Virga Labs ( - R Shiny Front End Developer

paid / Tucson, AZ & Remote (US) / full-time

Hi Everyone!
Virga Labs is looking for a few talented people to join our team!
We’re a mission-driven natural water and natural resource consulting firm, based in Tucson, Arizona. We focus on delivering integrated modeling, analysis, and data visualization tools to drive solutions to wicked problems at the intersection of water, climate, and society.
Our tech stack is very Shiny oriented (R, HTML/SCSS, Javascript) and Python for building our back-end. Half our team is based in Tucson and the other half are remote (we welcome remote).


Virga Labs is a mission-driven natural water and resource consulting firm, based in Tucson, Arizona. We focus on delivering integrated modeling, analysis, and data visualization tools to drive solutions to wicked problems and the intersection of water, climate, and society.

We develop data-focused products at the local and regional scales, ranging from public-facing dashboards with high traffic to smaller bespoke customer-specific analyses and tools. Our products are designed to support decision- making, communicate water-related climate risks, detail economic impacts associated with climate risk, and visualize potential solutions.

We are a small cohesive team who thrives on strong communication, emotional intelligence, and a foundational desire to engage in some of the West’s most pressing work. We foster a culture of respect driven by celebrating individual strengths, encouraging vulnerability, and supporting the personal and professional growth of team members. Our team is made up of individuals with a diverse set of skills and backgrounds who are committed to making the best available data come to life through dynamic tools and visualizations that make the information and resources more useful, accessible, and impactful.

We look for individuals who are looking to be on the forefront of data tool development to answer our most pressing water and climate issues and who are looking to collaborate with a highly driven team who shares in that passion. We believe connection is at the heart of our ability to work together and tackle the difficult but critical work we engage in and we are looking for individuals who are interested in engaging on that level, whether that be connecting one-on-one throughout the week or engaging in a group meditation. As a growing company each role at Virga Labs is unique, but all require a desire for a high degree of collaboration with a small team, the ability to listen, learn, teach, and compromise, and a willingness to roll with changing needs and priorities.


As the Virga Labs R Shiny Front-End Developer you will lead the creation, deployment, and maintenance of Shiny applications for the company. This role requires the Front-End Developer to be a highly motivated and creative individual who has a strong understanding of front end development and experience building interactive R Shiny applications. You will primarily be focused on collaborative development of custom UI components using R & Javascript with the htmlwidgets package and building Shiny applications with our package ecosystem. Key responsibilities will include leveraging your technical skills to lead Javascript front-end development and support Shiny widget development based on the needs of our clients and the dev team. The tech stack that you can expect at Virga Labs: R, Shiny, JavaScript, Python, Docker, Git, AWS, HTML, CSS/SCSS, Apache Echarts, Plotly, and D3.

Specific Duties

  • Create, maintain, and develop R/Shiny applications for clients

  • Provide scalability, security, and modern UI/UX with custom R packages

  • Create useful and professional open-source R/Shiny packages and custom internal tooling

  • Maintain and extend modularized Shiny apps by adding features, improving UI/UX per user feedback

  • Provide technical writing such as user guides, manuals, and other documentation

  • Provide exploratory data analysis and visualization of large data sets

  • Develop interactive dashboards for internal collaboration and project management

  • Write reusable functions and modules for rapid, iterative Shiny app development workflows

  • Adopt state-of-the-art techniques and best practices in Shiny, R packages, and data visualization

  • Utilize visualization tools such as Apache Echarts, plotly, and ggplot2 in order to interactively visualize a variety of customizable parameters

  • Provide R-Shiny development-related input on client-facing deliverables (e.g. status reports, presentations, data dictionaries)

  • Develop Shiny implementation plans according to client specific questions and analysis objectives

  • Review code, write unit tests, and perform quality control checks and testing on code

Preferred Skills and Experience

  • 3+ years of front-end design experience or a combination of 5 years of relevant education and experience

  • Working knowledge of the following languages, libraries and development frameworks: R, Shiny, HTML, SCSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, AdminLTE, React, Semantic & Fomantic UI

  • Deep knowledge and experience with R programming and building interactive R/Shiny applications with efficient reactivity

  • Knowledge and experience with JavaScript

  • Familiarity with Git workflow: Branch, Commit, Stash, Pull Requests, PR Review, Merge, Merge conflict resolution with diff tools

  • Hands-on experience in design and development of Shiny apps for scientific applications

  • Proficient in tidyverse and/or data.table, functional development, R Markdown; JavaScript, JS libraries.

Python a plus

  • Knowledge of data visualization principles and techniques a plus

  • Experience in software development lifecycle and version control

  • Experience in implementing relational databases to support Shiny applications

  • Experience in AWS cloud computing a plus

  • Mastery of multitasking and high-level time management skills

  • Comfort communicating at both technical and executive levels of detail, especially when explaining complex topics to those new to the subject area

  • Effective communication skills and high degree of emotional intelligence

  • Ability to think dynamically and respond quickly to an ever-changing workload

  • Desire to be involved with a company whose work is at the heart of the water and climate challenges currently facing the western US

  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative and inclusive environment

  • If remotely located, willingness to travel to Tucson, Arizona for meetings and work sessions several times throughout a calendar year


Timing | Position will begin in May 2022, with the exact date to be determined based on the selected candidate.

Location | Our preference is for this position to be based in Tucson, but we are open to remote locations.

Compensation | A competitive salary; 401(k) retirement plan; Flexible medical, dental, and vision benefits; Disability insurance; Parental leave; Unlimited paid time off; Apple computer and phone set-up and ergonomic home office stipend

COVID-19 Considerations | COVID-19 vaccine required (apart from a medical or religious exemption). Work will be semi remote with integrated in-person work sessions as CDC guidance allows with integrated testing protocols as needed.


Applicants should send a cover letter and resume combined as a single document in PDF format to: please indicate “R Shiny Front-End Developer Application” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and be accepted until position is filled, with preference given to candidates who apply before May 8, 2022.

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