5 July 2017




Cambridge University Library's Digital Initiatives and Strategy department is seeking to appoint two software engineers or computer scientists to expand its software development team.

The software development team has two primary responsibilities: developing and maintaining software supporting core library activities, and working in the cultural heritage, digital humanities and wider digital scholarship space.

A major focus in the cultural heritage/digital humanities space is the ongoing development of the Cambridge University Digital Library platform (https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk). Successful applicants would be expected to play a major role in designing and implementing the evolution of the platform towards a linked open data core, with a modular UI able to address the challenge of creating digital representations of diverse content accurately and sustainably, while broadening the use of the platform to institutions beyond Cambridge.

Additionally, the software development team partners with academics to provide technical advice and software development on digital humanities research projects. The role allows an ambitious individual to further the goals of the team by allowing them space to innovate and pursue interests in their areas of expertise, through developing software, speaking at events and publishing papers. The University environment provides opportunities for collaboration with other academics in the University and further afield.

The digital scholarship, digital humanities and digital cultural heritage space is an area where talented individuals can progress the state-of-the-art, for example by collaborating internationally on the specification and implementation of open standards or applying cutting edge computer science research to practical problems. Work on core library activities is varied, and includes integration with library SAAS providers, customisation of existing open source solutions. Digital Preservation is an increasingly important area for the library, and the software team work with the library's digital preservation experts to embed digital preservation functions into existing library systems and workflows. There is scope for applicants with an interest in this area to pursue innovative technical solutions, progressing the state-of-the-art in the digital preservation field.

Applicants are expected to be confident, proactive programmers, with strong problem solving abilities. The ability to work closely with colleagues in a self-organising agile team is key. The team is involved in the architectural design and maintenance of the infrastructure running its services, so devops experience would be a significant advantage.

The software development team has adopted an agile development process, which encourages effective communication and collaboration between team members. This gives the team a shared understanding of project goals and priorities, giving individual team members a stronger sense of ownership and control over the team's workload. While agile development experience is not a requirement, willingness to engage with this methodology would be expected.

Applicants are expected to possess strong skills in at least one object-oriented language such as Java or Python (we use both). Extensive experience with XML and JSON is essential, and experience with semantic web technologies would be advantageous. Full-stack web development makes up a significant proportion of our work, so broad experience in this area is important. Experience with the modern JavaScript ecosystem would be a benefit (we use Node.js server-side, and webpack client-side). Applicants should be comfortable working with SQL databases (we use PostgreSQL), using version control systems (we use git). Working with cloud systems (we use AWS) in a DevOps environment would be desirable.

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