With a new guy in the Oval Office, there’s going to be a lot of changes around here — the White House website among them.
Climate-change policy, plans for racial equity and swift action on COVID-19 are among the topics being discussed on WhiteHouse.gov. Now that the new site is live, President Joe Biden’s constituents could hardly wait to peruse every paragraph, down to the URL’s source code. (You know, the computer jargon used to build the internet.)
But on Wednesday, an eagle-eyed Microsoft developer, Isaac Hepworth, spotted a surprise employee recruitment message embedded in the site’s backend.
“If you’re reading this, we need your help building back better,” the missive reads, followed by a link to the United States Digital Service (USDS) job application page. As part of the Executive Office, the agency is charged with consulting on information technology with lawmakers and works to provide better digital services to citizens.
The USDS was established in 2014 to help bring antiquarian technologies in the US government up to speed, so to speak.
In a statement published January 14, they wrote, “Since we were founded by the President in 2014, over 500 people have served, modernizing government, shifting culture, and showing what’s possible. Nearly 80% of our staff have joined during this administration to try and make a difference in people’s lives.”
Recently, the USDS has partnered with the US Department of Health and Human Services over the daunting task of compiling hospital data regarding COVID-19 patient capacity and impact. Thanks to their efforts, some 99% of hospitals across the country have committed to reporting vital statistics to the government at least once per week.