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This job posting has closed.

Please see our other open positions. - DevOps/ Site Reliability Engineer

18F is hiring for GS-15 - DevOps/ Site Reliability Engineer. This page contains information related to the role as well as a link to submit your application. Check out Join TTS Hiring Process to learn more about the application process.

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Role Summary: - DevOps/ Site Reliability Engineer - GS 15 gives the public simple, secure access to multiple government services through one verified account. has over 10 million users and is growing the team as we scale quickly. is looking for qualified Site Reliability / DevOps engineers to join our infrastructure team. We care deeply about providing the best possible experience to anyone using government digital services and we are committed to making the process of accessing government services easy while combating fraud and abuse. A qualified candidate is ready to quickly jump in and help in a number of areas: using site reliability engineering best practices to build and operate the infrastructure at scale, responding to incidents and leading incident response and postmortem review, creating automation in areas such as security compliance and code deployment, and meeting with engineers and executives from prospective government agency customers to determine how can adapt to meet their user identity needs.

The team operates like a startup within the government, working in the open as a distributed, agile team. The core product is open source, hosted in modern cloud infrastructure, and built for scale. Tens of millions of people have accounts, and we aim to be the preferred entrypoint for all government digital services. Our users today include people accessing benefits, applying for government jobs, serving in the military, and collecting funds awarded through grant programs.

As part of the infrastructure engineering team, you will play a key role in making government services more secure and accessible to the public.

Key Objectives

Objective #1: Operate with high standards of performance and reliability:

  • Define key success metrics for infrastructure and drive improvement toward those measures
  • Create and improve monitoring systems to collect data about the application, notify on any errors, and improve visibility/observability into application behavior.
  • Assist application teams in deploying code to the application regularly and as automatically as possible
  • Lead incident response and mitigate site errors as they occur
  • Lead postmortem discussions and drive continuous improvement to prevent similar outages
  • Participate in oncall shifts, serving as first-line support for incidents. Drive down page frequency as low as possible (We currently page ~1-2 times per month)

Objective #2: Build’s infrastructure using modern cloud infrastructure techniques:

  • Use infrastructure-as-code (currently Terraform) and configuration management (currently Chef) to automate’s AWS infrastructure
  • Review code and consult with other engineers on new features and their implications for site performance, reliability, and security for the security of Ruby on Rails services
  • Conduct load tests to ensure the application is ready to handle projected user traffic
  • Improve automation and fault tolerance of the deployment process
  • Drive long-term improvement in system availability by removing single points of failure

Objective #3: Collaborate with the team and outside partners:

  • Handle site issues from partner agencies, dealing both with engineers and non-engineers
  • Oversee procurement process for tools and services used by
  • Work alongside talent specialists to continue hiring new engineers and project managers into the team
  • Advocate for modern information security principles throughout the system
  • Balance agile development with mandatory government security compliance policies
  • Support a safe, inclusive workplace and a positive team culture where all team members value diversity and individual differences

Basic Information

Job announcement number: 1900320JCOTR

Opening and closing period for this job application: Monday, March 18, 2019 to 8:00pm EDT on Friday, March 22, 2019

Job Title: Innovation Specialist

Series & Grade: 0301 - 15

Promotion Potential: GS-15

Salary Range: Base Salary - $105,123 to $136,659

For specific details on locality pay, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page or for a salary calculator OPM’s 2018 General Schedule (GS) Salary Calculator. If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade for which you applied to.

Locations: Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Virtual (100% remote)

Number of vacancies: 1 (Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement as needed)

Supervisory status: No

Travel requirement: Occasional travel may be required up to 10%-20% per year

Who May Apply: All United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) and non-GSA employees/contractors are eligible to apply.

Security clearance: Public trust. Background investigation required.

Work Schedule: Full time

Appointment Type: Excepted Service: Not to exceed 24 months (2 years); may be extended for an additional 2 years for a maximum of 4 years total.

Job Summary

This is a Schedule A position under 5 CFR 213.3102(r) to hire unique technical skills to develop innovative digital tools and services in the Excepted Service. TTS is charged with developing innovative digital tools and services. TTS uses lean start­up and agile development principles to make easy things easy and hard things possible.

