Principal Cloud Engineer Ref. 2613

Mind Achieving Impact AwardSocial Mobility Foundation AwardThe Times Top 100Stonewall Diversity Champion 2021Disability confident leaderThe Prince's Responsible Business

Technology Roles
£57,570- £63,011 dependent on location plus £2,771 NSP

About Us
We are GCHQ, 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 threats such as serious organised crime, people and drugs trafficking, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. 

The Role                
Rather than being explicitly focused on a component of our infrastructure baseline or technical specialism you will be aligned with and deployed against a series of high profile / fast paced deliveries against specific mission outcomes. You will be part of a team surging to provide additional technical oversight to ensure a high-quality outcome.
You will be accountable for one or more high profile cross cutting deliveries that transcend traditional technical boundaries and have complex integration points. You will be comfortable negotiating and trading against Information Assurance, risk, resource, cost, and mission policy at a total system level.
The role will be part of a flexible and cross discipline team with the ability to adapt and provide technical leadership across a diverse delivery portfolio. You will be expected to adapt and evolve your focus area in response to changing priorities and investment decisions.
This is a leadership role, and it is important that our leaders are inspiring to other team members, are a route of escalation and decision maker and act as a role model. There are opportunities for Line Management duties with this role. As an expert in your field, you will be expected to share specific technical knowledge to help staff across the department develop technical skills.
About You
We are looking for a talented Senior Expert that is enthusiastic and works collaboratively and inclusively within mixed discipline teams. You will enjoy working with evolving requirements, blurred technical boundaries and organisational uncertainty while delivering at scale and pace.
The successful candidate will not only have a very strong technical background and record of consistent delivery, but they will also be a strong communicator and leader with the ability to present sound technical and business arguments to seniors, peers and staff alike, often having to translate deep technical requirements and strategy into clear business outcomes.
The ability to develop creative and innovative solutions is key to solving some of our more unique challenges. You will be used to investigating problems and comfortable making decisions, sometimes where there is no precedent set.


•    Demonstrable evidence of an excellent range of technical delivery and experience as a technical specialist and technical leader, ideally having led a diverse set of technical teams
•    Experience of programming in languages such as Python, Ruby, Go, Swift, Java, .Net, C++ or similar object-oriented language
•    Expert with automating cloud native technologies, deploying applications, and provisioning infrastructure
•    Expert designing and producing Infrastructure as Code, using CloudFormation, Terraform, or other tools
•    Significant experience of network fundamentals (DNS, DHCP, TCP/IP, routing, switching, HTTP)


•    Expert developing cloud native CI/CD workflows and tools, such as Jenkins, Bamboo, Concourse, TeamCity, Code Deploy (AWS) and/or GitLab
•    Excellent troubleshooting skills at all levels, from application to network to host
•    Experience of cloud and application identity management (OIDC,SAML,OATH)
•    Experience with the full software development lifecycle and delivery using Agile practices
•    Experience implementing and designing cloud native security concepts, DevSecOps etc
•    Exposure to cloud computing concepts and design considerations
•    Experience with performance testing and tuning
•    Significant experience of monitoring frameworks (such as CloudWatch, Datadog, Grafana, Elastic or similar)
•    AWS Certification(s) such as Solutions Architect Pro, DevOps Engineer Pro, SysOps Admin, Developer Associate
•    Excellent presentation, verbal communication, and written communications skills

Training and Development
We have a culture of supporting continuous personal development especially with technical knowledge and skills. There are plenty of opportunities in this role to develop or extend your skill set on-the-job or via online learning or in person courses. You will be encouraged to gain certifications in relevant topics. 

As a leader in your technical field attendance at technical conferences and research into future technologies is important to ensure that you have the knowledge and tools you need and that you can use your learnings to introduce, test and de-risk emerging technologies. There are also opportunities to develop leadership/management/interpersonal and other business skills alongside tour technical skill set.

Rewards and Benefits 

You’ll receive a starting salary of £57,570 - £63,011 (dependent on location) plus £2,771 NSP, plus other benefits including: 

-    25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays.
-    Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
-    Opportunities to work flexibly, subject to business needs
-    Interest-free season ticket loan
-    Excellent pension scheme
-    Cycle to work scheme
-    Facilities such as a subsidised gym and restaurant, and on-site coffee bars
-    Paid parental and adoption leave 

Culture and Working Environment 
As part of our team, you’ll discover an inclusive workplace that’s welcoming, supportive and encouraging. You’ll be part of an organisation where people want to support one another and make a difference. Aside from fostering an open culture, we’ve got a range of growing affinity groups. For example:  
·    Ethnic Minority and gender equality networks
·    Groups supporting wellbeing, mental health, neurodiversity, and disability 
·    Faith/No Faith communities for staff to come together 
·    LGBTQ+ support networks
You’ll also find a variety of sports, activity, interest, and social groups to help you settle in and connect with people with similar interests. 

Before You Apply
To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen. We do have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.
Honesty and integrity are really important if you want to work at GCHQ. Take some time to read about the vetting process and make sure you meet the criteria in the vetting pages of the ‘How to Apply’ section. The process can take some time, but this is just because it’s thorough. Giving misleading information and omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously.
The role is based in Cheltenham or London, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application.
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 the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application.

Equal Opportunities
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, ages, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

We’re Disability Confident
GCHQ are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain, and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview where practicable; this is known as ‘Offer of an Interview’. To secure an interview for this vacancy, the minimum criteria (in order of application process) are: 

•    Evidence of a range of technical delivery and experience as a technical specialist 
•    Evidence of making decisions as a technical leader, preferably in uncertain circumstances and/or where negotiation is needed or there was no easy answer
•    Experience of programming in languages such as Python, Ruby, Go, Swift, Java, .Net, C++ or similar object-oriented language
•    Evidence of automating cloud native technologies, deploying applications, and provisioning infrastructure
•    Evidence of designing and producing Infrastructure as Code

Eligibility Criteria 

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. Further information on our eligibility criteria can be found on the Applying section. 
What to Expect

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

•    Application
•    Interview
•    Drug Testing
•    Vetting

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process in order to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

Our Vetting

To work in this role, you will need the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community has to go through and it can take some time. As part of the DV process you will be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire and attend an interview with a vetting officer. In your interview the vetting officer will have a thorough, compassionate, and honest discussion with you about you as a person and your life experiences, to ensure holding a DV clearance is right for you. You don’t need to do any preparation for your vetting interview, just be honest and be yourself. All applicants for DV are treated impartially and consistently, irrespective of gender, race, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. 

Right to Withdraw Statement: 
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. 

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.