Full Job Description
Come work for the USPTO, we have been ranked as one of the best places to work in the federal government! The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. We are responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Jobs Website.
The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on the application of information technology (IT) to support and improve the Agency’s business processes. The Office of Organizational Policy and Governance (OPG) provides the management and oversight of enterprise Information Technology (IT) strategies, guidance, policies, and agency-wide cybersecurity. This position is located the Software Quality Assurance Division that is responsible for monitoring and executing software development testing standards for OCIO’s coding, source code control, code reviews, testing, release management, and product integration within an established software development life cycle.
This position will be responsible for:
Utilizing the abstract concepts of computer science, including computer architecture and system software for the development of modular and reusable functions.
Designing and constructing automated testing frameworks that provide automated solutions over various platforms and applications.
Configuration automation tools and open source software.
Researching, analyzing, and providing recommendations around current and emerging IT trends and technologies.
Understanding the system and components in order to implement appropriate automation and validation.
Job family (Series)
1550 Computer Science
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
You must meet time-in-grade-requirements.
Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov)
Suitable for Federal employment.
Time-in-grade/band requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement unless eligible for special hiring authority, reinstatement eligible, non-current Federal employee applying as a VEOA eligible which do not require time-in-grade/band.
You must meet the following United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements for the advertised position. OPM's prescribed Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Computer Scientist can be found at Qualification Standard. You must meet all qualification requirements including time-in-grade (refer to 5 CFR 300.604 for more information on time-in-grade) by the closing date of the job announcement.
Specialized Experience:is experience that has equipped applicants with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the federal service.
Candidates for the GS-14 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service.
Specialized experience for this position includes
Experience conducting software and infrastructure research to determine testing strategies for software application and infrastructure-related projects.
Experience performing analysis on software development test standards and compliances to ensure that the software performance is in accordance with the business unit requirements.
Bachelor's degree in computer science or bachelor's degree with 30 semester hours in a combination of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. At least 15 of the 30 semester hours must have included any combination of statistics and mathematics that included differential and integral calculus.
TRANSCRIPTS MUST BE PROVIDED TO VERIFY POSITIVE EDUCATION REQUIREMENT. FOREIGN TRANSCRIPTS REQUIRE AN EVALUATION AS INDICATED IN THE EDUCATION SECTION OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
PLEASE SEE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS LISTED IN THE QUALIFICATION SECTION.
Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website – US Department of Education. Another listing of services that can perform this evaluation is available at the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) website. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.
NOTE: Only education and experience acquired before the filing deadline will be considered. Report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Applicants applying for this position must be a United States Citizen.
If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.
This is a bargaining unit position.
This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "moderate".
Except as prohibited by law, all applicants tentatively selected for positions needing a Top Secret Clearance will be required to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and, if appointed, the incumbent will be subjected to random drug testing procedures.
Background Investigation - If selected for this position, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306), which includes a fingerprint and credit check, to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
The USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit the Department of Homeland Security Website.
Probationary Period- If selected, you may be required to complete an initial one-year probationary period.
All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice.
Relocation Expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.
CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be eligible for selection priority if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a "well qualified" rating of 85 out of 100. Information about CTAP and ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at: http://www.opm.gov/ctap. CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements are listed in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.
More than one selection may be made from this announcement if additional identical vacancies in the same title, series, grade, and unit occur within 90 days from the date the certificate was issued.
All application materials become the property of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors. If you believe that you have been discriminated against and would like to file an EEO complaint, you must do so within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act. Claims of employment discrimination must be submitted to the attention of the USPTO’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (571-272-8292).
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume and your responses to job specific self-assessment questions. Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate possession of any specialized experience and how well your background and experience relates to the self-assessment questions in the job announcement.
The self-assessment questions relate to the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies (KSA's). You do not have to respond to the KSA's.
KSA 1 - Applying the theoretical foundations of computer science.
KSA 2 - Ability to deliver web-based software development and support with Automated Testing
KSA 3 - Knowledge of leading edge software design tools and approaches focusing on various testing tools.
KSA 4 - Ability to manage a diverse program of work consisting of multiple projects requiring establishment and dynamic adjustment of priorities and milestones, ensuring customer needs are met with robust and credible tools.
