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Linux Systems Administrator - 2004862 

EOE StatementCarnegie Mellon University - Software Engineering Institute considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

Position Summary: The individual in this position will work as a member of the IT staff on the Unix Systems Team.  The primary responsibility of this position is the operation and administration of systems hosting various Linux-based information services in a multi-platform environment. Desirable candidates will have:

  • Experience operating and maintaining production Linux-based IT services
  • Working knowledge of system administration scripting languages (Bourne Shell, Perl)
  • History participating in the entire lifecycle (planning, deployment, maintenance) of critical IT services


Minimum Qualifications and Requirements:

Education/Training:  BS in Computer Science, Information Science, Information Technology with one year of experience; MS in Computer Science, Information Science, or Information Technology with one year experience; or PhD in Computer Science, Information Science, Information Technology.

Candidates with a degree in other technical fields (e.g., engineering) and 1 year of relevant experience as described above will be considered as well.

Licenses:  None

Experience: Candidate must have experience in the operation and maintenance of Linux-based systems hosting a variety of applications, a basic understanding of IP networks, a basic understanding of mail systems, basic script writing and maintenance skills (e.g. BASH, Perl), general administrative familiarity with open-source technologies (e.g. Sendmail, BIND, PostgreSQL, Apache).

Skills/Abilities: Candidate should be capable of operating and administering Linux systems and their applications with little technical oversight based on documented operations practices.  Demonstrable skill in analyzing logging and other diagnostic output from multiple systems to troubleshoot and resolve issues is required.  Temperament to serve as a second-tier escalation point for issues from the helpdesk and to function as a liaison between customer groups, the helpdesk and systems engineers is required to perform well in this role.

Mobility:  Some infrequent business travel required. Computer hardware installation and configuration required on a regular basis, sometimes involving transport of heavy objects (typically under 100 lbs.) short distances, use of hand tools, et cetera. Carrying of light objects (< 20 lbs.) for longer distances (intra-campus; 2-3 city blocks) may also be required.  Will have to travel to other campus locations on a daily basis.

Environmental Conditions: Close contact with CRT/LCD screens for extended periods; periodic work in a computer datacenter environment.

Mental:  Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines; ability to prioritize tasks; strong learning capability; ability to interact effectively with others of varying technical competency, vendors, managers, and other technical research staff; ability to work effectively with all levels of staff within the SEI and Carnegie Mellon. Good technical problem-solving skills. Strong information organization skills as well as good oral and written communication skills are required.

Other:  Evening/weekend hours will be periodically required in order to perform service outside of normal operating hours. There is a rotating on-call component to this position – average call volume is very light, about 3-5 calls/week. Candidate must be able to respond to outage events at the main facility in Pittsburgh, PA (Oakland) in a reasonable time (e.g. within ~30 minutes).

Candidates will be subject to a background check and must be eligible to obtain and maintain a Department of Defense security clearance.


Preferred Qualifications and Requirements

Education/Training: MS in Computer Science, Information Science, or Information Technology with one year of experience.

Licenses: RHCE, RHCSA

Experience: Experience in the preparation of systems to conform to DISA STIG guidelines, executing Security Readiness Review (SRR) scripts, following DISA Security Checklists and resolving findings in preparation for IA review and accreditation.  Some skill at automating log analysis and generating reports from analysis is desirable. At least 12 months of said relevant experience served in the same organization evolving a single infrastructure is preferred. Enterprise-level operation of collections of systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux is preferred to other Linux experience.  Experience in administering Linux systems in a virtualized environment (e.g. VMware ESX) would be helpful.

Skills/Abilities:  Experience with compiling, packaging and debugging software packages.  Desirable candidates will also have working experience with firewalls, basic software building, advanced troubleshooting of multi-system applications and general software development skills in a Unix-based language such as Perl, Python or Ruby.  Experience with systems configuration management tools such as Red Hat Network Satellite, Puppet, Chef is preferred.

Other: Clearances: United States DoD Top Secret that is transferrable to the SEI.


Accountability: Employee is accountable for describing, implementing and/or maintaining an efficient, reliable and secure configuration of computing services in support of the SEI’s initiatives and/or a sponsor/client. Employee may be responsible for the proper handling/destruction of confidential, sensitive or classified information.

Direction: Employee will be expected to work under some supervision within the defined scope of authority and in accordance with SEI and IT operating guidelines.

Decisions: Under management direction, the employee will decide the appropriate configuration for production computing services for programs within the SEI. Employee will determine how best to allocate and/or acquire resources necessary to implement and evolve information services. Employee will determine the cause of computing problems and take corrective action in a timely fashion when a system/service fails or becomes unavailable. Employee will describe the appropriate procedures to configure and maintain a particular computing system to support one or more critical business functions in a secure manner.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Employee may, at the manager or team leader’s discretion, task/supervise student/temporary employees in completion of specific tasks. Employee will provide assistance to staff members / clients in the proper configuration/use of computer hardware and software services and tools.


Job Functions or Responsibilities

40%     Participates in the administration and operation of Linux services for the SEI.  Drafts documents to describe the proper configuration/use of such services from an IT perspective when necessary. Regularly reviews logging and other output sources and takes actions based on operating conditions.  Performs software updates and host servicing as necessary.

40%     Functions as an escalation point for issues from first-line support that cannot be handled in that group due to skill or privilege restrictions.

5%       Packages software for use in the Linux infrastructure.

10%     Maintains and updates operational documentation

Secondary Functions

5%       Training and professional development.



Organizational Chart: SEI Chief Information Officer < Systems Group Manager < Linux Administrator


Carnegie Mellon University is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer – M/F/Disability/Veteran

Job Categories Information Technology 

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