GBIF Secretariat is recruiting a Site Reliability Engineer / DevOps Engineer

New position to help modernize and maintain the GBIF technical infrastructure
DEADLINE: 24 April 2022

Mason bee (Osmia cornuta), observed in Italy. Photo 2022 Federico Del Barba via iNaturalist Research-grade Observations, licensed under CC0.

The GBIF Secretariat is looking for an experienced Site Reliability Engineer / DevOps Engineer to join our small informatics team. The informatics team develops, deploys, and operates the real-time indexing infrastructure and services that power Our systems serve millions of users each year and provide billions of records in data downloads daily.

The position is located at the GBIF Secretariat in Copenhagen, Denmark, in a team of nine developers and engineers. Some examples of the kind of work you’ll do include:

  • Replacing our Cloudera-managed Hadoop installation (HDFS, HBase, YARN, Spark)
  • Modernizing our virtualization and compute infrastructure with e.g. Kubernetes
  • Upgrading, customizing, and improving our server management processes (Ansible)
  • Evaluating workflow engines and overseeing the migration from Apache Oozie

Job function and description

  • Capacity planning and configuration of the co-located servers (3 racks, hosted in a university data centre)
  • Performing day-to-day operational tasks on GBIF’s infrastructure (deployment, maintenance, configuration, troubleshooting, monitoring) while developing and supporting automation tools and processes to support them
  • The data backup systems and disaster recovery processes
  • The build and deployment infrastructure, including different environments for testing, and hot deployment of new services
  • Managing the separation between co-located infrastructure and our public cloud services (AWS, Azure and GCS)
  • Participating in some on-call support to help maintain a 24x7 environment

Required skills and experience

  • Comfortable working and thriving within a Linux ecosystem
  • Experience with operating and scaling systems with virtualization and/or containerization
  • Experience of automation tools like Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and/or Terraform
  • Experience in running distributed computing systems
  • Software development experience in Java/Scala and Python or similar; you’re familiar with issues around JVM tuning and classpaths
  • B.S. or M.S. in Computer Science or related field or equivalent in related work experience
  • Use of Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Mesos, or similar container orchestration platforms
  • Experience in cloud computing environments, particularly with AWS and Azure
  • Knowledge of Lucene based search systems (Solr or Elasticsearch)
  • Experience developing or operating Apache Spark, Beam, or similar data processing systems
  • Linux systems troubleshooting and debugging skills
  • Interest in open-source software projects and communities

GBIF offers

  • The opportunity to work on open data and open source systems
  • A positive team atmosphere and lively work setting in a small but dynamic world capital
  • Opportunities to collaborate with highly skilled data scientists, informaticians and developers within the Secretariat and elsewhere
  • Varied and unique prospects for personal and professional development
  • A competitive remuneration package

We offer the chance to contribute significantly to an international effort to build and run the global web platform for open biodiversity data.

Remuneration and conditions

GBIF salaries are competitive and are exempt from Danish income tax.

The selected candidates are expected to take up residency in Denmark for the duration of the contract, and the GBIF Secretariat will secure the required residence and work permit with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A relocation package is available for internationally recruited staff.

Application procedure and deadline

To apply, please send a curriculum vitae along with a cover letter, detailing your skills and qualifications and how you envisage adding value to GBIF. Candidates must submit applications in English via email to by the deadline of 24 April 2022. Please indicate in the application where you saw this advertisement.

Enquiries concerning the position can be addressed to Tim Robertson, head of informatics, or Susanne Sheldon, HR manager.

About GBIF

GBIF—the Global Biodiversity Information Facility—is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, free and open access to data about all types of life on Earth.

GBIF is an equal opportunities employer and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of gender, colour, racial, social, or ethnic origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation, marital status or family situation, or any other status. Staff are recruited on the broadest possible geographical basis.