Job posting 12-37
Opening date: April 13, 2012
Closing date: April 27, 2012
TITLE: IT Specialist (APPSW), IS-2210, Grade 14; $105,702 to $137,410/yr
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (non-federal) Indefinite
DIVISION: - High Energy Astrophysics Division
LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Current qualified Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory employees
This is the position of IT Specialist in the High Energy Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
The employee will ensure the continuing ability of the end-to-end CIAO Data Analysis System to provide long-
term support to the science user community as the mission ages and provide technical support for the CIAO
Data Analysis System by assisting internal and external scientists in using the software.
Duties may include, but are not limited to: locating and exploring the most promising technical
approaches to provide the world scientific community with the long-term capability to use the data returned
by the Chandra mission, both during and after the life of the project; serving as the primary resource for
knowledge on the Chandra Interactive Analysis of Observations (CIAO) data analysis system including its
components, structure, and evolution, and aspect of compatibility with other systems; interfacing with
science staff at the highest project levels to identify user needs and identifying and proposing; providing
advice for special projects of a high profile public nature on request and troubleshooting on other software
and algorithm issues as requested by the SDS group leader; supporting the science community by improving
documentation of software and of analysis methods, by answering user questions and conducting user
training; supporting software and calibration database releases from the testing phase to the final release;
representing the CXC as the authoritative technical expert in interactions with other organizations
concerning analysis methods, the CIAO analysis system and related matters; and participating in software
testing and debugging and carrying out regression and porting testing of CIAO software.
Applicants must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below.
Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products
that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or
organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or
satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and
Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into
account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and
convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to
generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
In addition to Basic Requirements above, you must have a minimum of one year of specialized experience
equivalent to at least the grade 13 in the normal line of progression for this occupation which should
demonstrate mastery of the interrelationships of multiple computer science and IT specialties, including
software systems and algorithms responsible for control, data reduction data analysis, automated processing,
archiving of data for the Chandra X-ray Observatory mission; technical mastery of the algorithms used for
astronomical data analysis and data processing; technical mastery of the architecture of the CIAO data analysis
system, the individual software tools included in it, and detailed understanding of the intent and history of the
various components of the system as they relate to the scientific integrity of the analysis process; mastery of
techniques and procedures for the planning and design of scientific software systems, with a broad view of the
reliability, scalability and maintainability of the software as well as its usability; advanced knowledge of
computer languages, operating systems, and COTS, such as C++, C, Python and other scripting languages, Unix,
MacOS, Linux, ClearCase and debugging tools; skill to assess whether emerging technologies may be suitable
as either complementary to or alternative to existing organizational practice; skill in the development of
deliverable software at the subsystem level while conforming to rigid external standards; and skill in oral and
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. For complete information about this position
and the online application procedures, please visit:
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