Job Details
Software Development and Operations Team Leader


EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK

Staff Category:

Staff Member

Contract Duration:

3 Years


9 (monthly salary starting at £4,623 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here

Closing Date:

10th December 2017

Reference Number:

Job Description
Are you an experienced software development manager with DevOps skills looking for something different? The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), located in the UK’s fast-growing Cambridge technical cluster, is recruiting a leader for its Software Development and Operations team. This new team will comprise 16 established Software Engineers and DevOps Engineers who work across a variety of projects, and will focus on developing or adapting software for deployment for our own staff and external collaborators.
As Team Leader for Software Development and Operations, you will have many opportunities to flex your skills and explore new ideas, working and collaborating in an incredibly rich technical environment. The scope of our Software Development and Operations team goes beyond just developing software. Your team will also operate and run the software to meet the functional and operational needs of diverse users.
The group has been working together under the direct supervision of the Head of Technical Services, and has developed a rich portfolio of software and services. These include a portal that simplifies access to and deployment of applications for cloud providers (internal and external), a service that manages authentication and authorisation to other applications, tools to manage and monitor internal IT resources, tools to submit and retrieve data from our distributed, petascale archives, workflows for tools submitted by our users, and a service managing the distribution of reference datasets to our collaborators. The team is also using its collective DevOps skills to establish a CI/CD infrastructure to support local staff in the development and deployment of their own services on different clouds.
At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 23 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.
Leading the Team
As the Software Development and Operations Team Leader, you would lead a flexible, agile team in responding to the needs of a broad range of stakeholders, both internal and external, who are interested in the software you develop and the services you operate.

Your team members have expertise in established technologies (Java, Python, SQL databases, SAML, OIDC, web apps, REST services, Terraform, Ansible) and are always on the lookout for new ones. They will look to you for leadership and guidance in navigating new developments and pursuing opportunities as they arise.

You will need to be very organised, and your managerial duties will require experience in:
  • financial and strategic planning
  • personnel and project management
  • requesting/applying for funding from international organisations (e.g. European Commission, NIH)
  • working with stakeholders in scientific/technical consortia
  • running reliable and resilient technical services.

The team is funded by internal and external sources, including EU-funded projects and UK Research Councils. You would raise the profile of EMBL-EBI’s expertise in DevOps by representing the team and its work at international meetings, which are held primarily in Europe.

This position offers an opportunity to contribute to the wider technical strategy of the institute, and to collaborate with other groups on applying for grants to fund our research-supportive infrastructure. Your team will collaborate with others in our technical services cluster, which is led by Steven Newhouse.

Qualifications and Experience
This role calls for you to spend the majority of your time managing and overseeing the work of the team, ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction. One of the most important qualities you will bring to this role is an affinity for building strong working relationships with colleagues working in different disciplines – some of whom may be regular collaborators across a number of projects. You will also need to demonstrate hands-on experience in gathering requirements, overseeing the architecture across the team’s software products, prioritising the work within the team, and mentoring / developing your team members
Required skills and experience include:
  • Experience leading, mentoring and managing a technical software development team.
  • Demonstrated experience building professional relationships on all levels within an organisation (i.e. senior management, interns, peers).
  • Experience participating in funding applications and grant management, or equivalent activity.
  • Experience in managing a software development programme with multiple projects and multiple stakeholders
  • Experience in operating production services.
  • Familiarity with agile management practices (e.g. Kanban, Scrum) and their role in managing a team and projects.
  • Proficiency in a variety of programming languages (e.g. Java, Python, Angular2), technologies (e.g. REST, SQL, Message Queues) and tools (e.g. Terraform, Ansible).
  • Degree-level or equivalent qualification/experience in a computational, engineering or related scientific discipline.
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication skills.
  • Demonstrable problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to manage conflicting, complex, deadline-driven priorities.
  • Ability to adapt to different working styles, both independently and as part of a team.

Desirable attributes include:

  • Experience working in an academic/research environment
  • Experience with European e-Infrastructures (e.g. EGI, EOSC, GEANT).
  • Experience participating in European life science research infrastructures (e.g. ELIXIR, EuroBioImaging, BBMRI).
  • Experience using private and public clouds.
  • Experience in working within collaborative international projects (e.g. Horizon 2020).
  • Experience communicating and working with expert users in a niche area (e.g. bioinformatics).
EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.
Application Instructions
Please supply a covering letter addressed to Steven Newhouse, a CV showing your professional experience, education and skills, a list of past software projects and any other supporting materials through our online jobs system:
Additional Information
Applications are welcome from all nationalities - visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

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