Software Engineer

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Contract Duration: 3 years.

Job Description

We are seeking a talented Software Engineer to join the Chemogenomics team (ChEMBL) at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) to work on a project to develop SureChEMBL, one of the largest live resources of chemistry extracted from patent data.

Reporting to the ChEMBL team leader, the job responsibilities will include:

  • Maintaining and improving continuous integration and unit testing;
  • Building new monitoring tools and dashboards;
  • Profiling and scaling the cloud-based IaaS patent processing pipeline;
  • Improving system reliability;
  • Optimizing the application stack for maximum speed and scalability;
  • Hands on programming with clean coding practices;
  • Writing tested, idiomatic, and well documented code;
  • Contributing to the existing documentation.

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists, and other professionals from all over the world.

Qualifications and Experience

You will have a BSc (or equivalent) in Computer Sciences or a related subject, e.g. Information Technology, Software Engineering, Web Design. You will have a proven track record in developing software and will be able to demonstrate an ability to quickly grasp legacy codebase.

Essential Qualifications and Experience:

  • Ideally 3 years of professional development experience;
  • Strong core Java Enterprise Edition development skills and understanding of Java design principles;
  • Experience of defining, and creating, Continuous Integration and Development environments using technologies such as Jenkins, Maven, Artifactory;
  • A strong understanding of the Open Stack platform;
  • Experience with distributed queue messaging (Amazon SQS, RabbitMQ);
  • Experience with relational databases (mySQL, PostgreSQL);
  • A solid foundation in computer science, with strong competencies in concurrency, shell scripting, and software design;
  • Linux power user;
  • Experience with version control systems such as Git, SVN.

Desirable Qualifications and Experience

  • Experience with network management software (Nagios, Munin, Ganglia);
  • Experience with Lucene/Solr;
  • Experience with open source solutions and community;
  • Experience of Big Data infrastructure (Hadoop) a plus;
  • Experience with building up highly scalable infrastructures using Haproxy;
  • Knowledge of multiple configuration tools (Ansible, Puppet, Chef);
  • Experience of building and scaling high-traffic websites.

The successful candidate will be able to work both accurately and quickly to meet deadlines. Depending on the tasks involved, you will need to be able to work both as part of a team, in close collaboration with other members of the multi-disciplinary Chemogenomics Group, and independently. Good communication skills (verbal, presentational, and written) are also essential.


EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment, and excellent professional development opportunities, but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

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South East England