Job Overview


The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is part of what is arguably the largest and most diverse astrophysical institution in the world, where the staff carries out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics and earth and space sciences. If you would like to join this exciting organization, apply today!

The NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) Project within the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is seeking a software developer.  The ADS was originally conceived and developed over 20 years ago as a system to support the discovery and retrieval of data from the NASA Astrophysics missions and the scholarly literature about them.  Today, the ADS finds itself as the central discovery engine for astronomical information, used nearly every day by nearly every astronomer.  Moving into its third decade, the ADS continues to serve the research community while remaining at the forefront of the massive technological and sociological changes occurring in the field of scholarly communication.  By joining our group you will be actively supporting the discovery, dissemination and reuse of scientific publications and data!

The ADS is currently developing the next-generation web-based platform supporting current and future services.  To this end, the project is committed to re-using and enhancing public domain software modules when they exist, and developing new open-source software when necessary.  The main components of the system architecture are Apache SOLR/Lucene, CERN Invenio and MongoDB.  The development stack includes java, python, flask, javascript and bootstrap.

The project is looking for a highly-motivated full-stack developer interested in joining a dynamic team of talented individuals architecting and implementing the new platform.  The primary responsibility of the employee is the design, development, and support of the ADS front-end applications (including the new search interface) as well as the implementation of the user database, login system and personalization of the new software platform


  Duties at the grate 11 level may include, but are not limited to: designing and developing robust software applications and components to support the ADS services, in particular the ADS user interfaces, and its   interaction  with the back-end system components; providing ongoing support for the ADS system’s platform, including its bibliographic database, search engine, user database, and other web-based applications used by the project; defining system requirements and develop new tools to improve user submission and curation efforts;  developing and/or modifing existing tools used for digital content harvesting, metadata enrichment, document conversion and indexing; participating in the maintenance of ADS data holdings by taking part in the creation, curation and enrichment of datasets and metadata records, and their ingestion in the ADS databases. 

 Duties at the grade 12 level, in addition to those reflected at the 11 level, may include: working with members of other organizations to coordinate software development efforts and enable data exchange between ADS and its partners; designing and implementing services and Application Programming Interfaces that enable a high level of interoperability and integration between ADS and its collaborators.