Posted 5 days ago


About the team/job

We are seeking to recruit an enthusiastic, highly motivated DevOps Software Engineer to work on the UK Biobank EMBLEM project, at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK. The main purpose of the role is to support the containerisation and deployment of FIRE, a locally developed software-defined storage system that provides FIle Replication in our internal data centres and remote cloud environments. You will participate in extending the existing service in support of a new collaboration with the UK Biobank to provide archival and distribution of 50,000 whole-genomes.

FIRE is an established software-defined storage system based on open source software, aiming to provide fast data archival and retrieval at scale, for the many physical, virtual and container platforms managed by other EMBL-EBI service teams. FIRE is currently growing by around 1PB of new data each month and is currently undergoing a huge transformation to become a cloud-like service available to EMBL-EBI teams. You will be joining the team which maintains the legacy code and runs the service while implementing the new solution within our hybrid cloud environment.

You will be working in the Software Development and Operations team led by Sarah Butcher, within the Technical Services Cluster (TSC).

Your role

You will work closely alongside other software developers and DevOps software engineers in the FIRE and wider SDO teams. You will be working with early adopters at EMBL-EBI and with internal collaborators across EMBL-EBI to collect requirements and gather feedback to support the development and roll-out of the software. The overall objective of your position and our team will be to provide a stable and reliable access to a 30+ PB scale data store to help researchers focus on their job while relying on our software-defined storage.

As a DevOps Software Engineer you will be involved in the development of key components of the FIRE infrastructure and service. As part of our team you will continuously work to improve the reliability and performance of our service, and together the team is responsible for ensuring the service provided to UK Biobank, and other existing archives, is of the highest standards.

You will use actively participate in the design and implementation of new features while ensuring minimal service disruption. You will collaborate with the team in identifying, debugging and fixing problems, ensuring end-to-end stability and reliability.

You will design, develop, provision, monitor and maintain production-grade infrastructure for FIRE. You will also set up and maintain CI/CD pipelines, both for VM-based and container-based deployments, develop and extend internal tools to streamline and automate workflows. You will contribute by containerising applications and by designing and delivering systems to container orchestration platforms (Kubernetes). You will also play an active role in evaluating new tools and technologies from the open-source communities. You will write technical documents, take part in the daily Scrum meetings, and provide user orientated communication with external and internal users of the systems.

You have

You will have a Bachelor's degree or higher in computer science, software development or equivalent experience, and you will have demonstrable experience in production-grade infrastructure as code development and deployment. You will be highly proficient in Linux and be fluent in Java/Python/Go or similar. Prior work experience should include five or more year's infrastructure management in a team environment or supporting production systems in an academic or commercial setting. You will have had experience in communicating and working with expert users (e.g. in a science community, technical end consumers).

You will have demonstrable practical experience debugging performance issues and monitoring applications or infrastructure. You will understand modern web applications, exposing RESTful APIs (particularly Spring Boot) and have experience in source code management (Git), CI/CD and automation tooling (e.g. GitLab CI/CD, Puppet, SaltStack or Ansible). You will also have enough knowledge within the fields of databases, networking and storage to identify and solve problems by working closely with other teams within EMBL-EBI.

The ability to work within a team and in collaboration with others is critical to this position and excellent communication skills, verbal and written, are essential. An ability to deliver to high standards is essential as is the ability to work within our team's general direction when making technical decisions.

You will be able to pay attention to detail but also manage your time effectively to ensure timely delivery. You will also demonstrate innovation and a willingness to take on new challenges, by yourself and within the team. You will use software development best practices, have a passion for code development and for making software that can be used by other members of the team.

You understand what uptime means for a critical infrastructure in constant use, and find ways to improve the infrastructure without impacting the service. In a daily basis you will be able to identify what needs to be done, set priorities using our tools (Jira, Gitlab, Confluence) and be part of a team that embraces challenges and constantly aims for personal and technical improvement.

If you have a strong and relevant set of skills and are constantly willing to learn and improve, this could be an opportunity for you. If you like monitoring, performance measurement and finding the equilibrium between working with the latest version possible and the more stable release; and if you are willing to work hard to deliver a high quality service used for the greater good, we would like to hear from you.

You might also have
  • Front-end development and experience with design/implementation/delivery of microservices.
  • An understanding of object storage systems and http load balancers is also desirable, together with practical experience using SQL databases and message queues.
  • Had previous exposure to ELK stack or other log analysis solutions.
  • Familiarity with the difference between virtual and physical performance behaviours and some of the reasons behind them.
  • Working experience with Fibre Channel, multipath or scsi devices, with tape libraries or within a SAN.
  • Worked with HPC, batch systems, cluster management or an environment with a high degree of automation.
  • Experience with ORM frameworks, log shipping and presentation, performance monitoring and trend visualization.
  • Familiarity with agile development practices and the full software development lifecycle in a team environment.
  • Experience writing and supporting scientific workflows and pipelines; perhaps also including those using bioinformatics tools

Why join us

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of 'big data' in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by over 27 member states and two associate member states. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation. For more information about pay and benefits please visit our website.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise - something you probably won't find anywhere else

If you've ever visited the campus you'll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

What else you need to know

To view a copy of the full job description please visit our website.

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system.

Applications are welcome from all nationalities and this will continue after Brexit. For more information please see our website. Visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

This position is limited to the project duration specified.