Work for SDSS – Senior Software Developer for Apache Point Observatory

Many people contribute to the success of SDSS, not least the staff working at Apache Point Observatory, where our 2.5m Sloan Telescope is located.

The below job add for a Senior Software Developer to support engineering and observing at Apache Point Observatory is copied from a posting on the New Mexico State University website:

New Mexico State University is seeking a technical and computer-oriented person for a Senior Software Developer position to support daytime engineering and night-time astronomical observing at Apache Point Observatory (APO), in Sunspot, NM. The observatory at Sunspot NM will be location of work place. Work schedule on site is generally M-F 8-4:30.

Responsibilities include; designs, implements/installs, maintains, and administers computer, network, and phone infrastructure including hardware and software. Monitors Zenoss, overall performance to proactively identify potential issues and tune appropriately. Providse 24/7 high reliability systems with security and analysis – splunk and Bro. Performs root cause analysis on failed components and implements corrective measures. Works with others to address problems, implement new instrumentation and capabilities. Internal and external customer support and good communication skills are required. Familiar with cluster and virtual systems.

Relevant experience includes hands-on system administration, computer system and network management and development and system security. Proficiency in Unix/Linux, RedHat KVM, C, Python, VxWorks, RTEMS,FreePBX, Vyatta and VyOS,Mac OS, Modeling language – UML. Technical writing, HTML5, CSS, js, frameworks and nodej applications.

Must be able to work at 9500 ft MSL, provide critical support off hours, holidays and weekends.

Benefits: Group medical, hospital, life, dental, and disability insurance. State educational retirement, workers compensation, sick and annual leave, and unemployment compensation.

Paper/email documents will not be accepted. Required documents (CV/Resume, 3 references, unofficial copy of transcripts) must be attached to the NMSU electronic application system at

Employment is contingent on funding and eligibility for employment in U.S. and results of a background verification. Target start date is July 1, 2017.

Direct link to the posting on the NMSU website:

SDSS Survey Operations Software Developer

The below is the text of a job advert looking for a software developer to work on the software we use to run our surveys.

For full details please visit the Job Advert.

SDSS Survey Operations Software Developer

The Department of Astronomy at the University of Virginia (UVa) invites applications for a Survey Operations Software Developer to work directly with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV).  The SDSS-IV Survey, operating over the 2014-2020 period, consists of three, distinct astrophysical projects: eBOSS, which obtains precision measurements of key cosmological parameters; APOGEE, which performs a high-resolution, near-infrared spectroscopic survey of the Milky Way Galaxy; and MaNGA, which generates spatially resolved spectroscopic maps of individual galaxies.  SDSS-IV conducts observations from both a Northern Hemisphere Site at Apache Point Observatory (APO) in New Mexico and a Southern Hemisphere Site at Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) in Chile.  UVa is a full institutional participant in SDSS-IV as well as a member of the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC, which owns and manages APO).

The SDSS operations software contains the high-level data commands that execute survey observations, including telescope and instrument control, telescope guiding, back end frameworks, data storage and flow, observer GUIs and web applications. In the main, the Survey Operations Software Developer will maintain, document and improve the suite of SDSS operations software.  The successful applicant will interact with a variety of SDSS personnel (e.g., observers and other site staff, project scientists) and will coordinate the efforts of project software developers.  The specific responsibilities of the Survey Operations Software Developer include:

  • Ensuring that the SDSS observing system meets performance and reliability requirements.
  • Improving SDSS observing software and procedures and document the various improvements accordingly.
  • Testing, installing, and debugging newly developed software.
  • Tracking and resolving issues reported by the trouble-ticket system.
  • Responding to problems that occur during nightly observing.
  • Anticipating and planning for future survey operational needs.
  • Contributing to the LCO/APOGEE-2 operations software development.

A Master’s degree in Physics, Astronomy or a related field is required; a Ph.D. is preferred.  Applicants should possess proficiency in Python as well as knowledge of Unix Operating Systems.  The applicant should be substantially familiar with IDL and other programing languages in order to support SDSS legacy code. The initial appointment will be for one year.  Note, however, it is expected that the position should continue through the duration of SDSS-IV (mid-2020; contingent upon performance and available funding).  The hire will be done at the Research Associate level or higher, commensurate with experience.  Personal research time may also be available for the successful applicant.  Though the position will be based in Charlottesville, Virginia, travel to the APO and LCO sites will be expected.

For details on how to apply please see the full Job Advert.  Review of applications is planned to commence 1st December 2015.

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.  SDSS is also committed to work to increase the diversity of collaboration members.