Software Developer

California, United States
Tuesday, 8 October 2019
End of advertisement period
Sunday, 8 December 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The Natural Capital Project (NatCap) operates as a partnership between Stanford University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Minnesota, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund. NatCap’s mission is to pioneer science, technology, and partnerships that enable people and nature to thrive. We do this to help make the world a more livable place; to secure human wellbeing with thriving ecosystems; to harmonize conservation and human development goals, by developing scientific tools and technology to model and map the distribution of biodiversity and to demonstrate the services provided by ecosystems. We seek a flexible, creative individual to join our busy, enthusiastic, and widely-dispersed team to provide administrative and operational support.

*This position is a 1 year fixed term role


Execute all programming tasks, including programming, analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, modifying, and maintaining computer programs of small to moderate size and complexity or segments of larger systems.

This can include support of scientific numerical analyses, implementation of ecosystem service software models, GIS APIs and pipelines, and maintenance and deployment of servers. Our daily workflow includes design documents, source control, code review, and test suites.  Our software toolkit includes Python, BitBucket, and a bit of Google Cloud.  We are fans of 'Soul of a New Machine',  'The Pragmatic Programmer', and 'JavaScript - the good parts'.

Our software team has been working at the Natural Capital Project for over 8 years and we are hiring engineers to help us develop our next generation platform.  This includes the integration of cloud data services into our ecosystem service software, InVEST, reasonable optimization methods, and an end-user workbench.  Thus, we are seeking engineers that have experience in scientific software development, numerical programming, user interface implementation, and cloud development.  We are very excited to meet engineers who have a good track record of developing and deploying any kind of significant software project.


  • Conceptualize design, implement, and develop solutions for complex system/programs independently.
  • Work with a variety of users to gain information, and develop intra-system tradeoffs between different users, as necessary; interact with a diverse client base and outside vendor contacts.
  • Document system builds and application configurations; maintain and update documentation as needed.
  • Provide technical analysis, design, development, conversion, and implementation work.
  • Work as a project leader, as needed, for projects of moderate complexity.
  • Serve as a technical resource for applications.
  • Compare, evaluate, and implement new features and technologies, and integrate them into the computing environment.
  • Follow team software development methodology.
  • Mentor lower level software developers.
  • Perform code reviews for other members of the software development team.

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree and five years of relevant experience or a combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Expertise in designing, developing, testing, and deploying applications.
  • Proficiency with application design and data modeling.
  • Ability to define and solve logical problems for highly technical applications.
  • Strong communication skills with both technical and non-technical clients.
  • Ability to lead activities on structured team development projects.
  • Ability to select, adapt, and effectively use a variety of programming methods.
  • Knowledge of application domain.
  • NatCap specific – preferred knowledge, skills & abilities that are not already listed as part of Minimum Requirements
  • Experience in open source software development or software for scientific applications.
  • Experience scripting or programming in GIS, especially with GDAL.
  • Experience with distributed computing, container technologies or cloud development.
  • Experience in user interface design and implementation with Qt5 or a modern web-based UI framework such as React or Angular.
  • Experience building and distributing desktop software for multiple operating systems.

Certifications and Licenses:



  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently sit, grasp lightly/fine manipulation.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, writing by hand.
  • Rarely use a telephone, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


May work extended hours, evening and weekends.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.

Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide, 

Our main office is located on the beautiful main Stanford campus, though some days we meet at local coffee shops and libraries in the area.  We offer a relaxed and flexible work environment.

Please check out our website at and our Bitbucket account

To apply, submit a traditional CV with work and school experience, and a cover letter describing why you would be a good fit for this position.  If possible, please include examples of a code portfolio or links to any software you have developed.  We're also interested in other things you've created, books, art, design, even back to childhood.  Anything that shows a standing dedication to long term projects.

The Natural Capital Project is operationally housed in the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and is based at Stanford University.

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, depending on experience and qualifications. be considered, applicants will provide a cover letter and resume. 

Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  All final candidates are subject to a background check.

Additional Information

Schedule: Full-time
Job Code: 4822
Employee Status: Fixed-Term
Grade: J
Requisition ID: 84925