Senior Software Engineer (EPO Technical Lead)

Job Summary

Science Engineering
AURA/Vera C. Rubin Observatory
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)

Tucson, AZ
United States

Job Description

The mission of Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Education and Public Outreach (EPO) subsystem is to provide online data-driven experiences that are accessible and approachable, adding real-world context and opportunities for people to engage with Rubin Observatory and explore the Universe. The Senior Software Engineer (EPO Technical Lead) is responsible for leading the Technical Team in EPO and aligning the technical direction of the EPO subsystem.  The Senior Software Engineer (EPO Technical Lead) position on the EPO team is a critical role that is part project manager, part people manager, part product owner, and part individual contributor. 

They ensure a clear technical direction is established and executed for EPO’s online program, strategically balancing immediate and long-term projects.  They contribute to EPO long term planning, help shape technical goals and milestones, and identify and mitigate technical risks.  The Technical Lead delegates and assigns work effectively to prioritize the overall productivity of EPO team members, and external vendors.  They maintain an understanding of the technical systems they oversee.  They perform code reviews and help research, debug, and triage problems as needed.  They have regular 1:1s with technical team members to oversee their individual work and support their professional development.  EPO web products include various content-driven and science-data-driven apps, a pipeline/workflow for creating and executing citizen science projects on the zooniverse platform, and multiple integrations with internal and external services and API. They are expected to spend 30 - 40% of their effort contributing work comparable to that of a Senior Software Engineer.

Essential Functions:

  • Ensure the EPO technical infrastructure and staffing reach project-level milestones, and meet stakeholder expectations
  • Contribute to EPO long term planning and strategy for technical projects
  • Day-to-day project management and resource allocation
  • Provide functional management, mentorship, and guidance to the EPO Tech Team
  • Inform digital governance and accessibility standards
  • Develop and maintain software specifications and requirements
  • Works as a full-stack engineer, in a largely self-directed manner, to develop technical solutions at the level of that of a Senior Software Engineer
  • Write conceptual and technical documentation.
  • Periodically participate in user testing/focus groups, peer/code reviews, and various meetings
  • Provide estimates for time and effort required to accomplish planned work
  • Responsible for tracking work effort
  • Follow Agile best practices
  • Serve as a resource in area(s) of technical expertise
  • Occasionally present work at conferences, internal meetings, and annual reviews
  • All AURA employees are responsible for the proper management and control of all AURA property within their work area, whether assigned to them or someone else. This responsibility includes reporting any known missing, stolen, or non-working property in their work area to their supervisor or the AURA Property Officer.  For detailed information on proper custodial care of government property, refer to the AURA Employee Handbook at

Other Functions:

  • Other duties as assigned

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Familiarity with developing and/or using APIs

  • Comfortable with git

  • 3+ years experience with React (especially Next.js app development)

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Bachelor degree or higher

  • 3+ years experience as a product, project, people, or engineering manager

  • Experience with Craft 4 CMS

  • Experience with Docker, Kubernetes, and ArgoCD

  • Experience with infrastructure as code, such as: Terraform

  • Experience with cloud providers like AWS or Google Cloud

  • Able to work collaboratively with leadership across teams and subsystems

  • Experience with Python, Jupyter, JupyterLab, JupyterHub, and/or Bokeh

  • Interest in science and online education

  • Experience with cloud providers like AWS or Google Cloud

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must possess – sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems required for programming, such as a laptop.
  • Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials in English necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, fire alarms, or shouted instructions in English without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 3) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately.
  • Some travel may be necessary in or outside the contiguous United States.

Salary Range: $132,600-$143,500. The final salary will depend on skills, qualifications and experience.

Our preference is for this position to be based in Tucson, Arizona, NOIRLab/Rubin locations (i.e. La Serena, Chile) or remote work locations in the US states that AURA operates in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C. will be considered. 

AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off and retirement plan contributions, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment. Details on benefits can be found at 

The position will remain open until it is filled. To be considered in the first round of reviews, please submit your application by May 17, 2024. 

  • Please submit a cover letter and a CV or resume, PDF files preferred. Please name any attachments with the following format: Lastname Docname. 
  • Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to [email protected]
  • Please enter 3 professional references in your application (references will only be contacted later in the recruitment process). 

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at [email protected] 

Compensation and Benefits


Application Details

Application Instructions
Please Apply Online
Publication Start Date
2024 May 06
Application Deadline
2024 May 17