Open Source Developer Apprentice

Remote /
Labs /
With the support of a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we have established an apprenticeship program to promote the long-term sustainability and diversity of the Apache Arrow project. We are currently searching for a C++ developer from underrepresented groups—such as non-cis-males, people of color, those with non-traditional educational backgrounds, or others—for a one-year apprenticeship.

Apprentices will gain general experience in open source project maintenance and community support, as well as specific, deep knowledge of the Arrow libraries and of testing and packaging C++, Python, and R libraries on a range of platforms. Following the year-long program, apprentices will be prepared for software engineering jobs in the big data ecosystem, and we hope that they will continue to engage with the Arrow community and other open source projects into the future.

What you’ll do

    • Work with Ursa Labs developers and others in the community to add valuable functionality to Arrow libraries. You will work primarily in C++, but you’ll also contribute to the Python and R package bindings to the C++ library. 
    • Triage issues: respond to user reports, help debug them, and ensure that they get resolved appropriately
    • Monitor builds and packaging jobs and keep everything passing so that we can ensure that Arrow libraries can be easily and reliably installed on as many systems as possible
    • Promote the health of the Arrow community more generally, including writing documentation and tutorials to make it easier for new users to get started, facilitating community discussions and encouraging users to become contributors, and other public contributions.

About you

    • You believe in Arrow’s mission to enable data scientists to work with bigger data with greater speed and efficiency, based on a shared, language-independent foundation
    • You also share our belief that the ultimate success of an open-source project depends on the health of its community. You thrive on collaboration, you value cultivating a diverse and inclusive ecosystem, and you find joy in helping others make contributions. 
    • You have a solid technical foundation. You should know enough about software development that you can learn new skills quickly and apply that knowledge effectively. You don’t need to know everything already--in fact, if you have deep technical experience in the kinds of problems we work on in Arrow, you should apply for one of Ursa’s other jobs
    • You’re passionate and driven to learn new skills. You are energized by having to solve problems you’ve never encountered before and by growing your skillset along the way.

What is _not_ required

    • Prior experience with Arrow. Whether or not you have worked with Arrow before, let us know in your cover letter why you’re interested in the project and its mission, as well as any experience you may have had in related areas.
    • Prior experience contributing to open source. We are specifically trying to bring new people into open source. Let us know in your cover letter why contributing to open source software is important to you.
    • A computer-science or engineering degree. If you have one, that’s good, but being self taught is not a disadvantage for this program, particularly given how much you will be expected to teach yourself on the job.

What we will provide

    • Technical apprenticeship: we will empower you to solve a range of technical problems and support you as you dig in and learn new skills
    • Mentoring on open-source community governance and maintenance
    • Salary of US$80,000, plus medical, dental, and vision benefits for US-based employees
    • Upon successful completion of the one-year program, there may be an opportunity for permanent employment with Ursa Computing, but there is no guarantee. If a permanent role with Ursa is not available or not mutually desired, we will provide all appropriate support to help you secure a job elsewhere in the industry.
Ursa Computing is a fully distributed organization. This position is remote and open to all candidates globally. We value diversity and bringing voices of all kinds to the table—especially those that are underrepresented in technology today.

In your cover letter, please briefly share how the qualities listed above describe you, and tell us how you see this program fitting with your career goals. If you have professional experience, highlight how it is relevant for this position. If your experience looks like it’s not relevant (for example, you have JavaScript/CSS experience but no C++), tell us why you’re looking to change roles. And especially if you don’t have professional experience, help us understand (preferably with examples!) why you have the potential to be successful here.