime. Helped architect successor built for 2012/2014.
  • Wikileaks War Logs I created internal website tools used by reporters to better understand the data. I also contributed research and pitched a graphic to accompany a story on the deaths in Baghdad.
  • @nytimes Twitter Account I created the @nytimes twitter account (among others) and built the software that feeds them from RSS feeds
  • Times Haiku I built the bot for finding haiku within New York Times articles and a Tumblr-based backend for moderating them
Software Developer,
Alacra resells financial content from over 80 different databases to financial and legal firms. My role there was R&D and rapid development, particularly combining content from these databases.


Masters Eng./Bachelor of Science (dual), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Major in Computer Science, Minor in Literature. Concentration of studies: operating systems, software engineering, programming languages and compilers. GPA: 4.5/5.0

Selected Writing