Software Engineer III-IV / Software Architect (4400)

Computers/Software Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

Join the development team that created and maintains software for NRAO's telescopes. The NRAO operates the world's most powerful radio telescopes at various locations world-wide. As part of that operation, the observatory develops and maintains software used by the astronomy community for proposing, planning, scheduling, and analyzing observations performed with these telescopes.


We are seeking a Software Architect to join the Science Support and Archive (SSA) development team.  The SSA is responsible for some of the most visible user-facing software at the observatory, including the Proposal Submission Tool, the VLA Observation Preparation Tool, and the NRAO Science Archive. You will be responsible for creating and maintaining a consistent architecture across applications, leading to development efficiencies, improved supportability, and increased user satisfaction.  As a member of the development team, you will have responsibilities for developing, testing, and delivering software, ideally across a variety of applications and technologies.  Project management skills and/or previous leadership experience would be a plus.  Job classification and compensation will be commensurate with education and experience.


The position is based at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

Responsibilities are anticipated to evolve and expand and will initially include, but are not limited to:

  • As a member of the architecture team, defining architecture for SSA applications;
  • Prototyping solutions for new applications and new approaches to existing applications;
  • Developing new applications and modifying existing ones to fit with new designs;
  • With stakeholder groups, helping to clarify requirements and technical success criteria for software development;
  • Recognizing and/or defining boundaries and interfaces between components to create working applications and a maintainable development path;
  • Ensuring critical documentation is delivered;
  • Working with Testing Team to help define test infrastructure and strategy.


Work Environment

The position is located at the NRAO Socorro, New Mexico facility, which combines an academic setting with a rural environment. The successful candidate will join a team of professionals engaged in research and development in the fields of science, engineering, software development, and education.  Work is typically performed in a research or development environment.  Must be able to operate a personal computer. May occasionally work at high altitudes.  Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, scientific or related field; highly relevant experience may be considered in lieu of a Bachelor's degree.


Preferred Education

An advanced degree in a related field


Minimum Experience

Three years of experience in the development of software applications.


Preferred Experience

Five or more years of experience in the development of software applications; candidates with progressively more experience will be considered for a higher level position ranking.  In addition:

  • Experience developing software using Java, various frameworks;
  • Experience with version control software and testing methodologies;
  • Experience debugging and profiling software systems;
  • Experience with Python, SQLAlchemy and setuptools;
  • Experience with relational databases, including database normalization and administration;
  • Experience integrating software components into a functioning, maintainable system;
  • Previous project management or leadership experience.


Competency Summary

  • Ability to design, develop, modify, and support complex user-facing systems written in Java, interfacing with other systems and DBMS;
  • Familiarity with a wide variety of software engineering concepts, practices and procedures;
  • Demonstrated understanding of different design approaches, advantages and disadvantages of each;
  • Understanding of object-oriented design and development;
  • Understanding of object-relational mapping;
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and apply new software languages;
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new areas and apply learning;
  • Use of Java and assorted Java based web frameworks and ORM frameworks;
  • Familiarity with basic astronomical principles and data reduction.


Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button below.  Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the position.


The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.