Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Backend Developer – PROTECT BALTIC project

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organization (Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden) with headquarters (Secretariat) in Helsinki, Finland, working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. At present, we are around 40 staff members at the HELCOM Secretariat, with English as the working language. We offer an open, friendly, dynamic, and energetic, often fast-paced, international working environment offering all staff members the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to achieving our common goals. For more information about HELCOM, please visit our home page:

PROTECT BALTIC is a Horizon Europe funded project, aligned with the EU’s Restore our Ocean and Water Mission. The project aims for a healthy Baltic Sea environment by increasing spatial protection to 30% by 2030, through the development of a protection optimization framework. The framework will be the first of its kind, co-created with Baltic Sea member states, and will serve as a blueprint for the planning, executing, governing, managing, and monitoring of Baltic Sea protection and restoration initiatives.

HELCOM is currently seeking an experienced backend developer to join our data team to design and implement spatial database solution for Marine Protected Areas (MPA) data. The main responsibility for the backend developer is to join the planning of the HELCOM MPA database modernisation, contribute to requirement specifications, design the required data model together with experts, and implement the solution in HELCOM IT infrastructure. The outputs of the project are expected to be completely new: the HELCOM MPA portal and an updated HELCOM Biodiversity database (see current ones here HELCOM MPA portal, HELCOM Biodiversity database).


The backend developer will be responsible for designing and implementing the HELCOM MPA database renewal and is expected to contribute to overall development of HELCOM GIS and Data infrastructure. The main tasks include:

  • Taking part in the process of selecting a suitable database platform and processes for the update of the HELCOM MPA database and of the HELCOM Biodiversity database;
  • Taking part in defining the technical requirement specification for the new HELCOM MPA data portal;
  • Designing data models and databases for the updated HELCOM MPA database and the HELCOM Biodiversity database;
  • Designing and developing the APIs for the MPA data portal jointly with the project’s data personnel;
  • Implementation of backend solutions needed for web services, such as database queries for the new HELCOM MPA portal and the HELCOM Biodiversity database;
  • Migration of current data from the HELCOM MPA database and HELCOM Biodiversity database to the new one;

The backend developer works in close cooperation with the front-end developer, the project’s data manager, HELCOM’s senior data manager, and IT system administrator. 

Qualifications and experience

The tasks require a person with a strong background in backend development and familiarity with designing and implementing spatial and relational database solutions.  

The successful candidate shall have:

  • Master’s degree or higher in relevant field, e.g. Computer Science or Geographic Information Systems;
  • Minimum of five years of relevant professional experience;
  • Experience/knowledge on the following:
    • ESRI/ArcGIS Enterprise platform (ArcGIS Server, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Pro),
    • Relational database software (preferably PostgreSQL, PostGIS),
    • Database design and management,
    • Python,
    • Java / JavaScript,
    • Web Services (e.g. ArcGIS Geoprocessing services, ArcGIS REST API, OGC WFS);
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills and ability to perform under pressure;
  • Ability to work independently and as a contributing team member, taking responsibility and initiative;
  • Service-oriented approach and excellent social and team skills;
  • Proficiency in English.

Terms of appointment

The appointment is planned to be full time for two years, starting at the beginning of October 2024. The salary for the position is 3.000 € per month. Please note that the HELCOM salaries are exempt from Finnish income tax, i.e. the salary is not subject to income tax.

Employee benefits include occupational health care, flexible working hours, hybrid working, generous leave allowance, recreational activities, and professional development opportunities.

How to apply?

Candidates with the required expertise and qualifications are invited to submit their application (consisting of a CV and a motivation letter as one file) via email to no later than 15 August 2024. Please write “Backend developer (PROTECT BALTIC project)” in the subject field of the message.