Software Engineer (II or III)

Computers/Software Charlottesville (or TBD), Virginia


Software Engineer (II or III)


Position Description:


Position Summary

Join the development team that created and maintains the software used by the world’s most powerful radio telescopes.  The Common Astronomy Software Applications (CASA) package is used by astronomers and astrophysicists around the world to process and analyze data from radio interferometers.  The CASA team is an international collaboration, led by NRAO, with the charge of supporting the scientific mission of NRAO and its partner organizations.


We are seeking a Software Engineer with experience in software development with JavaScript and related technologies to join the CASA development team.  The CASA team is responsible for the development and maintenance of the scientific processing software. One of the applications supported by the CASA team is the Cube Analysis and Rendering Tool for ALMA (CARTA).  This tool will be used by astronomers to directly interact, visualize, and analyze their data.  The successful applicants will refine and implement a graphical interface layer for the CARTA too.  Additional feature development and maintenance tasks may be assigned as schedule allows.  Job classification and compensation will be commensurate with education and experience.


The position will be based at either the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (; or at NRAO Headquarters in Charlottesville, VA on the grounds of the University of Virginia ( In addition to competitive pay, we provide excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave).  Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment.  Our 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

Duties of CASA members include both the maintenance and necessary upgrades of the existing software as well as developing new tools to meet the challenges posed by the new observing paradigms necessary for the Observatory to remain at the cutting edge of science and technology.


Work 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.


Preferred Education

An advanced degree in a related field


Minimum Experience

At least one year of direct or related experience in software development with JavaScript and related technologies.  Candidates with progressively more responsible experience will be considered for a higher-level position ranking.


Preferred Experience

Experience encompassing the following areas:

  • Strong proficiency in JavaScript and related technologies
  • Experience with C++ and Python programming.
  • Experience or training in human computer interaction, and interaction design methodology 
  • Experience with the qooxdoo framework
  • Experience integrating software components into a functioning, maintainable system
  • Familiarity with basic astronomical principles and data reduction
  • Understanding of object-oriented design and development
  • Experience in a geographically distributed development group
  • Experience with version control software and testing methodologies
  • Experience debugging and profiling software systems


Competency Summary

A strong background in JavaScript and related technologies; experience in human computer interaction; experience with version control software and testing methodologies; experience debugging and profiling software systems; strong interpersonal and communications skills.


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.