Senior and Lead Software Engineers for our Core Technology Directorate Ref. 2303

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Cheltenham, Manchester
Total Package: from £37,639 - £59,210 (depending on skills, experience and job role; package includes basic salary and concessionary payment. Additionally, a one-off recruitment bonus may be offered on top of this

As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to make a real difference to the safety of the nation. We work closely with our partners in the intelligence community to safeguard Britain’s people, interests, and businesses from various threats. Think serious organised crime, such as people and drugs trafficking, or terrorism and cyber-attacks. It’s challenging and varied work that you won’t find anywhere else.
At GCHQ, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

We have an excellent benefits package which includes 25 days holiday as standard (pro rata) increasing to 30 days after five years, various flexible working patterns and part-time working options available, generous pension contributions and parental leave, and three days of volunteering leave.

Are you passionate about developing software? Do you have a curiosity for new technology and new ways of solving problems? Do you thrive working in diverse teams with other highly capable software engineers? Do you have potential to be a future leader on technology, design, feature development or teams? Are you interested in a role that gives you space to innovate and learn new skills? We are now recruiting for experienced Software Engineers in Greater Manchester and Cheltenham. 
You’ll have a lot of freedom; you’ll work closely with support from colleagues, and we’ll trust you to agree the best way to get things done - whether something requires high quality or a quick turnaround, how you should best organise yourselves as part of a group and how best to meet the needs of the mission.  

Above all there is a strong purpose to your work as a Software Engineer for GCHQ, you’ll be central to our work to keep the country safe. 

Whilst the languages we use most at the moment are Javascript, C++, Java and Python, it’s far more important that you’re able to learn new languages and libraries and keep yourself up to date. We’ll support you to do this as you’ll be working in a team where everyone works collaboratively.

We value your engineering mindset, tenacity and perseverance with problems that seem unsolvable. You’ll often be working in Agile software delivery teams, your knowledge and skills across all disciplines of software will be important to your new team. 

This isn’t an ordinary software engineering job, you’ll often be required to be creative and innovative to solve problems with no precedent in other industries. 

Diverse teams really are the best teams. So, if you are excited about working with us and think you can do much of what we are looking for but aren’t sure if you’re 100% there yet... why not just give it a go! 

You must also meet our nationality, residency, and security requirements. You can find more details here.


At GCHQ, we’re proud to offer an inclusive and supportive working environment that encourages open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we are committed to helping you fulfil your potential. You’re not expected to come to us with a wealth of knowledge or skills on day one; we’ll help you get there.
We value your ability to learn and adapt to new challenges, we’ll invest in your skills and the way you like to learn, from books, study, courses, and conferences to stretching work with support of the team. We’ll support and encourage you, helping you to master the art of software and become part of our world-class engineering team.  
There are two levels of role available: Senior Software Engineer and Lead Software Engineer.

We’re looking for Senior Software Engineers who: 

• Are comfortable supervising the development of complex software features or supervising a software team 

• Are self-motivated and able to work with minimal guidance and sometimes guide others 

• Are able to critically assess their own work and that of others both inside and outside of the team 

• Have a proven track record of mentoring and developing others

• Are keen to keep up with new and emerging technologies and able to lead in solving mission problems

In addition to the above experience, we’re looking for Lead Software Engineers who: 

• Are experienced and comfortable supervising the design and development of complex software features or supervising a software team/multiple teams 

Senior Software Engineer
Total Package: ranging from £37,639 to £48,436 (depending on skills and experience; package includes basic salary and concessionary payment. Additionally, a one-off recruitment bonus may be offered on top of this).

Lead Software Engineer 
Total Package: ranging from £46,385 to £59,210 (depending on skills and experience; package includes basic salary and concessionary payment. Additionally, a one-off recruitment bonus may be offered on top of this).

Most of our roles are located in Cheltenham and Manchester but there is an option to work from home with a 2-3 times weekly presence at one of our sites. Please specify your location preference.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes towards completing your application. We are conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.
If you meet the minimum eligibility and application sift criteria, the next step of this selection process is:
•    Expectation telephone call
•    Interview
Interviews will likely be held in August 2021. Further details of interview will be provided to those who successfully reach this stage.
Disability Confident Statement:
As a Disability Confident employer, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as the Offer of Interview (OOI). To secure an interview for this role, candidates applying under this scheme must meet the following minimum criteria:
•    Eligibility questions - you will be asked a series of questions relating to this vacancy. If you meet these criteria, you will be directed to the initial application form.
Within the application form you will need to demonstrate:

For the Senior Role
•    Professional working experience in a Software environment.
•    Experience of mentoring others.
•    Comfortable with supervising the development of complex software features or supervising a software team

For the Lead Role
•    Professional working experience in solving deep technical problems and building creative solutions in a dynamic environment.
•    Experienced and comfortable supervising the design and development of complex software features or supervising a software team/multiple teams.
•    Immersed in Cloud based technologies.
If you successfully complete the required stages, and are successful at interview, you will receive a job offer conditional on you completing our developed vetting (DV) process, which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to undertake this role.
Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. One of your parents must be a British Citizen or must have one of the nationalities or citizenships from one of the following: British Overseas Territory, British Subject, British National (Overseas), British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person, citizenship of a country in the Commonwealth, citizenship of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), or citizenship of the United States of America (USA). If deceased, they should have had such citizenship or nationality before death. If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. If successful, you will not normally be required to give up your non-British citizenship but, as a condition of your employment or secondment, GCHQ may impose restrictions on your postings, work travel and/or general use of that nationality. Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for seven out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. Each case will be carefully considered on its own facts. You can apply at the age of 17 years and 6 months, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside of the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.