Senior Software Developer

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - Biological Sciences

An experienced software developer (or a highly motivated graduate in computer science) to join our development team providing informatics support for the High-Throughput Gene Editing team.

We develop bioinformatics tools to assist in, for example, the design of genomic knockout constructs, CRISPR-Cas9 experiments and automated alignment analysis for quality control of targeted clones. Additionally, we develop web services to implement a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) for tracking scientific data generated in our stem cell engineering lab, as well as more bespoke support for our research groups in mouse and human stem cell engineering. See for more information on the work we do.

You will become part of a relaxed but professional software development team, with access to world class computing resources and many opportunities for furthering your knowledge of programming for bioinformatics and genomics, whether within the web framework or on our extensive compute farm.

This role involves gathering user requirements (in an informal way) and discussing the impact on current systems with the Senior Scientific Manager in the group and other members of the informatics team. We operate separate ticketing systems to manage user requirements and functional implementation. We develop primarily in modern Perl using a web stack based on PostgreSQL, Catalyst (for MVC support) and DBIx::Class. Legacy systems we still support use Oracle as the database layer. However, proficiency in programming any current language is more important than specific Perl experience.

Our user interfaces rely more and more on JavaScript and we use ExtJS framework for some of our views.

There is substantial Perl expertise in the group and this opportunity could be a good way for appropriate candidates to get up-to-date with current Perl coding methodology.

Our LIMS is used to support many other groups, both within the Sanger Institute and around the world. WGE is recognised as world class software for designing important genome editing experiments in many leading research groups.

You will contribute code to our source code repositories on GitHub ( as part of our collaborative and agile-enlightened approach to coding.

Essential Skills

  • Bachelor's degree or above in computer related sciences, or equivalent experience.
  • Evidence of a high level of competence in a modern scripting language based on C-style syntax using a relational database
  • Ability to design and run complex database queries in SQL
  • Experience of developing and delivering a quality product within fixed deadlines
  • Ability to prioritise tasks to ensure the right things are done at the right time
  • Highly developed problem solving skills

Ideal Skills

  • Programming in Modern Perl
  • Some experience with JavaScript programming and web development
  • Evidence of having successfully worked in a collaborative, project-focused software team
  • Evidence of having successfully created interfaces that link with and enable extraction/reporting/display of data from large, complex databases into a web environment
  • Experience and understanding of bioinformatics and familiarity with genome data

Other information

The Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease. Our goal is to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute welcomes applications from all candidates irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.

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South East England