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Software Development Assistant, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science

Job ID: 17256

Updated: January 10, 2019

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Department of Physics & Astronomy in the Faculty of Science invites applications for a Software Development Assistant. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 16 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

The Software Development Assistant position will report to the Associate Director of the Auroral Imaging Group (AIG). The incumbent will be given the opportunity to contribute to all aspects of data platform development for applications in auroral science and will be mentored in the associated unique challenges. The University of Calgary's Auroral Imaging Group (AIG) is a world leader in developing and operating instrumentation for observing the Northern Lights. AIG prides itself on developing cutting edge instruments and data systems that enable new and exciting space science. Through auroral observations, AIG currently operates the world's premiere facility for remote sensing large scale space plasma phenomena. This position offers an exciting opportunity to help develop innovative software driven technologies that will aid scientists in further understanding plasma phenomena near Earth space.

The Software Development Assistant's primary purpose is to support the research team through providing semi-skilled or skilled technical procedures. This includes providing software engineering support for the detailed design, implementation, and testing of a new software tools for data visualization, large-scale image processing, metadata searching, and user interaction. These tools are expected to be a blend of backend applications, server-side and client-side APIs and other automated processing routines. Time permitting, the incumbent will also be given an opportunity to assist with the development of operational instrument software (data acquisition and operational protocols/software) and data processing systems which interact with 100's of TB of data.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Assist with detailed software application and data system design.
  • Assist in the design, implementation, and testing of new applications prior to deployment.
  • Assist with the application deployment to private server clusters.
  • Assist in the preparation of application design and operations documentation.
  • Provide semi-skilled to skilled technical procedures to support the research project.
  • Establishes and maintains effective, productive relationships with staff, peers, immediate supervisor and senior management and with the campus community.
  • Manages own time effectively and ensures immediate reports to manager is keeps informed of activates, and progress of work.
  • Demonstrated strong communication, team and customer service skills, and the ability to exercise judgement within established guidelines.
  • Ensures that all work conducted is in accordance with the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety.
  • Act, Regulation and Code and other health and safety legislation as applicable.

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Completed 3rd year Software Engineering or Computer Science at the University Level.
  • Strong programming skills in Python and experience in Matlab; experience in C/C++, IDL is a strong asset.
  • Experience in using databases such as MySQL or PostgreSQL programmatically.
  • Familiarity with Linux.
  • Experience in modern web development practices is a bonus (ie. React, Vue).
  • Experience building, testing and diagnosing custom written software applications.
  • Self-motivated and have high initiative to contribute to the success of the team.
  • Consider details to be important and be able to follow through on the completion of tasks.
  • Perform detailed design, documentation and implementation of moderately complex technologies.
  • Provide technical support for other team members through advice on software-related issues.
  • Knowledge of theory and practical application of technical procedures.
  • Must be open to learning and development, and be willing to accept new challenges and assignments.
  • Demonstrated strong communication, team and customer service skills, and an ability to exercise judgment with established guidelines.
  • Intermediate to advanced skills in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Positive attitude and the ability to work independently and as part of a team are critical to success.

Application Deadline:  January 17, 2019

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase I.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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