Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Win $1,000 in books: LibraryThing Needs a Great Developer



We are no longer accepting applications for this position.

LibraryThing runs on PHP, in almost entirely non-OO code. We will strongly prefer people with PHP experience, but other, flexible programmers are welcome to apply.

Good to Have

  • PHP. Most of our code is PHP-based, but we also use Objective-C, Python and Java.
  • MySQL. LibraryThing is relational-database intensive. We work directly with the database.
  • JavaScript. We try to do as much as possible on the back end, but JavaScript is a must.


  • Library Experience. LibraryThing does a lot of work in the library world and many applicants will likely have that background. An MLS is a definite plus, as is library work and knowledge of library standards and technologies.
  • Book-World Experience. Experience in bookstore or publishing would be a plus.
  • Mobile Programming. This is not a mobile programming job, but if you have mobile experience you could help on one of our apps.
  • Design Experience. This is not a design job, but design experience would be a plus.


  • Working remotely puts a premium on communication skills, discipline, and internal motivation.
  • We want to hire people who care about books and libraries, and believe in an open and humane vision of the future for both. We live to create technologies that make readers happy and keep libraries vital.
  • LibraryThing is an informal, high-energy, small-team environment. Programming is rapid, creative, and unencumbered by process. We put a premium on speed and reliability, communication, and responsibility.
  • All LibraryThing employees interact with members and/or libraries directly. We believe that “The User is not Broken.”
  • We develop and refine ideas together. We need your ideas and your criticism as much as your labor.
  • Interesting, passionate people make interesting, passionate products. Besides loving books, this is the rare job for which a masters in Medieval Irish or a side gig as a jazz bassist would be a plus.

Location and Compensation

This is a remote job open to anyone eligible to work in the US. We’d love to employ people outside the US, but we’ve done it before, and, for a small company, the legal hassles are too great.

All we can say for salary is that we will consider applicants with a wide degree of skills and experiences, the range is as $60-100k, or more. We are looking for the right person, not the right salary.

LibraryThing offers excellent health and dental insurance. We require hard work but are unusually flexible about hours.

Read Before Applying

Before you apply, you should make sure you can do the LibraryThing Programming Quiz, which is something like Jeff Atwood’s “Fizz Buzz.” Our interviews include a simple programming quiz not unlike that. If you object to such things, please do not apply.

How to Apply

Send a cover-letter email and PDF resume to Please also include your solution to the LibraryThing Programming Quiz, so we know you took the time to do it. Your cover letter should go through this job advertisement, responding to it. If possible, send us or link us to code samples.

The Fine Print

LibraryThing is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of religion, race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy status, parental status, marital status, veteran status, or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Did you read this far? Prove you did by making your subject line “Feta Cheese: [Your name].”

Labels: employment


  1. Craig Nelson says:

    You should look into Catchafire. A free service of tech people. We used them at our museum. You put out what you are looking for and it goes to people all over including those working at places like Microsoft or Apple.

  2. Kristin Bell says:

    I tried to leave a comment in a different place. Not sure if it took. LOL. I just want to say: mad respect to the people who can do the programming quiz fast. I hope someday I can do something like that fast. I’m still learning stuff. I appreciate you posting the programming quiz though, because it was fun to figure out…even at my snail pace. LOL.

  3. I really enjoy Library Thing, thanks for creating and developing it.

    If at some time you would make APIs available (even dummy ones) I would be pleased to contribute to the project on an open source basis.

    Thank you


  4. Tania says:

    Can this ad be shared? I think this is an awesome job opportunity! If only I knew how to code!

  5. The LibraryThing Programming Quiz comment box is broken, FYI. I solved it in JavaScript in about 2 minutes, but I have a more than full-time job already.

    Have you thought about semi-open-sourcing the project? You could have volunteers sign an NDA if you don’t want a true open source license, but you might be able to get more nibbles that way.

  6. Arlie says:

    I wanted to apply for this, just because it’s such a fun job posting, and I like the programing quiz. Sadly, I don’t really need a new job. But I bet I’d love the culture.

  7. Loren says:

    Is this position still available?

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