As an Innovation Specialist the incumbent serves the government and makes an impact on a truly massive scale. The position requires that fellows perform work of an exceptional degree of difficulty across a wide range of topics at the convergence of technology, policy, and delivery. The incumbent leverages his/her experience deploying high quality, user centric platforms and services to lead major initiatives, consult on systems and policy proposals, and provide technical, policy, and programmatic guidance to government. The position involves access to PII data.

This position is located within the General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), Technology Transformation Service (TTS), Office of 18F.

GSA has been repeatedly named as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’
in the federal government. You will have access to many benefits including:

  • Health insurance (choose from a wide range of plans)
  • Life insurance coverage with several options
  • Sick leave and vacation time, including 10 paid holidays per year
  • Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k) plan)
  • Flexible work schedules and telework
  • Transit and child care subsidies
  • Training and development
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Training and development

Key Requirements

  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen or National (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands)
  2. Suitable for federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  3. You may be required to serve a trial period
  4. Direct Deposit of salary check to financial organization required
  5. Register with Selective Service, if you are required by

Employment Requirements

  • Serve a one year trial period, if required
  • Undergo and pass a background investigation. You must be granted this clearance before you can start the job
  • Have your identity and work status eligibility verified if you are not a GSA employee. We will use the Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify system for this
  • Any discrepancies must be resolved as a condition of continued employment
  • Complete a financial disclosure report to verify that no conflict, or an appearance of conflict, exists between your financial interest and this position


Typical duties include but are not limited to: Conceiving/recommending projects/studies to advance the state of the art in the specialty area; applying forward thinking design and development principles to product or services development, delivery and program management, such as lean startup, user centered design, and agile development; Analyzing and scoping the technical and policy requirements needed to implement complex digital solutions; Assessing the state of digital services provided by the Federal Government, and working to align strategies and practice; conferring with key government/private officials and top experts in the field, representing the agency at technical symposia and/or conferences; Developing authoritative papers/reports; developing and leading adoption of government wide standards for digital services, leading to their adoption across citizen and business facing government Services; Demonstrating thought leadership and contributing best practices in a variety of technologies and principles; Contributing to a talent strategy that includes recruiting innovators and entrepreneurs to participate in solving complex and esoteric challenges.


We will use a method called Category Rating to assess your application.

Here’s how it will work:

You will be scored based on a review of your application materials, measuring your possession of each of the following competencies

  • Maintainable Software Development: Knowledge and ability to develop software, with emphasis on reliability, automation, testing, measuring, and scaling infrastructure
  • Modern Infrastructure Practices and Architecture: Ability to operate complex software at scale in a cloud environment using principles of Site Reliability Engineering and DevOps
  • Production Operations: Ability to operate production systems at scale with high availability
  • Communication: Ability to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and stakeholders to establish a shared vision and understanding of a project’s technical implementation, objectives, and goals
  • TTS Core Values Alignment: Working with integrity, transparency and resiliency in civic minded or high impact driven environment

If found to be eligible and at least minimally qualified for the position, your score will be used to place you in a category (Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified).

If your resume does not support your possession of the competencies listed above, we may lower your score, which could place you in a lower category.

Within each category, veterans will receive selection priority over non-veterans if supported by appropriate documentation.


All applications will be reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts against a scoring rubric created for this role. In order to properly be able to evaluate your previous experience, we recommend being as detailed as possible in your resume and following our general guidance on creating federal style resume.

To qualify for this role, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 in the Federal service. Specialized experience is:

  1. Experience being a part of a team to deliver digital products or services. This experience must include ALL of the following:
    • Providing technical support or product development for clients
    • Delivering tools or products with high uptime or availability requirements (i.e. SLAs of 99.9%+)
    • Experience using Site Reliability Engineering or DevOps practices in a production environment
  2. Experience providing technical expertise on projects or initiatives to deliver digital products or services. This experience must include ONE of the following:
    • Conducting technology evaluations
    • Making architectural decisions
    • Developing new software features by writing code
    • Reducing technical debt
    • Leading incident response
  3. Experience deploying, operating, maintaining, or running a cloud infrastructure or platform. This experience must include TWO of the following:
    • Using a cloud computing platform
    • Using cloud computing infrastructure
    • Using continuous integration or continuous deployment tools
    • Using infrastructure automation tooling
    • Using infrastructure monitoring tooling
    • Developing and using software in the Ruby language ecosystem

How To Apply

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