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Lead Software Developer

Premium Job From Department for Education
Recruiter: Department for Education
Listed on: 22nd October
Location: Coventry CV1 2WT, Darlington DL1 5QE, Manchester M1 2WD, Nottingham NG1 6HJ, Sheffield S1 2FJ
Salary/Rate: £61,014 - £73,717
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

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Software development is a profession that is evolving within the Department, and you can be part of that change. As the Digital and Technology teams come together, we are looking to grow the profession and this post will be able to play a key role in defining and delivering that change. You can have a tangible impact on how the profession looks going forward, working across development teams and also working closely with the Head of Profession.
Job Description
These are exciting times at the Department for Education. We are transforming to become a user centred organisation, delivering better outcomes for all our users through agile and iterative software development and continuous improvement.

You will work with user researchers, product managers, designers, business analysts, delivery managers and content specialists as part of a multi-disciplinary team to directly deliver better outcomes for users. You will innovate to radically transform how public services are delivered and improved.

About the Department and Directorate

At the Department for Education, diversity is one of our cornerstones. Not just in terms of the background, skills and perspectives of the people who work here, but the different professions who call this organisation home.

The Digital and Technology Directorate are specialists in user centred design, delivery and technology. We partner with teams across the DfE to deliver world class services that improve the outcomes of children and learners in education and care.

The directorate is part of a wider Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) community across government, sharing a clear vision of making public services digital by default, simpler, clearer and faster to use.

As a Lead Developer at DfE, you will:

  • Be responsible for a team of developers, including line management.

  • Work with the development community to ensure we build sustainable digital products.

  • Stay up to date with, and lead the creation of, standards around development practices and techniques to best enable our teams to consistently deliver at pace.

  • Handle allocation of developers to teams, ensuring a good balance of personalities, skills and seniority, enabling the teams to deliver great services quickly.

  • Mentor development teams, helping to ensure that they are building things to our standards, and identifying opportunities for collaboration and career progression.

  • Advocate user-centric, agile approaches which focus on rapid, effective delivery of high quality digital services.

  • Contribute to transforming government into a modern, agile development centre by embedding practices like Test Driven Development, continuous deployment, and DevOps.

  • Support the sharing of methods and technologies across teams, government, and the industry by helping to organise internal and external events.

  • Help to publicise our achievements and learning through blog posts and social media.

  • Contribute towards providing support during office with the rest of the team, which will sometimes include out-of-hours cover where an allowance would be paid.

  • Work with the Head of Software Development to build and maintain a diverse, inclusive culture across the development community, growing awareness, inclusivity, and balance.

Selection Criteria

Successful candidates should be able to demonstrate the following essential skills and experience.

  • Expert knowledge of current and new technologies, and knowledge of open source principles and technologies, including Ruby on Rails or C# .NET.

  • Experience of leading and managing technical teams to deliver user-focused services in an agile environment.

  • Experience of championing practices such as Test-Driven Development, CI/CD, and DevOps, as well as modern development workflows, ideally using GitHub.

  • A cloud-first approach and experience of IaaS and PaaS solutions, as well as understanding infrastructure-as-code and containerisation.

  • Experience of good software design principles, such as OOD, SOLID, RESTful API design, and loosely coupled microservices architectures.

  • A good understanding of web application security and awareness of the OWASP Top 10 security vulnerabilities.

  • Experience of sharing knowledge, mentoring others, and working in a diverse and inclusive multi-disciplinary team.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Changing and Improving

Technical Skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Modern standard approach
  • Programming and build
  • A systematic approach to problem solving


New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band, which is £61,014 but could go up to the salary maximum, which is £68,717. For exceptional candidates, an additional market supplement allowance of up to £5,000 may also be available, but please note that this allowance is non-pensionable.

Applicants currently holding a permanent post in the Civil Service should note that, if successful, their salary on appointment would be determined by the Department's transfer / promotion policies.

As a member of the DfE, you will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK.

Annual Leave:
You will have 25 days leave, increasing by 1 day every year to a maximum of 30 days after five years' service. In addition, all staff receive the Queen's Birthday privilege holiday and 8 days' bank and public holidays.

Other Benefits:
  • As an organisation, which exists to support education and lifelong learning, we offer our staff excellent professional development opportunities.
  • We offer flexible working arrangements, such as job sharing, term-time working, flexi-time and compressed hours.
  • We provide great maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave.
  • We offer up to 5 days paid leave per year for voluntary work you may wish to undertake.
  • We also offer: Bike loans (subject to availability and location); Season ticket loans; eye-care vouchers; access to employee discount scheme; access to Employee Assistance Programme.
  • A wide variety of staff support networks including a Family Network, BAME Network, Wellbeing Network, Women's Network and many more.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.