For those of you who saw Mitzi's job announcement, but are more of
a backend person rather than a web developer*, my group has a job
opening on the other side of the building**, writing connectors for
the Virtual Solar Observatory, a distributed federated search
system for solar physics data:
The quick summary of the main task:
Most of the existing system's in Perl, using SOAP::Lite.
Most of the catalogs are in MySQL or PostgreSQL.
Much of the issues are reconciling data models, so
having a physics or other science background is
Pretty laid back environment.
Working for NASA.
Learn about the sun.
Working with interesting people.
Can be aggressively laid back if you don't conform (I was threatened
with bodily harm in my first week if I continued to wear ties, even
though they featured cartoon characters ... I still don't understand
how someone couldn't appreciate a Dogbert tie)
And it's only laid back in some regards; anything that might affect
a spacecraft or human spaceflight is taken *really* seriously; men
with guns have been known to show up and seize machines when we have
Trying to explain to your grandmother the difference between working
for a contractor at a NASA center, and actually directly working as
a civil servant.
Dealing with bureaucratic rules that make no sense (which our boss
does his best to shield us from) and having to do tons of extra work
when Congress threatens to shut down the government (see con #2).
Hour long phone calls with your grandmother explaining that no, the
sun is not going to blow up this year, and how unrealistic it is
that the Mayans were able to pinpoint to a specific day more than
a millennia ago when we can't be sure if it's going to rain next
Interesting people occasionally involves scientists who are
convinced their PhD makes them an expert in *everything* including
your job (see http://xkcd.com/793/ )... and some of them write
code that you have to interface with.
You'd have to work with me.
I can answer questions about the work that needs to be done, the
group you'd work with, stuff like that.
Everything else has to go through ADNET HR. (I couldn't even tell you
about the benefits, as I work for one of the sub-contractors)
* Although, I wouldn't mind a web developer; our site's been in
need of some work for years, but that's another long story. Those
skills were in the 'preferred' list that I was told that I should
not have titled 'minion wishlist'
** ie, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. But we're a little
more relaxed in that we'll accept U.S. citizens *or* permanent
Solar Data Analysis Center
Goddard Space Flight Center