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Software Engineer

City: Penticton 

Organizational Unit: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics 

Classification: RCO 

Tenure: Continuing 

Language Requirements: English

The NRC Advantage

Great Minds. One Goal. Canada's Success.


The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.


We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you.  Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.


At NRC, we know diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, an open and inclusive work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system. 


NRC welcomes all qualified applicants and encourages candidates to self-declare as members of the following designated employment equity groups: women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.


Please advise of any accommodation measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. They are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially.

Our Inclusive Work Environment

Your work environment and tools will enable you to collaborate with your colleagues across Canada and the globe. We are committed to ensuring that each staff member promptly receives the accommodation they need to do their job and we understand the importance of work/life balance.

NRC employees enjoy a wide range of benefits that include comprehensive medical and dental, pension and insurance plans as well as annual vacation time and other leave. The NRC also offers learning and development opportunities. For more information, please visit our website.

Your Challenge

Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada's largest research and technology organization.


We are looking for a Software Engineer to support our Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA). The Software Engineer would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.


The Software Engineer will support the goals of NRC and the Astronomy Technology Directorate (ATD) by leading efforts related to software architecture/system design for projects within the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Center (HAA). 


The primary responsibility of this position is to play a key role in the planning, specification and design of large, complex software systems supporting new and proposed radio astronomical telescope instrumentation development at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory near Penticton, BC. 


The Software Engineer will schedule activities and perform work to meet milestones of several projects, and provide analysis, information and advice to project managers and the Software Team Leader about schedules and progress.


The Software Engineer will liaise with computer experts and engineers within the Software Team, and at other observatories, in the process of contributing to the development of astronomical software systems and instrumentation. The Software Engineer will also liaise with individuals from many different disciplines (internal and external to NRC) that are involved in the building of astronomical instrumentation.


The successful candidate will work within a dynamic software team environment alongside engineers, researchers, technicians and technologists on world-class facilities, often including international projects and requiring collaboration with international partners. The Software Engineer will also contribute to the development of proposals and planning for new initiatives, providing service to NRC clients and collaborators.


The Software Engineer will produce clear and concise documentation for various aspects of projects, including software requirements, manuals and progress reports. They will also provide input and contribute to bids produced to obtain contracts for astronomical projects. 

Screening Criteria

**As an employer who values diversity in its workforce, we encourage candidates to self-identify as members of the following designated groups: women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities. Priority will be given to candidates who self-identify.


Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:


A Bachelor’s degree or higher in Software Engineering, Computer Engineering or Computer Science, along with direct experience designing software control systems. 


For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency


  • Extensive* and recent experience in the complete software development process for medium to large software projects, including solicitation of requirements, design, development, testing, and integration/commissioning;
  • Significant** and recent experience in the design, development and testing of instrument control software, preferably for electronic control systems of astronomical instruments;
  • Extensive* and recent software development experience in C, C++ and Python within a Linux or Unix environment;
  • Experience using one or more industry standard methods for software development and revision control (GIT);
  • Experience with Agile development practises and associated tools (SCRUM, Kanban, JIRA); and
  • Experience with software testing frameworks (gtest, gmock).


Experience with the following would be considered an asset:

  • The analysis and design of embedded multi-tasking real-time software;
  • Working knowledge of digital signal processing algorithms; and
  • Principles of Astronomical Telescope Instrumentation design and operation.

*Extensive and recent experience refers to at least 7 years’ experience, within the last 10 years.
**Significant and recent experience refers to at least 5 years’ experience, within the last 10 years.


Condition of Employment

Reliability Status

Assessment Criteria

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Technical Competencies

  • Advanced knowledge of object oriented programming languages such as C, C++ or Python;
  • Demonstrated ability to design and develop robust software applications;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop detailed technical requirements for software projects;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Working knowledge of Linux or Unix; and
  • Knowledge of software revision control methods.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Research - Creative thinking (Level 3)
  • Research - Communication (Level 3)
  • Research - Initiative (Level 3)
  • Research - Teamwork (Level 2)
  • Technology extension - Results orientation (Level 2)
  • Technology extension - Conceptual and analytical ability (Level 1)
  • NRC-Wide - Valuing people (Level 1)

Competency Profile(s)

For this position, the NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profiles: Research; Technology Extension; NRC-Wide


View all competency profiles


Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC's directives.

Salary Range

This position is classified as a Research Council Officer (RCO), a group that is unique to the NRC. The RCO group uses a person-based classification system instead of the more common duties-based classification system. Candidates are remunerated based on their expertise, skill, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience. The salary scale for this group is vast, from $57,220 to $161,754 per annum, which permits for employees of all levels from new graduates to world renowned experts to be fairly compensated for their contributions. 


  • A pre-qualified list may be established for similar positions for a one year period.
  • NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.
  • Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
  • The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
  • We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.



Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (12121) to:


Telephone: 438-455-5335

Closing Date: 20 August 2021 - 23:59 Eastern Time



For more information on career tools and other resources, check out Career tools and resources


*If you are currently a term or continuing employee at NRC, please apply through the SuccessFactors Careers module from your NRC computer.


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