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Software and Data Systems Developer, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science

Job ID: 21769

Updated: November 20, 2020

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science invites applications for two (2) Software and Data Systems Developer(s) . This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 1 year (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

The Faculty of Science has been catalyzing change and inspiring discovery, creativity, and innovation for over 50 years. Our strategic direction integrates current and emerging strengths with areas targeted for future growth and investment. Our strategic priorities, goals, and values guide our mission to advance research, scholarship, and innovation, create authentic learning experiences, and inspire careers of the future. We fuel transformational change, and build a strong community through teaching, learning, research, scholarship, and collaborative partnerships. We do this work to generate curiosity-drive discovery and contribute solutions to society's grand challenges. For more information, visit

We thrive in the dynamic context of the University of Calgary, one of Canada's most youthful and innovative universities. We are a bold and ambitious research university, grounded in innovative learning and teaching, fully engaged in Calgary's entrepreneurial spirit.

Auroral Imaging Group (AIG) at the University of Calgary is one of the leading research groups in Canada studying this phenomenon, and is a key player in international projects such as the NASA THEMIS mission, the European Space Agency's (ESA) SMILE mission, the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) GO-Canada project, and Canadian Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) AuroraX CyberInfrastructure project.

Our team at the University of Calgary operates an array of autonomous ground based instruments to photograph the aurora in remote locations across northern Canada in support of these projects. AuroraX is a project which aims to build software-driven infrastructure (virtual observatory, web applications, APIs, automated aggregation frameworks, etc.) to support for rapid interaction and usage of all image data our group produces. This position offers an exciting opportunity to be involved in the production of data products and software solutions and to work firsthand with auroral scientists. Several development opportunities exist as a part of this position within the field of software-driven solutions.

Position Description

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

  • Design and implement key AuroraX applications such as APIs, data aggregation scripts, web applications, databases, and real-time monitoring systems
  • Design and implement automated testing systems using techniques such as Continuous Integration/Development (CI/CD) pipelines and shell scripts
  • Prepare application design and operations documentation
  • Design and implement the AuroraX Data Management System (DMS) which run the AuroraX platform. The AuroraX platform is expected to run on a stable DMS which will be accessible to scientists at the University of Calgary and to the public using a mixture of on-premise and cloud-based platforms
  • Ensure that the applications will have minimal latency for both the user experience and backend systems
  • Ensure that the developed AuroraX applications and DMS contains creative and innovative software products which will be available to international scientists
  • Ensure that the DMS is housed on evolving, expandable and up to date infrastructure capable of meeting the growing requirements of the Auroral Imaging Group and the AuroraX platform
  • Be involved in the AuroraX platform operations in the following ways:
    • Ensure that the operations are world leading in terms of application operations and data aggregation from local and remote archives
    • Ensure that the operations are streamlined for large numbers of instruments often of different types (currently there are more than 100 operating in the field)
    • Ensure that the operations produce excellent science quality applications
  • Establish and maintain effective, productive relationships with staff, peers, immediate supervisor and senior management and with the campus community
  • Manage own time effectively and ensure 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
  • It is anticipated that the management and improvement of these applications and systems will contribute to the training of 1-2 students per year (in computer science or other related fields)

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or comparable
  • 3-5 years of professional experience
  • Demonstrated ability to be resourceful, innovative, and able to build creative solutions to problems
  • Ability to work with minimal or no direction
  • Strong team player and effective communicator is required
  • Self-motivated with high initiative to contribute to the success of the team
  • Expertise in Python
  • Experience in compiler-based programming languages such as Java, Golang are a plus
  • Expertise in web frameworks such as React, Vue, or Angular; web backends such as Node.js, Django
  • Experience with technical writing and the development of operational procedures is required
  • Expertise in network administration and the management of multi-server data systems is required
  • Experience in the design of large data volume ingestion and transfer protocols
  • Expertise in Linux system administration is required
  • Experience with rsync and cron utilities and their applications to remote systems
  • Experience with data analysis and scientific methods
  • Experience with cloud-based providers such as Amazon AWS, Google GCP, and/or Microsoft Azure

Application Deadline: November 29, 2020

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 II.

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. For more information about the Faculty of Science visit Careers in the Faculty of Science.


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 has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

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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