Senior Software Engineers Ref. 2919

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Technology Roles
Central Manchester, Cheltenham, London, Greater Manchester
£43,586 - £51,432 dependent on skills and experience (package includes basic salary and a skills payment), you’ll also receive an one-off recruitment bonus of £3,500 and for roles based in London you’ll receive an additional £6,250 London Allowance

There’s an opportunity to qualify for increased skills payments in the future, of up to £18,720 in role, following successful assessment.

Flexible Working: Full-time and part-time opportunities (flexible working hours available) based in Cheltenham, Central Manchester/Greater Manchester or London with a mix of office and remote working dependent on business needs.

About Us

We’re GCHQ, and we unlock the complex world of communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online.  Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks.  A role in GCHQ means you’ll have varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

Your work is at the core of our operations. Put simply, your contributions will directly or indirectly help our ongoing mission to keep the UK safe. You’ll be empowered to work autonomously to achieve the desired outcome, while growing your skills in the process. We offer a strong work-life balance, benefits, training and certifications and hybrid working options ­ depending on the business area and needs. Our culture is centred on embracing a growth mindset, equality, and encouraging teams and leaders to bring their best each day. 


About the role

As a Senior Software Engineer, you’ll work with and sometimes lead an Agile team tackling real-world problems. So you’ll be familiar with a range of software engineering methods, languages and frameworks, like JavaScript, Java, C++, Node, Python, Rust, Go and .NET. With your knowledge you’ll ensure best practice at all times, seeking out opportunities to learn and develop not just your abilities, but those of others – whether that’s liaising with technical and non-technical customers or mentoring junior team members. And whether you’re reviewing pull requests or defining review, branching and deployment strategies, you’ll assist key projects and in doing so, influence the wider engineering community. You’ll have the autonomy to undertake your role, whilst being supported by those around you.

You’ll have a lot of freedom. You’ll work closely with colleagues, and we’ll trust you to decide the best way to get things done 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.

About You

We value your tenacity and perseverance with problems that seem unsolvable. You’ll often be working in Agile software delivery teams - your knowledge and skillset 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.   

As a Senior Software Engineer, you’ll want to show us your potential and aptitude – we’re not looking for you to be ‘ready-made’. You may have experience working in, and leading, Agile project teams. With sound communication skills, you’ll demonstrate a keenness to collaborate with people of all levels of technical ability and have experience mentoring and developing the engineering skills of others.

With your knowledge of modern computer languages and frameworks such as C++, GoLang, Java, JavaScript, .NET, Node, Python, Rust or Cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP), you’ll contribute to the architecture and design of new and existing systems – and deliver positive outcomes for the business. Resilient and self-motivated, you’ll work with minimal guidance and critically assess your outputs, as well as the work of others inside and outside the team.

And, with your previous experience in a technology role (such as Software Engineering, Quality Assurance, Technical Architect or Networking), you’ll establish best working practices and confidently evaluate customer and business requirements. And of course, you’ll keep up with new and emerging technologies, and look to lead in their adoption to solve mission problems.

As a minimum you’ll have experience of being in a role with hands-on coding and have previously taken ownership of a project or piece of work. This may include experience in one of these roles: Multi-skilled Software Engineering, Cloud Engineering, UX, Site Reliability Engineering, Front-End design, Agile, Solution Architecture, Data Engineering, and Machine Learning Operations.


Training and Development

At GCHQ  we’re proud to offer an inclusive and supportive working environment. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we are committed to helping you fulfil your potential. In fact, you could spend a minimum of 10% of your time on training and development. We value your ability to learn and adapt to new challenges, so 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.

You’ll be encouraged to drive and shape your own personal development and you’ll have access to learning and development opportunities tailored to your role. You’ll be supported to gain professional qualifications and certifications. Our training can cover a multitude of software disciplines including Front end design, Site Reliability engineering, Data engineering, Solutions architecture, Machine learning operations, UX, Agile and Cloud engineering. 

Become part of our world-class engineering team and we’ll help you  seek out the opportunities for continual learning and development and ask you to give back, through mentoring or spending time with other teams.

Examples of potential training for a Senior Software Engineer include:

  • AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification
  • AWS Developer Certification / AWS Solution Architect Certification
  • Certified SCRUM Master
  • Microservices Architecture Training
  • Advanced Fundamentals / Patterns
  • Advanced Linux & CLI
  • User Experience
  • Internal Training – for example Team Leadership (difficult conversations, leading a team etc.)
  • Cloud Academy / Pluralsight / O'Reilly Subscription.


Rewards and Benefits

You’ll receive a starting salary of £43,586 - £51,432 dependent on skills and experience (package includes basic salary and a skills payment), along with an additional one-off recruitment bonus of £3,500, 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
  • Interest-free season ticket loan (parking and travel)
  • Excellent pension scheme
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Facilities such as a gym and restaurant, and on-site coffee bars (at some locations)
  • Paid parental and adoption leave


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, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, 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 such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website here.


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 offer a person-to person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role.  This is our “Offer of Interview” (OOI).  To secure an interview for this vacancy, the essential criteria (in order of application process) are:

  • Demonstration of having taken ownership of a project or piece of work - evidenced in application form
  • Ability to understand several modern languages/frameworks, such as C++, GoLang, Java, JavaScript, .Net, Node, Python, Rust – assessed at sift
  • Demonstration of working in an Agile Project team – assessed at sift
  • Provide evidence of competency as a Software Engineer – measured at interview.


What to Expect

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

  • Application Form Sift
  • Expectation contact via phone call or email
  • Technical and competency-based interview, including a presentation.

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.


Before You Apply

Please be advised you may only apply to one of the Software Engineer roles, however, we can advise that you may be considered for one of the other roles should you be suitable.

To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV).  It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes.  You can find out more about the vetting process here.

Please note we 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.

These roles are based in London, Manchester/Greater Manchester and Cheltenham, 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.


Right to Withdraw Statement:

Please be aware that we reserve 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.