Senior Software Engineer - Scientific Programming #0002244
Baltimore, MD 
Posted 1 month ago
Position No Longer Available
Position No Longer Available
Job Description

The Data Management Division at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is hiring a Senior Software Engineer, focusing on scientific programming, to help advance our state-of- the-art data pipelines and analysis tools for our NASA flagship 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 later this year, and will perform parts of the science operations for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, in formulation for launch in the mid-2020s.

Your Role & Responsibilities include:

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 incorporate Jupyter notebooks in data-analysis applications and developing and supporting JupyterLab environments in the cloud. You will be developing both the analysis tools and the technical aspects of Python notebooks through which they can be accessed.

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 technically lead, 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.

Your Experience, Skills & Qualifications:
You will work principally in advanced Python, but experience with a compiled language such as C or C++ would be beneficial. You are a proven technical leader and can guide the team to sound architectural and process decisions. You will use classes, 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 have strong data analysis experience, and experience with astronomical data would be a plus.

Developing data processing and 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. Development of software for cloud-based environments, high performance environments, or machine learning.
  4. Innovation with new technologies to keep STSCIs Data Analysis Tools modern and accessible.
  5. 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.
  6. US citizen or Permanent Resident is required.

Bachelor's degree in Computer/Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Physics or Astronomy or related technical degree; advanced degree preferred but not required. Education or professional background in astronomy, or software development in a research environment would be helpful. Several years of post-graduate professional software development experience.

TO APPLY: This position is available immediately. Please upload one cover letter and resume on one PDF document for review. Relocation assistance may be available. Applications received by August 4, 2021 will receive full consideration. Applications received after this date will be considered until the position is filled.

Direct Link:

STScI offers a flexible and welcoming workspace for all. We offer an excellent and generous benefits package. Explore our benefits at Explore all career opportunities on our website at . This position can support teleworking 3-4 days a week and working onsite 1-2 days a week.

*COVID-19 UPDATE: Staff members will not be required to work on-site unless their presence is necessary to carry out specific functional activities. All initial on-site visits during our Restricted On-site Presence will be strictly voluntary until January 1, 2022. 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 for documented medical or religious reasons or for staff who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant.

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

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)


Position No Longer Available
Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
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