Temporary work assignments with the ShakeAlert™ Project

IT Specialists needed for ShakeAlert™ Earthquake Early Warning System

The US Geological Survey is seeking IT professionals with experience and skill to join the team building the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System. This is a mission-critical, distributed system that rapidly detects earthquakes and generates and issues alerts to institutional users and the public.

These positions will work under Interagency Personnel Agreements (IPA). You must be a regular, full-time employee of State or local governments, a Tribal Authority, or an institution of higher education. Your current employer must continue to employ you but agree to release you for between 50% and 100% of your time, and USGS would pay your salary and benefits to your employer. Appointments may last up to two years and are renewable for an additional two years.

These positions are in the Pasadena office of the USGS. Limited telework may be possible.

USGS seeks applicants in three main areas:

  1. System architecture
  • Lead the development of ShakeAlert system requirements and software architecture.
  • Evaluate existing software frameworks and define common services for the ShakeAlert system to enable efficient and cost-effective system integration.
  • Develop and maintain standards and practices for ShakeAlert software development and Dsub-system integration.
  • Develop and maintain high-level documents in the areas of software requirements, software architecture, software development standards and practices.
  • Revise and maintain ShakeAlert software management plan.
  • Write new and modify existing computer code to improve the current system and implement new functionality
  • Ensure that code, configurations and procedures developed are tested, documented and regularly checked into the ShakeAlert code repository
  • Required skills and experience:
    • B.S. or B.A. degree in related engineering or physical science discipline.
    • At least ten years of software engineering within the environment of a major operational scientific facility is required.
    • Experience with developing software architecture for an end-to-end operational system is a plus.
    • Good communication skills, including demonstrated ability to create clear, complete, and well-written documentation.
    • Application design and code development in a Linux environment.
    • Languages including C++, Python and Java.
    • System engineering concepts and review processes.
    • Working knowledge of real-time software systems.
    • Ability to work well in a highly collaborative, team environment.
  1. Code management and testing
  • Assist in the development and operation of a comprehensive code management environment for the ShakeAlert system and related components.
  • Manage code versions, builds, run-time configurations, and metadata in an SVN repository.
  • Assist in the design, implementation, and documentation of a software testing and certification framework including unit, regression, and whole system tests.
  • Required skills and experience:
    • Code management in a Linux environment using SVN or similar system. Experience with Puppet is a plus.
    • Development and operation of a comprehensive software testing framework in a Linux environment.
    • Languages including C/C++, Python and Java.
    • Experience with modern web frameworks is a plus: Ecmascript 6, NodeJS, Golang, MongoDB, VueJS, Angular2, and/or Express.
    • Ability to work well in a highly collaborative, team environment
  1. Computer security
  • Coordinate compliance of the ShakeAlert system with U.S. Government security practices and guidelines (FISMA).
  • Work with system administrators to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities by developing Plans of Action and Milestones (POA&Ms) and implementing IT security controls.
  • Develop, review and update all required security documentation.
  • Guide software developers in applying security principles throughout the system development life cycle
  • Required skills and experience:
    • U.S. Government security requirements and procedures required by FISMA.
    • CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional a plus.
    • Ability to work well in a highly collaborative, team environment.


Doug Given, USGS Earthquake Early Warning Coordinator

When inquiring please indicate your main area(s) of interest and send a CV

More on Interagency Personnel can be found at: