Science Application Developers (Junior to Senior levels available) - #0036175

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Archive Date: 
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Space Telescope Science Institute
Street Line 1: 
3700 San Martin Drive
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Data Analysis Tools Branch at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) seeks Software Systems Engineers to help advance data-analysis tools for the James Webb Space Telescope and other missions. STScI is the science operations center for several NASA missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the most famous space observatory in history. We also lead the science and mission operations for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), planned to launch in 2021 and will perform parts of the science operations for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), in formulation for launch in the mid-2020s.

You will be joining a group dedicated to developing cutting-edge software to enable scientific breakthroughs. Our data-analysis software is built primarily in python, with C providing performance enhancements where practical. STScI has been a major contributor to the open-source scientific python software stack, including numpy, scipy, matplotlib and Astropy. We are incorporating the Jupyter in data-analysis applications and developing and supporting JupyterLab environments in the cloud.

You will contribute not only to software but also to algorithm development, user support, training, and software engineering process improvement. Members of our team regularly give presentations within the Institute and at scientific and technical conferences. You will collaborate with a team that is passionate about the work they do in support of astronomers around the world. We offer an excellent and generous benefits package, tuition reimbursement, flexible work schedules and a stimulating and diverse work environment.

Essential Functions:
You will design, develop, test and deploy software to assist astronomers in analyzing astronomical data, in close collaboration with STScI’s technical and scientific staff. You will help maintain and extend the current packages as well as build new ones. You will communicate and interact with the open-source community in development forums such as github, as well as in scientific and technical papers and conference presentations.

You will work principally in advanced Python, but experience with a compiled language such as C or C++ would be beneficial. You will use context managers, exception handling, iterators, decorators, closures and lambda functions, and threading. You are comfortable with writing unit tests and with test-driven development. You will also integrate or port prototypes from other languages such as IDL, Mathematica, or MATLAB.

Developing data-analysis software requires a mix of skills, benefiting from diversity within the development team. Particular areas of emphasis may include one or more of the following.
(1) Numerical & scientific programming for image processing, spectroscopy, photometry, astrometry, general signal processing, modeling and statistics, or numerical simulations.
(2) Software design, using formal design principles, patterns, and architectural paradigms; human interface design.
(3) Software development processes, including configuration management (e.g. using git), the software design cycle from requirements through integration, testing, continuous integration and deployment. Agile development.

Bachelor’s degree in Computer/Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Physics or Astronomy; advanced degree preferred. Education or professional background in astronomy, or software development in a research environment would help. Preference will be given to candidates with several years of post-graduate professional software development experience, but promising candidates will be considered at the more junior or more senior levels.

You are requested to complete an on-line application through the STScI website. Please upload a code sample or provide a  link with your application materials. Applications received by September 30, 2019 will receive full consideration.

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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. Learn more at
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, color, 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.

STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.
Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at EOE/AA/M/F/D/V

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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