European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Senior Java Software Developer

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom


About the team/job


We are seeking to recruit an enthusiastic, highly motivated Senior Software Developer to work at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

You will be working in the Software Development and Operations team led by Sarah Butcher, within the Technical Services Cluster (TSC). The team’s major interest lies in helping our internal and external users, who are scientific programmers, take full advantage of modern cloud infrastructure, including EBI’s own internal OpenStack cloud (6000+ cores) and public clouds. We develop and maintain services and tools that explore different concepts of offering our users easy-to-use cloud infrastructure, including VMs, containers and SaaS over RESTful APIs.


Our projects include:




  • WES-TES - RESTful service for running portable scientific workflows in Kubernetes
  • EBI Cloud Portal - web portal that simplifies provisioning VM based infrastructure for researchers across different cloud providers
  • Authentication, Authorisation and Profile – centralised identity and role management for external web services
  • Resource Usage Portal – management and reporting of compute and storage allocation
Some projects are externally funded and contribute to ongoing collaborations within Elixir - a research infrastructure for scientists and the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) - an international alliance of 500+ leading organisations in research, healthcare, life science and IT.


Your role


You will use your excellent software development skills to contribute to a number of projects in the team portfolio by creating the code that defines the application, but also the infrastructure and automated processes.




Your code will be reviewed and you will review the code of other team members.

Documentation is equally important to us and you will be required to create and maintain it.


You are expected to join us in embracing the DevOps culture, which means for us that as a team we are responsible for not only developing our projects’ code, but also testing, securing, deploying and operating our systems.


You will play an active role in evaluating new tools and technologies. You will be capable of making decisions independently or with minimal directions. You will mentor less experienced team members.


You will participate actively in designing new features and possibly new systems, but also diagnose and fix potential issues.


You will be required to cooperate with existing and potential users, including external collaborators, to gather requirements and feedback. You will document your findings.




You will be required to participate in internal meetings and teleconferences and travel infrequently to external meetings and workshops.


You have


You will have a bachelor’s degree or higher in computer science, software development or have equivalent experience, and prior work experience including at least 4 year’s software development in a team environment and supporting production systems in an academic or commercial setting. You will also have experience in continuous development and in communicating and working with expert users (e.g. in a science community).

You will be highly proficient in Java and have extensive experience developing Web applications; ideally using Spring (e.g. Spring Boot; Data and Security). You will have a strong understanding of modern REST API architecture and the concepts of Authentication and Authorisation in modern web applications. In addition, you will be experienced using SQL databases (Postgres of particular interest) and ORM frameworks (e.g. Hibernate), including database design. You will have basic Linux administration skills with solid command line/shell scripting and demonstrable practical experience using container technologies (e.g. Docker). You will also have experience of source code management, CI/CD and automation tooling (Git, GitLab CI/CD, Terraform and Ansible are of particular interest). 

The ability to work with minimal direction when making technical decisions is critical to this position as are work within a team and in collaboration with others and an ability to work to tight deadlines while paying attention to details. You will also have excellent communication skills, verbal and written, excellent English language skills and experience in communicating and working with users.


You might also have


Front-end development skills; ideally experience using modern JS frameworks (Angular in particular) are desirable, as is knowledge of Python. Experience with container-based platforms (particularly Kubernetes) and deploying software to private/public cloud are also highly relevant. You may also be familiar with NoSQL databases (e.g. MongoDB) and ELK stack.

Why join us


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.

Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good.

As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by over 27 member states and two associate member states.

We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 850 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

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. For more information about pay and benefits click here

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.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.


What else you need to know


To view a copy of the full job description please click here

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system.

Applications are welcome from all nationalities and this will continue after Brexit. For more information please see our website. Visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels.

Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: embl-EBI01562

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