Linux Systems DevOps Engineer II

Special Notice for COVID-19

The UMN has suspended hiring for most positions. However, we will continue hiring for positions critical to the University's mission and operations at this time. Applications are being accepted for this position and you are encouraged to apply. In-person interviews are suspended indefinitely and will be replaced by interviews in a virtual format. Thank you for your continued interest in working at the University of Minnesota.

About the Department

The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) is a core research facility of the University of Minnesota (U of M), part of the Research Computing umbrella within the Office of the Vice President for Research. MSI provides advanced research computing infrastructure and expertise to the University's research and scholarly community and the State of Minnesota in order to advance and accelerate research and foster innovation and discoveries through advanced computing technologies, scientific computing and informatics, application development, and services. The Institute currently supports over 800 different groups with over 4500 active users spanning the sciences, engineering, life sciences, medicine, and social sciences.

MSI and ASO have a strong commitment to the University’s goal of creating a positive and inclusive campus climate by advancing equity and diversity. We aim to hire high-potential people with varying identities and backgrounds.

About the Position

The Advanced System Operations group (ASO) at MSI is a group of highly skilled, self-motivated, and self-supervised technologists who are passionate about systems technology and applying it to the unique demands of resource intensive research computing. The group is tasked with managing and running the infrastructure components of the Supercomputing Institute, including: 

  • Physical and virtual infrastructure servers, and their hosted services
  • Networking
  • 10PB+ of POSIX and Object storage
  • End-user-facing portals and research services

Members of ASO work with cutting edge technologies and platforms to deliver high performance solutions to the University research community. They understand and balance the usability needs of this community while maintaining system security and stability. They assist research entities requiring custom systems configurations or novel development and operations assistance, while also supporting technical and non-technical staff, faculty, students, and research partners of the University.

Position Responsibilities

Operations (35%)

  • Write and maintain system automation (Puppet) and CI/CD (Jenkins) testing code
  • Use CI/CD to test Puppetized system changes
    • Peer review changes to comply with institutional change control practices
  • Manage and automate diverse infrastructure and services required for the proper functioning of, and access to, the computational clusters
  • Write and maintain scripts and scripted tools
  • Participate in an on-call 24x7 pager rotation with other unit staff

Development (35%)

  • Work with internal application development and support (ADS) group to write and enhance tools and services utilized by the ASO and ADS groups
  • Assist ADS with integrating applications and services into Puppet systems configuration and automation platform
  • Maintain and enhance custom (open sourced) Puppet and Jenkins tools and utilities

Support and Planning (20%)

  • Assist with both routine and complex end user issues escalated from MSI's helpdesk
  • Prioritize, plan, and scope tasks, assignments, and projects with minimal supervision
  • Manage tickets, tasks, and projects in MSI's relevant tracking systems
  • Actively identify process and workflow collaboration and improvement opportunities for ASO & ADS, MSI as a whole, and it's integrations with the wider University system

Professional Development (10%)

  • Participate in the University of Minnesota IT and cultural communities through relevant University working groups, committees of practice, and professional organizations
  • Pursue development though relevant independent studies, training, workshops, and conferences

Required Qualifications

BA/BS degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field and 2 years of work experience (Linux Systems Administration and/or Linux OS software development), or 4 years of related work experience with a non-related degree.

Special consideration may be given to candidates with notable experience in a Linux HPC research computing environment.


  • Strong Linux systems and infrastructure service administration experience
  • Experience writing, maintaining, and deploying systems configuration/platform automation and orchestration code (Puppet, Salt, Ansible, Chef, etc.)
  • Experience utilizing or maintaining CI and/or CD tools (such as Jenkins, Drone)
  • Moderate experience with shell (any) scripting
  • Experience with any modern scripting (non-shell) language (Python, Ruby, NodeJS)
  • Experience programming on and for a Linux OS platform
  • Experience maintaining complex "home-grown" code bases/programs
  • Strong communication skills with technical and non-technical peers and end-users
  • Able to produce highly-functional documentation for technical and non-technical peers
  • Driven to learn new skills and technology though self-directed learning
  • Ability to independently research, scope, design, build, test, and debug systems and services of varying sizes and complexity
  • Ability to independently assess, prioritize, and proactively report on tasks and assignments

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in a University and/or research setting; strong communication skills with students, faculty, and researchers
  • Status monitoring software maintenance and configuration (Nagios, Foglight, etc.)
  • Experience managing virtualization platforms (KVM, OpenStack, VMware, etc.)
  • POSIX and/or object based storage platform administration
  • Experience with database and web application development
  • Experience with additional programming languages including: PHP, Python, Perl
  • Experience with cloud technologies including: Openstack, AWS, Docker
  • Experience in team/pair-coding environments

To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. The Job ID for this position is 336470.

Visit the University of Minnesota Employment site for complete instructions.

Link for external (to University of Minnesota) applicants

Link for internal (to University of Minnesota) applicants