Software Engineer II-IV (4225) - UPDATED

Computers/Software Socorro, New Mexico Albuquerque, 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 Engineer with a background in systems administration and DevOps 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. The successful applicant will perform maintenance, updates and development of the Science Archive, aid in development of the next generation of Archive Access Tools and help transition the tem to modern development, deployment and testing technologies.  The potential exists to help create one or more additional programs as well. In addition, there are numerous opportunities for improving the tools, such as by providing wizards for the creation of certain types of observations, providing more intuitive graphical displays, and making the tools more user friendly in general. Job classification and compensation will be commensurate with education and experience.


The position may be based at our Albuquerque office or 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

Duties of the SSA members include both the maintenance and necessary upgrades of the existing software as well as developing new products to meet the challenges posed by the new observing paradigms necessary for the Observatory to remain at the cutting edge of science and technology.  The Systems Administrator will:

  • Work with the High Performance Computing (HPC) team to help curate the storage systems that hold the entire NRAO repository of observations.
  • Work with HPC & CASA to help scale up data reduction pipelines for science ready data products (SRDP)
  • Deploy and scale up applications on the cloud.
  • Facilitate in adapting to containers (docker), continuous integration systems, and other modern build and deployment technologies.


Work Environment

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 is required; highly relevant experience may be considered in lieu of a Bachelor's degree.


Preferred Education

An advanced degree in a related field


Minimum Experience

At least one year of experience in the development of software applications; candidates with at least seven years of progressively more responsible experience may be considered for a higher-level position ranking.


Preferred Experience

  • Experience with database administration for Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL
  • Experience with long term storage systems (hadoop, hdfs, ngas)
  • Experience with Linux containers and related technologies (docker, kubernetes, mesos)
  • Experience with cloud based services and deployments (AWS)
  • Experience developing software using Java, various frameworks
  • Understanding of object-oriented design and development
  • Understanding of object-relational mapping
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and apply new software languages
  • Familiarity with basic astronomical principles and data reduction


Competency Summary

A strong background in Linux systems administration, storage technologies, shell scripting and Python; experience with version control software and testing methodologies; experience debugging and profiling software systems; strong interpersonal and communications skills. Additionally, software development in Java with relational databases and ORM.


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.