Advert. no. 2023_0041
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 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. 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 resources associated with the ELT/VLT and ALMA programmes, for its Science Operation Software Department, within the Directorate of Engineering at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich (Germany), ESO is advertising the position of

Software Engineer for DevOps


Vacancy closed on 09/09/2023

Deadline 09/09/2023

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Your primary assignment will be the development of the continuous integration and test environment for both the VLT/ELT and ALMA Dataflow development projects. The environments support software configuration management, continuous integration, regression testing and production of release packages for science operations and the scientific users of ESO observatories. You will contribute to the Data Flow System application support activities, software configuration management issues, and to the continuous improvement of SCSEQ's development and test infrastructure. The work involves the following responsibilities:

  • Design, develop, and maintain a reliable and efficient continuous integration and test environment.
  • Interaction with Information Technology Department for the provision of hardware and virtualization infrastructure
  • Implement and manage continuous integration processes to ensure the seamless integration of code changes from multiple developers.
  • Support the development teams for the configuration and maintenance of the development and test environment
  • Understand and integrate regression and performance test suites into the Continuous Integration environment
  • Design and development of automated test infrastructure and strategies
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including developers, quality assurance engineers, and subsystem scientists, to understand software requirements and deliver high-quality results.
  • Create and maintain documentation related to the development and test environment, including installation procedures and troubleshooting guides.
  • Participate in the release process, ensuring the timely and successful delivery of software installation packages.
  • Containerization of packages.
  • Preparation of software delivery packages for the operational sites.
  • Deployment of application packages and continuous deployment.
  • Monitor and analyze system performance, identifying areas for improvement and implementing enhancements to optimize the development and test environment.
  • Stay up to date with the latest industry trends and best practices in software development and testing.

Reports to:

Head of Software Engineering and Quality Group in SCS/DoE.

Key Competences and Experience:

Minimum 3 years proven experience as a Software Engineer, with a focus on DevOps, continuous integration, maintenance of development and test environments.



  • Strong knowledge of continuous integration tools, such as Jenkins and GitLab CI/CD.
  • Familiarity with software release processes and packaging methodologies.
  • Strong knowledge of shell scripting and Python.
  • Familiarity with virtualization technologies, such as VMware.
  • Knowledge of automated deployment tools, such as Ansible.
  • Experience with containerization technologies such as Docker or Kubernetes.
  • Motivation to innovate, modernise and improve infrastructure and processes.
  • Capability to identify the key issues, examine options and propose the way ahead.
  • Flexibility in planning, setting and adjusting priorities in agreement with the supervisor and the stakeholders.
  • Capability to provide clear, concise and timely oral and written communications.
  • Ability to monitor own progress and delivering to agreed deadlines and standards.
  • Ability to work for different projects and with different teams in a matrix structure, also in parallel.
  • Motivation, flexibility and capacity to learn quickly the existing system and the underlying problem domain.


  • Experience with relational databases (Sybase, Oracle or equivalent).
  • Proficiency with programming languages like Java or C/C++.
  • Understanding of Cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.

Language Skills:

Excellent command of the English language.

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 support to place your child/children in daycare.

Our Salary Structure

ESO's salary structure is based upon a range of career paths which reflect the nature and level of our jobs. Each career path is made up of two or three grades which are used to further reflect experience.

Please follow this attached link for more details

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is 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 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 all ESO sites in Chile.

Career Path: V


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

Please 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 9 September 2023.

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. Please visit for further details.


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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