Software Engineer: Scientific Python Programmer - #0002308

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Archive Date: 
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Space Telescope Science Institute
Department Name: 
Human Resources
Street Line 1: 
3700 San Martin Drive
Street Line 3: 
3700 San Martin Drive
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is a multi-mission science operations center for NASA’s flagship observatories. Our world-class astronomical research center is based on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus in Baltimore, Maryland. (Click here to learn more about STScI). STScI offers a flexible and welcoming workspace for all. (Click here to learn more about our culture)

The Data Management Division at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is hiring a Software Engineer, focusing on scientific programming in Python, to help advance our state-of-the-art astronomical data archive. STScI is the science operations center for several NASA missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) is the public data archive for more than 20 missions spanning more than 30 years, including HST, GALEX, PanSTARRS, Kepler, K2, and TESS. MAST is the archive for upcoming missions like JWST and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, in formulation to launch in the mid-2020s.

Your Role & Responsibilities Include:

You will be joining a group dedicated to providing cutting-edge software tools and interfaces to enable all users of the archive to access and discover data from MAST missions. You will develop, and maintain, astronomical tools and services for MAST. You will work with Astronomical Data Scientists to establish features, requirements, and capabilities of these tools and services. You will create, and maintain, documentation, tutorials, and Jupyter notebooks for users of all experience levels to use these tools and services. You will provide help desk support to answer user questions pertaining to these tools and services.

You will ensure existing tools and services remain healthy, including but not limited to: diagnosing potential bug reports, keeping code dependencies up-to-date, monitoring health and performance through automated and scheduled testing. You will develop new features and capabilities for existing tools and services, including but not limited to the Astrocut image cutout software (and associated web services), the astroquery.mast Python sub-package, and the Astronify sonification Python package. You will work with Archive staff to identify, prioritize, and plan new tools and services to support MAST archival missions, including TESS, HST, JWST, Roman, PanSTARRS, and SDSS.

Your Experience, Skills, and Qualifications

You will work principally in advanced Python, but experience with other languages is beneficial. You are comfortable and effective working in a team with other scientific, technical, and administrative staff. You are able to be an effective team member working in a scrum environment (teams of 5-8 people) on a daily basis. No previous experience or knowledge of Agile scrum is required for this position. You are experienced working with FITS files and astronomical headers. You are comfortable performing common Python development tasks (automated documentation, unit testing, package creation, version control).

Additional knowledge in one or more of the following errors would be a plus:

  • World Coordinate Systems (WCS)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Common Python astronomy packages (e.g., Astropy)
  • Experience using or supporting a wide variety of astronomical data types (images, spectra, light curves, data cubes, and/or catalogs).
  • Machine learning, algorithm development, and/or performant usage of large data sets.
  • U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident is required.

A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD in Astronomy, Physics, Computer Science, or related field, is preferred but not required. A minimum expertise level of 3+ years, or equivalent knowledge level, of astronomical Python development is expected.

The starting position and salary are commensurate with education and experience. We offer an excellent and generous benefits package (Click here to explore our benefits). This position can support telework 3-4 days a week and 1-2 days onsite

TO APPLY: Share your experience by uploading a resume and completing an online application. Applications received by July 25, 2021 will receive full consideration. Applications received after this date will be considered until the position is filled.

Direct link: Software Engineer: Scientific Python Programmer

COVID-19 UPDATE: STScI has most staff working virtually from home during the COVID-19 crisis through June 2021. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in this new virtual landscape. Offers of employment can be extended and new hires will onboard virtually. Employees are required to be residents in the Baltimore-Washington area within a limited time from their start date.

Effective September 1, 2021, STScI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all employees working onsite or from home (virtually). Exceptions to the vaccination requirement may be granted in limited circumstances for documented medical or religious reasons or for staff who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant.

STScI embraces the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in creating a first-rate community. We reflect this deep dedication in strongly encouraging women, ethnic minorities, veterans, and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities (Click here to learn more about how we foster Diversity & Inclusion) Veterans, disabled individuals, or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at EOE/AA/M/F/D/V

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA and all of the centers, do not discriminate based on race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements that are included for protection and to assist us in our record-keeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Shelly Abrams
Lead Employment Specialist
Space Telescope Science Institute
Department Name: 
Human Resources
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: