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Data Engineering Senior Lead

Premium Job From Nesta
Recruiter: Nesta
Listed on: 11th November
Location: Edinburgh or London with flexibility to work remotely
Salary/Rate: £53,000 - £65,000
Salary Notes: plus excellent benefits
Type: Contract
Start Date: ASAP

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Data Engineering Senior Lead
£53k-£65k pa plus excellent benefits
3 year FTC, with the possibility for extension - this is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them.

Edinburgh or London with flexibility to work remotely

We are recruiting for a Data Engineering Senior Lead!

About Nesta

We are Nesta, the UK's innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society's biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better.  

The role
The successful candidate will direct the Data Engineering capacity to help build capacity for doing big data science. The role should appeal to an experienced data engineer who wants to apply their rigorous approach to problem solving, whilst deploying a diverse range of data technologies and data science methodologies. We have a small team of Data Engineers to underpin this work and so this role will appeal to those for whom the "elegant solution" is important.

As the Data Engineering Senior Lead you will:

  • Manage and set the direction for a small team of data engineers, and work alongside the wider team of data scientists, front-end developers and domain experts using data analytics to advance Nesta's missions around education, health and sustainability.
  • Take the lead role in developing robust and scalable infrastructure to boost data analytics at Nesta
  • Work closely with other Nesta teams to ensure that our methods scale effectively to meet the demands of Nesta's missions
  • Explore opportunities to develop new tools and data pipelines that build on our current stack of data infrastructure to advance Nesta's aspiring goals.
  • Work to meet the demands of some of Nesta's other standalone projects.
  • Identify opportunities to improve the open source software infrastructure to enable data analytics for social impact

Some examples of previous and current Nesta projects with a strong data engineering component include:

  • Open Jobs Observatory
  • arXlive
  • Creative Nation

You will develop our data infrastructure and data products in the following ways:

  • Developing novel strategies for data collection and processing including:
    • Sophisticated web-scraping methods
    • Machine learning methods at scale
    • Data pipelines
    • Database development
    • Big data technologies
  • Ongoing development, support and maintenance of the Data Analytics and Production System (DAPS) which underpins nesta's ability to collect, process and store data at scale:
    • Software reviews and management of the DAPS codebase
    • Implementing patches and hotfixes to unstable data pipelines
    • Managing CI/CD pipelines
    • Collaborate with Nesta's IT team to integrate cloud services into DAPS
  • Leading the Data Engineering capacity, including:
    • Making and taking ownership of long-term strategic decisions on infrastructure and interaction with the rest of Nesta
    • Hiring, line management and oversight of individuals in a Data Engineering capacity
    • Reporting to senior management on progress and development of long-term infrastructure

The person



  • A BSc or MSc qualification in a relevant quantitative discipline plus three years relevant experience,


  • At least five years relevant experience;


  • At least five years' experience programming in Python.
  • Experience developing in a UNIX environment.
  • Data pipeline technologies (e.g. Airflow, Luigi);
  • CI/CD technologies (e.g. Actions, Jenkins, Travis);
  • Database technologies as an administrator, developer and user of any mainstream database (SQL, NoSQL, Graph);
  • Git + GitHub (or equivalent) for version control, whilst working in a collaborative development or production environment;
  • Text processing pipelines, or machine learning and natural language processing methods;
  • ETL with standard python tools;
  • Cloud development and/or management using AWS (EC2, ECS, batch, S3);
  • Line management experience;


  • Project management experience;
  • Online data collection, e.g. via web-scraping and APIs;
  • Strategic decision-making with regards to technology stack, skills and relationships inside and outside of the organisation.
  • Experience of working in the public or third sector, or a start-up environment;
  • A strong communicator with a candid and fair approach to prioritising tasks.

What we offer
Salary: £53k-£65k plus array of benefits, including health cash plans, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more

Location: This role is based can be based in London or Edinburgh, we also offer flexibility for our people to work remotely

Term: 3 year FTC, with the possibility for extension

Hours: This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them. Many do.

Reports to: Director of Data Analytics

Making an application
To apply for this role, please submit your application before 8:00am on the 29th of November 2021. Interviews will take place w/c 6th of December 2021.

At Nesta, we believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more innovative, more creative and gets better results.

We want our workforce to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our workplace to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.

This means that when we are recruiting, we actively seek to reach a diverse pool of candidates. It also means that we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.

We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life, so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, compressed or part-time hours, job shares and other arrangements.

Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you'd like to explore.