[Python Edinburgh] [job] python programmer for 6 months at UoE

Magnus Hagdorn magnus.hagdorn at marsupium.org
Wed Oct 9 10:25:48 CEST 2013

Hi All,

We are looking for a software developer to help us with the 
implementation of a new modelling tool that we are developing. The tool 
estimates the climate impacts of different agricultural practices in 
Africa. We need to turn the model (called SHAMBA) into an easy to use 
tool for project developers. See 
http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/nberry/shamba.html for more details.

This job will be advertised on the UoE site shortly, however if you wish 
to apply, please send an email with a covering letter, CV and example of 
your work to casey.ryan at ed.ac.uk as soon as possible.

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?1. Job Details
Job Title: Software Developer
School: GeoSciences
Line Manager: Casey Ryan, Lecturer in Ecosystem Services & Global Change
Start Date: as soon as possible
Closing Date: 2 weeks from placement
Duration: 6 months
Payscale: likely to be UoE Grade 6 (25-29k)

2. Job Purpose 
To develop a software tool that enables project developers in sub-Saharan 
Africa to assess and monitor the climate change mitigation benefits of 
agricultural and agroforestry interventions. 

3. Main Responsibilities
Work with the research team at the University of Edinburgh and the Plan Vivo 
Foundation to define the software requirements.
Work with existing code and develop new code to produce a user friendly 
interface that meets the requirements.
Design and implement graphical user interface (GUI)
Confirm software operation by designing and running tests
Maintain historical records by documenting software development and revisions
Contribute to the documentation

4. Planning and Organisation
Responsible for planning and prioritising own work on daily, weekly and 
long-term basis within overall priorities laid down by supervisor.
Gather requirements for the software and develop a plan for its implementation.

5. Problem Solving
Investigate and solve technical problems independently.
Develop user friendly graphical interface
Optimise software if required

6. Decision Making
The overall strategy for the implementation of the requirements will be decided 
upon in conjunction with the supervisors.
The job holder works on the implementation details independently.
Exercise quality control by testing the software.
Prioritisation of own work.

7. Key Contacts and Communication
Work with the SHAMBA research group at the University of Edinburgh and the Plan 
Vivo Foundation
The job holder is directly supervised by Magnus Hagdorn

8. Knowledge, skills and experience required
Degree or equivalent qualification/experience.
Good general programming skills.
Experience in software design and testing.
Version Control Systems such as SVN or GIT.
Experience in writing software documentation
Some knowledge of Python, PyQT and matplotlib, numerical methods and/or 
geographical information systems.

10. Job context and any other relevant information
The Geosciences tropical land use team developed the SHAMBA tool as a simple way
of quantifying the greenhouse gas benefits of improved agricultural practices, 
particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The idea behind the tool is to allow 
project developers to estimate mitigation benefits at a range of scales using 
easily available data and a state of the art model. This should reduce the 
technical burden on project developers. The SHAMBA tool currently includes the 
CO2Fix model for modelling biomass in trees and the RothC model of soil carbon.

A recent grant has funded us to develop the prototype into an operational tool, 
for use by Plan Vivo projects. The work will build on a prototype developed by 
the Geosciences tropical land use team 
(see http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/nberry/shamba.html). A developer is 
required to make the tool more flexible and user friendly, by working with 
users (Plan vivo projects; http://www.planvivo.org), scientists, and our 
commercial partners (http://ecometrica.com and http://www.bioclimate.net). The 
software developer will work alongside a full time researcher and other members 
of the team to deliver a functional tool over a 6 month period. 
If you have any queries about the post, please contact Casey Ryan 
<casey.ryan at ed.ac.uk>, Magnus Hagdorn <Magnus.Hagdorn at ed.ac.uk> or Nick Berry 
<nberry at staffmail.ed.ac.uk>.

We are keen for this work to start as soon as possible and can consider a range 
of flexible working arrangements including distance working and contracting. 
Please contact Casey to discuss. You will be required to attend meetings in 
Edinburgh on approximately a monthly basis.

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