HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 19-68
Opening date: August 13, 2019
Closing date: August 27, 2019

TITLE IT Specialist(APPSW), IS-2210, Grade - 14; $116,240 to $151,115 annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund Indefinite
DIVISION: - HEA High 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 implementation process. (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 the data. (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 analysis thereof.


For all positions, individuals 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 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 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 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.


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