Application Developer

Durham, United Kingdom
£33,797 - £40,322 p.a
11 Sep 2020
End of advertisement period
12 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Geography

Grade 7: - £33,797 - £40,322 p.a
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 31 March 2023.
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 12-Oct-2020, 6:59:00 AM

The Department and role purpose 

Nomis (www.nomisweb.co.uk) is a web service delivered by Durham University in partnership with the Office for National Statistics. It provides free access to official UK labour market statistics and census results. Established in 1978, the service is now used widely by central and local government, academics and the commercial sector.

The Geography Department at Durham University seeks to appoint an application programmer to support the Nomis programming team. The main purpose of the role is to assist in the development and maintenance of the proprietary Nomis back-end database applications and internal data processing applications written with C++ in a Unix environment.

Joining a small and agile team, the post-holder will be responsible for developing, maintaining and updating the back-end systems used to securely expose complex data and metadata for consumption by our customer-facing website and API.

The post-holder will follow established procedures to process data and metadata supplied by Office for National Statistics, import them into the Nomis databases and perform quality checks. The successful applicant will also maintain existing data processing code and write new C++ applications to pre-process, load and build incoming raw data.

The Nomis website is currently undergoing a re-development project. To support this, enhancements and changes are required to back-end software. The successful applicant will work under the direction of the software development manager on the re-development and enhancement of services to support this project. This will involve assisting in the implementation of a new version of the Nomis API, re-development of databases that store lookups, metadata and code lists for the back-end databases and assisting in a move towards a microservices architecture.

This exciting position brings with it the opportunity to feed ideas and suggestions for new functionality into the development process, shaping the tools used internally by the team and enhancing discovery and delivery capabilities of the Nomis API.

Core responsibilities:

  • Recognised professional practitioner and service specialist with expertise in object-oriented programming techniques.
  • Implement changes to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for the Nomis service.
  • Provide specialist expertise and support with complexity of data and information sources, interpretation and analysis.
  • Contribute to development of operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.
  • Analyse stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements and the design and planning of services.
  • Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services and the University reputation.
  • Deliver development delivery for stakeholders.
  • Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access, and provision of advice using specialist knowledge.
  • Contribute to and lead business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at departmental and operational service levels.

Role responsibilities:

  • Provide management for the delivery of high-quality software development.
  • Develop and maintain the C++ programs used to load and disseminate statistical datasets via the Nomis API and customer-facing website.
  • Create and modify routines to process confidential raw data for new and existing Nomis datasets and load it into the Nomis database.
  • Update and maintain lookups and code lists in the main geographic and classification databases using existing tools.
  • Lead a redevelopment of the Nomis API and databases that store lookups, metadata and code lists and expose these for use by the customer-facing website and API.
  • Implement, modify and perform quality control checks and procedures on data.
  • Ensure the security of back-end applications that expose data and information in accordance with established security standards and principles.
  • Create and perform testing procedures to identify and resolve issues with code prior to the release of updates to the production system.
  • Promote and foster positive and highly collaborative approaches to problem solving and project implementation, helping to motivate, mentor and coach project team members.
  • Act as a point of contact for service colleagues and stakeholders to interpret and resolve complex technical problems.
  • Make decisions about the nature and level of problem solving, physical and analytical tools, techniques and protocols to deliver project and service objectives, providing advice and making recommendations for resolution as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with other specialists within the Service and across the University, regarding methods and standards to deliver integrity and consistency with service delivery.
  • Provide regular status reports and identify risk management and contingency planning to other service staff, specialists, users and managers.
  • Liaise with internal and external agencies, local authorities, industries and visitors where appropriate.
  • Take responsibility for monitoring and updating risk assessments and safety procedures, providing guidance to others where necessary.
  • Develop, modify and optimise protocols and methodologies.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements

The successful candidate will be required to pass a basic security check.

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification.
In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.
Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data

What you are required to submit

  1. CV
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  3. A document detailing how you meet each of the criteria within the person specification, with relevant examples.

Contact Details

For further information please contact: Sinclair Sutherland (Nomis Director) sinclair.sutherland@durham.ac.uk

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Educated to degree level in computer sciences (or equivalent experience/professional qualification)
  • Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise in developing software using object-oriented programming
  • Knowledge of and commitment to software development best practise including issue tracking, unit testing, documentation and version control
  • Experience developing applications using hand-coded C++, C, Java or C#
  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships.
  • Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions

Desirable Criteria

  • Relevant industry and professional recognition and certification of achievement of skills and knowledge.
  • Experience in processing and manipulating complex numerical data
  • Experience working with sensitive data and ensuring its security
  • Knowledge of information security standards and best practise, and experience of working with confidential data in a secure environment
  • Working knowledge of basic statistical methods
  • Knowledge of and proven ability to work with JSON and XML data structures
  • Experience of working with relational databases and SQL programming
  • Specialist knowledge of Unix/Linux OS including shell scripting
  • Experience of working with Common Gateway Interface (CGI) applications
  • Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.
  • Regulatory, local and national professional knowledge and experience of compliance.
  • Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.
  • Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.

Job Family: Estates and Information Infrastructure Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are welcoming, collegiate and inclusive. 
OUR VALUES: We are motivated, inquisitive, challenging, rigorous and innovative.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives. 

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role

Family key attributes

Roles in this family manage and maintain the integrity of University buildings, estates and information services.

Overall family purpose

  • Ensure safe, sustainable and fit for purpose buildings, internal and external environments in and on which to conduct University business.
  • Liaise and engage with stakeholders across the University to identify and plan infrastructure projects to update and improve services and facilities.
  • Align services to meet organisational strategic and operational objectives.
  • Design new, adapt existing and implement services, working with external contractors and suppliers.
  • Manage and monitor systems, mechanisms and processes to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
  • Implement procedures to ensure safe and secure buildings, facilities, estates and information networks.
  • Design and construct real and virtual test environments to ensure the most fit for purpose technology and services are available to underpin University business needs.
  • Manage technology driven services and third-party platforms to underpin teaching, learning, research and administrative activities across the University.
  • Engage with external suppliers, contractors, manufacturers and developers to ensure the highest-standards and quality of buildings, estates and information services.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering infrastructure services across the University;
  • Develop an academic estate that will allow the University to deliver world-class education, research and student experience;
  • Ensure the long-term availability of suitable residential accommodation;
  • Ensure the continuing renewal and maintenance of our estate;
  • Improve the environmental sustainability and ease of travel around our estate and city locations;
  • Support and facilitate a first-rate digital learning environment and experience on a par with the best in the UK;
  • Running and ongoing development of a first-rate digital learning environment on a par with the best in the UK
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.