Job Details

Staff Engineer

Vanderbilt University - Institute for Software Integrated SystemsNashville, TN

ISIS is a research organization of the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University. We conduct basic and applied research in the area of systems and information science and engineering.


fulltime @ 70,000 - $90,000

Staff Engineer

Posted 7 months ago

Entry-to-mid level full-stack LAMP developer responsible for writing custom Drupal/PHP code in support of


The Staff Engineer is part of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems at Vanderbilt University and is a key individual contributor responsible for writing custom PHP code to support a research project and website ( collectively referred to as the Cyber-Physical Systems Virtual Organization (“CPS-VO”), which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. This is a permanent, full-time, entry-to-mid-level development position. Reporting directly to the System Architect, the Staff Engineer regularly collaborates with a team including but not limited to one or more Principal Investigators, Research Project Managers, Program Coordinators, and other engineers.

The Institute for Software Integrated Systems conducts basic and applied research in the area of systems and information science and engineering. Applications of its technology span a wide range of software-intensive systems from small embedded devices, through real-time distributed systems, to globally deployed complex systems. Software is increasingly essential to the functions of these systems, and it is also the primary means of adapting them to their environments and users. Our research interests lie in the theoretical foundations, modeling, design, engineering, and educational aspects of these systems.


  • Write clean, well-commented custom PHP code for a Drupal-based research website
  • Clarify sponsor and customer requirements for new software feature requests
  • Plan and research solutions to satisfy new software feature requests
  • Determine work-arounds and write patches for software bugs
  • Migrate custom modules and data from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8
  • Develop software to assist with integrating third-party APIs and applications into our platform
  • Perform quality assurance and usability testing on software research artifacts
  • Plan for and successfully manage multiple varying priorities
  • Produce clear technical documentation
  • Perform Linux system configuration and administration
  • Research, implement, and maintain ancillary software in support of project goals
  • Develop, present and support technical presentations and training
  • Participate in 2-3 team meetings per week
  • Travel 1-2 weeks per year for project review meetings and optional training


  • Experience troubleshooting in a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) environment
  • PHP - Must be highly comfortable with coding custom solutions in an object-oriented codebase, based on a minimum of 1-2 years of current, professional experience
  • MySQL - Must be comfortable writing and optimizing complex queries
The following skills are strongly preferred:
  • Drupal 6, Drupal 8, Symfony – experience coding custom modules
Experience working with the following is preferred:
  • Both SVN and GIT
  • Twig
  • Javascript/jQuery
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • Bash scripting
  • Docker
  • UI/UX Design
Experience with the following is helpful:
  • Nodejs
  • Unit testing
  • CI/CD
  • Performance & security tuning
  • Python
  • MongoDB
  • OpenStack

Education + Experience

A bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or related field is necessary. Five or more years of equivalent experience may be considered in lieu of a four-year degree.

Interview Process

  • Phone screen
  • Online skill assessment (pair programming style)
  • In-person interviews - typically a half-day composed of multiple one-on-one interviews. Travel reimbursable according to federal guidelines.
  • Reference checks/offer

Additional Information

Our project (CPS-VO) maintains a portal that brings industry, academia, and government together to collaborate and share around the topic of cyber-physical systems, grouped into smaller communities. Cyber-physical systems are loosely definable as systems that lay at the boundary between computing and the physical world. We are additionally building in tool/simulation capabilities, supporting student competitions (UAV's, autonomous vehicles), conference registrations and artifact hosting, summer camps, and more.