Applications Developer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Monday, December 14, 2020
Archive Date: 
Monday, February 8, 2021
To event remaining 21 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Small Academic
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

IPAC at Caltech has openings for Applications Developers to participate in NASA missions such as Roman Space Telescope, NASA/ESA collaborations such as Euclid, and science data archive activities such as the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archiveand the NASA Exoplanet Archive.

Caltech is more than a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, it is a community—a community of curious and passionate individuals who collaborate to understand and solve complex scientific and societal challenges. Caltech is an award-winning workplace and one of the best places to work in the greater Los Angeles area. Exceptional employees are critical to Caltech’s success.

IPAC, part of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Division at Caltech (, provides science operations, user support, data and archive services, and scientific vision to maximize discovery with observatories both in space and on the ground.IRSA ( is the steward of scientific data sets, ancillary data products, and documentation delivered by NASA's Infrared and Sub-millimeter missions.The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is a NASA observatory designed to explore dark energy, exoplanets and many other topics in infrared astronomy. IPAC will provide data pipelines and community support via the Roman Science Support Center. Euclid is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to study the geometry and nature of the dark Universe. NASA established the Euclid NASA Science Center at IPAC to support US-based investigations using Euclid data. IPAC is also the home for the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI: which is the science center for the NASA Exoplanet Program and operates the NASA Exoplanet Archive, Keck Observatory Archive, and the radial velocity instrument NEID pipeline and archive, among other services and activities. For these and other activities, IPAC provides algorithm development, calibration, data processing, archiving, and/or distribution.

As an IPAC Applications Developer, you willwork with the engineeringand scientific team members on tasks which may include:

  • developing astrophysics data processing algorithms, prototype and production-quality software for science operations,
  • developing tools to help scientistscombine, extract and exploit information from archived datasets, and
  • maintaining up-to-date databases and archive content.

Your work may involve processing astrophysics space mission data, simulating science data for processing validation, large scale databases, graphical web user interfaces, and/or interactive data analysis tools.You will also work with scientists and other developers to help interpret and implement project requirements, and document the work that you’ve accomplished.

Basic Qualifications

If you have the following in your background, then we want to hear about your interest in joining our team:

  • Bachelor’s or equivalent degreein a technical subject such as Astronomy, Physics, Math, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Sciences,or a related field.
  • Experience as a software developer in a Unix/Linux environmentusing C/C++, Python,and/or Java
  • Familiarity with software configuration management principles and tools, source code version control (e.g. git/github)and issue/bug tracking systems (e.g. Jira)

Beyond these basic qualifications, there are a set of skills and experiences which will add to your ability to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of an IPAC Applications Developer. The following might give you a head-start here, but even if these do not describe youor your experience, we would still like to hear from you:

Master’s or equivalent degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Sciences or related field

  • Experience working with scientific data sets and use cases
  • Experience developing software for astronomical data analysis
  • Experience with server virtualization and cloud services such as AWS, GCP, Azure
  • Experience with software containerizationand deployment technologies, such as Docker and Kubernetes
  • Database applications (SQL), large scale data processing
  • Interactive analysis environments such as Jupyter

Life at Caltech/IPAC

IPAC is located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California by the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Pasadena is a city known for its contributions to science and technology, and its rich history, cultural treasures, scenic beauty, and year-round comfortable weather create a desirable environment for life and ideas to thrive. See Bill Nye’s take on our city.

People choose to work at IPAC for many reasons, and the casual, employee-centric culture often leads to fulfilling, long-term careers and lasting relationships. Caltech’s benefits program offers a quality, competitive benefits package that is affordable for you and the Institute. The program provides a strong base of coverage for you and your dependents, and the ability to choose the plan and the level of coverage that best meet your needs. We also offer a 403(b) defined contribution plan to eligible staff as well as a Voluntary Retirement Savings (TDA) Plan. IPAC staff have access to the Institute’s facilities, including the athletic center, libraries, on-site daycare, professional development and enrichment classes, and Athenaeum club membership.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. Click here to read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

To Apply

Click here to visit the Caltech job posting for more details and to submit your application.

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, April 30, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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