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Software Engineer II - Science Gateway

Boulder, Colorado
$75,123 - $93,905
Closing date
Dec 9, 2021

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Atmospheric Sciences
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type
Non-Government Organization/Non-Profit
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Location: Boulder, CO.
Type: Full time, exempt.
Term: Two-year term position, with a possibility of extension.
Application Deadline: This position will be posted until December 9th.
Relocation: Partial relocation assistance is available for this position.
Work Authorization: UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa to fill this position.

Hiring Range:        $75,123 -  $93,905
Full Salary Range: $75,123 - $122,076

Where You Will Work:

The Unidata program exists to serve a community of researchers and educators dedicated to advancing the frontiers of Earth System science. While we share a set of long-term goals with our community, we are keenly aware that we play a significant but supporting role in their ongoing scientific and educational endeavors. As a practical matter, we look for things we can do now to help build the future our community seeks to achieve, realizing that the goals will evolve and our approach must be flexible. We also aim to sustain and enhance a community that capitalizes on new technology and approaches to advance our understanding of the Earth System, providing community leadership and support. With these things in mind, Unidata’s mission is to transform the geosciences community, research, and education by providing innovative data services and tools

What You Will Do:

The Software Engineer II will be working within our Unidata program. Unidata is a diverse community of education and research institutions with the common goal of sharing geoscience data and the  tools to access and visualize those data. As a software engineer, you will play a vital role in serving the community in those areas,  and across all practical levels — support, documentation, development, and training. Unidata's small team environment provides for  high levels of autonomy and responsibility with great opportunities to excel individually and contribute to the community's success.  Throughout its history, Unidata has made important contributions in the domain of atmospheric and climate science education and  research. As part of Unidata, you will have the chance to make an impact in that arena. 

This position will support Unidata's use of the NSF Jetstream OpenStack cloud computing platform. Develop, test, document and maintain cloud-centric technologies that underlie the Unidata Science Gateway. Help colleagues and collaborators by deploying technologies on the science gateway that further their objectives. Explain and promote science gateway offerings to the Unidata community. 

Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Unidata is one of the University Corporation for Atmospheric  Research (UCAR)'s Community Programs (UCP).


Software Design and Development 

  • Collaborate with other developers to test, maintain, document and develop Unidata’s Science Gateway  components. 
  • Support the atmospheric science community with customized PyAOS (Python for the Atmospheric and  Oceanic Sciences) JupyterHub servers for workshop and classroom use. 
  • Help colleagues and collaborators by deploying science gateway resources (JupyterHubs, THREDDS  servers) on Jetstream to suit their needs. 
  • Work with Unidata system administrator staff to ensure science gateway resources are adhering with  constantly evolving security practices. 

User Support 

  • Provide user support to technical and non-technical community members, both as users of and  contributors to the Unidata Science Gateway. 
  • Diagnose, fix, and test solutions to issues encountered by our users. 
  • Participate in training efforts, and investigate new, innovative methods for providing asynchronous  training opportunities. 
  • Investigate problems discovered by software and data end-users 


  • Contribute to the grant proposal process. 
  • Foster interactions with our user community and other Unidata staff in an effort to anticipate and  estimate current and future data and software needs. 
  • Participate and present at scientific meetings to keep current on community needs and to communicate  directly with our stakeholders. 

What You Need: Education and Years of Experience

Bachelor’s degree in science, mathematics or computer science with progressive, relevant experience which is typically gained by  four to eight years of experience with scientific applications and scientific data services or equivalent combination of education and  experience. 

Knowledge/ Skills / Abilities


  • Strong verbal and written communication skills. 
  • Software carpentry: 
  •  Distributed version control (e.g., git) 
  • Open source software practices (e.g., GitHub issues) 
  • Shell scripting 
  • Unix command line 
  • Programming experience in a language such as Java or Python 
  • Ability to work in a small team environment in various roles with high levels of autonomy. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work closely with diverse staff, end-users, and other developers. 
  • Ability to organize and communicate technical material to other developers and end-users.  Strong desire to continue learning new skills, tools, and concepts. 


  • Experience with the commercial (e.g., AWS) or open source (e.g., OpenStack) cloud computing platforms. 
  • Experience with the Project Jupyter ecosystem and working with these technologies. 
  • Experience with meteorological data and data formats (e.g., netCDF, GRIB, BUFR, AREA). 
  • Demonstrated skill with cloud computing, e.g., Docker, OpenStack, Kubernetes, Terraform, and Ansible. 
  • Experience providing support to a scientific community. 
  • Experience building scientific web portals or websites.

Applicant Notes:

  • A cover letter is required.
  • An Inclusion Statement will be required for all applicants moving forward to the interview stage. This statement should address past efforts, as well as future vision and plans to advocate for and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization and/or field of work.
  • A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This  screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening,  employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification  of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records. UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act  (FCRA).
  • Please note that while the position description details both minimum requirements as well as desired skills and experience, we want to remind applicants that you do not need to have all the desired skills and experience to be considered for this role. If you have the passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest.
  • For more information about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, here is the link to the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan and to the ODEI landing page.
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