Software Engineer IV (4709)
Join the development team that created and maintains the software used to operate the ALMA Telescope. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is an array of 66 radio antenna located high in the Chilean Andes. Its scientific capabilities are, by a large factor, better than any other millimeter wave radio telescope. It was commissioned in 2013 and is, to date, the largest ground-based astronomical project. ALMA is supported by a diverse team of people in 4 continents (North America, South America, Europe and Asia).
We are seeking a Group Lead for the North America (NA) ALMA Software Development Group, which is part of the Software Division within the Data Management and Software Department of NRAO. The NA ALMA Software Group is responsible for the data acquisition (Control and Correlator) and Scheduling software and works jointly with the global ALMA software development teams. Collectively, the software teams design, implement and maintain software used to operate ALMA. This includes the software for automatically selecting what to observe (Scheduling software), software that decomposes the high-level parameters to the commands sent to each piece of hardware (Control software) and software that collects the data and processes it down to a manageable volume (Correlator software). This requires close interaction with a diverse range of people on several continents. The team diagnoses and corrects difficult & subtle problems that can affect the data quality.
The preferred location for the position will be based at one of our NRAO sites - Charlottesville, VA; Socorro or Albuquerque, NM.
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
The Group Lead is responsible for the short- and long-term development activities of the ALMA Control, Correlator, and Scheduling teams, and works with international partners to coordinate and integrate this software with ALMA Telescope Operations. Each team lead organizes requirement gathering, develops and maintains the work plan for the group, and works with testers and scientists, through the software acceptance and deployment processes for their respective groups. The ALMA Software Group Lead coordinates the direction setting between the NA teams internally and between the NA teams and the larger ALMA project. The successful candidate will be expected to lead projects and initiatives to develop significant new capabilities, address future obsolescence issues, especially those that require coordination between various software groups, and ensure high priority issues get resolved. The position also includes personnel management, including rewarding and motivating staff, investing in professional development for staff, providing periodic reviews, establishing fair objectives and goals for personal development, and recommending areas for training and improvement.
This position also includes a leadership role in the North American Integrated Computing Team (ICT), responsible for the ongoing software support, maintenance, and feature development of the software delivered by the entire ALMA ICT. This will involve coordination of development, participating in international coordination meetings with other managers and stakeholders, and leading cross-ALMA initiatives.
The role encourages some software development, as this leads to a better understanding of the ALMA software technology stack as well as development and delivery processes. ALMA software in NA has typically been done in Java and C++, and potentially could include user interface and database development responsibilities.
Work is typically performed in an office setting within a research or development environment. Domestic and international travel will be required.
Bachelor’s degree in computer science, physics, astronomy, or related field. Advanced degree preferred.
At least seven years of experience in software development, with at least three or more years of experience leading a software group of five or more people. Equivalent relevant experience will be considered.
Relevant experience with radio astronomy analysis software and procedures is preferred. Knowledge of radio interferometric theory and practice would be valuable. Demonstrated leadership in complex environments and experience leading larger and geographically distributed software teams is preferred.
The ALMA Software Group Lead is expected to have demonstrated experience leading software development groups, preferably within the domain of astronomy.
The successful candidate shall also have experience in leading a distributed team of developers and be familiar with management, planning, and reporting aspects. The candidate should be prepared to deal with already ongoing activities, while also having the ability to formulate a long-term direction. Candidates should have experience balancing the maintenance, improvement, and enhancement of operational software.
Planning skills and appropriate management of a team of expert developers and scientists are essential. Competency and experience dealing with the development process from requirements gathering, to development, testing and the formalism needed to achieve an orderly process is also expected. Must be able to build strong and productive relationships with stakeholders who have complex and sometimes conflicting requirements, such as scientists, development partners, and operations organizations. Strong decision making, consensus building, and communication skills are essential.
Experience managing software teams and stakeholders in an international environment Is strongly preferred.
Skills & Abilities
- Strong interpersonal and group communications skills, oral and written in English.
- Familiarity, and preferably experience, with a wide variety of technologies, such as Java, C++, python, databases, near-real-time programming, testing frameworks.
- Must possess strong leadership and delegation capabilities, as well as the ability to empower team members. Ability to maintain and develop productive collaborations across organizations, anticipate and mitigate political and technical issues.
- Demonstrated strong initiative in refining and clarifying requirements, defining and implementing QA processes, plan definition and monitoring, defining technical direction, and facilitating alignment.
- Strong skills in defining and improving global processes, and in negotiating and adjusting work agreements with global partners.
- Ability to learn new areas and apply learning.
- Strong troubleshooting and problem-solving abilities.
- Familiarity with project management concepts and techniques.
The Observatory has determined that all employees who intend to be physically present in the facilities and employees who work in safety sensitive positions are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in accordance with our AUI vaccine policy and provide proof of full vaccination prior to your start date. A selected applicant may request consideration for an accommodation for a disability or a sincerely held religious belief.
Select the “Apply” button. Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position
Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:
AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit http://jobs.jobvite.com/nrao/jobs. If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected].
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.