Lead Digital Developer at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

The Lead Digital Developer is responsible for bringing to life the digital strategy across all interactions in a digitally expanding institution. Co-creating with a diverse cross-functional team and focusing on key elements of our brand’s vision and mission – this role brings to life strategies, projects and initiatives through campaigns, stand-alone experiences/apps with a cohesive visual identity across all touch points. Working with complex content and collaborating with other designers, departments or functions the Lead Digital Developer develops strategic design initiatives and manage the museum’s websites and online initiatives with executional excellence.

Responsible for:

  • Supervising interactive design/functionality/databases for the NHMLA’s web and mobile experiences, leveraging latest industry trends, ensuring optimization and best practices.
  • Developing visitor user experiences that integrate immersive technologies for existing social, web and exhibits to enable creative, immersive, user-friendly design/interactive solutions.
  • Co-creating and integrating digital experience strategies together with the leadership team of Marketing, Design & Communications that advance NHMLA’s strategic initiatives.
  • Leading directly with teams from other departments, operations and external programs bringing a digital experience strategy across all visitor touch points (including new, permanent and temporary exhibits).
  • Generating prototypes for concepts or wireframes that realize the goals of the digital experience strategy.
  • Managing team (including Junior Web Developer/contractors/agencies) that delivers a range of industry-recognized digital experiences.
  • Defining and developing dashboards for relevant analytics across all digital platforms.
  • Anticipating and developing protocols for technical infrastructure.
  • Overseeing technical standard/compliance protocols for database development across web and web-based applications (e.g. MySQL NoSQL, and MSSQL and Linux/Apache).
  • Communicating clearly and effectively with business partners.
  • Demonstrating strong presentation skills.
  • Partnering cross-functionally to develop/implement a digital roadmap, pipeline of projects or strategic initiatives.

Primary Duties

  1. Develops visitor user experiences that integrate immersive technologies to existing social, web and exhibit presence, creating immersive, user-friendly design/interactive solutions.
  2. Responsible for leading the digital strategy, developing and implementing an integrated comprehensive digital program that engages physical and virtual visitors alike.
  3. Manages the Museum’s websites and digital landscape (including planning, producing and implementing projects within a digital roadmap).
  4. Integrates design and development of all digital touchpoints and functionality, ensuring strong optimization and best practices.
  5. Recommends and oversees System Maintenance administering Linux and Apache, including SSL and PCI compliance. Interacts with servers using SSH, FTP and Telnet protocols.
  6. Plans overall web/digital related projects and development and monitors website technical performance, web servers, and other web systems. Works on projects including web layout enhancements, website enhancements, web-based applications, and database-backed websites using MySQL and MSSQL Server with Drupal, WordPress, CSS and XHTML.

Secondary Duties

  • Performs related duties as required, including assuming responsibility for major projects and initiatives designed to meet the Museum’s mission and goals.
  • Advocate for digital and design with a guest-centered focus as part of creating breakthrough experiences.
  • This is a hands-on development position. Candidates should be innovative, flexible, and self-directed; show a willingness to share, discuss, and brainstorm ideas; and enjoy writing code, solving problems and working/communicating with other developers.
  • Interest in, knowledge of, and enthusiasm for the digital trends and changing landscape of the internet and web-related technologies.
  • Interest in the arts, art history, museums, and/or cultural affairs is preferred.

Reporting to the Creative Director for Brand, Design & Digital, we work in an open studio setting but this may include some minor annoyances such as noise, low levels of music and drafts, etc.

In the course of performing this work, this role also involves:

  • Spending substantial time sitting, utilizing the computer.
  • Travelling via personal vehicle or public transport to off-site meetings.
  • May lift up to 25 lbs. periodically.


Position Requirements

These specifications are general guidelines based on the minimum experience normally considered essential to the satisfactory performance of this job.  Individual abilities may result in some deviation from these guidelines.

To perform effectively in this position, the incumbent is expected to have:

  • Minimum 5-7 years of professional digital-related experience with an emphasis on web/mobile platforms (not including time spent in school)
  • Bachelor’s degree required/Master’s degree preferred (Design or Computer Science preferred)
  • 50% hands-on development work—we are seeking technologists who deliver thoughtful solutions and can adapt quickly to shifting requests/deliverables
  • Ability to analyze, simplify, and design interactions technically that are optimized with best practices
  • Natural affinity for problem-solving and improving functionality with cutting-edge user experiences
  • Ability to effectively manage complex digital prototype development
  • Aptitude to create a collaborative team environment leading multi-disciplinary design teams
  • Experience with design strategy methodology and practice
  • Strong visitor/user-centered design approach and understanding of agile methodology
  • Strong visual, written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to communicate and present ideas to cross-functional business partners
  • A strong (yet flexible) design perspective
  • Excellent management and organizational skills
  • Experience interfacing with corporate clients (agency/consultancy background helpful)
  • Experience with cross-platform (Mac, PC & Mobile) software application and document management
  • Experience working with and writing custom database structures (Drupal Modules, MySQL and NoSQL)
  • Administered and built web enhancements applications (JavaScript and jQuery, Canvas)
  • Adeptness with and a detailed understanding of front-end development tools/interface applications plus relevant software fluency in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative etc.

Apply online at nhm.org/jobs