Employment Opportunity: Back-End Software Developer

December 28th, 2021 by  | 1 Comment

Contact: Alec Smecher, Associate Director of Development

Public Knowledge Project

SFU Library, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC


Job Title: Back-End Software Developer

The Back-End Software Developer is responsible for ensuring that PKP’s software applications follow best practices for application architecture and deployment. The Back-End Software Developer will improve the application’s performance and stability, and reduce maintenance costs, by refactoring or introducing core systems such as caching, routing, testing, authentication, job queues, email sending, migrations, localization, and security.

As part of a small team developing high-profile open source software, you will participate in an international community writing code for Open Journal Systems (OJS), Open Monograph Press (OMP), and Open Preprint Systems (OPS). This position offers the chance to work on truly distributed, open source software, learning how to engineer solutions that balance extensibility, reliability and maintainability in a wide range of server environments.

The Back-End Software Developer reports to the Associate Director of Development.


  • Collaborate openly with colleagues and community members to establish requirements for development work
  • Identify and debug performance bottlenecks in production environments.
  • Modernize core systems to increase stability, reduce maintenance costs, and support modern deployment techniques.
  • Improve testing infrastructure and CI/CD test coverage.
  • Participate in code reviews with other members of the software development team.
  • Coordinate your work with other members of the software development team as determined by the release schedule.
  • Learn new tools, technologies and practices to help improve PKP’s development processes.
  • Participate in PKP community events such as conferences, sprints, and webinars.
  • Work collaboratively and resolve disagreements effectively with a diverse range of individuals and stakeholders.

Required Qualifications:

  • Must have 5+ years experience with PHP
  • Must have 5+ years experience with SQL (MySQL and/or PostgreSQL)
  • Must have experience with *NIX-based system administration and deployment

Additional Considerations:

  • Experience with Symfony/Laravel
  • Experience with remote work in a small, distributed team
  • Experience with project management tools such as git, GitHub and Slack
  • Knowledge of, or experience with, PKP software (e.g. Open Journal Systems) or a similar large, open source project
  • Enthusiasm for open source software
  • Enthusiasm for scholarly communication and open science

Working arrangements

This is a 1-year independent contractor position with a 3-month probationary period, with likely future renewal and opportunities for advancement within the role. The work schedule is flexible, but the candidate will be expected to work 36 hours per week, participate in scheduled meetings, conferences, and webinars, and coordinate their work schedule with their team leader.

PKP is a remote team with colleagues spread across Canada, South America and Europe. The chosen candidate should be able to work independently between check-ins. 


$65,000- 83,000 CAD annually

Remuneration varies depending on experience and hours worked, and contract positions include pay in lieu of benefits and vacation.

Application process

Please apply with a resume, cover letter, and any relevant code samples, no later than 4pm Pacific Time on January 24, 2022. Code samples should address the Required Qualifications.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. The Public Knowledge Project is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from qualified candidates of all genders, visible minorities, persons of First Nations, Inuit, or Métis heritage, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2SIA+ identified persons.

About PKP

PKP is a university-based initiative developing (free) open source software and conducting research to improve the quality, reach, and diversity of scholarly publishing. PKP’s various website platforms, including Open Journal Systems, Open Preprint Systems, and Open Monograph Press, guide users through the editorial workflow of scholarly publishing, including submission, review, editing, publishing and indexing. Thousands of people around the world are now using the software to publish independent journals on a peer-reviewed and open access basis, greatly increasing the public and global contribution of research and scholarship.

PKP works with several stakeholders, including sustainers, donors, and development partners who provide financial support; software developers and programmers who contribute to the ongoing development of open source software; and strategic partners who consult with PKP on strategic goals.  

In addition to supporting free, open source software, PKP offers journal hosting to organizations from around the world, including university libraries, scholarly and scientific societies and associations, commercial publishers, non-profit organizations, and independent scholar-publishers. 

PKP is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive working environment. We believe an open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We seek to contribute to efforts and goals to develop and support the decolonization of scholarly publishing, to collaborate in postcolonial publishing initiatives, and to provide the means for a diversity of academic inquiry and voices to readily engage in scholarly publishing.

For more information on PKP, please see our Organization page


One Comment on "Employment Opportunity: Back-End Software Developer"

  1. Desarrolle más de 10 revistas a nivel nacional e internacional.

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