HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 20-48
Opening date: June 19, 2020
Closing date: July 6, 2020

TITLE:IT Specialist, IS-2210, Grade 12, $85,428 to $111,062 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 qualified Smithsonian Institution employees in the local commuting area.

This is the position of Information Technology Specialist (Web Programmer) in the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The employee is responsible for digital applications programming and development on workstation based processing systems for the Chandra X-ray astronomy satellite in the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Group.

Duties :

The web programmer is responsible researching and implementing the most current applications-based technologies appropriate to create the products, secure the systems, and provide accessibility for users. The web programmer will function as the in-house expert on applications development, accessibility standards in digital systems and project management for such applications and systems. The application end-products will be used for EPO purposes but typically function across the expert to nonexpert spectrum. The employee reports to the Visualization Lead/team leader of the CXC EPO Multimedia Group, and works closely with the members of his/her team and other designated scientists and programmers participating in the project through the CXC, SAO, SI, NASA and others as needed.

Work with the EPO team to manage, create and implement all aspects of the web or code development lifecycle: requirements generation, design, code, verification and test, and maintenance. This task includes using or modifying existing code, as well as developing code or scripts for new issues, new projects, or for previously unsolvable problems.

Research and stay apprised of US government and US agency (SI, NASA, etc.) standards for applications in security, accessibility, and usability. All projects generated will follow such standards, as well as any CXC EPO web/software coding and design standards, applicable vendorís literature, and established CXC EPO practices.

Develop original code and scripts to create EPO digital projects. This will involve creation of new programs expanding or replacing current web site capability, as well as modification of existing programs to meet evolving requirements of accessibility, security and content. This requires familiarity with the requirements for the entire subsystem and skill in troubleshooting and version control.

Obtain all data necessary to manage such digital projects and keep their timelines aligned to EPO goals by working closely with the Visualization Lead or other Computer Specialists involved in the project or across other agencies. Verify and test all generated codes and maintain as part of an overall system and project timeline; integrate software modules into the software component to produce and maintain program libraries as necessary. Generate documentation as needed according to CXC EPO guidelines throughout project lifecycle

Lead technical response and organize technical requirements for in-person events and activities that support EPO goals. Such duties include working with emerging technologies.

Perform other duties as assigned.


For all positions individuals must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below:

1. Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.


Candidates for grade 12 must possess a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 11 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: Intricate knowledge of government accessibility systems and required responses as related to scientific imagery and content. Experience with accessible information design and programmed architectures for scientific imagery and content. Experience in government applications development pipelines for testing, approvals and uploads to external stores, or working with government contractors

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: USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

Visit our SAO website.


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