Software Engineer (development and operations) (IT-ST-PDS-2020-122-LD)

  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Contract

Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Job Description


Work with us to evolve the CERN data storage systems that are used to of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) which connects CERN with its international partners. CERN is the birthplace of the World Wide Web and one of the world leading laboratories for particle physics. Join the Storage Group in CERN’s IT Department as a Software Engineer (operation and development) for a unique challenge as the next step in your career. We are looking for 2 positions and we encourage you to take part!

CERN’s Storage Group is responsible for enabling data access for the laboratory and most notably to archive long-term preserve and distribute LHC data to a worldwide scientific community. Today we operate a heterogeneous disk/tape system, with several large EOS disk farms, AFS and Ceph clusters. In total the group handles more than 300 petabytes of data across about 2,000 data servers (60,000 disks) and 35,000 high-capacity tapes. CERN’s storage systems are continuously evolved to adapt to changing user’s needs with respect to functionality and performance and to further reduce their operational costs at CERN and its partner institutions.

More information on the IT Department is at:  


The selected candidates will join the Physics Data Services section (PDS), contributing to the service development, deployment and operations activities of the Storage (ST) group.

They will participate to the service development of EOS, the CERN large-scale distributed storage system, including further automation of the system and support of the physics community at CERN, and in the World-Wide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG).

As a Software Engineer you will:

  • Participate in the service operation and deployment of the large- scale storage services provided by the group.
  • Contribute to the core development and further automation of the CERN storage systems, focusing in improving the distributed key-value namespace, the filesystem access and the integration of different operating system permission scheme.
  • Participate in the support effort provided by the group (user support and incident response) for the storage services including the participation to on-call duties.
  • Contribute to the documentation of storage systems developed by the group (including deployment guides and end user documentation) together with other members of the section.
  • Participate in the support effort provided by the group (user support and incident response) for the storage services including the participation to on-call duties.


Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of information technologies or a related field.


The candidates should have demonstrated practical experience in at least one of the following areas:

  • Experience in software development (C/C++, others) and scripting languages (python, shell scripting, others).
  • Experience in system administration and software design in Linux.
  • Experience with development, testing, debugging or supporting distributed systems.
  • Experience with service operation and deployment of the large scale storage services.

As there are two positions, we welcome applications from both junior and experienced candidates.

Technical competencies:

  • Development of system software (drivers, system configuration and monitoring, etc.): masters state of the art software development tools.
  • Testing, diagnosing and optimization of software: analytic skills to identify and resolve problems with storage components or client applications.
  • Re-use, refactoring, integration and porting of existing software.
  • Knowledge and application of software life-cycle tools and procedures.
  • Architecture and design of ICT systems.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Achieving results: delivering prompt and efficient service taking into account customer needs.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: readily absorbing new techniques and working practices; proposing new or improved ways of working.
  • Solving problems: seeking and integrating other points of view when tackling an issue; consulting experts in the field and undertaking benchmarking.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships Working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Learning and sharing knowledge: seeking feedback from colleagues and other stakeholders about ways of increasing competence.

Language skills:

  • Good knowledge of English is required; ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations.
  • Basic knowledge of French or an undertaking to acquire it rapidly.

Additional Information

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 01.11.2020

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (5 years). 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.
  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: IT-ST-PDS-2020-122-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Computing Engineer

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