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Database Developer/IT Specialist

Date: May, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Manager, Infrastructure Support
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering


Main Campus


USG 10
37.5 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

ECE has become increasingly reliant on technology – both for research and for efficient administrative processing. The Database Developer/IT Specialist (Developer) will develop database software solutions to maximize the efficiency of administrative systems and integrate software solutions to satisfy diverse computing needs for day to day operations. S/he provides comprehensive and sustainable IT solutions to the department and other departments using the ECE developed database. As part of the Research Infrastructure Support Group, the Developer is also responsible for the daily operational administration, support and maintenance of research Windows remote desktop servers.

Key Accountabilities:


Software and Application Management

  • Provides customized data management system for multiple departments;
  • Provide expertise for requirements definition, functional design, configuration, implementation, testing, training and documentation to deliver database solutions; 
  • Assesses client needs, recommends database solutions and creates customized databases for tracking and utilizing student and business data;
  • Ensures compatibility and interoperability of FileMaker Pro with other University databases and computing systems;
  • Consults with users on current or proposed procedures, problems, and requirements in order to define systems needs and streamline administrative work flow;
  • Facilitates effective database solutions that meet regulatory requirements and departmental obligations;
  • Ensures a high level of availability, security, data integrity for custom-built applications;
  • Coordinates the integration of FM database with other UW systems and data;
  • Creates queries and provides custom reports and extracts for data analysis;
  • Understands key technical environments to effectively identify integration, security, scalability, and performance requirements;
  • Maintains software to create reliable technology solutions that increase staff productivity;
  • Troubleshoots problems and errors in software and improve data processing efficiency, effectiveness and user satisfaction.


Windows Support

  • Provides technical support for the infrastructure of desktop PCs, printers, installations and set up;
  • Provides technical expertise and assistance to support and maintain existing software functionality, deployment and optimization, including integration with underlying operating systems to achieve high levels of availability, reliability and performance;
  • Resolves escalated problems of technical support, identifies root causes of problems.


Network Infrastructure

  • Provides technical expertise to support and maintains a broad range of services to enable research;
  • Provides technical support for the installation of software, access control and security;
  • Administers and monitors operation of multiple Windows remote desktop servers for numerous faculty members and multiple users;
  • Resolves problems, failures and defects independently or in consultation with other IT professionals;
  • Ensures successful upgrade implementations and deploys new technology or systems maintenance to minimize disruption to clients;
  • Ensures the effective daily operation of services and research storage services by using technical and functional knowledge to assist faculty, researchers and research groups with problem determination and resolution.

Other Duties

  • Maintains appropriate professional designations and up-to-date knowledge of current information technology techniques and software;
  • Develops, documents and implements technical support operating procedures;
  • Stays current with technological developments related to computer hardware, software and networks;
  • Special projects and other duties as assigned by the Manager or Lab Director RSP.

Position Requirements


Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering/Computer Science/Information Systems or equivalent combination of education and related experience.
FileMakerPro system developer training required.
The incumbent should be committed to lifelong learning and must keep pace with technology, departmental, Faculty, and institutional requirements and the evolving nature and scope of information technology


Four years’ experience in database design and creating and modifying reports.
Five years’ experience troubleshooting Windows and Mac computer platforms.
Some knowledge of ECE research areas e.g. high voltage labs, chip design and building labs, networking research labs, mechatronics research labs, or nanotechnology labs would be an asset.

Additional Qualifications:

Considerable knowledge of user support processes and practices

Working knowledge of common software application packages, equipment platforms, database systems,

Technical competence and proven troubleshooting skills with the ability to learn/adapt to new technologies

Ability to analyze, interpret and use judgement in the resolution of problems

Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with colleagues at all technical levels

Strong verbal and written communication skills needed to communicate with and understand client requirements

Strong organizational and planning skills

Strong customer service orientation and collaboration skills

Self-starter with ability to organize daily tasks, work independently and as a member of a team.

Strong time management skills to permit simultaneous action on many tasks, many of which will demand timely completion.

A self-motivate learner with a track record of continually updating skills

Knowledge of higher education research environment an asset.


Good knowledge of Windows networking (workstation, server, file security) and supporting software packages. Working knowledge of computer hardware including desktop and network servers, information security, and other IT components. Familiarity with Mac OS.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Proficient Proficient Proficient

Expert - Support software for Windows and workstation administration

Expert – FileMaker Pro and other databases

Intermediate – Web applications

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, works closely with faculty, staff, students and visitors within the department to resolve their computing/technology issues. Works with other departments e.g. Engineering Computing, Information Systems & Technology (IST), Plant Operations, etc. as required. S/he must be able to understand and communicate complex technical concepts effectively to clients or groups with a wide range of technical knowledge that is at a level consistent with user’s proficiency.
Works collaboratively with IST and Engineering Computing staff to resolve technology issues and ensure the appropriate support for systems and core processes. Attends a variety of meetings to convey and/or gather information required to perform job functions.

Level of Responsibility:

The Developer manages a department-wide function that is highly specialized. The decisions and actions taken by the incumbent will have a direct impact on how efficiently and effectively the administrative processes will perform and function. S/he must ensure that these technologies are adequately supported within a technically diverse environment with conflicting priorities. S/he recommends solutions or enhancements to systems and processes, and provides guidance on Coordinates user defined requirements between various departments for the purpose of ensuring integration and achievement of departmental objectives. The Developer must understand the impact of technical changes on business processes and leverage common approaches and resources between areas.

Decision-Making Authority:

The Developer works independently to achieve objectives. S/he handles routine and non-routine inquiries that require independent judgement, technical expertise, and quick decision-making. S/he may decide when and how to affect the working environments of clients. Sophisticated problem solving and prioritizing abilities in a multi-task environment is required.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Periodic need to lift and manipulate computing equipment, typically workstation class equipment up to 20 kg but occasionally servers, large printers, displays, etc.   Occasional exposure to hardware located in machine rooms. 

Working Environment:

S/he must be able to deal with the pressure of multiple, concurrent demands for service in a fast paced and occasionally intense environment. Travel to faculty and staff offices, classrooms or labs is regularly required. Occasional work outside normal business hours may be required due to special events (Capstone Design Week), or to deploy new technology/maintain existing systems to minimize disruption to clients. Responsibilities sometimes requires working evenings and weekends, sometimes with little advanced notice.