MPC Web Developer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Archive Date: 
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

This advert is for the position of Information Technology Specialist (Front-End Web Software Developer) in the Minor Planet Center (MPC). The MPC is the internationally recognized, NASA-funded clearinghouse, processing center, and archive for minor planet and comet observations. The MPC is tasked with identifying candidate near Earth asteroids from all data reported to the MPC, as well as with supporting asteroid survey programs, for example, through services for identifying known asteroids and predicting their positions.

The MPC is building a highly scalable and feature-rich data-processing pipeline using modern development tools. Much of the interaction between the scientific community and the data processing pipeline is through the MPC website and web-services. As such, the web-site and web-services are also being upgraded and the MPC is inviting applications for a suitably qualified developer.

The employee is a highly-motivated front-end developer interested in architecting and implementing key components of the MPC web infrastructure and services, including (but not limited to) robust, flexible, database interfaces, visualization tools, and notification services.

Duties may include:

  1. Function as part of a team to lead all aspects of the design and development of new capabilities and services to support the MPC website and database infrastructure, ensuring its reliability and scalability.
  2. Provide schedule assessment from a technical standpoint, technical guidance to other developers, and overall integration of software and other system components.
  3. Interface with science staff at the highest project levels to obtain information regarding their needs as the users of the MPC data processing system and its web components. This involves applying a basic understanding of the science and physical systems for which the software is being developed.
  4. Lead the efforts to enhance the MPC APIs and front-end services to support the MPC user community
  5. Collaborate with other team members and stakeholders to lead the design and development of new capabilities and the maintenance of existing functionality
  6. Lead the development of original code and scripts to support education and outreach, particularly, web, app and social media based projects. This will involve creation of new materials adding to the online portfolio’s capability, as well as modification of existing materials to meet evolving requirements.

Interested applicants should apply by Thursday, November 30th. A complete application includes a cover letter, CV, bibliography and contact details for three references, and should be sent to Dr. Matthew Payne at

Official applications should also be submitted through the USAJobs website at

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Selection Deadline: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Matthew Payne
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Matthew Payne