Big Data Software Engineer

Job Details

Job ID: 10892

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


The Instrument Software and Science Data Systems Section within JPL consist of multidisciplinary teams of engineers and technologists who provide expertise across the domains of instrument operations and science data systems.

Our engineering teams build and operate high performance data processing, management and analysis systems capable of handling petabyte scale datasets in support of science discovery, research, operations and applications.  We support JPL and NASA missions, as well as other science-based projects. Our research and technology development teams create new onboard and ground based technologies for data processing, analysis, modeling, reasoning, visualization, management, access and analytics that are infused into our data systems.


Seeking a talented Big Data Software Engineer for PO.DAAC’s Cloud-based Data Search, Discovery, and Access Subsystem in preparation for the upcoming Surface Water & Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission.  In this position, you will be responsible for the design and implementation of data access tools and services for the petabyte-scale cloud platform and contribute to building a capability that will make an impact across our Institution and NASA.

The NASA Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) is an element of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). The mission of PO.DAAC is to preserve NASA’s ocean and climate data and make these universally accessible and meaningful.

  • Work directly with the PO.DAAC to design, implement, verify, and infuse new tools and services into the data search, discovery, and access subsystem
  • You will work on our open-source big data analytics technologies and solutions for analyzing massive amounts of observations and model data
  • Work directly with project scientists to develop, optimize, and improve the handling of scientific artifacts
  • Design and develop web services to simplify access to analytics capabilities
  • Design and develop high availability, load balancing and auto-scaling architecture
  • Perform highly complex software system verification and validation


  • Bachelor’s degree with 6 years of experience in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Data Science or Mathematics. Master's with 4 years of related experience, or PhD with 2 years of related experience
  • Strong communication skills and team leadership
  • Strong development skill with Python and Java
  • Experience in distributed system architecture, webservice, SOA, and microservice
  • Agile development process, continuous integration, and automated testing
  • Docker container and container orchestration experience
  • Experience in database (Relational and NoSQL) concepts and indexed search (ElasticSearch)
  • Experience in Amazon Cloud services, S3, EC2, Lambda, etc.
  • Experience in developing multiple digital products/projects from vision to launch and further iterations through every stage of the development lifecycle
  • Risk identification and mitigation planning

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in common earth science data formats netCDF and HDF
  • Experience in Node.js
  • Background with deployment technologies (infrastructure-as-code) e.g. CloudFormation, terraform, puppet, etc
  • Experience in geospatial system
  • Familiar with NASA Earth Science data and metadata standards
  • Familiar with Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) specifications, such as WGC, WCS, etc.


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