Vacant Post – Software Site Support Engineer

Website ska_africa NRF/SARAO

Contract type: Permanent
Job Level: Skilled / Middle Management
Work Location: Cape Town, Western Cape
Closing Date: 22 February 2024

The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through funding, the provision of National Research Facilities and science outreach platforms and programmes to the broader community in all fields of science and technology, including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities.

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) spearheads South Africa􀂷s activities in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, commonly known as the SKA, in engineering, science and construction. SARAO is a National Facility managed by the National Research Foundation and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as the MeerKAT telescope in the Karoo, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavours.

Support engineering, deployment and commissioning activities of the telescopes in the karoo

Key Responsibilities:
* Investigating support issues reported on site.
* Coordinating tests, fault finding and tracking down of cross-subsystem issues.
* Supporting user requests for data and trend analysis.
* Fixing minor bugs in the deployed software where possible.
* Engaging with different subsystems to identify problems, perform system integration tests, support commissioning tests on site.
* Deploying and maintaining development infrastructure.
* Deploying software subsystems on production systems and manage/monitor site deployments.
* Documentation and project management input as required.
* Site visits as required.
* Training of operators and commissioners on the software subsystems.
* Lab integration tests of subcontractor deliverables with the software systems; feedback/inputs to subcontractors.
* Assist in developing and performing integration tests to test the full software subsystems on lab machines before deploying to karoo systems.
* Configure, install and help troubleshoot operating system software and server hardware.
* Configure and manage subsystem network.
* Monitor and maintain performance of servers.

Key Requirements:

* N.D (Comp Sci) with 6+ years; OR
* B.Tech/B.Sc (Comp Sci) with 5+ years; OR
* B.Eng/B.Sc Hons (Comp Sci) with 4+ years; OR
* M.Eng/M.Sc (Comp Sci) with 2+ years; OR
* Engineering (with a software focus) or related field


* Testing, deployment, commissioning, release and support of large scale projects.
* Test-driven development and integration testing techniques, methodologies and frameworks; and supporting systems.
* Quality assurance processes and software development processes.


* Modern software collaboration tools such as Github, Containers, Google Drive, JIRA etc.
* Knowledge of continuous integration, testing and deployment techniques and tools.
* Knowledge of the Linux operating systems and networking..
* Knowledge of the Python programming language is beneficial.

Additional Notes:
Ability to:

Work independently and be a good team player.
Participate and thrive in a collaborative environment.
Strong English oral and written communications.
Troubleshoot issues methodically.
Keen attention to detail.
Good knowledge of and experience in software testing and quality assurance.
Some experience in Python and software development
Some experience with operating systems (Linux, OS X, Windows) and networking.
Good and proven fault finding skills.
Good oral and written communication skills.
Self motivated and ability to work independently.
Keen interest in engineering and how systems work.
Good attention to detail.
Wanting to learn more and expand knowledge.
Team player and ability to thrive in collaborative environment.


The website provides more details on the NRF initiatives and activities.


Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by logging to and apply online. Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicant􀂷s suitability for the position. The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.

Closing Date: 22 February 2024

The NRF offers a challenging career and competitive remuneration package which is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The NRF is committed to employment equity and redress and the appointment to the position will be made in line with the NRF Employment Equity Plan.

The NRF reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Correspondence will be sent to short-listed candidates only

To apply for this job please visit