London, Bristol, Manchester
Full time (37 hours per week), Job share, Flexible working, Part time, Condensed hours
Grade 7 / Band A
£54,700 - £64,500 (London) / £49,700 - £57,000 (National) - Depending on capability - The base salary of this grade is £54,700 (London) / £49,700 (National). Any offer made above this will be made up with a specialist pay allowance
Basic Check (BPSS)

30 September 2022

Who we are

GDS exists to help government make brilliant public services that empower people in the UK. We work at the very centre of government to drive digital transformation, focused on users. We build and maintain common platforms, products and tools for others to use and create great public services that are accessible, inclusive and easy to use. We also work with departments to identify patterns, share learning and create change to make a government more efficient.

Our teams are organised around delivering on our priorities, these are:
  • Make it easier for people to find what they are looking for on GOV.UK
  • Build common service platforms to make it simpler and cheaper to build quality digital services
  • Promote agile, user-centred design practices both in the UK and across the world

What you'll do

We're looking for developers of all experiences and backgrounds who can work across a range of services. During the application process, we will take your skills and any preference you express on-board and aim to match you to an appropriate service and team. GDS staff move between services and teams on need and request and as a result, you may be required to learn a new programming language.

GOV.UK is the place to find government information and services. It's designed to make dealing with government simpler, clearer and faster. It's a microservices based architecture, primarily based upon Ruby on Rails, with PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch and a variety of other technologies. Read more about GOV.UK on the Inside GOV.UK Blog.

The Government as a Platform (GaaP) programme provides a range of shared services, solving common problems across government:

GaaP supports essential services used by millions of people every day, playing a vital role in digital transformation across the public sector.

Digital identity enables people to prove who they are online, with the necessary level of confidence to access and use particular services. Effective identity assurance is central to digital transformation, and the Government is committed to establishing a standards-based digital identity ecosystem that allows individuals to safely access a range of public and private sector services.

8 million people have already used the current cross-government system - GOV.UK Verify - to identify themselves and interact with public services digitally. GDS is now working closely with other departments to develop a new solution - GOV.UK Sign In - that will make it even easier to login and access services. GOV.UK Sign In is a serverless system built with Java, AWS Lambda, API Gateway and DynamoDB, with a front end in Node.js and TypeScript.

As a developer in GDS you’ll:

  • work as part of a multi-disciplinary agile team, getting involved with every part of the lifecycle of a service, from user research to deploying code to production
  • build RESTful web services to serve a variety of citizen and government needs, taking responsibility for the quality of code you produce
  • implement toolkits and APIs for purposes such as integration, performance optimisation, security and scalability
  • share knowledge of tools and techniques with your wider team, both developers and non-developers
  • share your work and the things you’ve learned through blog posts and show and tells, with the option of presenting at conferences and meetups
  • support the live operation of the services we run, and participate in out-of-hours support rotas where necessary - you'll be paid an allowance, and a further hourly payment, for any duties you perform when on call
  • help recruit other developers and, where appropriate, getting involved with sifting and interviewing

You’ll share the responsibility for the digital transformation of government. You’ll ensure high quality code is delivered in line with programme goals and delivery cycles. You’ll thrive using agile methods and enjoy working openly, collaboratively and as part of a multidisciplinary team focused on one or more services. Above all, you’ll want to make government better, which may sometimes involve challenging the status quo.

To learn more about what developers do in government please review the DDaT Capability Framework.

Who you'll be

We’re interested in people who:

  • have experience in back-end development, with detailed knowledge of either Ruby, Java, Node.js or Python
  • understand software design principles
  • research and learn new programming tools and techniques
  • take a systematic approach to solving problems
  • have experience using automated testing 
  • have experience using the command line to operate software
  • have experience using version control to manage source code
  • have experience working in a collaborative environment, ideally as part of a multi-disciplinary agile team
  • understand common web security risks (eg. OWASP Top 10)
  • appreciate the importance designing services which are accessible to users of all abilities
  • have an awareness of technologies used for web applications, e.g databases, backups, CDNs and search, and of Unix-like operating systems, e.g. Linux and/or Mac OS
  • have experience working on, or with web technologies
  • want to use their skills and experience to make a genuine difference, and are excited about working on important services that are used by millions of people

 The selection process as a standard for all of our roles consists of:

  • an application screening process
  • a phone interview
  • an interview
  • a paired programming exercise

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

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

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

Please note this role is based in Manchester, London, Bristol

The level of clearance needed for this role is BPSS.

How you'll be assessed

In the Civil Service, we use our Success Profiles. For each role we advertise we consider what you will need to demonstrate to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. We will be looking at your experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the specific job role. We may assess your ability, strength, experience, technical/specialist skills and behaviours.

For this role the following behaviours are the most relevant:

working together
changing and improving
making effective decisions

Things you need to know

You can find out about the application process and practical details like our office locations on the things you need to know page.

Equal Opportunities 

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity in our organisation. You can find out more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion and read our equal opportunities statement on our Diversity and Inclusion page.

Redeployment Interview Scheme

Civil Service employees (including Senior Civil Servants and Crown Arms Length Bodies) who are at risk of redundancy and who meet the minimum selection criteria in the job specification are guaranteed to progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. Selection will be on merit and at-risk candidates will be able to self-identify during the application stage,

For all guaranteed interview schemes, there may be exceptions made on reasons of time/resource for high-volume recruitment where the vacancy manager may decide to select the candidates who best meet the minimum criteria rather than all of those that meet the minimum criteria.

This opportunity is closed to applications.