Data Engineer

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Applications have closed
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Harvard University

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders who make a difference globally.

Harvard University

Data Engineer
University Administration

Job Summary

Plan and conduct comprehensive applications/web development for complex projects; typically work as part of a team to implement complex business solutions. Perform expert coding: design, develop code at an expert level, and manage development projects, teams, programs. May manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Job Code
I0758P Applications Professional IV

Job-Specific Responsibilities
Please note: This is a two-year term position with the possibility of renewal dependent upon business need and continued funding.

The Data Engineer is a member of the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning Data Science and Technology team, reporting to the Sr. Data Engineer & Manager of Analytics. Working with a team of Software Engineers, Data Engineers, and Data Scientists, they will support our mission of improving teaching and learning across the University by building innovative software in support of learning management systems (LMS) and cloud data platforms.

The Data Engineer will be responsible for designing, testing, deploying, and maintaining software, including web applications, learning platforms, APIs, daily ETL data operations, infrastructure, and data analytics dashboards, to enhance teaching and learning experiences for students, faculty, and staff. They will explore, test, and evaluate new technology stacks and approaches to data architecture to improve the efficiency and stability of the data pipeline developed by this office. This role will require expertise in automating and debugging operations across a complex data pipeline's entire lifecycle.

The Data Engineer will work closely with technology partners, including Harvard University Information Technology, and other entities across Harvard University, to define stakeholder requirements, design re-usable software, and deploy stable code. They will need to prioritize technical tasks within larger projects, requiring coordination with multiple partners.

This person will also be a liaison and member of the technical community that will define and implement the next generation of software systems for teaching and learning for online and mixed online and residential courses. At times, such coordination will require the Data Engineer to lead meetings with other technical professionals across the University and beyond.

Responsibilities include:

  • Design and build scalable data pipelines and pipeline architecture
  • Write automation to provision, manage, and monitor cloud computing resources
  • Design schemas and manage SQL databases, document stores, and data warehouses
  • Deploy and monitor pipeline orchestration tools
  • Develop APIs to support public-facing web applications
  • Collaborate with engineers and data scientists to design and implement machine learning workflows
  • Identify ways to scale, optimize, and refactor existing tools and workflows
  • Work with stakeholders to design data products, assemble data sets, ensure data quality, and deliver meaningful and interpretable reports
  • Write documentation and technical specifications for systems and data products

Typical Core Duties

  • Participate fully in software development life cycle
  • Research, design, and implement technical solutions to deliver business requirements
  • Identify opportunities to improve and simplify applications portfolio and implement related enhancements
  • Contribute to creation and maturing of software development best practices and new technologies
  • Draw on relationship and technical skills to act as technical liaison to internal and external clients and to mentor junior staff
  • Abide by and follow the Harvard University IT technical standards, policies and Code of Conduct

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum of five years' post-secondary education or relevant work experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills


  • Strong Python programming skills and a passion for writing clean code
  • An interest in using data to build learning tools and education technology
  • Deep understanding of data pipeline/ETL processes and relevant technologies for automation and orchestration (e.g. Airflow, Prefect)
  • Experience provisioning and managing cloud computing resources with AWS
  • Experience with infrastructure-as-code and infrastructure automation technologies (e.g., Docker, Terraform, Cloudformation)
  • Solid understanding of SQL, relational databases (e.g. PostgreSQL) and schema design
  • Experience with tools for analyzing big data (e.g. Spark, Dask)
  • Experience designing and documenting REST APIs
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills
  • (bonus) Experience with NoSQL databases and document stores (e.g. Elasticsearch)
  • (bonus) Experience with GraphQL
  • (bonus) Experience with stream processing and message queueing systems
  • (bonus) Experience with data warehouses/data lakes

Additional Information

PLEASE NOTE: During the current period of Covid-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position, with the transition to onsite in Cambridge when the office reopens.

We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 and the lifting of restrictions. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. We will be conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates until further notice.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your cover letter and resume should be submitted as a combined into a SINGLE DOCUMENT under the resume tab. Cover letters are requested for this role.

Harvard University offers an outstanding benefits package including:

  • A creative, high- energy, collaborative environment
  • Generous Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Holiday pay
  • Medical, Dental and Vision benefits starting on your first day
  • University-funded retirement plans
  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Transportation benefits to help with your daily commute
  • Health and wellness discounts, memberships and programs

Additional benefits can be found at

Please note: This is a two-year term position with the possibility of renewal dependent upon business need and continued funding. We will be filling two positions.

  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background screening.
  • VPAL is unable to provide work authorization and/or visa sponsorship.

VPAL Organization
The mission of the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) is to create and catalyze engaging and scalable learning experiences that make a difference at Harvard and beyond.

VPAL partners with schools and faculty to amplify Harvard's impact worldwide. We deliver online courses on multiple platforms in the spirit of satisfying the widest possible range of student needs and interests. Our courses support both lifelong and professional learning, which compliments many other One Harvard initiatives related to online teaching and learning.

Certificates and Licenses

  • Completion of Harvard IT Academy specified foundational courses (or external equivalent) preferred

Working Conditions

  • Work is performed in an office setting

Job Function
Information Technology

Sub Unit
Interfaculty Initiatives

USA - MA - Cambridge


Time Status

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade

Pre-Employment Screening
Education, Identity

Full time. Monday through Friday. 35 hours per week.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Apply Here


Tags: Airflow AWS Big Data Data Analytics Data pipelines Docker Elasticsearch ETL GraphQL Machine Learning NoSQL PostgreSQL Python Research Spark SQL Terraform Testing

Perks/benefits: Career development Health care Salary bonus Startup environment Wellness

Region: North America
Country: United States
Job stats:  511  21  1
Category: Engineering Jobs

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