Software developer

DfE Digital -

Full-time (Permanent)
Published on
14 October 2020
19 October 2020

As a software developer you will:

  • Build user-centred, open source, RESTful web systems to serve a variety of citizen and government needs
  • Be responsible for development of large areas of projects, or small projects in their entirety
  • Build automated tests to support our continuous deployment environment
  • Share knowledge of tools and techniques with the wider team and community, both developers and non-developers
  • Transform government into a more agile organisation by helping to embed modern development practices
  • Help build and maintain a diverse, inclusive culture across the development community, growing awareness, inclusivity, and balance
  • Occasionally participate in 2nd line support during office hours
  • Possibly manage a small number of less experienced developers
  • Help with hiring, taking part in recruitment of other developers


  • You will have demonstrable experience of agile software development, ideally in Ruby, and a good working knowledge of modern back-end web frameworks, such as Rails, as well as an understanding of front-end development in HTML, CSS and Javascript
  • You’ll also have some knowledge of, or a willingness to learn, other languages as required e.g. C#, Python, PHP, Java, or similar
  • An understanding of version control (ideally with Git) is essential, as is an awareness of automated testing techniques, modern deployment approaches and how cloud infrastructure is managed


Essential Criteria

As a software developer, you’ll be able to demonstrate the following essential criteria, which will be used during application sifting:

  • At least 2 years experience of software development, with knowledge of Ruby, Python, PHP, Javascript, Java, or similar
  • Experience using automated tests to continuously validate your work
  • Enthusiasm for sharing knowledge and working in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Familiarity with practices such as Test Driven Development (TDD), continuous integration, continuous delivery, and DevOps
  • Experience of mentoring and supporting your colleagues, whether one-to-one or in group

    Ideally you should also be able to demonstrate the following desirable criteria:

    • A systematic approach to solving problems
    • Experience of modern development and deployment techniques, including continuous integration and continuous delivery
    • Experience of working in agile environments
    • A working knowledge of unix-like operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X
    • An awareness of technologies used for web applications, e.g databases, backups, CDNs and search, and of Unix-like operating systems, eg. Linux and/or Mac OS
    • The ability to quickly learn new languages and frameworks and willingness to pick the right tool for the job
    • The ability to manage technical debt appropriately and proportionately
    • Knowledge of open source principles and technologies 

Desirable criteria will only be assessed in the event of a tie break situation to make an informed decision

Technical skills

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

  • Technical Pairing Exercise
  • Programming and build (software engineering)
  • Systems design
  • Modern standards approach
  • Systems integration
  • Development process optimisation
  • Prototyping

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