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University of Washington, Astronomy Department | Software engineering director (and engineers soon) | Seattle, WA | Onsite

We recently got a large grant to improve the state of software for astronomy - particularly, building tools and platforms for analyzing the upcoming explosion of data when LSST [0] comes online in the next few years. We anticipate a ~10x growth in data volume for many domains of astronomy research, and new tools and platforms will be needed.

We're starting a team to tackle this problem at UW. We want to hire a manager and several software engineers. We'd prefer to hire the manager first so they can hire the rest of the team and set the direction, but if you're interested in just engineering, feel free to reach out anyway - I can keep you in the loop.

This is a good role for senior software people with management experience who are interested in doing something pretty different. Working in astronomy is way better than working on yet another ad-tech startup or FAANG: you'll be working on software to understand dark matter, detect asteroids, and advance the frontier of human knowledge.

You'd work with astronomy researchers directly, defining and delivering a 5-year vision for the future of astronomy. UW has excellent benefits, and the department is truly great about work/life balance. Pay is (perhaps surprisingly!) pretty competitive. Advanced degrees are not required. Of course, it helps to be passionate about the science, but this is a software engineering job.

We don't have a job posting yet - the grant is still fresh - but I wanted to get word out early. Feel free to email me, swnelson@uw.edu, to talk. I'm a former principal engineer at Twitch and AWS, now working at the University of Washington on astronomy software. I will not be working directly on this team (I work on adjacent stuff), but I'm helping with hiring. I can connect you with professors involved, or talk about my own experience.

Contact: swnelson@uw.edu

[0] https://www.lsst.org/

[1] https://dirac.astro.washington.edu/




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