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Working as a Python Developer at the Home Office

I completed a computing degree studying part time, and in my last year I worked for a company that produced personal safety devices for lone workers. I was responsible for creating new features and maintaining the existing system for the online customer service portal. I also maintained a legacy internal tool which used the same tech stack as the customer service portal.

The main tech stack I interacted with included C#, ASP Web forms, and SQL Server. I joined the Home Office as an associate software developer in the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT), Homeland Security team. The tech stack I used there was Java, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jenkins and Terraforms. Then I moved to the Data Analytics team where I currently work, writing Python code.

In just a little over a year I was promoted to a mid-level software developer and my current project still supports Homeland Security, where I am helping to protect the safety of UK citizens every day.

I wanted to join the Home Office to make a difference, particularly in public safety and counterterrorism. I was also attracted by the great benefits on offer, which includes a generous annual leave entitlement, flexible working hours, a civil service pension with employer contribution of 26.6 – 30.3%, paid-for learning opportunities and more. There is also a recruitment and retention allowance for those working in the DDaT team where your skills and experience are considered when applying for a role or during your employment.

Since joining the Home Office, I have been able to make use of learning and development opportunities with technologies such as AWS accredited training funded by the Home Office. In my role, I start my day with a morning stand up meeting with colleagues working across the project, otherwise called a scrum meeting. I work on various Jira tickets (tasks) each day. Some can take just a few hours, and others might take a couple of weeks depending on their complexity and the amount of work required.

The technologies I use day-to-day are Python, PostgreSQL, AWS, Docker, and Kubernetes, to name a few. The project I work on is an investigative lead generation tool which processes complex data from various sources. This tool analyses the data gathered and contributes towards the safety of UK citizens. I also assist with recruitment activities, sitting on interview panels for similar roles to mine to help build our teams to deliver this important work. My main go-to tech for debugging Python code is a programme called PyCharm. We also make use of a pytest suite which is used to write and maintain unit integration and end-to-end tests for our code bases. Occasionally SQL might cause issues rather than Python code, in which case I might debug SQL in a programme called DBeaver, which is what we use to write and troubleshoot our SQL code in.

Why should job seekers consider a digital and tech career at the Home Office?

There are great opportunities for development and progression and plenty of interesting, meaningful projects you can be involved in. There are many different career paths you can take, depending on what you choose to specialise in. Whatever tech stack you are familiar with, there will always be a project where your skills are required. You will also be able to learn and develop your skills whilst working on the project and there is dedicated time given to employees for training and development.

Find out more and apply

To learn more about the opportunities on offer, visit our Home Office careers website and apply for one of our exciting digital roles on offer. 

You can also hear from the team at our upcoming engineering online recruitment event on 20 September 12:00 – 13:00. Sign up for free to secure your place.

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What's NewFeatured stories and upcoming events with the Digital, Data and Technology Team at the Home OfficeRead our blog about how we are becoming more user-centred in our approach to the design and delivery of our products and services, whilst working alongside other technical professions, to build a complex data-driven product. To learn more about why it is our goal to find ways of embedding diversity and inclusion into our research and design practices, visit our blog page.To learn more about what it's like to work within the Delivery Profession inside the Home Office, visit our blog page. You can find more stories from the team and be the first to hear about upcoming events on our Digital Data and Technology LinkedIn Life and Home Office Careers pages. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------You can read about the professions and roles on our careers website. Hear from the teamWatch the videos to hear from Software Engineers, Charlotte and Sulthan within the DDaT Engineering team about the projects their working on and how delivering public services at the Home Office can positively impact millions of lives every day.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Home OfficeThe Home Office is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, fire, counter-terrorism and policing every day, our work delivers outcomes for UK citizens, providing them with the means to travel the world, tackling illegal migration and removing foreign national offenders, disrupting terrorist attacks and organised criminal groups, stopping people from becoming victims of crime and supporting those who require asylum and safeguarding.To achieve all this, we rely on talented people with a wide range of skills. This includes digital, data and technology skills, where we are recruiting to our teams based in Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow and Croydon. Learn more about our work and organisation The DDaT Profession Career Framework features over 150 defined roles, grouped into 9 skills clusters – with staff often employed across fast-paced, multi-disciplinary teams: The 9 clusters are: ArchitectureCyber Security Data Engineering IT Operations Product Quality Assurance and TestingTechnology Delivery Management User Centred Design Why join Home Office Digital, Data and Technology?Home Office Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) designs, builds and develops services for the rest of the department and for government. Our role is to enable transformation through improved business efficiency. The DDaT function is made up of around 2,300 staff, augmented by a number of supplier partners. Every year our systems support up to 3 million visa applications, checks on 100 million border crossings, up to 8 million passport applications and delivers 140 million police checks on people, vehicles and property. The scale of our projects is matched only by the opportunities for our people.We are a friendly team who will support and challenge you to contribute. Our culture is inclusive, progressive and values the unique contributions everyone makes. Our tech strategy is also clear: we work in agile product- and user-centred teams, with cloud native and interdisciplinary working as the focus. Digital inclusion, accessibility and forming a technical community across departments are also key. Our main delivery centres are in Manchester Sheffield, Croydon, Glasgow, but we also have offices in Southport, Westminster, Liverpool, west London and north London. The team in Manchester is based in The Soapworks which is within the Media City boundary, 1½ miles from Manchester city centre, 2½ miles away from Manchester Piccadilly station and a 2-minute walk from the Exchange Quay tram stop.We offer a range of benefits for staff, including outstanding pensions schemes and a serious focus on continuous professional development. Learning and DevelopmentWe offer Learning and Development opportunities relevant to your role, which could include: AWS training and certification, Azure training and certification, O’Reilly Books as well as high quality management training, for example.In addition, we offer allocated study leave and support when studying for a relevant qualification or other accredited development. This may include BCS Membership, for example, or study towards a degree or masters qualification. Diversity & Inclusion We are committed to representing modern Britain in all its diversity, creating a welcoming, inclusive workforce where people can bring their whole selves to work. We’re proud to be one of the most ethnically diverse departments in the Civil Service, a Stonewall Top 100 Workplace Equality Employer and a Social Mobility Foundation Top 75 employer. We work to recruit and retain disabled staff and are a Disability Confident Leader. Our benefits Competitive starting salaries for your gradeAn additional allowance of up to £13,700 for candidates with exceptional skills and experienceA Civil Service pension with employer contribution rates of between 26.6% and 30.3%, depending on salary A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity Learning and development tailored to your roleAn environment with flexible working options25 days annual leave on appointment, rising to 30 days after 10 years' service, plus 8 days public holidays and 1 day additional privilege dayWe also offer:Season ticket loans and rental deposit loans Cycle to work and payroll givingEmployee discounts - including a huge number of retailers (via the Edenred platform), Microsoft Home Use programme and gym membership A variety of staff recognition schemes Health and wellbeing initiativesStaff support networksMaternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay, followed by 13 weeks of statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaidUp to 5 days paid leave for volunteeringStudy leave and support for studying for a qualification or other accredited development relevant to your roleJoin us and make a difference If you’re looking for a digital career where you can make an impact, using cutting edge tech and have the opportunity to build your CV with projects that will help you stand out from the crowd, see our current available roles on offer. You can also read our blog to learn more about our people and the brilliant work they do and follow us on LinkedIn and X.

Home Office Digital, Data and Technology

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