Your responses to the self assessment questions serve as the basis for your initial rating. You will receive a numerical score based on your responses to these questions. Next, your responses will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and/or a subject matter expert against the information provided in your resume and optional cover letter. Your resume must support your answers to the self assessment questions, or your score may be adjusted or lowered accordingly which may affect your overall final rating. The best qualified candidates will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview. If referred all relevant documents submitted with your application package will be forwarded to the selecting official, due weight shall be given to performance appraisals and awards in accordance with 5 CFR § 335.103(b)(3), during the interview/selection process conducted by the hiring manager. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you or for changing your scored responses to questions you’ve answered, which may affect your overall final score.
If you are invited for an interview, you will be asked to bring a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the "Required Documents" section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk
Trust determination process
A complete application consists of:
1. A resume or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications; optional cover letter: Your resume should indicate your citizenship and should list your educational and work experience including titles, salary, employment dates, duties, experience and how it relates to the specialized experience in the job announcement. Please Note: Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your resume may result in adjustments to your rating. Any experience claimed in a cover letter should be substantiated by information contained in your resume. A HR Representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the hiring official.
2. Transcripts: You MUST submit copies of your college transcripts for verification of the education requirements. Unofficial copies are accepted, however, if selected you will be required to furnish official transcripts. It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the above educational requirement. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification and loss of consideration.
PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility and qualification requirements for this position may be contacted via email within 7 business days of this announcement closing to submit follow-up supporting docs if applicable. Applicants applying as current/former Federal employees OR as VEOA eligibles who fail to submit supporting documents within 5 business days of receiving the email request will lose further consideration for this position. Applicants claiming CTAP/ICTAP or Sch A eligibility who fail to submit supporting documents within 5 business days of receiving the email request will not lose consideration for this position, however they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration. Supporting docs that may be requested of applicants after the closing date of this announcement are:
1. Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) - For current and/or former Federal employees, your status eligibility and highest permanent grade/step/salary held in the Federal service will be validated with a copy of your most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action" so that we may verify your time-in-grade.
2. Performance Appraisal - Recent performance appraisal with supervisor's signature showing the official final rating of record, and copy of incentive award(s). In cases where the performance appraisal is incomplete or unavailable, applicants may provide explanation of the reasons.
3. Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) documents - If you are a Veteran claiming eligibility under VEOA, you will be asked to submit a copy of your DD-214. Veterans must include dates of military service on their application materials, and submit a copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more info, please visit Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans.
4. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) documents - Applicants will be asked to submit:
(1) A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documents of priority consideration status;
(2) A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade, and duty location;
(3) A copy of your last performance appraisal and the rating; and
(4) Any documents from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.
5. Special Appointing Authorities - If you are applying under the special appointing authority such as those authorized for the severely disabled (Schedule A) or Vietnam era and disabled veterans (VRA), you will be asked to submit documents showing eligibility to non-competitively apply under Merit Assignment announcements. Please indicate the type of special appointment you are seeking on your application. For more info on non-competitive appointments and supporting documents, please visit Federal Employment of People with Disabilities or Feds Hire Vets - Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans.
You can choose ONE of the following methods to submit Supporting Documents:
1) You can upload your documents when you register or update your information on the Dept. of Commerce site which you access through the USAJobs site.
2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.
Your application and all required documents must be received by 11:59 pm ET on the closing date of this job announcement.
NOTE: The preceding documents requirement are based on job requirements and individual applicant eligibility. Not all documents are applicable to all applicants; if you are unsure which documents apply to you, contact the HR Specialist listed on this announcement.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, paid holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) and Telework Program are available to eligible employees.
Please visit USPTO New Employee Information for additional information.
Visit Working for the Federal Government to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement
Federal agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. USPTO Job Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at http://www.uspto.gov/accommodation. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
This job is open to
Individuals with disabilities
Federal employees - Competitive service
Current or former competitive service federal employees.
Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)
Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee.
Individuals eligible under a special authority not listed above, but defined in the federal hiring regulations.
Clarification from the agency
Applications will be accepted from current Federal employees serving on career or career-conditional appointment in the Competitive Service, former Federal employees with reinstatement eligibility, persons eligible under special hiring authorities including Schedule A and VEOA, and CTAP/ICTAP eligible candidates in the local commuting area.