Vera C. Rubin Observatory is a brand-new astronomical facility currently under construction in Chile, with staff based in Tucson, Arizona. Rubin Observatory will undertake the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) which will be one of the largest and most comprehensive astronomy surveys of its kind. Rubin Observatory will enable countless discoveries in almost every area of modern astronomical research—discoveries made possible by the team that built the Rubin Observatory system, and by the global science community that Rubin Observatory serves.

The Rubin Education and Public Outreach (EPO) team is a small, interdisciplinary group of astronomers, writers, designers, and developers building data-driven astronomy experiences for students and the general public. Our goal is to make LSST data, astronomy, and science interesting and accessible to a broad audience.

How to Apply:

EPO is looking for a self-motivated, science-interested Senior Frontend Web Developer who has strong empathy for the User, and an understanding of modern technologies and best practices.  The position is expected to last through the EPO construction phase (concluding late 2022) with the expectation to extend the position through into operations.  Our preference is for this position to be based in Tucson, AZ for at least the first year but there is opportunity for remote work from these states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Virginia or Washington DC.

When applying to this position please include a CV or resume, a cover letter, and a link to your portfolio or GitHub, PDF files preferred.  Also, please list 3 professional references who will only be contacted during the late stages of the interview process.

About the Role: 

Our education and outreach efforts focus on providing online experiences that are inspiring, educational, and data-driven.  As a principal Frontend Developer on our team, you will lead our frontend development efforts and be involved in decision-making processes related to UI & UX. Our primary stack is a headless Craft 3 CMS on the backend, and a React/Next.js app on the frontend querying the CMS for content over graphQL, with additional scientific data from RESTful APIs.  Some web products currently in development include: an interactive astronomical image viewer with rich data overlays, online tools exploring data and physical concepts related to everything from hazardous asteroids, to astronomical image colorization, to the large scale structure of the universe, and a comprehensive web portal for the Rubin Observatory which will provide news, in-depth info about the project and its teams, and tons of images and videos to a large international audience.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Leading frontend projects from start to finish: defining scope, establishing milestones, scheduling and tracking effort, providing regular status updates to stakeholders, and delivering well tested production-ready features
  • Collaborating with Web Designer on UI & UX design
    Building data visualizations and other interactive astronomy/cosmology tools
  • Addressing technical debt and enhancing existing web products
  • Assuring web products are compliant with accessibility standards
  • Contributing to test coverage and documentation (Jest + React Testing Library)
  • Optimizing web products for a large international audience
  • Collaborating with EPO team members, and communicating with stakeholders
  • Participating in regular code reviews

 Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • You are a frontend developer who has at least 3 years professional experience and has taken the lead on multiple projects
  • You have at least one year of experience working with React and Sass
  • You are familiar with D3, three.js, or other data visualization, animation, or WebGL libraries
  • You work with git
  • You can communicate complex technical problems to non-technical stakeholders and propose viable solutions
  • You receive tasks with well defined goals, come up with an actionable plan, and execute that plan to deliver production-ready features
  • You have built web products that meet or exceed AA Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

 Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • You are passionate about science and online education
  • You have at least one year of experience working with Next.js, Redux, and/or styled-components
  • You are knowledgeable about Web Accessibility
  • You extract big-picture ideas into workable processes and functional designs
  • You have experience with performance and optimization problems
  • You have experience onboarding and integrating with an organization long-term
  • You work well with remote teammates

Above all we are looking for someone enthusiastic with a desire to learn and experiment in a highly supportive and collaborative environment.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The work is mostly carried out in an office environment. Long periods of sitting and computer usage may be required.
  • Some travel may be necessary both domestic and international

AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion at Rubin Observatory.  Our managing organization, AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at http://www.aura-astronomy.org/diversity.asp

Preference will be given to qualified internal candidates and qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O’odham reservation.

****Rubin Observatory has the majority of staff working remotely during COVID-19 crisis. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in this new virtual landscape. Offers of employment can be extended and new hires can on-board virtually and arrangements may be made for remote work. Relocation benefits will be available to those eligible when travel can be supported****  

Submission materials: Please include a CV or resume, a cover letter, and a link to your portfolio or GitHub, PDF files preferred.  Also, please list 3 professional references who will only be contacted during the late stages of the interview process. Please name any attachments with the following format: Lastname Docname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to employment@aura-astronomy.org.

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at employment@aura-astronomy.org

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and three international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the NSF’s NOIRLab, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA.

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws.