The Open Learning Initiative builds rich, interactive, and effective online courses. We are an innovative, multidisciplinary team pairing research and engineering to increase access to and improve outcomes in higher education.

We are seeking an experienced Linux systems administrator to manage, maintain, and scale our web-based learning environment.

Join our team and architect solutions for cloud based deployment, provisioning and configuration management, and scalable fault tolerant systems. In addition to other benefits, you can take Carnegie Mellon courses for free and may even pursue a degree. We also offer flexible work hours, free gym membership, and three weeks of paid time off.

Our offices are on the lovely Carnegie Mellon University campus, located near shops and restaurants on Craig St. and bordering Schenley Park.


  • Manage development, quality assurance, and production environments. Install, maintain, and configure system and application software. Review and implement new vendor supplied patches and upgrades. Facilitate new applications and services. Attend to all systems administration tasks required to ensure 24×7 operations.
  • Design and implement a scalable, fault tolerant architecture for applications and systems. Benchmark and load test application servers; test failover capabilities. Project future utilization and size systems appropriately.
  • Migrate existing Java enterprise applications to the cloud. Automate provisioning and maintenance of new systems and installations.
  • Standardize operating system and application configurations across systems. Develop tools and processes for deploying application software and managing data.
  • Participate in design and review of new systems and applications. Work with the software development team on implementation and deployment. Recommend modifications to improve performance and reliability.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve complex technical issues that are escalated from the help desk. Monitor system performance and respond to system incidents. Perform or assist in troubleshooting and diagnosing production problems; correct identified problems; document issues and resolutions. Work with software and hardware vendors on technical issues.
  • May need to be on-call during off hours and respond to Tier 2 support issues or system outages.


Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems or related field, Master’s preferred.
Three or more years of Linux systems administration experience. Five or more years of related experience and advanced knowledge of scalable systems architectures is preferred.
  • Ability to install, configure, monitor and maintain JBoss, MySQL and Apache on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • Demonstrated expertise in scaling Java enterprise applications and relational database systems. In depth knowledge of systems architectures for load balancing and fault tolerance.
  • Experience with automated provisioning and configuration management of servers in large scale, mission critical production environments.
  • Experience with cloud based and/or virtualized SaaS deployment scenarios. Familiarity with Amazon Web Services is preferred.
  • Ability to implement security best practices, harden systems, assess and mitigate vulnerabilities. Remain knowledgeable of information security threats and practice defense-in-depth.
  • Ability to identify, isolate and resolve systems problems. Proactively maintain application and system software.
  • Architect, implement and maintain partitioning and replication of MySQL databases.
  • Strong working knowledge of common systems administration tools, network backup solutions, system monitoring, advanced shell scripting, TCP/IP networking and firewalls.
Additional Preferred Skills
  • Experience with Java application server or Tomcat clustering.
  • Experience deploying distributed caching technologies (memcached, ehcache or JBoss Cache).
  • Familiarity with web performance optimization techniques and tools. Configure and optimize Apache for SSL, compression, content negotiation, caching and expiration, AJP proxy, etc.
  • Familiarity with enterprise authentication or directory systems and web based SSO through Shibboleth,SAML or OpenID.

Apply for this position