Position Description

Senior Applications Developer
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Exempt
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
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Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.


Job Summary

IPAC at Caltech has an opening for a Senior Applications Developer with a strong background in Unix software development to join the data systems development team for the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science 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. We offer an exciting and dynamic work environment, exceptional career development opportunities, competitive pay programs, great benefits, and the opportunity to participate in many campus programs and activities. Exceptional employees are critical to Caltech’s success.

IPAC, part of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Division at Caltech (www.caltech.edu), 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 (https://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu) is the steward of scientific data sets, ancillary data products, and documentation delivered by NASA's Infrared and Sub-millimeter missions. IRSA is preparing to support upcoming astrophysics missions including: SPHEREx, a recently approved NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission which will conduct a spectroscopic, infrared survey of the entire sky; and Euclid, a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to study the geometry and nature of the dark Universe. Additionally, IRSA provides archive services for NASA’s SOFIA airborne observatory, and the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF, https://www.ztf.caltech.edu), an NSF-supported time domain survey led by Caltech.

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. Caltech is small, but has an extraordinary science impact, with 39 Nobel Prizes awarded to faculty and alumni. Caltech manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA, the leading US center for the robotic exploration of the Solar System. Caltech also operates large-scale research facilities such as the Palomar and Keck Observatories, and LIGO, which in 2016 observed gravitational waves from colliding black holes for the first time. 

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. IPAC staff have access to the Institute’s benefits programs, facilities, including the athletic center, libraries, on-site daycare, professional development and enrichment classes, and Athenaeum club membership.

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.

Job Duties

As an IPAC Senior Applications Developer, you will work with the engineering and scientific team members on tasks which may include:

  • Developing tools to help scientists combine, extract and exploit information from archived datasets.
  • Building and operating efficient search and retrieval mechanisms for IRSA’s petabyte-scale growing data holdings.
  • Maintaining up-to-date databases and archive content.

Your work may involve processing astrophysics space mission data, containerization & cloud technologies, large scale databases, and petabyte-scale storage. 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 degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Sciences or related field
  • 8+ years experience as a professional software developer in a Unix/Linux environment
  • 8+ years experience using C/C++
  • 2+ years experience using Python
  • Experience using relational databases with SQL
  • Familiarity with software configuration management principles and tools, source code version control (e.g. git/Github) and issue/bug tracking systems (e.g. Jira)

Preferred Qualifications

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 you or 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 with C++ version 11 or later
  • Expertise in Linux systems administration, database architecture and operations, particularly in a large data environment
  • Experience with web server administration and operation
  • Experience with software containerization and deployment technologies, such as Docker and Kubernetes
  • Experience with server virtualization and cloud services such as AWS, GCP, Azure
  • Database design for large scale data processing
  • Interactive analysis environments such as Jupyter
  • Experience working with scientific data sets and use cases
  • Experience developing software for astronomical data analysis

Required Documents

  • Resume

Depending on start date, an initial remote working arrangement may be considered for up to six months.

 

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at employment@caltech.edu

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