For more than 135 years, the Art Institute of Chicago and School of the Art Institute of Chicago have shared a commitment to the preservation, education and exploration of the artistic ideal. The Museum and the School are proud of our longstanding relationship, and form a single corporation called the Art Institute of Chicago. While the Museum and School have a shared mission of promoting the arts and art education, their operations are largely separate and each has its own chief executive who reports directly to the corporation's Board of Trustees.
The Senior Software Architect will be responsible for all design, development, maintenance and enhancement of LAKE, the museum’s central repository for preservation, management, access, and publishing of hundreds of thousands of digital assets. LAKE serves as both a data aggregator and a data provider for over 20 museum department and WWW-facing services.
Contributes to translating business requirements into architectural specifications for all new features, software modernization and extensions to the LAKE system in collaboration with the Director of Application Services, Director of PMO, and stakeholders.
Is responsible for developing, maintaining, deploying, testing and documenting software related to LAKE, which consists of: a Fedora repository serving as the main data store; an Apache Camel-based integration framework; triplestore and Solr indices; a set of Python migration scripts and ETL framework to synchronize data from other systems; and a public mirror using similar technologies in addition to a IIIF server to provide published data to external consumers.
Defines and monitors the application framework and development standards for LAKE to ensure that a secure and scalable environment is maintained.
Develops and directs software development through all phases of analysis, coding, testing, documentation and implementation.
Ensures that measures are put in place to optimize the performance of the LAKE system, to minimize the risk of downtime and to facilitate system recovery if necessary.
Works collaboratively with other teams in the collections management area to gain an understanding of business needs and helps define technology solutions to meet those needs.
Monitors the health and performance of systems on which LAKE runs (12 on-site production systems) and advises on adoption of monitoring tools and practices.
Helps to configure new systems, upgrade software packages and apply security patches promptly. Coordinates these activities with the Systems Administrators.
Researches new technologies and capabilities to look for opportunities to improve LAKE and replace components where appropriate.
Writes documentation in support of existing and new software, both in code and external documents; clarifies design decisions and approaches where appropriate.
Keeps abreast of trends in museum technology and related fields. Attendance to conferences and other events related to museum and repository technology is expected.
Works with outside vendors as necessary for the implementation of third party solutions and applications.
Master's degree in information science or related field, or equivalent combination of education and working experience. Relevant software development technologies with at least 5 years of significant contribution to implementing and maintaining core information systems is required.
Experience working with complex integrated systems dealing with the storage, publishing and syndication of information, metadata, as well as digital image and media assets.
Strong problem-solving skills, especially in complex integration scenarios; strong familiarity and working experience with Python 3, including writing efficient, leak-free code, and long-running processes; thorough understanding of the HTTP and REST protocols.
Familiarity with event-driven, asynchronous architectures and experience with RDF, semantic stores and SPARQL preferred. Experience with museum collection management systems is highly desirable.
The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.