Interactive Media Developer at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Come join the Digital & Emerging Media team at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum!

Cooper Hewitt is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Digital and Emerging Media is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the infrastructure and interfaces required by the museum. From visualizing the 210,000-object collection to managing our in-gallery technologies to building the technical infrastructure that makes it all possible, the Digital & Emerging Media team plays a critical role within the museum.


Reporting to the Director of Digital & Emerging Media the Interactive Media Developer (IMD) oversees development, deployment and maintenance of all of the museum’s public-facing digital properties and supporting technologies.

As a leading member of Cooper Hewitt’s Digital & Emerging Media team, IMD supports the departmental mission of delivering strategic and experiential goals across all digital platforms with a focus on human-centered and empathetic design. In collaboration with the Digital & Emerging Media team, the Interactive Media Developer will play a key role in incubating new ideas to stimulate the visitor experience.

The IMD will serve as a key collaborator within Cooper Hewitt’s content generating departments and is essential to the successful operation of a small in-house team that develops, builds, and maintains and other digital platforms, including mobile websites, digital signage, in-gallery interactives and APIs.

Officially the position is called “Interactive Media Developer” which means this position is responsible for helping make these ideas a reality using finely honed “Internet Typing” skills. The ideal candidate should be comfortable working his or her way around Unix systems, developing web applications, and have some experience working in both front-end and back-end systems. Proficiency in one is required but empathy for both is a must.

The Stack

Our back-end is mostly a LAMP stack with a dash of Python thrown in. Our front-end is built with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. All of that is hosted on Amazon Web Services. We also maintain a large WordPress instance for the main website.

Our in-gallery technology features more Python (running on our fleet of Raspberry Pis) and heaps of openFrameworks-flavored C++ (running on our snazzy 32″, 55″ and 84″ multi-touch tables).

All of our code is hosted both privately and publicly on our GitHub account, which is where we do the bulk of our project management.

Major Responsibilities

  • Design, develop and maintain our technical infrastructure and user interfaces
  • Create innovative and novel ways of engaging with the museum’s content both online and on interactive interfaces within the museum
  • Build working prototypes in code for staff to better understand larger projects/concepts
  • Iterate and deploy updates in response to user research and feedback
  • Communicate work through publication of Labs/Dev blog, open source code, research papers, presentations at conferences and workshops

Qualification Requirements:

  • 3-5 years in depth experience developing and maintaining web applications, preferably (but not necessarily) of the LAMP variety
  • High degree of proficiency in PHP, SQL, MySQL, Postgres, HTML/CSS, Javascript/jQuery
  • High degree of proficiency in front and back end application development
  • Proficiency with AWS, Elasticsearch, web proxy/caching and optimization practices
  • Knowledge of REST & SOAP APIs and best practices in designing REST APIs
  • Knowledge of Version Control Systems such as Git
  • Experience deploying code in a production environment
  • Ability to serve as an advisor and technical authority on matters relating to planning, designing, developing and implementing complex web applications.
  • Ability to establish productive/collaborative relationships with internal and external partners to produce work of a high quality while under tight deadlines.
  • Ability to take initiative and ownership of project for assignments and responsibilities.
  • Skilled at organizing work so that deadlines are met or exceeded
  • A portfolio that demonstrates creative thinking and documentation of process work
  • Capacity to quickly learn new tools and platforms
  • Interest/knowledge/passion in technology, art and/or design.

Salary – Competitive

How to Apply: Please submit a cover letter and detailed resume addressing the qualification requirements. Please email them to This position is opened until filled.

Exceptional Smithsonian Benefits:

  • TIAA-CREF (Defined Contributions – 12 percent)
  • Free Life Insurance
  • Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
  • Long Term Disability
  • Health Insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
  • Dental (Delta Dental)
  • Vision (Vision Services)
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Free Transit/Commuter Benefits (up to $3,060 commuter costs paid per year)
  • Annual Leave (13 days) increasing after 3 years (20 days)
  • Sick Leave (13 days)
  • Federal Holidays (10 days)
  • Family Friendly Leave Family Friendly Workplace
  • Historic and landmark offices and garden
  • 92Y Fitness Center
  • Free Entrance to Museums and Galleries
  • Design Library
  • Curatorial Talks and Tours (Cooper Hewitt)
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Smithsonian Network
  • Tarallucci e Vino Museum Café (employee discount)
  • Museum Shop (employee discount)
  • Admission to NYC museums and galleries (free)
  • General Employee Discounts