Devops Engineer at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab
February 12, 2016 11:47 AM

TL;DR: Run infrastructure for an academic research lab where reading Metafilter counts as great preparation for the job.
Who we are

LIL is a small startup shop embedded in the world's largest academic law library. We build open-source experiments and share them with the world. Some grow into high-profile hosted tools that are depended on by courts, lawyers, professors, publishers, and the public.

Among other things, we're curing link rot with, exploring new publishing models for textbooks with H2O, and scanning 40 million pages of American caselaw with Free the Law.

Who we need

We need a smart, creative engineer to help our web projects scale from tiny experiments to high availability public services. We also have lots of unusual, one-off infrastructure problems that need creative thinking, whether it's remote processing of terabytes of scanned images, deploying distributed server appliances to libraries, or extracting IP addresses from petabyte-scale web snapshots.


  • Work with a small, self-directed team to conceive and implement projects to explore the future of libraries, law, and the open web.
  • Design and build modern infrastructure for development, testing, deployment, scaling, and monitoring of our Linux-based web projects.
  • Migrate our existing projects to consistent, modern infrastructure.
  • Design and manage distributed library networks for storage and encryption.
  • Represent the Lab in communication with Harvard technology services, third-party vendors, and collaborators.
  • Build cool stuff that surprises us. (This is a real responsibility, not fluff -- we're an academic research lab and are serious about our side projects.)


We won't reject any applications out of hand — enthusiasm for our mission is the top priority. But here's what we're looking for:

  • Professional experience securing and maintaining Linux systems.
  • Experience with modern testing, orchestration, deployment, and monitoring tools.
  • Ability to solve challenging and unfamiliar technical problems.
  • Track record of completing self-motivated, community-oriented projects.

Lifestyle and Perks

  • Flexible academic lifestyle.
  • Full Harvard employee benefits, including free or cheap Harvard classes.
  • Access to the Harvard community and events.
  • Collaborate with web luminaries at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, with whom we share a faculty director (Mefi's own zittrain).

payscale: Negotiable
job type: full-time
posted by jhc to Internet Engineering

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