Breeding Insight team members don protective clothing as they prepare to enter a salmon breeding facility.
BI Director Moira Sheehan (right) with BI Lead Developer Tim Parsons (left) at the USDA National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center in Franklin, Maine.

Breeding Insight is hiring!

Join us in the first large-scale public-sector effort to systematically apply genomic information to the breeding of specialty crops and animals. Our dynamic, multidisciplinary team of specialists at Cornell University is growing!

Current Opportunities

Science Team Positions

Development Team Positions

Lead Software Engineer

The Lead Software Engineer manages the entire software development division within Breeding Insight.  The role requires the management and direction of all aspects of software development and integration, including planning, designing, implementing, and maintaining software applications built and used by Breeding Insight.  The Lead Software Engineer, in concert with the scientific and training teams, will work as part of a national initiative to extend the application of genotypic information to the routine development of specialty crops and animals. Breeding of specialty crops and animals has lagged behind major crops and livestock, though these specialty species together have equal economic value to the major crops and provide valuable nutrition and flavor to diets. One of Breeding Insight’s aims is to accelerate breeding efforts by integrating the use of phenomics (trait analysis) with genomics and natural variation to increase the rate of genetic gain to create healthy, nutritious, and sustainable specialty crops and animals.  Breeding Insight currently supports 19 ARS specialty species with 9 more expected at the start of 2024.

The Lead Software Engineer is located in Ithaca, NY, at Cornell University and will report directly to the Breeding Insight Director.  Remote work options are possible for candidates residing within the continental US and willing to travel.  The Lead Software Engineer will manage multiple direct reports including software engineers and quality assurance analysts.  The incumbent will work directly with the Breeding Program Lead, Product Owner, Training and Communications Lead, and Program Associate as part of the Breeding Insight leadership team to guide BI endeavors and strategies.  The Lead Software Engineer will be responsible for identifying technical requirements, setting technical direction, planning bi-weekly sprints, supporting direct-reports in their day-to-day work, and implementing software features.  The incumbent will also work closely with the Product Owner to identify product requirements and plan releases.  The Lead Software Engineer will be expected to interface with software teams outside of Breeding Insight to facilitate collaboration on common goals, integrate existing third-party applications and tools, and to help identify required enhancements to existing third party applications and tools.  Long-term success will be based on evidence of a measurable increase in the rate in which tools and technologies are adopted within supported Breeding Programs.

The Lead Software Engineer will be recruited based on core competency in several different areas, including software development skills, software development life cycle knowledge, team management, and project management.  Excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills are required as is the ability to assimilate and interpret results for decision-making.  Must have experience in project management with demonstrated skills in presenting clear project updates and technological content to a diverse community.  Must show the ability to mentor colleagues in quality software development practices.  Experience with a multitude of technologies and languages including high level programming languages and relational database tools is required.  Above all, the Lead Software Engineer must have exceptional verbal and written communication skills.

  • A bachelor’s degree in a Computer Science related field with 7-10 years of software development experience, and 2-3 years of people management experience is required.
  • Travel is expected within the United States at a level of 10-15%.
  • Experience in and/or demonstrated commitment to supporting diversity, equity, access, inclusion, and well being.
  • Demonstrated skill in understanding of cultural differences.

Experience that would be extra helpful but is not required:

  • Experience with cloud computing services and designing distributed systems.

Positions with ARS Breeders

About Breeding Insight

Breeding Insight (BI) is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) initiative hosted at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Our Mission

The Breeding Insight initiative was launched in 2018 to level the playing field in the genomics era, creating new opportunities for specialty breeders in assimilating tools, technologies, and methods to catalyze the routine and accessible use of genomic insights. We integrate phenomics (trait analysis), genomics (genotypic data), data management, and software tools to help breeders increase the rate of genetic gain and create more healthy, nutritious, and sustainable specialty crops and animals.


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