Advert. no. 2022_0037
Working at ESO

Are you interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment? Do you feel your profile matches our requirements? Learn more about our current vacancies and apply online. Read more..

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.


ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA and APEX), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.


At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.


Due to the need for additional resources associated with the ESO programmes, for its Science and Operation Software Department, within the Directorate of Engineering at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of


Software Engineer (Dataflow Development)


Vacancy closed on 26/10/2022

Deadline 26/10/2022

We are looking for a software engineer at the ESO Headquarters in Garching to join our Data Flow Infrastructure (DFI) group in the Science Operations Software department of the Directorate of Engineering. The DFI group is responsible for the development and maintenance of software tools for the end-to-end operations of the ESO observatories. Within a matrix organisation structure, the software engineers from DFI group develop and maintain dataflow applications for VLT/ELT and ALMA observatories.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Your first assignment will be in the ALMA Computing Team on the development and maintenance of a suite of software tools for observation and proposal preparation supporting the ALMA observatory. You will frequently interact with the Subsystem Scientists, located at the ALMA observatory in Chile or the ALMA Regional Centres in Europe, North America and Japan, for the specification and the validation of the tools. In collaboration with the observatory staff and colleagues in the Data Flow Infrastructure group, you will be able to operate independently, meet the agreed deadlines and proactively contribute to on-going process improvements. Your main duties will be the following:

  • Design and development of science applications using modern web-based technologies
  • Porting of existing science applications from desktop and legacy web frameworks to new and evolving technologies
  • Improvements, bug fixing and implementation of additional functionality for existing science applications to support the evolving requirements of the ALMA observatory

Reports to:

Head of the Dataflow Infrastructure Group

Key Competences and Experience:


  • Demonstrated capability of conducting small to medium size software projects throughout the entire software lifecycle from requirements, analysis, design, implementation, up to successful deployment
  • Strong analytical skills; right balance between maintaining the big picture and a proactive can-do attitude
  • Minimum three years of experience with web-based user interface technologies such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Experience with a recent version of Angular 2+ and knowledge in UI design and UX
  • Strong experience developing software in Java
  • Solid understanding of highly scalable client-server software architectures
  • Sound knowledge of relational databases and SQL
  • Good familiarity with the Linux environment and its command line usage
  • Knowledge of agile or iterative software development processes
  • Very good oral and written communication skills


  • Experience with the Spring framework, preferably with Spring Boot
  • Interfacing Java to relational databases (JDBC and/or Hibernate) and to ElasticSearch
  • Scripting languages: Python, Bash, etc.
  • Experience with astronomical software and data formats (e.g. Flexible Image Transport System)


University degree in Computer Science, Astronomy, Physics, Engineering, or equivalent.

Language skills:

The position requires a working knowledge of English.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and the possibility to place your child/children in daycare.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There may be a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, in particular for the ELT Programme, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

Garching near Munich, Germany with possible duty trips to partner institutes in Europe and the ESO/ALMA sites in Chile and elsewhere.

Career Path: V


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Deadline for applications is 26 October 2022

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of our Member States, host states and strategic partners: Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile, irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.

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