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  • Posted: Apr 7, 2021
    Deadline: Not specified
  • The SKA project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area. The scale of the SKA represents a huge leap forward in both engineering and research & development towards building and delivering a radio telescope, and will deliver a correspondingly t...
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    Controls Software Engineer

    The SKA Computing and Software team are looking for a talented Controls Software Engineer to support the Control System Architect and alongside other engineers to ensure that the Control Systems for the two SKA telescopes are developed to the highest standards, providing the technical leadership to all software development teams involved in the realisation.

    The SKA Telescope monitoring and control systems will be based on the Tango Control System Framework ( and the successful candidate will closely interact with the development of TANGO, dedicating 50% of their time to this activity, in liaison with the wider TANGO kernel group.

    Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

    The main functions of this role will be to: 

    • Work within the SKA SAFe Agile Release Train as the SKAO TANGO Subject Matter Expert, joining our TANGO Community of practice and joining the Observation Monitoring and Control program team. 
    • Act as a technical authority in the development of the SKA control system, by providing guidance and establishing best practices in the development of TANGO-enabled software products.
    • Actively participate in the software development activity by writing and reviewing code in critical areas of the project, working with international agile teams (e.g. Europe, India, South Africa, Australia) as needed for a given number of increments.
    • Actively work within the TANGO Collaboration, contributing to the development of future versions of the TANGO framework in accordance with SKA necessities. 

    Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience

    The successful applicant for this role will:

    • Have excellent skills in C++ and Python software development in a GNU/Linux environment. The candidate is encouraged to provide evidence in the form of publicly available code if and where possible.
    • Demonstrate technical expertise in at least one of the following systems:
    • Astronomical Control Systems,
    • The Tango Control system, or 
    • A comparable system that can be demonstrated to have similar characteristics.
    • Understand the software development life cycle, based on common code versioning tools like Git, with particular attention to quality aspects, testing and configuration management.
    • Demonstrate understanding and willingness to work based on lean/agile principles adopting DevOps practices.
    • Have excellent communication and influencing skills with distributed, highly specialised project teams and stakeholders, across international and diverse cultural backgrounds.
    • Be a flexible team player who is adaptable to change.
    • Be willing to travel to SKA partner sites world-wide as necessary and when possible in the context of any international travel restrictions (travel for this sort of role has typically been for up to one week 4-6 times per year).

    Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

    The ideal candidate would also:

    • Have a working knowledge of virtualisation and containerisation technologies. 
    • Have experience in contributing to large open source projects.
    • Demonstrate interest in astronomy and understanding of the challenges of controlling telescopes similar to SKAO.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified? Go to SKA South Africa on to apply

    Note: Never pay for any training, certificate, assessment, or testing to the recruiter.

  • Send your application

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