Seeking Rockstar Developer Interns - June 15, 2009

Did the recession cause your internship offer to get pulled?
Didn’t get that YCombinator funding you were hoping for?
Or maybe you were just too busy partying to plan your summer?

Well you’re in luck. We at Action Verb just decided to move to a new office, which means that we now have more desks. Our empty desks are basically begging for interns.

Our internship positions are part-time [20-30 hours per week] and interns never work on Fridays. So read our offer and see if we can convince you to come chill in NYC for the summer. We’d love to have you.


Action Verb, LLC is a small, fast-growing NYC-based startup (founded by a Harvard ’08 graduate) that is revolutionizing the way web design firms operate.

Our first and main product, Vae, is a hosted content management platform that totally separates the internal content management interface from the public-facing websites. Designers build a custom backend interface for each site using our graphical tools by selecting what types of data structures are needed for each section of the site. (For example, a Record Label site might have a collection of Artists, each of which has Photos, Videos, Tour Dates, Blog Posts, MP3s and Links.) Their clients can then log in to Vae and add/edit content within the framework created by the designer. This content is made available via a PHP API, and through VaeML, our proprietary content presentation language. Vae also integrates eCommerce, targeted E-Mail Marketing, hosting, and more. See for a bigger picture and a demo video.

Vae is powerful enough that it enables small design teams (even those without programmers) to compete with big design firms for big projects. But it’s also quite addictive — most design firms that use Vae now use it exclusively, even for small sites. Vae is being used on more than 100 websites.


We’re looking for two people to join our team as summer interns working on the Vae platform. You will work on real problems, and write real code that will be used in production.

We will work with you to identify and break off a problem that can be tackled fully while you’re with us. We want you to do something you’re interested in, and we have problems that run the spectrum from intensely algorithmic to frontend CSS work.

Possible intern projecs include:

  • rewrite VaeML parser in C using Ragel
  • optimize VaeQL engine for performance, using the set of queries that are actually being run on our production sites
  • integrate Vae with GitHub to provide one-click deploy from github to a vae site
  • integrate our newsletter analytics with our eCommerce analytics to provide a clearer picture of the sales funnel that originates from newsletter links
  • import/export engines to allow clients to easily migrate from or to other platforms such as WordPress
  • or anything else that you can convince us is useful

Interns work 20-30 hours per week, and our schedule is fairly flexible — so please take time to go enjoy the city. We normally work from 11-7. So a typical schedule for interns would be 11-5, Monday-Thursday. Or you could do 1-7.

Our internships pay $3,000, spread over 10 weeks. If you’re here for less than 10 weeks (and you can be), prorate accordingly. We will also give you an unlimited ride MetroCard, so you can get all over the city.

We will bend over backwards to get you college credit for the internship, as long as you point us in the right direction for your school. If your college requires that it be an unpaid internship to get credit, we’ll see if we can get you that $3,000 some indirect way.

Given that we’re getting a late start, we’d want you to start as soon as you could. Unfortunately, this also means that finding housing in NYC will probably be a pain, and you’ll be on your own for that. Craigslist is your friend.

Ideal candidates will:

  • be rising college sophomores, juniors, or seniors. Exceptions can be made though, so if you’re the next Nathan Weizenbaum, please apply.
  • have a very good working knowledge of XHTML, CSS, Javascript (preferrably jQuery)
  • have solid experience with either Ruby on Rails [preferred] or PHP [we have some code in PHP that you could work on, but it’s hardcore, not fluffy web stuff]

In the vein of 37signals, we’d be very surprised if we hired anyone that doesn’t use a Mac. Let the flames begin.

To apply, please send your:

  • resume
  • cover letter (see but don’t stress about making it formal, just tell us why you’re interested in us and why we’d be interested in you.)
  • design portfolio (if you have one and are interested in something more frontend oriented. totally optional.)

to [email protected].

No phone calls or recruiters, please.