Analyst - distributed data handling systems
for MARS/Hermes

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN17-15
Grade: A3
Job Ref. No.: STF-PL/17-15
Department: Forecast
Section: Development
Reports to: Scalability Team Leader
Closing Date: 09 November 2017

2. About ECMWF *

ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of its forecasts, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data. Satellite and in situ observations provide the information for up-to-date global analyses and climate reanalyses of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface.

For details, see

3. Summary of the role

This position sits in the Scalability Team within the Development Section of the Forecast Department. The Analyst will contribute to the development of distributed computing systems, focused on the delivery of post-processed meteorological products.

The Scalability Team is also responsible for maintaining the software packages behind the managed archive (MARS) which are used to store hundreds of Peta Bytes of meteorological data.

Recently, the team has developed the Hermes data processing service, with elastic compute architecture that can be integrated with the MARS data store and used to compute derived meteorological products, with aim to deploy these services on cloud based systems.

Both MARS and Hermes are time critical services in an operational environment, which requires developers to work closely and collaboratively with ECMWF's Production Team and other teams and stakeholders from across the organisation.

The successful candidate will contribute to the development of the distributed computing framework Hermes and its integration with the MARS service to enable ECWMF to bring this system into operational status. He or she will apply their knowledge and expertise to contribute to future developments to ensure a successful delivery of this work within the Scalability Programme.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Contributing to the development and software maintenance of distributed computing and post-processing software stack and services at ECMWF, ensuring its quality of service and also planning for its evolution with the team and providing third-line support to its users
  • Contributing to the development and software maintenance of the Hermes software and its integration with the MARS archive including adaptations for future cloud deployments to support its introduction into operation
  • Contributing to ECMWF tasks and deliverables within the Scalability Programme and related projects
  • Contributing to the analysis and monitoring of ECMWF's data processing and product generation workload and propose improvements
  • Participating in projects, including the design, implementation and maintenance of the operational applications software

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach, together with an interest in identifying, investigating and solving technical problems
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a small team
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, listening to and respecting the views of others
  • Ability to work under pressure

6. Qualifications and experience required


  • A university degree, or equivalent, in a discipline related to computer science, physics, mathematics or engineering is required. A PhD is desirable but not essential.


  • Good experience of developing software for distributed computing or for high-performance computing facilities.
  • Experience in Python would be an advantage.
  • Experience with developing and maintaining large scientific codes would be an added value.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Very good knowledge of object-oriented programming and several years of experience developing with C/C++.
  • Good knowledge of UNIX is essential.
  • Good understanding of computer science concepts (efficient algorithms and data structures) is required.
  • Good understanding of network programming and communication either on distributed systems or HPC.
  • Very strong background in developing software for UNIX systems (and/or Linux) and the use of system calls.
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English.
  • A good knowledge of one of the Centre's other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.

7. Other information

Principal Legal Officer: Grade A4

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be 56,487 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre's Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Length of contract: Four years, with the possibility of a further contract.

Location: The position will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Interviews for this position will take place in Reading, Berkshire at the end of November 2017. Further information will be communicated to shortlisted candidates.

8. How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at

ECMWF has an Equal Opportunities Policy and applications from all suitably qualified candidates are welcome.

Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the following Member States and Co-operating States:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Staff from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases

published: 30 October 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.