Instrumentation Software Programmer/IT Help Desk Technician


Full Job Description

Position Title: Instrumentation Software Programmer/IT Help Desk Technician

Job Summary: Vala Sciences, Inc. is a privately-held, pioneering biotechnology firm based in San Diego, California. We are currently seeking candidates to fulfill responsibilities for an Instrumentation Software Programmer/IT Help Desk Technician. The programming tasks involve software (LabVIEW) to control optomechanical hardware components for high-content screening and fully automated high-speed video microscopy instruments. The software will control optical, mechanical, and electronics modules in a very tightly (electronic and software) synchronized architecture, as part of Vala’s Kinetic Image Cytometer (KIC®) and its associated add-on hardware modules. The candidate would initially spend approximately 50% time devoted to instrumentation programming tasks and the remaining 50% time to assisting with IT tasks. It is intended that programming responsibilities increase and IT-related responsibilities decrease over time, as Vala is able to hire other personnel for IT. Salary will be readjusted to reflect the change in responsibilities, dependent upon satisfactory performance.

Instrumentation Software Responsibilities & Duties

  • Revise, document, and deploy code within the current software architecture
  • Revise overlaying graphical user interfaces that directly interact with hardware components
  • Interact with all hardware development and application groups to ensure proper and timely implementation of processes and control schema
  • Interact with field engineers and technical support personnel external to the company regarding the programming, operation, and integration of hardware control components into Vala’s instrument hardware
  • Assist in providing technical support and maintaining code deployed to external customers

Information Technology Responsibilities & Duties

  • Manage Vala’s computer and network infrastructure
    • setting up computers and troubleshooting issues, e.g. installing hardware and software/drivers, booting/shutdown issues, printing
    • manage network access, service, and anti-virus
    • manage users accounts, computers using Windows Activity Directory
    • manage user accounts, groups, devices using Google Workspace
    • manage automated and manual backups of computers, documents, data from experiments
    • manage data stored on AWS
    • manage building security alarms, building hvac settings, onsite equipment monitoring alarms (refrigerator/freezer temperature, incubator temperature/CO2, liquid nitrogen levels)
  • Testing of Vala’s CyteSeer software for image analysis for functionality and comparison of measurements made by new builds against validated measurements from previous builds

Qualification & Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical field preferred
  • Fluency in LabVIEW required. LabVIEW CLAD (Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer) or higher certification is preferred. Additional fluency in other programming languages (C/C++/C#, Matlab, Java) is a plus.
  • Knowledge of Windows (Windows 7, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012) operating systems
  • Knowledge of MacOS
  • Competency in using common office environment programs, e.g. MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), Google Workspace (Docs, Sheets, Gmail, Google Drive)
  • Knowledge of command-line scripting
  • Knowledge of SVN (Tortoise SVN, GitHub) and other tools for compiling software
  • Knowledge of basic image processing with ImageJ
  • Experience with hardware control and automation
  • Experience with design and implementation of graphical user interfaces
  • Experience with fluorescence microscopy or related experience with image analysis or medical imaging is a plus
  • Strong written & verbal communication skills
  • Good problem-solving & troubleshooting skills
  • Good organizational skills
  • Capable of working independently and in team environments to a production schedule

Salary: $60k – 80k, depending on experience


  • Paid Time Off
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
  • 401(k)

Vala Sciences, Inc., builds high-speed (AKA super-slow motion) video microscopy instruments (IC200-KIC) for single-cell analyses of fast activities (action potentials, contraction, etc.) of human stem cell-derived brain, heart, muscle, and other cell types; develops and validates assays and screens to use in early drug development in pharmaceutical companies; and partners with them to perform services to develop new medical therapies.


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