Please note: the application will take about 60-90 minutes to complete. Please allow yourself the necessary time to complete and make sure your internet connection is stable. We recommend using a computer to complete this application.

What is the fellowship?

The 2019 Community Fellowship is your chance to use your skills to directly impact everyday people’s lives by making government work for the people it serves. Fellows have improved the workforce system so people can find jobs, ensured families can access food assistance, and helped people avoid unnecessary incarceration. This year, we’re building on progress we’ve made  ways to make the program more sustainable.

The Fellowship transforms government from the inside out. Our partnerships create cultural and structural change in local government by pairing technologists with government teams who want to create great services for the public and enabling them to rapidly deploy technology that is easy to use, that works in real time, and that operates at a fraction of the cost that governments are used to.

Code for America’s fellows are mission-driven digital professionals who are eager to use their skills to make government work better for the people who need them the most. They have multi-disciplinary experience in engineering, design, user experience, research, and product management.

It’s a big job but highly rewarding. And it comes with some amazing perks:

  • Work on the most complex challenges of our time. Use your skills to make a huge impact on people’s lives.
  • Connections. The biggest names in the tech industry and the civic technology movement will provide you with unparalleled networking, mentorship, and support.
  • Professional Development. You will develop lasting relationships and learn new skills in a creative and fast-paced atmosphere.
  • Exercise Creativity. Working in small teams with your government partners, you’ll conduct user research to decide what you build and how you build it.
  • A Labor of Love. You’ll not only accomplish a lot and make the world a better place, but you’ll have a lot of fun working with other passionate people.

What does a successful fellow look like?

2019 Fellows will come from a variety of backgrounds in technology, and in life. Some may come from large companies or startup environments, while others have experience working in government or social impact organizations. All fellows will work to support their own communities.

All of our fellows bring a few key traits to the table:

  • Highly Collaborative. Fellows are able to actively engage with their teammates as an equal partner, motivator and teacher. They openly and directly provide and ask for feedback, and they want to work with their governments as partners.
  • Comfortable Wearing Many Hats. In small teams, it’s vital to the success of the team that teammates are able to jump in and out of roles and tasks to push their product forward. They are scrappy, resourceful and creative problem solvers.
  • Adaptable. There is no real “typical day” as a fellow. While teams often define some sprint planning and decisions making processes, routines change often. Fellows need the ability to travel to Code for America Summit, Fellows’ Orientation, Brigade Congress, closing ceremony, and other public interest tech events. Travel estimated at 20%.
  • Able to work independently. Fellows are a core part of the Code for America team and often work adjacent to the focus area staff in the areas of food, jobs, and justice. They are self-motivated and ask for help when they need it. Fellows must be able to successfully work remotely and with remote teammates.

Fellowship teams are cross-functional teams of 2-3 people with primary skills in software development, design, data science, and product management. Additional experience in GIS, community organizing, non-profit management, government, and policy work can be highly valuable. Here are some of the core competencies we’ve identified for each primary skill set:

Software Developer:

  • Proficient in one full web stack
  • Strong software architect who knows when to build code to throw away and when to build code that will last
  • Solid understanding of agile and iterative development processes
  • Work closely with the designer to ensure that application is user-friendly
  • Work closely with designer and product manager to identify a reasonable development process
  • Flexibility in trying new things
  • Strong people skills


  • Comfortable with leading your team and external stakeholders through a human-centered design process
  • Translate research findings (both generative and usability) into a design strategy
    Generate design materials, including: user requirements specifications, storyboards, scenarios, flowcharts, design prototypes, wireframes, and design specifications (redlines)
  • Care deeply about accessibility and building things that work for everyone from the start
  • Work closely with the developer to ensure that designs are implemented according to specification
  • Work closely with the project manager and developer to identify a reasonable design and development schedule


Product Manager:

  • Experience with agile and iterative development and comfort walking your team through that process
  • Solid background with understanding and/or hands-on experience in software development or design
  • Strong Stakeholder Management communication skills to convey the importance of your project vision
  • Ability to identify and track key product metrics to understand the impact of your team’s work
  • Experience leading a team to build something from scratch
    Work closely with designer and developer to identify a reasonable work plan

Data Scientist:

  • Synthesize a wide variety of data sources to understand the impact of your project, and train your government partners on how to measure their progress.
  • Use strong people skills to effectively communicate with your team and government partners
  • Work closely with data managers in partner governments and your team’s developer to build a sustainable data infrastructure for your project.
  • Have the patience to work with often frustrating government data systems.
  • Collaborate with the team’s designer to build visualizations the communicate key findings, and with the project manager to build informative project updates.
  • Have comfort with a wide variety of tools and methods and the flexibility to try new things.


Applying as a Project Team

This year’s application for the fellowship contains four parts, all to be completed by the project lead on the form below.

  1. Describe Yourself. The project lead will provide basic information about themselves.
  2. Describe Your Team. The project lead will describe the proposed team members and partner organizations.
  3. Describe Your Project. The project lead will describe the project’s mission, impact, and outcomes.
  4. Why should we pick your team? Tell us a bit more about yourself and your history of working on projects like this.


About Code for America

Code for America is a startup non-profit with a great culture and a huge opportunity to make a difference. We work in cross-functional teams, collaboratively and agilely and value high-quality, user-friendly work product. We strive to learn from everything we do and regularly host talks from leaders in the civic technology movement. We respect each other, work hard, and have a great time together.  We’re looking for individuals who share our vision, our values, and our willingness to do what it takes to achieve an ambitious mission over the next few years.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Code for America values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBT individuals, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, people with prior convictions,  foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply. Code for America is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

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