Scientific Software Librarian

24 Jan 2018
End of advertisement period
21 Feb 2018
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


Scientific Software Librarian in the Experimental Physics Department (EP), Software Development for Experiments Group (SFT).

You will join the software development for experiments (SFT) Group ( that develops and provides support on scientific software for the experimental collaborations at CERN and worldwide. The Group is currently involved in an innovative programme of work to improve the performance of the simulation (GEANT) and analysis toolkits (ROOT) by exploiting the parallelism offered by modern CPU architectures. This represents a major challenge as it involves a new way of thinking (a paradigm shift) and implies a major reengineering of existing software to be ready for the HL-LHC.

Your job will be to maintain the software infrastructure in use the by ATLAS collaboration as well as develop tools to ensure a smooth delivery of the SFT and experimental software to the collaboration developers. This will comprise tools such as the build system, the Git repositories, the continuous integration and runtime tester suites, etc.

You will also coordinate the work of colleagues from ATLAS who contribute to this infrastructure with a smaller fraction of their time. You will develop tools for code maintenance and release builds that can be used by ATLAS, but also by other experimental collaborations at CERN and worldwide.



As a Scientific Software Librarian in the SFT team, you will participate in long-term evolution of the experimental software infrastructure. While your emphasis will be on the ATLAS experiment, you are expected to provide solutions that could be widely adopted. 


As a Scientific Software Librarian, you will: 



  • Maintain and further develop the build system used by ATLAS.
  • Maintain the source repository used by ATLAS and define the architecture of the continuous integration system by selecting the appropriate technical solutions.
  • Respond to support requests related to infrastructure issues from the ATLAS developers.
  • Manage the transition to new tools as they become available, such as the migration from AFS to EOS or from SVN to Git.
  • Proactively evaluate new tools that may become available and advice on the pro and cons of their possible adoption.
  • Participate to the user support activity for the software and services provided by the SFT Group.
  • Contribute to technical training and courses to disseminate knowledge and informing ATLAS developers of the current practices.




Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of computing engineering, or equivalent.



Experience and competencies

 The experience required for this post is:


  • Extensive experience in the build systems used by large scientific software projects in C++ and Python.
  • Extensive experience in collaborative software development tools and processes.
  • Demonstrated experience in the maintenance of complex software infrastructures used by experimental collaborations such as ATLAS.
  • Demonstrated experience in preparing and delivering quality documentation.
  • Experience with the ATLAS software infrastructure and support services would be an advantage.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Sustainability management for IT: maintenance and integration of the latest tools such as GitHub, Jira, Jenkins, etc.
  • Programming/Software development.
  • Information content authoring: technical documentation such as user's guides and tutorials.
  • Programming/Software development: proficiency in the management tools used under Linux is crucial for this post, as well as python scripting with state of the art methodologies and the use of modern libraries.
  • Unix system software administration: proficiency in tools for configuration management such as Puppet and in the modern container technology such as Docker.

The behavioural competencies required for this post are:

  • Achieving results: having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Working in teams: contributing to promoting a positive atmosphere in the team through an optimistic and constructive attitude; addressing issues.
  • Learning and sharing knowledge: sharing knowledge and expertise freely and willingly with others; coaching others to ensure knowledge transfer.

The language competencies required are:

  • Spoken and written English. Ability to understand and speak in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations.
  • French: basic knowledge would be an asset.

Eligibility and closing date

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success.

We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 21.02.2018.

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

We offer a limited-duration contract for a period of 5 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:

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