Human Cell Atlas Technical Lead
Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 20 months
Grading: 6-7 (monthly salary starting at £3,063 after tax)
Closing Date: 31 August 2020
Reference Number: EBI01672
The Archival Infrastructure and Technology (AIT) team is looking for a highly-experienced software engineer to provide technical leadership for the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) Data Coordination Platform (DCP) team. We deliver software infrastructure that can support sharing the vast and diverse data collection efforts for the Human Cell Atlas project.  

The HCA is a cutting-edge initiative using recent technological advances that allows us to measure and observe individual human cells at scale. Labs all over the world are collecting vast volumes of data that will help us to understand health and disease better. As part of this team, you will support the HCA community sharing this data and increasing our understanding of human biology.

You will lead the delivery of services that make single-cell data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reproducible (FAIR), as part of the Data Coordination Platform (HCA-DCP) for the HCA community.  We build services that biologists and bioinformaticians use to submit datasets to the DCP, uploading terabytes of data at a time. This is big data, but the hardest challenge we face is variability, not volume, as we support submitters to accurately describe their experiments using our tools. As part of our team, you will have the chance to engage with our collaborators from the Broad Institute and the University of California Santa Cruz and influence the technical strategy of our services and the wider HCA-DCP.  

Your role

You are a senior engineer or technical lead with an interest in supporting the scientists so they have the data they need to build the HCA. You will work with the product owner and the user experience designer as part of a cross-functional team collaborating to understand the needs of the HCA scientists when it comes to sharing data, and delivering and operating services to meet those needs. We follow agile principles in our approach to development and operations, focusing on understanding our user needs and building software to meet those needs. We work iteratively, continually delivering value to our users with short build-measure-learn cycles to ensure what we build is what is fit for purpose.

You can move between the details of software implementation and the big picture impact balancing value versus cost of development. You will support the team making decisions so the software can be designed and delivered in an agile manner.  You will need to build an understanding of the biological domain and the key needs of the HCA community. We are looking for someone with existing experience with the technologies we use but a willingness to try new things and versatility in your approach is key.

You will be responsible for the technical strategy of our data ingestion services. These services are deployed in the cloud (AWS and Google Compute Platform). They are predominantly built using Angular 2+, Spring Boot and MongoDB, so you’ll need some Java and Javascript, but we use a lot of Python to manage our data processing pipelines. We like Docker, Kubernetes and Helm for managing our deployments, but in general, we value people who can use the right tool for the right job.

This position is a fantastic opportunity to provide technical leadership for a talented team of developers and bioinformaticians.  

You have

  • Experience delivering production quality software on regular release cycles to meet project needs and deliver user value
  • An enthusiasm for following agile principles for software delivery.
  • Experience with at least two of Java, Python and Javascript.
  • Demonstrated aptitude for learning new technologies, processes and domains on the job but with the pragmatism and resourcefulness needed to get work done.
  • A desire to provide technical leadership to ensure we are solving the biggest problems our users have
  • 5 or more years of experience in software engineering in either industrial or research environments
  • Experience in collaborative software projects where coding was shared between engineers
  • BSc or higher degree in computer science, software engineering or bioinformatics, or equivalent demonstrated software engineering experience.
 

You might also have

  • Experience with biological data
  • Experience with cloud platforms
  • Experience with technologies and programming techniques such as Angular2+, Node.js, Spring, REST, RabbitMQ, Docker and Kubernetes.
  • Experience setting the technical direction for a microservices-based platform
  • DevOps experience. 
  • Experience influencing how your team uses agile and other methodologies to work effectively
  • Experience influencing the direction of a collaborative software project
  • Experience mentoring other team members to gain new skills
  • Experience with line management for a small team of developers
 

Why join us

EMBL-EBI is a worldwide leader in bioinformatics. 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 encourage personal and professional development and are committed to ensuring our employees feel valued, supported and empowered to reach their potential at work.

Surrounded by picturesque South Cambridgeshire countryside, our Campus provides employees with a relaxed atmosphere where the pursuit of scientific discovery and meaningful work, underpin every role. In addition, our employees have access to a wide range of benefits including:
  • 30 days annual leave per year plus 8 bank holidays
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Unique pension scheme including 17% employer contribution
  • Annual salary review
  • Private medical insurance for you and your immediate family (including all prescriptions and generous dental & optical cover)
  • Death benefit, long-term care, accident at work and unemployment insurances
  • Relocation package including installation grant (if required)
  • On-site library and subsidised on-site gym and cafeteria
  • Casual dress code
  • Free shuttle bus to and from Campus
  • Extensive sports and social club activities (run on campus and remotely)
  • Family benefits: Onsite nursery, child sick leave, generous parental leave, holiday clubs on campus and monthly family and child allowances
  • Benefits for non UK residents: Visa exemption, education grant for private schooling, financial support to travel back to your home country every second year and a monthly non-resident allowance

What else you need to know

To view a copy of the full job description please click here.

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system. EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer. Applications are encouraged from all nationalities and this has continued after Brexit. For more information please see our website. Visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

This position is limited to the project duration specified.

Applications will close at 23:00 BST on the date listed above.