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Seeking Blender Software Developer


Harvard Medical School is looking for an experienced Blender Python coder - a job for 2 years.

Janet Iwasa writes:

Seeking a Blender Python Software Developer
We are seeking a senior Python software developer for an exciting new project focused on creating new 3D animation software for biologists.  The Python developer will work together with a small team of biologists and animators at Harvard Medical School to transform the open source 3D application Blender into a streamlined tool for creating molecular animations.  The primary responsibility for this position is to design, implement and deploy a new user interface and biological animation tools within the Blender application.  In addition, the Python developer will oversee the work of a junior Python developer who will assist in the implementation of animation tools, and participate in beta-testing workshops and outreach efforts to disseminate the software.

Basic Qualifications

B.A., B.S. or equivalent in computer science or related field is required.  Candidates should have extensive experience programming in Python, with 3+ years of designing and implementing cross-platform (Windows/MacOS/Linux) software applications, and a strong background in clean user interface design.  The ideal candidate will have experience programming in C/C++ and familiarity with open-source programming.  In addition, strong communication and leadership skills and a high degree of motivation and self-sufficiency are required.

Additional Qualifications

A demonstrated interest in cell/molecular biology and/or 3D animation is a significant plus.  Experience with web-based data management systems also a plus.

Additional Information

To apply, please email a cover letter describing relevant experience and interests, CV and contact information to [email protected].

This is a 2-year position with renewal dependent on continued funding. Preferred start date is September - October 2011


  1. I wouldn't post a work email address on a job opening list. Get a disposable email from the school or use something like gmail.

  2. Hello,

    Glad to see some lively talk about this job posting.

    I can assure you that the job is indeed legitimate, and will be posted publicly on the Harvard Employment website within the next two weeks (it is initially advertised only internally). The gmail address is purely one for convenience for sorting through job applications, and I apologize if that has caused confusion.

    In regards to BioBlender -- I know Monica, the person who has led the BioBlender project, and have her support to potentially incorporate the tools she has built into this new application. The key idea for our project is to try and create a streamlined, molecular-specific application that caters towards biologists who have never done any animation. BioBlender (and other toolkits in other platforms) require the user to know a great deal about animation already, which would make it difficult for animation tools to become widely adopted by scientists.



  3. @HMSviz:

    "BioBlender (and other toolkits in other platforms) require the user to know a great deal about animation already, which would make it difficult for animation tools to become widely adopted by scientists."

    From the experience of my group, i can say that BioBlender is not hard to use, also without an animation background.
    With few mouse clicks you have your molecule in the scene, already meshed, you can easily turn around it and look at its surface properties, and easily understand lipophilic and hydrophilic patches. At the same time, you can look also to its EP.
    Also, the folding protein animation is guided by BioBlender, you have only to decide some settings.


  4. Hi all, Hi Janet,

    I feel I should specify that the work that Janet proposes with the Harvard school, has no link with BioBlender. I am a little surprised to read that "BioBlender require the user to know a great deal about animation" and indeed I wish to know some more details about this. We have made an effort to guide the user through the steps of making an animation, as described in the tutorial here (; indeed, we never had any request or comment from users to indicate this.

    Also the claim that Janet has my "support to potentially incorporate the tools " into this new project is a little strong: I learned almost by chance about this project well after it was thought, proposed and funded. Indeed, Janet (claimed to) had never seen BioBlender when notified me about this project. However, BioBlender is released in the spirit of open source, and is available to anyone.

    I can only add that the fact that the Harvard group, that has been producing biological animations for years using Maya, finally embraced Blender can only be a good news for the Blender community: late is better than never, and I have no doubt that the expertise that such wealthy group can afford, can only enrich the Blender project in its entirety.

    Welcome to Blender, Janet!


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