Senior Data Engineer-Contingent

Location: Washington, DC 20001

*** Mention DataYoshi when applying ***

Fantastic opportunity to practice data engineering and oversee an open-source data collection activity for a government customer in Washington D.C. (Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling). The position leads a team of data scientists and collectors that focus on open-source data extraction, transformation, storage, and analysis to gain valuable mission-specific insights from the data. The engineer will teach teammates new data-related functionalities, communicate insights gained and recommend ways-forward to both the team and customer.

(KEY SKILLS: “Data Engineering”, “Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) Data”, “Semantic Data Models”, “Database Design & Maintenance”, “Open Source Data Collection”, “Software Development”, “Cloud Development”, “Big Data”, “Leadership and Communication Skills”)

The Senior Data Engineer-Contingent will be able to perform the following tasks:

Support the full-spectrum Publicly Available Information (PAI) data cycle to include: ETL functions, scalable data architecture design and management, semantic data models, and analysis of data to gain valuable customer mission-specific insight.

Write strong, reliable code that can be leveraged to enhance the activity’s capabilities. For example: 1) Automating the ETL process; 2) Transforming semantic data models into physical database designs; and 3) Integrating data and related capabilities to various systems across the customer’s greater IT enterprise.

Manage, develop, augment, and/or experiment with various open-source data pipelines.

Design physical database management systems to represent semantic data models, including relational and object-relational databases (e.g. Postgress, SQL Server, MySQL), key value stores, inverted indexes (Lucene, Elastic Search), and distributed file systems (e.g. Tachyon, HDFS)

Apply semantic data modeling techniques to classify, aggregate, and generalize data stored in hierarchical, network, or relational database management systems to – with a data scientist – define the meaning of the data within the context of its interrelationships with other data to gain intelligence and optimize further data engineering activities.

Operate, orchestrate, and manage the activity’s query environment. As a critical member of a small team, the data engineer should be prepared to work closely with collectors and a data scientist to understand mission needs and enable less data-fluent teammates to achieve some results independently.

Support the activity’s data evaluation objectives by ingesting and normalizing sample data into the query environment; and providing subject matter expertise during evaluation exercises.

Communicate data engineering methods and intelligence findings to all levels of government through briefings, reports, white papers, and other written material.

Create and maintain a repository of software code and scripts (e.g. Java and Python), for rapidly extracting, transforming, and loading a variety of structured and unstructured data sources.

Document all code work, routinely making Github code repository contributions as representation of analytics.

Senior Data Engineer-Contingent Basic Qualifications:

  • Must be a US Citizen with an active TS clearance with SCI eligibility and willing to submit to a counterintelligence (CI) polygraph
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science (or another applicable field)
  • 10+ years of Data Engineering experience including ETL
  • Advanced use of Python, Java, SQL, Presto, Hive, Nifi
  • Understanding of big data analytic methodologies and technologies
  • Expertise using Amazon Web Services and other cloud platforms

Senior Data Engineer-Contingent Preferred Qualifications:

  • Active TS-SCI security clearance
  • CI polygraph taken within past 5 years
  • Master’s degree in computer science
  • Experience in data science, statistics, and/or computational statistics
  • AWS certifications
  • Experience with C++
  • Experience with geospatial analytic techniques and tools
  • Proficiency with graph databases
  • Prior Intelligence Community work experience

About Us:

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (aka ARA) is an employee-owned international research and engineering company known for providing technically superior solutions to complex and challenging problems in the physical sciences. We were founded in Albuquerque, NM in 1979 as the disco era was, thankfully, closing out and the personal computer era was beginning. We employ over 1,400 professionals and continue to grow. ARA offices throughout the U.S. and Canada provide a broad range of technical expertise in defense, civil, and health technologies, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, environmental technologies, and testing and measurement. Around ARA you are equally likely to hear a conversation about Kubernetes clusters as you are a debate on merits of a reverse polish notation (RPN) calculator!

While this is all of the Year One and Beyond stuff, Day One is highly impressive too. These are things like our competitive salary (DOE), Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) & 401(k) with matching program, benefits package which includes medical, dental vision, flex spending, telehealth services, company-paid life & disability insurance including paid maternity disability leave through our company-paid short-term disability benefit, domestic partner coverage, dependent care flex spending, daycare discounts, pet insurance, relocation opportunities, floating holidays, tuition reimbursement, professional development as well as flexible schedules with remote/work from home options. ARA also prides ourselves on having a challenging culture where innovation & experimentation are the norm. At ARA, employees are our greatest assets, so we give our employees the tools, training, and opportunities to take active roles as owners. The motto, “Engineering and Science for Fun and Profit” sums up the ARA experience. The company realizes employee ownership spawns greater creativity and initiative along with higher performance and customer satisfaction levels.

ARA is passionate about inclusion and diversity in our workplace. In 2018 40% of our new employees voluntarily self-identified as protected veterans. (Source-AAP EOY 2018 Veterans Data Collection Report). We are also very proud of our Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) whose purpose is to motivate, support, and encourage professional career development for women to maximize career and professional accomplishments. Additionally, the Southeast Division looks not only for the right skills, but also for a cultural fit. We seek colleagues who will contribute to the unique culture that makes ARA such a great place to work. Some of the social impact aspects we have implemented at our division include monthly get-togethers, team outings to local baseball games in the summer, board game lunches, holiday party, corn hole tournaments, chili cook-offs and so on. For additional information and an opportunity to join this unique workplace, please apply at


  • 10 year(s): Data Engineering (or similar experience in Data Science, or Software Development)


  • Bachelors or better in Computer Science or related field

Licenses & Certifications

  • Security Clear Top Secret

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

*** Mention DataYoshi when applying ***

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