Computing Engineer

12 Feb 2018
End of advertisement period
12 Mar 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


Computing Engineer in the Information Technology Department (IT), Computing and Monitoring Group (CM), Monitoring and Messaging (MM)

You will join:

  • The Compute and Monitoring (CM) group, which provides compute resources, schedulers and monitoring to support efficient usage of over 280,000 computing cores at the CERN data centres. More information on the group is at:
  • The Monitoring and Messaging section (MM), responsible for providing (1) a unified monitoring infrastructure monitoring of the resources of the CERN Data Centre and of activities of the WLCG world-wide grid infrastructure (2) a CERN-wide messaging service used by major project and service in the Laboratory.

More information on IT the Department is at:


The CERN IT Department is completing the re-engineering of the monitoring and alarms infrastructure for the IT Data Centres and for the WLCG Grid Infrastructure. Therefore, the monitoring team is designing, developing and deploying the unified monitoring and alarms infrastructure that is progressively replacing the IT and WLCG specific solutions. This unified monitoring covers all phases of the dataflow such as collecting metrics and logs, live online data streaming, large-scale analytics and comprehensive alarms.

As a Computing Engineer in the IT-CM Group, you will contribute to the development, operations of the CERN unified monitoring and alarms infrastructure across a wide range of platforms and technologies needed to stream, analyse and store metrics collected, with a frequency of 80k metrics/sec, from:

  • The CERN Data Centres compute and storage resources (e.g. 35k VMs, > 8k hosts);
  • The WLCG world-wide activities for data transfers, jobs execution and resources availability on more than 300 grid sites.

The unified monitoring infrastructure is fully deployed and managed at CERN by the Monitoring team and is based on established open source technologies, such as Collectd, Kafka, Spark, ElasticSearch, HDFS, InfluxDB and Grafana.

Your main activities will consist of:

  • Key contribution in the development and improvement of the monitoring service.
  • Operation and support of the monitoring infrastructure service.
  • User support on monitoring for other IT services and joining the regular support rota for IT Data Centres and WLCG Grid users. 
  • Advice and solution design to IT service managers and LHC experiments staff on the use of the unified monitoring infrastructure and of the monitoring data.
  • Management of the monitoring services which includes third level service user support, deployment of software packages, operation of the service with verification of performance and security.
  • Automation using Agile/DevOps tools such as Puppet to support monitoring within the standard CERN IT procedures.
  • Collaboration in the CERN IT change management procedures.
  • Definition, documentation and implementation of procedures following the standards of the IT Department.
  • Close collaboration with other IT groups, departments and physics experiments at CERN.
  • Interaction and contribution to Open Source communities such and Grafana and Collectd.


Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of Computer Science or related field.

Experience and competencies

The experience required for this post is:

  • Proven experience in software development, with knowledge of established open source technologies such as Collectd, Kafka, Spark, ElasticSearch, InfluxDB and Grafana.
  • Managing large-scale server deployments in a complex environment such as OpenStack cloud services or virtualisation systems such as KVM.
  • Performing automation tasks using scripting languages such as Python and deploying services using configuration system solutions such as Puppet.
  • Analysis of performance to scale them to the monitoring infrastructure to an ever-growing workload.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Programming/Software development: commitment to work in an agile development environment in a young and motivated team of engineers.
  • IT operations: deliver and support properly-engineered it services and products to meet the needs of CERN.
  • Design and selection of methods and tools: analyse sub-optimum procedures, streamline and document new ones; optimisation of existing tools and selection of the most appropriate one f.
  • Technical advice and guidance: handling of special user requests; development of technical expertise within the team.
  • Change management: coordination of changes within and outside the group.
  • Release management: organisation of large scale deployments in a complex environment.

The behavioural competencies required for this post are:

  • Demonstrating flexibility: adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements; readily accepting new tasks or work/projects.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships.
  • Communicating effectively: expressing opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeping to the point.
  • Achieving results: delivering prompt and efficient service taking into account customer needs.
  • Solving problems: producing workable and timely solutions that meet requirements; being open to original ideas and creative options by which to address issues; continually driving change by seeking new ways to improve outcomes.

The language competencies required are:

  • Spoken and written English: ability to draw-up technical specifications, documentation and/or scientific reports. Basic knowledge of French or an undertaking to acquire it rapidly.

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 12.03.2018.

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:

  • Participation in a regular stand-by duty, including nights, Sundays and public holidays.
  • 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.

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.