Technology Team

The Burning Man Technology Team builds, maintains and supports tech solutions for the Burning Man organization and community. Philosophically, we’re guided by the values of Burning Man as a nonprofit cultural organization: we aim to build solutions that are functional and visually interesting, and that provide user-centric experiences for a variety of browsing and learning styles.

We support a multitude of participant-facing websites; build integrations between applications, user workflows and third-party tools; build abstraction layers; identify and assist in building out business processes; provide user experience and visual design services across the organization; and administer cloud-based server architecture.

We are a part of almost every team and project, as our work supports everyone in the organization and the community who engages with us. We are the architects of how information flows within the organization and creators of the communication platforms that help carry our messages and culture out into the world.

Oh yeah, and we build and support the technical infrastructure to run Black Rock City, literally from the ground up, each and every year, and then we put it all away again.

Technology Stack

The Burning Man technology stack is a varied ecosystem. To keep development costs down, we often use off-the-shelf systems where we push their functionality and customization to their limits, but we also use some tools ‘as is’ and make our own software when we need it.

We use tools such as WordPress, Salesforce, Fulcrum, MySQL, Zapier, Twilio, FileMaker and Amazon Web Services to build solutions. We also leverage a number of SaaS products, including Marcato and Shiftboard.

Internally we rely on many cloud-based tools for our day-to-day work. We collaborate a lot, so we use the Google Suite, Slack, Asana,, Smartsheet, Zoom, PBWorks and more.

We do most of our scripting in PHP (we use WordPress and Yii as frameworks), Python, JavaScript and jQuery, some Django, and we develop our own APIs. Most of our sites run custom CSS, and our favorite frameworks are Foundation and Semantic UI.

Web Properties

While it looks like one website, behind the scenes the experience is really made up of over 43 different websites and interactive systems, including Playa Events, Rideshare, Gallery, FAQ, Spark, Journal, Fly Ranch, Regionals, Marketplace, Survival Guide, Burner Profiles, Timeline, Interactive Expense Reporting, Annual Reports, E-playa, Innovate, Help etc.

Getting Involved

As a nonprofit, we do a lot of work with volunteers. This can be anything from helping out on playa to remotely testing new processes. Some people stick around for a season, some for years, but we always have fun.

The best way to get involved is to fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire and select the Tech Team. That’ll put you on our radar, and we’ll add you to our invite list for monthly Tech Dinner Parties, our email list for volunteer opportunities, the Tech Volunteers Slack channel, and things like that.

Tech Dinner Parties range from broad conversations to focused, special-invitation, deep-dive sessions. They’re in San Francisco, but we always have a remote call-in number available.

We like getting to know you and giving you a chance to get to know us early in the process. This isn’t a job interview, it’s a community. Come have dinner, voice your opinion, maybe help us test something, and see where it leads.