High Level Software Engineer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, September 27, 2019
Archive Date: 
Friday, November 8, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
La Serena
Job Announcement Text: 

The Gemini Observatory is managed by The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), a consortium of over 40 US institutions and four international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the Gemini Observatory, the National Optical Astronomical Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA.

At Gemini Observatory we are committed to diversity and inclusion. Our managing organization, AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, 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 http://www.aura-astronomy.org/diversity.asp

This time, the international Gemini Observatory has an immediate opening for a High Level Software Engineer position at the Gemini Facility in Chile. The High Level Software Engineer develops, maintains, supports and upgrades the Observatory Control System (OCS). The OCS provides the infrastructure and tools to support  proposal submission, program preparation, planning and execution of science projects, and is a critical component of the telescope operational software. The operational system is both Java and Scala-based but we are working towards upgrading it to a pure functional system using Scala and the Typelevel software stack. End-user tools will be web-based, using React, css, scala.js and JavaScript.

We seek an individual who thrives in a culturally diverse environment. This position is a full-time position based in La Serena, Chile; and it works closely with Gemini software engineers, scientists and telescope operators to support the OCS, simplify its operation, reduce complexity and facilitate long-term maintenance. The successful applicant  will  possess a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering or equivalent experience; as well as a good working level of English. The successful applicant will also possess excellent teamwork skills in order to work collaboratively with Gemini staff and scientists in our international community.

Activities and Functions of the Job

  • Contributes to the continuing maintenance and support of the Observatory Control System. Specifically, develop Java and Scala software to implement features required within an existing code base infrastructure, including unit tests for new and existing code.
  • Contributes to the development and testing of the new OCS core infrastructure.
  • Develops software with a focus on correctness and maintainability.
  • Stays current with changes in the field, research new technologies, and prototype novel solutions.
  • Contributes features and improvements to open-source libraries used by Gemini.
  • Acts as a consultant to external instrument teams as they develop instrument software and assist in the integration, testing, and deployment of that software.

Training will be provided in these functions where needed.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities

We seek an individual with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field; or with equivalent experience. We are looking for a person with programming experience in Java and interest in functional programming in Scala. As a high level software engineer, we expect you to have demonstrated ability with revision control systems like Git and with software development platforms such as Linux/Unix. The job requires you to communicate effectively with a diverse community of users and developers and write clear technical documentation.

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

Given Gemini Observatory’s telescopes and needs, the following experiences are valued: Experience with functional programming in Scala. Experience with open source software contributions. Experience providing user support and troubleshooting. Experience with graphical user interface development.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The work of a software engineer is mostly carried out in an office environment near sea level. Long periods of sitting may be required. You will be expected to perform night time duties as well as day time, working to a prearranged schedule.  Given the international nature of the observatory, you may also need to travel, and occasional work at high elevation (Pachon, 3200m) may be required.

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 does 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 laws. 

Included Benefits: 

AURA provides a generous compensation package including health coverage, paid time off and retirement benefits.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, November 8, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
AURA Human Resources
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