Position Description

Web Application Developer
Job Category Fulltime Term
ExemptOvertimeEligible Overtime Eligible
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 

Caltech/IPAC’s Communication and Education (ICE) team is seeking a limited term, full-time application developer with a focus on web applications. This one-year position is for a candidate with a solid understanding of Ruby on Rails and web application frameworks, who will develop and maintain an in-house content management system. The work location for this position is flexible: both on-campus and remote work are supported options.

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.

The ICE team works with researchers at IPAC, JPL and international partnerships to develop, document and communicate mission stories and general science education via press releases, imagery, audio, video, and VR experiences. The candidate will help the ICE team develop and maintain web applications to support these activities.

Job Duties

As a Web Application Developer you will work collaboratively in an active, creative, and strategic environment with ICE team members, as well as scientists and project members from the missions and projects with IPAC involvement, to develop, support and maintain web applications. The ability to receive feedback as well as work both independently and in a close-knit team environment are essential.

You will develop new and maintain current features of our in-house content management application (CMA) built with Ruby on Rails, upon which we support several mission, outreach and research websites. The CMA supports a unique metadata standard called Astronomy Visualization Metadata (AVM).

Basic Qualifications 

If you have the following in your background, then we want to hear about your interest in joining our team:

  • At least 3 years of practical experience in programming with Ruby and JavaScript.
  • Strong Experience with popular frameworks like: Rails, jQuery, Bootstrap.
  • Strong teamwork, collaboration, verbal and written communication, along with demonstrated creativity and problem-solving capabilities.
  • 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/ICE 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.

  • Familiarity with other programing languages and frameworks such as Python, Django, Node, React or Angular.
  • Familiarity with Metadata standards such as ITP Core.
  • PostgreSQL Database Administration.
  • Linux flavored Server Administration.
  • Familiarity with Amazon Web Services.
  • General graphic design, UI/UX development, knowledge of Photoshop or other layout tools.
  • Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Science, Astronomy, Physics, Math or related field.
  • Experience working with scientific data sets and use cases.
  • Experience developing software for astronomical data analysis.
  • Experience working with scientists to develop content for the general public.

Required Documents

  • Resume


COVID-19 Vaccine Required for All Employees

Caltech has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy effective October 15, 2021, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees (with Institute-approved exemptions for religious or medical contraindications only). At present, an individual is deemed “fully vaccinated” when that person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson). Upon eligibility, employees are required to receive the COVID-19 booster as part of the vaccine mandate. As a condition of employment, employees must submit official COVID-19 vaccine documentation. More information may be found here.

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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