Position Available: Applications Developer 2023 – Filled!

This position has been filled!

Job Title Applications Developer
Location Twin Cities
Regular/Temporary Regular
Job ID 354447
Job Code 9702AP
Empl Group Acad Prof and Admin
Full/Part Time Full-Time
Job Open Date 03/06/23
Initial Application Review 04/03/23 – 04/06/23
Job Close Date Until Filled

Help Make a Difference in Polar & Environmental Science

The Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is seeking an application developer and software engineer to join the Products & Data team. The person in this position will be responsible for building and maintaining data management workflows, developing back-end systems for user-facing web applications, supporting website changes, and streamlining connections between tools and databases. The applicant is expected to develop new tools for interfacing with PGC’s data archive of imagery and Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), as well as update and maintain legacy projects.

The successful candidate must be able to multitask and work on a variety of coding projects both independently and in collaboration with others. The applicant should possess strong problem-solving skills and the ability to learn quickly. Work at PGC is fast-paced and constantly evolving, so the applicant must have good organizational and communication skills.

The PGC developer team uses primarily Python, Bash, and Javascript, with a smattering of legacy PHP. We use Postgres/PostGIS for databases, and our web services are published through GeoServer and ArcGIS Server. We leverage a mix of cloud-based and on-prem resources, tooling including ansible, terraform, and kubernetes, among others. 

What You’ll Do

In your first week you will be introduced to the PGC team and PGC’s role in geospatial science. You will learn about the core systems that drive data storage and access. You will have dedicated training on PGC’s data resources, project tracking systems (github, trello), and development cadences. You will also attend various weekly meetings to learn how PGC operates.

In your first month you will begin contributing to a set of projects that support PGC’s data operations. You will learn about the Products & Data team development activities and how they fit into PGC’s long-term goals. You will work with other team members to create and maintain applications and internal workflows.

In your first year you will become an important member of the Products & Data team, building out pipelines to streamline data discovery and delivery to PGC users. Your expertise in PGC’s data architecture and technologies will grow. You will work collaboratively with the Products & Data team to design applications that leverage the large and growing data archive to serve the polar science community.

The Applications Developer’s responsibilities include:

  1. Design and Development of automated data ingest and archive pipelines (30%)
  2. Web application back-end design and implementation (30%)
  3. Creation of scripts and applications to support team members’ data processing and delivery workflows (20%)
  4. Collaboration with IT on systems upgrades/maintenance (10%)
  5. Spatial database and web services design and administration (10%)


PGC is a science support organization that is built on these values:

  • Diversity and Respect: A mix of experiences, ideas, and approaches makes all our work better
  • Initiative: The drive to try, learn, or problem solve is inspiring and aids progress
  • Outreach: Take what you have learned and return it to the community


The Office of Human Resources has a guide to the University’s benefits including the Regent’s Scholarship, Faculty Retirement Plan, Leave, and Medical.

For this job the expected salary range is from $68k to $82k.

How to Apply

Ready to apply? Great! Start at the job posting.

Before you start, you should have:

  • A resume
    • 1-2 page formatted document
  • A cover letter
    • Tell us what excites you about this job, work you’ve done and where you want your career to go
  • Names and contact information (phone & email) for three references
    • Mentors, bosses, co-workers, people you study with or talk to at meetups

The information in the three documents listed above are what PGC will reference throughout the recruitment process.  Other information manually entered into the UMN employment application system will be stored by the Office of Human Resources.

You can take a break at any point during the application process. Click the Save Draft button and you can return to your application later. When you log back into the job application system, click My Activities and then click on the job title Applications Developer – Polar Geospatial Center.

If you have any questions while applying, look at the Using the Job Application System page, or reach out to PGC at pgc-support@umn.edu.


We use two interviews.

  1. A brief one-on-one Zoom interview to determine qualifications are met and/or clarify details from application (30min)
  2. A panel interview with a panel of developers and the Products & Data Manager (90min)

Second round interviews will be conducted in a consistent format for all candidates.  The format may be in-person or in a remote setting depending on the candidate pool.

Answers to Some Common Questions

Is this job remote or in person?
Currently our work location is a hybrid environment that adheres to the Universities Work with Flexibility Guidelines. Staff are asked to have an in-office presence on two suggested PGC team days with the flexibility to be in-person or remote on non- PGC team days.  PGC remains committed to providing a flexible work environment that fosters collaboration, teamwork, and effective support of our polar science community.
Do I need to be in Minnesota?
You should be within commuting distance of Minneapolis, MN.
Is travel involved or required?
There are opportunities to travel (when safe and approved by the University) for outreach initiatives as well as staffing our office in McMurdo Station, Antarctica during the austral summer months.
How about visas or relocation funds?
Academic Support Resources does not currently:
  • sponsor visas
  • offer relocation funds
  • offer signing bonuses

Desired Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a related field and 2 years of experience
  • Expertise with Python and JavaScript
  • Facility working on Linux command line systems
  • Experience developing and maintaining web applications
  • Demonstrated proficiency working with relational databases
  • Expertise with Git or other version control and collaboration tools

Advantageous Qualifications

  • Advanced degree or an additional 2+ years of experience in software development
  • Experience with testing methodologies
  • Experience with geospatial libraries, software, and analysis
  • Experience with web mapping technologies
  • Experience interacting with HPC systems
  • Command of GIS/Remote Sensing fundamentals and concepts

About the Polar Geospatial Center

The Polar Geospatial Center provides geospatial support, mapping, and GIS/remote sensing solutions to researchers and logistics groups in the polar science community. Our goal is to introduce new, state-of-the-art techniques from the geospatial field to effectively solve problems in the least mapped places on Earth. Visit our website: www.pgc.umn.edu.

Polar Geospatial Center
R280 Learning and Environmental Sciences 
1954 Buford Ave. 
St. Paul, MN 55108 


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