Software Engineer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Gemini Observatory has an immediate opening for a Software Engineer to join our international team operating two of the world’s premier ground-based telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. We are looking for a talented individual to become part of the Science User Support Department at Gemini North in Hilo, Hawaii. This is a fixed-term 3-year position with the possibility of extension.

The Science User Support Software Engineer will develop Python software to support Gemini’s principal investigators in their production of world-class scientific results in a timely manner. In the era of multi-messenger astronomy, Gemini is developing DRAGONS (Data Reduction for Astronomy from Gemini Observatory North and South), a software suite to provide reliable, automatic reductions of science data. The Gemini Observatory Archive (GOA) is an essential and critical component of current observatory science operations as well as our developing capability to distribute reduced data on a rapid timescale for follow-up of transient phenomena.

The Software Engineer will contribute to the continuing development of the Gemini Observatory Data Archive system. Specifically, he or she will develop python software to implement new features in support of rapid follow-up and smart access to fully calibrated and reduced data. Additionally, he or she will also work on the development, testing, and optimization of DRAGONS core infrastructure and scientific algorithms used to assess the quality of data as it is being obtained, reduce that data for rapid access by a transient follow-up system, and provide end-users with a flexible tool to make customizable non-standard reductions.

As both the Gemini Observatory Archive and the DRAGONS data reduction software are critical components of the daily observatory operations, the Software Engineer is expected the follow a rigorous software development life cycle from requirements and design documentation, coding standards, test driven development, to the application of quality and configuration control methodology.

Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Astronomy, Physics, or related field is required; a master’s degree is preferred. Advanced knowledge of Python and Object-Oriented principles with at least two years of experience developing Python packages for public distribution is required. Experience with relational databases, SQL, and Apache web servers is essential. Must be familiar with astronomical data and have experience working with UNIX/Linux as the archive software runs under the Linux operating system both in house and on a major commercial cloud computing system. Fluency in English is essential.

Experience working as part of a team on a significant python software package is strongly desired. Experience providing user support and troubleshooting at astronomical facilities is preferred. The ability to communicate effectively with a diverse community of scientific software users and developers is also desired. Independence, the ability to embrace challenge, and a sense of curiosity will aid in the successful completion of the essential functions.

Gemini offers an attractive and competitive salary and benefit package. Gemini North headquarters are located in Hilo, Hawaii, a town with a very diverse population of about 43,000 people, a tropical climate, and a substantial international astronomical community supporting the observatories on Mauna Kea.

Send resume, cover letter relating your education and experience to the requirements of the position, and contact details for three references from whom letters of reference may be obtained. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The position will remain open until filled. Application materials should be submitted online through the Gemini web site: Please specify the AAS Job Register number on your application. AA/EOE.More details and application instructions are available at

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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