Software Engineer II-IV (4850)

Computers/Software Socorro, New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

Are you a software engineer also experienced in system administration?  Would you like to build and maintain a mission-critical computer cluster and also develop software for one of the highest resolution and highest precision astronomical telescopes ever made?  Would you like to be part of a highly skilled team of software engineers supporting scientists who are pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of the universe?  The NRAO VLBA (Very Long Baseline Array) Telescope and its associated software correlator clusters accomplish a variety of challenging scientific use cases including very high resolution astronomy, very high precision astrometry and very high precision time keeping.


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announces an opportunity for a full-time Software Engineer with system administration experience to work on the VLBA software development team.  The software engineer will be responsible for building out a new software correlator computer cluster, writing scripts and programs that maintain and monitor the cluster and developing software for VLBA telescope systems.  Software will be written in a combination bash, Python, C/C++ and Java.  The software engineer should be fluent in Linux 8 system administration, preferably with experience with RHEL 8 and clustering.  The software engineer will be responsible for writing and maintaining l documentation including installation and maintenance guides, requirements, software design and user documentation.  The software engineer will be required to achieve and maintain a Security+ certification or equivalent within 6 months of hire.  The software engineer must be a US citizen.  The software engineer will be a member of the New Mexico Systems (NMS) Group which is part of the Data Management and Software (DMS) Department.


The NRAO Science Operations Center is located in Socorro, NM on the campus of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( Socorro is a small, historical city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque.  With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Socorro offers ample access to outdoor recreation.  The position could also be located at NRAO offices in Albuquerque, NM but regular travel to Socorro will be required.


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:

  • Designing, developing, testing and maintaining OS and software components of correlator computer cluster
  • Writing installation, configuration and maintenance documentation for correlator computer cluster
  • Designing, developing, testing and maintaining software for VLBA telescope systems
  • Writing and maintaining software documentation including requirements, design and user documentation.


Work Environment

The position can be located at NRAO offices in Socorro, NM or Albuquerque, NM, but regular travel to Socorro will be required.  Work is typically performed in a research or development environment. Must be able to operate a personal computer. Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.  Occasional travel to work sites outside of New Mexico will also be required.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field.


Preferred Education

An advanced degree is highly desired.  Scientific degree or background in astronomy is also desirable.


Minimum Experience

One to four years of software development experience in a science or engineering field with some demonstrated experience in Linux system administration.


Preferred Experience

Five to seven years of software development experience in a science or engineering field with advanced RHEL administration experience.  Salary and position level will be determined based on the candidate’s qualifications.


Preferred Competencies

  • Excellent knowledge of software engineering concepts, practices and procedures
  • Experience with Linux system administration, especially RHEL, clustering and storage systems
  • Experience with Python, bash, C/C++ and Java
  • Experience with IP network configuration and programming
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new areas and apply learning
  • Strong troubleshooting and problem-solving abilities


Additional Requirements

Required to achieve and maintain a Security+ certification or equivalent within 6 months of hire.  US citizenship is required.


Application Instructions:


Apply online at the careers page.  You will need to be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the position. Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.


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  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.