Computer Scientist/Software Engineer

  • Salary
    CHF 8513-10215/month – all salary are free of tax
  • Contract Type
    2 years
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Hours
    40 hours/week

Core software developer and system architect in the ATLAS Distributed Data Management project.

The ATLAS Distributed Data Management project is charged with the software development of the ATLAS Distributed Data Management (DDM) system, which is responsible for:

  • Orchestrating the export of all ATLAS data from CERN/Tier 0 to its associated Tier 1/2/3 centres on the Grid;
  • Managing the data transfer between Grid sites; and
  • Ensuring prompt and reliable access for ATLAS users and client applications.

In total, DDM serves more than 160 Grid sites, administrates a data volume of about 270 Petabytes in more than 800 million files, and has more than 800 active ATLAS users. The currently deployed DDM system and its software suite (called "Rucio") were put into production before the start of LHC "Run 2" in late 2014.  Since then they have been operating successfully, performing as expected and scaling well with ever-increasing data volumes and demand of data analysis.

However, the DDM system and Rucio need to evolve perpetually and adapt to the evolution of the computing environment, such as the infrastructure (eg the growing importance of HPCs), storage technologies (eg clouds, object stores), or data access policies and workflows (eg streaming and management of data at event level). In view of limited storage capacity, data placement and resource usage need to be continuously optimised and become increasingly "smarter". In the longer term, Rucio needs to be prepared for LHC "Run 3" and beyond where we expect significantly larger data volumes and higher data traffic.

Rucio and the ATLAS workload management system (PanDA) are tightly integrated and both systems are being used more and more also by other communities outside ATLAS. Our goal is to actively support their further dissemination, and we are working on providing tailored, flexible, more-or-less integrated solutions for new clients, and also on offering to run Rucio/PanDA as a service.


As a software developer and computer scientist in the computing section of the ATLAS Data Processing group within the Experimental Physics Department (EP-ADP-CO), you will take a leading role in the DDM software development team and you will:

  • Work as Rucio software project leader.
  • Work as Rucio liaison and coordinator in the ATLAS computing organisation.
  • Participate in the software development process, evaluate and prepare for decisions on technology choices, oversee and work on the implementation and participate in the deployment process.
  • Support the maintenance and running of the DDM software, both of the present and future versions, and evolve the project, based on operations experience and user feedback.
  • Play a major role in coordinating the development and research activities in EP-ADP-CO, and in supervising the work of PhD students and fellows.
Qualification required:

Master's degree or PhD, or equivalent relevant experience in the field of computer science, or equivalent.

Experience and competencies:

The experience required for this post is:

  • Initial experience in software development and with large-scale data management systems, preferably in the Grid and High Energy Physics environments.
  • Excellent knowledge of relational databases.
  • Experience with the management of large-scale computing projects.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Systems and Applications Development: systems design; database/repository design; programming/software development; requirements definition and management; testing; usability evaluation; usability requirements analysis.
  • Technical Strategy and Planning: solution architecture; emerging technology monitoring; continuity management.
  • Installation and Integration: porting/software integration; systems installation/decommissioning; systems integration; technical advice and guidance.
  • Service and Systems Operation: application support; problem management; system software administration.
  • Service Transition: configuration management; information strategy; release management.

The behavioral competencies required for this post are:

  • Achieving results: following through on new ideas and innovations; planning and implementing application.
  • Solving problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them; addressing complex problems by breaking them down into manageable components.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships.
  • Learning and sharing Knowledge: keeping up-to-date with developments in own field of expertise and readily absorbing new information; questioning traditional assumptions and ways of doing things.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements.

The language competencies required are:

  • Spoken and written English or French; ability to understand and speak the other language in professional contexts.
  • Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations in at least one of the two languages.
Eligibility conditions:

By applying here, you allow CERN to consider your application for any position it considers relevant with respect to your profile. Please ensure you update your profile regularly with any relevant information and that you inform the recruitment service if you wish your file to be removed from the database.

Note on Employment Conditions:

CERN offers a limited-duration contract for a period of 2 years. Limited-duration contracts shall terminate by default on their date of expiry. Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.