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Site Reliability Engineer

Cabinet Office Government Digital Service -

Full-time (Permanent)
£58,800 - £69,015 (London) / £53,400 - £60,990 (National) Based on capability. The base salary of this grade is £58,800 for London and £53,400 for other locations.
Published on
29 August 2023
1 October 2023

Job description

As a Site Reliability Engineer at GDS you will:

  • be part of one of our multidisciplinary service teams working with and supporting front-end and back-end developers, delivery and product managers, tech writers and architects
  • build and maintain resilient, highly available and secure systems to meet the needs of our users
  • take responsibility for solving complex and interesting problems
  • create infrastructure as code to ensure our infrastructure and deployment pipelines are reusable, repeatable and reliable
  • ensure our systems are appropriately monitored and instrumented to enable our teams to identify and respond to operational issues quickly and effectively 
  • build CI/CD pipelines to enable our developers to get their code into production as quickly and safely as possible
  • act as a digital ambassador, sharing experiences through public speaking and blog posts
  • participate in our in-hours 2nd line and out-of-hours support rotas to gain empathy for users and awareness of operational concerns
  • share knowledge of tools and practices with your wider team and peers to drive consistency and maintain our high engineering standards

Person specification

We’re interested in people who:

  • are experienced with Linux operating system internals and are comfortable working with Linux virtual machines or containers
  • have experience of working with technologies that underpin digital services such as databases, web servers, DNS, CDNs, reverse proxies, message queues and load balancers
  • have experience of cloud infrastructure providers such as AWS
  • are familiar with container orchestration technologies such as Kubernetes, ECS or Cloud Foundry; or serverless application design such as AWS Lambda
  • have an understanding of SRE principles such as capacity planning, SLOs and SLIs and how to design and support resilient, large scale, high performance services in a production environment
  • can deploy monitoring tools to ensure systems are appropriately monitored and instrumented to enable teams to identify and respond to operational issues quickly and effectively
  • are familiar with at least one programming language (we use Node.js, Java, Python, Ruby and Go)
  • are very proficient using Git for version control
  • understand the benefits of continuous integration and continuous deployment and have experience with CI/CD tools such as Concourse, Jenkins, GitHub Actions and CodePipeline
  • have a strong preference for automation and experience of using Infrastructure as Code tools such as Terraform or CloudFormation
  • are able to use automated testing and test-driven development (TDD) to validate solutions and maintain code quality
  • have a good understanding of security principles and how to keep large operational services secure


The benefits of working at GDS

There are many benefits of working at GDS, including:

  • flexible hybrid working with flexi-time and the option to work part-time or condensed hours
  • a Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • 25 days of annual leave, increasing by a day each year up to a maximum of 30 days
  • an extra day off for The King’s birthday
  • an in-year bonus scheme to recognise high performance
  • career progression and coaching, including a training budget for personal development
  • paid volunteering leave
  • a focus on wellbeing with access to an employee assistance programme
  • job satisfaction from making government services easier to use and more inclusive for people across the UK
  • advances on pay, including for travel season tickets
  • death in service benefits
  • cycle to work scheme and facilities
  • access to children's holiday play schemes across different locations in central London
  • access to an employee discounts scheme
  • 10 learning days per year
  • volunteering opportunities (5 special leave days per year)
  • access to a suite of learning activities through Civil Service learning

GDS offers hybrid working for all employees. This means that everyone does some working from home and also spends some time in their local office. You’ll agree to your hybrid working arrangement with your line manager in line with your preferences and business needs.

Any move to Government Digital Service from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Things you need to know

Selection process details

The standard selection process for roles at GDS consists of:

  • a simple application screening process - We only ask for a CV and cover letter of up to 750 words. Important tip - please ensure that your cover letter includes how you meet the skills and experience listed in the “person specification” section above
  • a phone screen 
  • a technical interview (conducted over video conferencing)
  • a civil service behavioural interview (conducted over video conferencing)

Depending on how many applications we get, there might also be an extra stage before the video interview, for example a phone interview or a technical exercise.

In the Civil Service, we use Success Profiles to evaluate your skills and ability. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, increases performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. We’ll be assessing your technical abilities, skills, experience and behaviours that are relevant to this role.

For this role we’ll be assessing you against the following Civil Service Behaviours

  • working together
  • changing and improving
  • making effective decisions

We will also be assessing your experience and specialist technical skills against the following skills defined in the DDaT DevOps role:

  • availability and capacity management
  • development process optimisation
  • information security
  • modern standards approach
  • programming and build (software engineering)
  • service support
  • systems design
  • systems integration

Candidates that do not pass the interview but have demonstrated an acceptable standard may be considered for similar roles at a lower grade.

A reserve list will be held for a period of 12 months, from which further appointments can be made.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

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