MPC Job Opening: Web Developer, TerraPop Project

Requisition 195721
The Minnesota Population Center (MPC, is a leader in the field of quantitative social
science research and the largest disseminator of census and demographic data to the world’s academic
research community. Or, to put it another way – we’re on a mission to gather, process, link and publish
billions of records spanning hundreds of years and more than 100 countries for demographers, historians,
economists, environmental scientists, journalists, policymakers, and others around the globe, who then use
the data to do amazing research and make the world a better place.
The staff of the MPC IT Core support this mission by using leading open source tools to solve complex
data and computation challenges and build reliable, scalable web-based data dissemination systems. The
MPC IT Core is a small group of talented and dedicated individuals. Your work will be highly visible and
will contribute directly to the overall success of our organization. Read more about MPC IT at

We are currently seeking a web developer to join our Terra Populus team. You will work on enhancing
and adding new features to our web application, including a major redesign of our UI. With mentoring
from our senior development staff, you can expect to have your coding and problem solving skills
exercised as you quickly gain new skills and help to tackle significant data and UI challenges. This
position involves daily interaction with the rest of the MPC IT core, the MPC research staff, and other user

In this role, you will work closely with other developers and the MPC researchers on the continuing
development of our Terra Populus project. Work will include UI/UX and front-end development, business
model and database programming, and API creation. Under the mentorship of a senior developer, you will
be expected to produce effective, robust software. You’ll share ownership in the projects you work on and
will be asked to share your opinions on the design and implementation of our systems.

You will have an opportunity to work with many new technologies and gain experience in our domain of
quantitative social science research. We’re looking for a quick learner who is eager to tackle new
challenges and willing to perform independent research when needed.

Work Breakdown

  • 65% Software Development – Coding, refactoring, testing and deployment in a team environment
  • 15% Software Design – Iterative development of architecture and design in conjunction with the IT
    and research staff
  • 10% Deployment and Support – Support of production systems as necessary
  • 10% Other job duties as assigned

The minimum requirements for this position are two years of professional software development
experience with a related bachelor’s degree or four years of professional software development experience
with a non-related bachelor’s degree.

Experience must include:

  • Design and development of moderately complex multi-user web applications written in an MVC
  • Fluency in a programming language such as Ruby, Python, Java or similar languages
  • Solid understanding of Javascript, HTML5, CSS3
  • Significant use of open source databases
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with technical and non-technical audiences

This position requires the ability to work independently on complex projects when required, as well as the
ability to effectively work within and contribute to the entire IT team.

Additional selection criteria include: Ruby on Rails; Javascript MVC frameworks (such as Ember or
Angular); Bootstrap, Sass or Less; Javascript, jQuery, CSS, SQL and other languages or technologies
commonly found within a web application stack; prior experience with PostgreSQL’s PostGIS extension
or other GIS software; an active or similar code-sharing account (please share details in your
resume or cover letter); and, experience deploying Rails apps to a production environment (Passenger,
Tomcat, JBoss, or similar).

Application Procedures
Please apply using the University of Minnesota’s online employment system ( Attach a
cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to your online application. Your
cover letter is a great opportunity for you to explain your interest in our position opening and to highlight your
relevant skills and abilities. The search committee will begin its review of applications immediately upon
receipt; the position will remain open until filled.

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our
presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically
disqualify finalists from employment.