Many of us have had to answer that question several times before getting to
the point where a job posting is even possible, so it shouldn't be hard ;).

But I think it is worth glossing the question a bit..."dev positions" could
be created to create new stuff from scratch, or they could be used to
develop existing systems to meet local needs, as is our case in hiring for
our Digital Repository Manager (
 In our case, we chose inherently flexible, interchangeable platforms
(Fedora/Solr/Django) because we recognized that our community's needs would
evolve faster than any one product.  So while we're not creating any
particular piece of that stack from scratch, we feel we need the flexibility
to create outcomes that may serve needs unique to Brown.

It seems that the bar for justifying a position would be set differently
based on the those kinds of nuances.


On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 1:44 PM, Eric Hellman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I think it's a good question, worth asking about *every* dev position being
> hired for.  I would be interested to hear an answer from others on the list.
> In fact, I think the price of putting a position announcement on Code4lib
> should be a willingness to answer "why?". And "why not?" is a pretty
> pathetic answer.
> For me, I'm doing what I'm doing because I think it's important and because
> no one else is doing it. I hope there are many other with a similar answer.
> Eric

Andrew Ashton
Director of Digital Technologies
Brown University Library