As unusual IT jobs go, this one has to be the month’s standout: the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is seeking a data engineer to help decommission 150 legacy coastguard workstations, create new AIS base stations and update a good few computers from Windows 7 too if they have the time.
Expect some craggy locations…
The coastguard agency — responsible for 11,000 miles of coast and called out to 22,600 incidents in 2018 — turns 198 years old in January 2020 and is the largest operator of aviation in government outside of the MoD. It is midway through a sweeping modernisation programme that has seen it pledge to launch a new “pan-government aerial surveillance service” by 2020.
That comprehensive drone-based system appears to be some way from full deployment, but meanwhile it is overhauling 146 of its Coastguard workstations in a project that has to be completed by the 28 of February 2020. As part of this work the engineer will have to decommission 150 legacy workstations, safely removing and disposing of hardware by December 31.
In particular it is looking for a data engineer to help deliver the rollout of new Automatic Identification System (AIS) base stations at several points on the UK coastline. AIS was first developed to provide an extra buffer for collision avoidance alongside radar capabilities. It is now instrumental in the security and tracking of commercial vessels and is used all across the globe.
Essentially AIS consists of a transponder installed in ships that constantly transmits the ships ID, position, speed and course.
Here is one example of its work: “The Coastguard helicopter from St Athan rescued two young men clinging to the rocks off Hartland Point on 15th February 2018, after they became cut off by the tide. With 6ft waves crashing over them, they were at immediate risk of being washed out to sea.
“Once on scene the helicopter crew rescued the men in under two minutes, despite the winchman being hit by a large unsighted wave as he was manoeuvred towards the two casualties.”
The successful candidate will work out of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham, but given the nature of the work, especially the legacy decommissioning, they should expect to see a bit of the country.
The specialist will also be tasked with helping the MCA’s internal teams work with the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to update all of the workstations to Windows 10.
Must have experience of routing and processing of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) messages.
Knowledge of LAN/WAN configuration and protocols including IP Subnetting, vlans, Spanning Tree, GRE, IKE/IPSEC, VoIP and multicast
Administration and support of Windows 7 and Windows 10 desktops. First and Second-line hardware fault diagnosis (cabling, switches, routers and firewalls – predominantly Cisco based, but some Juniper included).
Knowledge of enterprise management tools such as Cisco Security Manager, Cisco Wireless LAN Controller, Cisco Prime Infrastructure and VMWare vSphere and SCCM packaging.
The contract length is for four months running from December till the end of March 2020 and the maximum day rate is capped at £534 (ex VAT).