Creative Software Engineer (Full-Time / 12 Months Fixed-Term Contract)

About Us:

With global biodiversity in rapid decline and a growing number of species on the brink of extinction, advances in technology are becoming ever more important in helping conservationists address big challenges. ZSL has established a growing Conservation Technology Unit (CTU) currently consisting of seven people. The team is working with a range of expert technology companies and universities to develop innovative solutions to address conservation challenges around the world.

As the Creative Software Engineer, your role will span writing software to power our IoT platform for conservation, creating APIs to integrate new services, deploying code to cloud-based services and working with embedded systems.  We use the phrase “Creative Engineer” as we’re looking for someone who is as comfortable participating in ideation workshops, as they are building out the technology components.  You’ll research and develop technical solutions, collaborating broadly on wider incubation efforts and enjoy working with Raspberry Pi’s, Arduinos and similar prototyping platforms. This is an exciting opportunity to join a fun and talented team with start-up mentality, which will provide opportunities to define and drive forward your own projects.

You’ll work in close collaboration with CTU’s Project Managers, Technical Field Specialist and Scientists, as well as working alongside technical partners such as: Cambridge Consultants, Google, Nominet’s R&D team and key universities. The role will be based in ZSL London Zoo Regents Park, with travel to partner offices and international field sites, reporting directly to the Conservation Technology Lead.

This exciting role will work to advance ZSl’s products:

  • Instant Detect 2.0 (A multi-sensor IoT platform to raise real time alerts on illegal activities in both terrestrial and marine environments)
  • Animal tracking (embedded systems for tracking assets and animals);
  • Instant Wild 2.0 (citizen science crowd sourcing platform )
  • Plus contributing to collaboration initiatives such as hackathons and a tech prize

References for information on some of our projects and partners:

  • Website (soon to be updated)
  • Press
  • Turtle tagging
  • Nominet (Periods of co-location and close development work with Nominet’s IOT platform will be required)

Role Profile:

As a member of the Conservation Technology Unit (CTU) you must be inspired by technology and inspire others in the development of innovative technical solutions to solve big problems.

You will have specialist expertise in the development and management of technical solutions, including background experience in software development (specifics outlined below). A broader knowledge of, and interest in sensor prototyping platforms is advantageous.  You will provide consultancy on best practice and support ZSL’s programme managers and partner organisations in the selection and development of appropriate technologies. We actively encourage R&D to address the needs of our field teams and partners.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Working with ZSL’s teams and technology partners to design, develop and deploy innovative conservation technology around the world, advancing ZSL’s own portfolio of products
  • Building APIs and software systems to evolve tools for conservation purposes
  • Creating working prototypes and collaborating with researchers to deliver production-ready systems
  • Ensuring products are developed to the highest quality
  • Communicating technical solutions effectively. Able to articulate opinions on different approaches
  • Understanding field challenges and user needs to make development recommendations
  • Researching emerging technologies and applying them to conservation
  • Concepting and experimenting to propose and advance new and novel solutions
  • Working with our QA Field Specialist to help provide advice to end users and troubleshooting
  • Writing, scrutinising and providing feedback on specifications and briefing documents – being the point of contact for development partners
  • Reviews to cross check technology effectiveness against requirements at key stages in a project lifecycle
  • Ensuring appropriate technical methodologies and procedures are defined and adhered to

Person Specification:

Core skills required:

  •  The following core skills are required
  • Advanced JavaScript
  • Experience working with SQL databases
  • Familiarity with version control systems like Subversion/Git
  • A passion for writing clean, reliable, thoroughly-tested, maintainable code
  • Ability to understand product development within the context of ZSL and how products will contribute to the success of the organisation
  • Effective written and verbal communication with technical and non-technical colleagues
  • Passion to build out any subset of skills, to learn quickly and work with other people’s code
  • Knowledge of internet security and data connectivity protocols

Desirable skills/experience:

  • The following skills are desirable but not essential:
  • Linux sysadmin/DevOps experience
  • Experience with EC2 cloud environment
  • Server side Node.js
  • JavaScript frameworks (in particular Angular 2.0)
  • MongoDB
  • Elastic search
  • Spark stream processing
  • API building
  • AWS familiarity

To Apply:

Applicants will need to upload their CV and covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position including details of availability) and can do this by clicking the “Apply for this job online” button. If you have any queries regarding these positions or when applying through the system please contact Human Resources the email address supplied below.

Closing date for applications: Midnight Friday 28th April 2017

The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.

Contact Details:

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