Job posting 19-68
Opening date: August 13, 2019
Closing date: August 27, 2019
TITLE IT Specialist (APPSW), IS-1330, Grade - 14; $116,240 to $151,115 annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund Indefinite
DIVISION: - CEHigh Energy Astrophysics Division
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all current Smithsonian Institution employees.
This is the position of Technical Lead Information Technology (IT) Specialist (Deputy Software Development
Team Lead) with the Chandra X-Ray Center (CXC) of the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO).
The employee reports to CXC Data Systems (CXCDS) Technical Team Lead for the Archive group and functions
as a technical leader, a deputy team leader of the group of IT specialists developing software subsystems support
of archival data storage and retrieval, and the supporting public interfaces to the archive.
1. Provide technical mastery and leadership on a wide range and variety of complex IT issues.
(a) Lead the planning, development, testing and implementation of a coordinated suite of software covering the
full range of CXC DS responsibilities. Ensure integration of multiple IT specialties in the development and
(b) Apply technical mastery of software technologies to the CXCDS product decision process.
(c) Provide overall technical mastery and direction for CXCDS subsystems and projects (data reduction, data
analysis, monitoring, trending, archive), and at the system level.
2. Deputy lead a team of IT Specialists in the development of deliverable and verified products for the CXC
in coordination with the Team Lead and Software Development Manager(s). Tasks include: Allocate staff
assignments, technical and equipment resources to meet changing project needs. Schedule tasks and
projects and assess schedule and resource impact. Ensure team performs duties within the project
framework, which includes maintaining current UDFs and use of the configuration management system.
Report progress and issues to the archive team lead and software manager(s) as appropriate.
3. Formulate and keep current a strategic plan that anticipates future CXCDS requirements. Determine the
direction that the applications development needs to take in order to achieve enhanced science return from
(a) Interface with CXCDS software leads, software staff, other CXC staff, CXC management, internal and external
scientists, and project and program management to obtain information regarding their needs as the users of the
system and associated products.
(b) Plan and develop methods of obtaining and tracking end-user feedback, and utilize the problem management
system to recognize, report, assign, track and resolve problems.
(c) Analyze the scientific hardware requirements and the physical systems involved to define the scientific
requirements and develop responsive IT system requirements, taking into consideration the rapidly evolving and
emerging technologies and evolving project and user community needs. Formulate short, and long-term strategic
plans for system upgrades including hardware and software, training, and new product lines and present them to
the team lead and software manager(s) as appropriate.
4. Represent the CXC as an authoritative technical expert in interactions with other organizations concerning
software products, services and standards. Function as CXC authoritative technical expert and technical
liaison for software product development issues involving outside interfaces within the astronomical community.
5. Provide technical mastery and IT support for special projects of a high profile public nature upon request.
Provide technical advice/troubleshooting on other IT issues as requested by the CXCDS team lead or
software manager(s). Prepare and present weekly, and other summative reports concerning the group's
activities and accomplishments, as requested. Develop systems for collection of relevant statistics and
For all positions, individuals must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed
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 services.
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
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 the basic requirements listed above, candidates must possess a minimum of one year of specialized
experience equivalent to at least the grade 13 in the normal line of progression for this occupation. Specialized
experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills, and
abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position such as knowledge of Chandra Data Archive
organization, operations, and maintenance.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We are only accepting online applications for this position. To apply, please visit: USAJOBS
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.
Visit our SAO website.