Principal Data Scientist (TS/SCI with Poly Required)

Data Science Various, Virginia


A little about us:       

The Red Alpha Data Science practice grew out of Red Alpha's reputation in Software and System Engineering with our Department of Defense clients. As sometimes happens, customers who trust our expertise in adjacent areas asked Red Alpha to assist with some of their burgeoning Data Science problems.

Culturally, it probably suffices to say that we take our work seriously, but not ourselves. Our leaders have spent time in the trenches and have cursed daylight savings time changes and trailing whitespace as many times as you have. We like to say that we spend 80% of our time cleaning the data...and 20% of our time complaining about cleaning the data. Joking aside, our voices matter, and it is easy to see how our decisions affect the Data Science practice and Red Alpha as a whole. We have a clear vision of where we are headed.       

Our team takes a pragmatic approach to Data Science, defining it loosely as the intersection of technical expertise, business acumen, and soft skills to solve business problems with data. We spend a lot of time trying to understand the problem before we set about building a solution, and we prefer lower tech useful solutions over shiny algorithms and dust on the shelf. Did we mention we’re pragmatic? We have a diverse set of skills across our team, and whether you are a traditional Data Scientist (whatever that means…), an Applied Research Mathematician, a Database Engineer, a Full Stack Developer, or something else in that neighborhood, if you have a knack for picking apart data to make sense of it, we would enjoy having a conversation with you.

A day in the life:       

We're looking for a Principal Data Scientist to support a program which leverages Natural Language Processing for analysis.  As part of a dynamic team of Data Scientists, Developers and Cloud Architects, you will have the opportunity to develop many prototypes, test proof-of-concepts, and have the unique freedom to bring forth your own original ideas in direct support and alignment of specific customer needs and enterprise tradecraft.  Development will be performed in an Open-Source environment where you will have direct access to the commercial cloud, tools, libraries and other necessary resources for the software development process.      
As a Principal Data Scientist, you will be part of a fast-paced environment to support immediate mission needs. This exciting opportunity presents the challenging responsibility of developing critical applications and systems for end-to-end data engineering capabilities to include aggregation, analytics, summarization and visualization on both large structured and unstructured datasets.  In this particular role, you will work closely with a variety of individuals while effectively advising, communicating and presenting your findings to multiple stakeholders in multiple disciplinary areas:   
  • Data Architecture:  Become an expert in characterizing, identifying and cataloging disparate datasets across multiple networks, systems and repositories while leveraging analytic/statistics for discovery and insight.
  • Data Engineering:  Apply streaming and storage strategies for data-in-transit and data-at-rest respectively. Design and implement high-performance and efficient data catalogs and structures for maximal throughput and minimal overhead for queries and other types of interactions with large datasets.
  • Data Science:  Apply natural language processing and machine learning/AI advanced techniques to train and optimize models for automating analysis, processes and insight. Deploy these trained models and processes to work on production at scale while leveraging the amenities of a commercial cloud environment - e.g. automatic scaling of the deployment and runtime of prototypes and workflows to distributed clusters.
  • Data Visualization:  Create visualizations using custom-developed dashboards and/or industry standard commercial platforms to present actionable insights and interactive interfaces. 

What you bring to the table:       

Now on to the fun of formal requirements - we have to apologize in advance for the corporate-speak here, but just hold your breath for a few lines and everything will be okay. We are actively hiring data professionals for roles across a broad range of skill levels and projects. Our goal is to find the best fit for you so please note that if you apply to one of them and we see a fit elsewhere we will let you know. So do not worry about applying initially for every position you might be interested in.

All of our data scientists need the following skills:       

  • Proficiency with a scripting language such as R or Python
  • Experience with data science techniques and algorithms such as classification, clustering, random forests, deterministic forests (jk), hierarchical modeling, deep learning, Markov Chain Monte Carlo, and others. Note that you do not need to have all of these (we hope you enjoyed our random smattering of techniques…!) but you should be comfortable and capable with several of them and know some others not on this list.
  • A B.S. Degree in Data Science, Mathematics, Computer Science or related field.
  • For entry-level data scientists, 0-3 years of experience on Data Science projects.
  • For mid-level data scientists, 3-6 years of experience on Data Science projects.
  • For senior-level data scientists, at least 6 years of experience on Data Science projects with at least 3 years of experience managing teams.
  • A TS/SCI with Polygraph security clearance.

For this particular role, you will also need:       

  • 16+ years experience in a similar work environment using the described technologies below. Any combination of the following acceptable criteria will be considered for work experience equivalence:  Professional work experience history; Relevant technical certifications; Undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Engineering, Business, or a related field in a technical/scientific discipline; Graduate degree in a related field or discipline; Doctorate in a related field or discipline.
    • Python development with expertise in Python data packages: pandas, numpy, scipy, gensim, scikit-learn
    • Experience with ML technologies - TensorFlow, PyTorch, Jupyter notebooks, etc.
    • Programming experience with implementation of machine learning models on textual data and structured datasets
    • Experience with working on data visualization technologies - Kibana, Bokeh, Leaflet/Folium, Tableau, Splunk, etc.
    • Development experience in commercial cloud environments - Amazon Web Service, Azure, etc.
    • Experience with ElasticSearch indexes, SQL data repositories - structured and unstructured
    • Experience with data workflow frameworks -  Apache NiFi
    • Familiarity with industry best practices for Agile software development, automated testing, and continuous integration

These are important skills to have, but not necessarily mandatory:       

  • AWS Cloud development and infrastructure management
  • Master’s degree or higher education in Computer Science, Mathematics, Data Science, Statistics or a related field or discipline
  • Demonstrated professional experience with computer networks, digital forensics and cybersecurity


Why Red Alpha?       

Every day, our elite customers are pushing through "the grind" to defeat the enemy, even putting their lives on the line for our freedom. Rise to the occasion with us to deliver engineering excellence, to match their dedication to this nation. Join us as we bring digital transformation to the fight.      
Some of our perks and benefits:
  • You can retire sooner rather than planned: Get closer to retirement with up to 12% in 401k contributions.
  • You can have a career AND a life: Enjoy up to 5 weeks of leave (25 days of personal time off) and 11 paid floating holidays.
  • You can stay at your best: As a member, we'll pay 100% of your premiums for comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance. We'll also pay the majority of the premiums for your family.
  • Free access to a fully equipped state of the art gym!
  • $300 per year in company branded merchandise (Under Armour, Nike, Carhartt, YETI, etc.)
  • Fun events throughout the year including a holiday gala, whisky tastings, fall festivals, happy hours, and more.