Ensembl Web Full Stack Developer
Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 3 years
Grading: Grade 5 or 6 (starting at £2,738 or £3,063 per month after tax)
Closing Date: 1 October 2020
Reference Number: EBI01682
The Ensembl project (https://www.ensembl.org/) is looking for a talented developer with experience of building modern web applications, to contribute to our open source, next generation platform. Ensembl is one of the world’s leading genome annotation projects, importing sequence data from biological data archives and enriching it with information such as gene structure, variation, and regulatory elements. We also develop web interfaces to help researchers make sense of genomic data and enable third party tool development through our extensive APIs. As part of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) our data are distributed without restriction to researchers across the world and our code is freely available (https://github.com/Ensembl).  

Your role

The Ensembl web team is responsible for the maintenance of Ensembl’s existing websites (https://www.ensembl.org/, https://plants.ensembl.org, etc) and for the development of the new web applications that will serve the ever larger and more complex datasets that we’re now producing (https://2020.ensembl.org/).

As a developer in the web team, you will have the opportunity to contribute to our full range of web resources, from the current Ensembl websites to our new React-based web application and the infrastructure and services that underpin it. These are some of the projects we’re working on right now:
  • Designing and implementing a GraphQL-based query service
  • Setting up automated, containerised deployment using CI/CD and kubernetes
  • Rebuilding our AWS mirrors
  • Building visualisation components for our React front end
Upcoming challenges include: implementing a search system for the new web application that can cope with unified data from across Ensembl; building infrastructure to support increasingly rich and deep data mining; and supporting the complex but intuitive visualisations that will be needed to browse, retrieve and analyse these data.

You have

As a developer in the web team you will be familiar with modern web development best practice and will have experience with some of the core languages and technologies that we use every day, such as Python, GraphQL, Typescript and React. You’ll have experience of building complex data-driven web applications in an open, collaborative development environment.

You will be comfortable working in an agile environment and ideally, you’ll be used to coordinating your work with the rest of your team through collaboration tools such as GitHub, Jira and Confluence. It’s important to note that the vast majority of our code is open source, so you’ll be comfortable working in an environment where your work is visible to and used by the wider community.

You might also have

We work with large bioinformatics datasets, so experience of working with data at scale would be helpful. Since much of our current infrastructure is Perl focussed, you'll ideally have some knowledge of Perl, or be familiar with similar scripting languages, particularly Python. Since much of our new infrastructure is deployed as containers, it would be an advantage if you have a working knowledge of containers and associated technologies. We're particularly keen on testing, so an appreciation of the benefits and practice of testing and CI/CD would be beneficial.

These are the tools and technologies that we’re using right now:
  • Python/Flask
  • Typescript/React/Redux
  • Rust/WASM
  • Docker/Kubernetes/AWS
  • GitHub/GitLab/CI-CD
  • Perl/Moose
  • MySQL/MongoDB
  • REST/GraphQL
If you have experience with some of these technologies, we would love to hear from you.

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 27 member states and two associate member states.

We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 850 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 click here

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 click here

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.

3 year staff member contract renewable up to 9 years of service

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.

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