Senior Software Developer

Home Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 3rd December 2023



Reference number



£57,000 - £67,100
National: £57,000 - £62,700 London: £61,000 - £67,100 An additional allowance of up to £11,300 is available for candidates with exceptional skills & experience.
A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Job grade

Grade 7

Contract type


Business area

HO - Digital Data and Technology

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time, Compressed Hours

Number of jobs available



Sheffield, Manchester, Hendon, or Glasgow

Job summary

Changes are happening at UK Home Office we are not just about entry gates at Airports or issuing passports. We have over 30 different agencies and public bodies, including Policing and Counter Terrorism and with everyone using digital device's technology is changing massively, we are bringing services in house, and it’s a big challenge.

You could be designing and building solutions to help people prove their identity or apply for visas or working on the critical IT systems that support policing and counter terrorism and help protect UK borders. Our success in this role depends on our ability to exploit the latest technologies to create leading-edge, world class solutions whilst ensuring they are secure and resilient.

Our work is guided by these fundamental principles:

•    Put user needs first
•    Delivery and outcomes over process
•    Make the most of openness: open standards, open source, open data and open markets

It’s important that we build a diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve and provide an inclusive environment for all. We value everyone's skills and provide a creative and supportive workplace to help you do your best work and develop your career. Where business needs allow, some roles may be suitable for a combination of office and home-based working. Where this is the case, employees will be expected to spend a minimum of 60% of their working time in the office.  Applicants can discuss any specific questions with the Vacancy Holder.

Job description

We’re passionate about building software that solves problems. We’re home to some of the most important public services in the United Kingdom and are transforming how we use data and technology to improve these. Our software has been used to stop terrorist attacks, ensure applications and delivery of passports is efficient and developing and supporting a wide variety of GOV.UK services such as getting married or forming a civil partnership or applying for a visa.

As a Senior Developer you will be working with modern technologies in cloud -based environments with other skilled people, collaborating and making things work for our end users, in some cases that’s the public and in others our own people who work at the Borders, Immigration or protecting the public.

Our Tech stack   

We have an extremely large range of tech and tools used in the Home Office, below are some of the main things we use:   

  • Backend: Java, Node.js, C#, Python, PHP, Scala, Power platform 
  • Frontend: React, JavaScript, Typescript, Angular  
  • Data: PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Mongodb, Apache Cassandra  
  • DevOps: AWS, Kubernetes, Azure, Jenkins, Docker, Ansible, Terraform  

We develop over 560 services which have millions of users worldwide.

Areas of the work which you may need to get involved with (from a software engineering perspective) include:

• Building and maintaining wide variety of services you may be familiar with, including getting married or forming a civil partnership or applying for a visa

• Ensuring that the application and delivery of passports is efficient - completing the build of our award-winning digital application system

• Re-developing core policing data systems to ensure they are effective and provide a solid basis for innovation

• Updating tools to ensure that our borders are efficient for both passengers and border officials

• Ensuring that we have a world-class immigration system which is usable by all

If these types of projects excite you, we'd love for you to join us.

What we offer

We know that great software requires great coding practices. Here are some key practices which we insist upon across our teams that allow us to release with speed and quality.

• Agile principles

• Test-driven development with a focus on automation

• Continuous integration and continuous delivery

• Review code via pull requests

• Pairing smartly

• Infrastructure as code.

Person specification

This is a really exciting opportunity, you’ll be working on triaging ‘new stuff’, as well as leading the implementation of new systems in a number of really critical areas. This work will be delivered in an agile manner, working with multi-disciplinary teams and across a variety of business areas.

As a Senior Developer you’ll take ownership over the products, features and services your team looks after, being curious at heart with a desire to make things better. You’ll prioritise the focus on being one team with a passion for nurturing, coaching and sharing your knowledge with others whilst ensuring high quality code is delivered in line with project goals and delivery cycles and thrive using agile methods.

Your key areas of impact will be

  • Delivering secure, reliable and scalable software and supporting your team with technical tasks when needed
  • Evaluating and advising on design choices and ensuring that software is high quality and balances technical and business considerations
  • Defining and documenting test cases for new systems and maintaining live systems to ensure ongoing performance
  • Acting as a digital ambassador, supporting recruitment, identifying good practices for Home Office to adopt and sharing experiences, e.g. through blog posts, tech talks at conferences etc.
  • Evolving new approaches/solutions with other professions through discoveries, maintain a focus on development and deployment
  • Helping prioritise and direct technical tasks across your team, to balance new and live services
  • Like most businesses we need to maintain our services 24/7, therefore, on occasion there may be a requirement to work out of hours, for which you will be paid

Essential criteria

Home Office really are about investing in people, if you have the coding skills and have experience of a product focused agile, multi-disciplinary environment then we would be very pleased to hear from you

  • You'll be a developer who is confident developing applications, passionate about making a difference and want to be involved throughout the product lifecycle, from idea generation, design, and prototyping to execution, and shipping.
  • Experience with java or C# or JavaScript (and frameworks such as Node or React) or those with a background using another modern programming language like PHP or python who have some understanding of our core tech stack
  • Experience with databases and DB technology (RDBMS, NoSQL, etc.)
  • Working with an agile environment
  • Full software delivery lifecycle
  • Working practices such as test-driven development (focusing on automation), continuous integration and continuous delivery
  • A cloud-based approach, selecting cloud components and defining infrastructure as code to integrate them (Kubernetes, AWS, Azure, and/or Google Cloud, etc.)

The skills listed below are reflective of the Home Office DDaT Profession Skills and Competency Model (based on the industry standard SFIA framework), please review the attached ‘Role Description’ which highlights the expected technical skills and required levels for this role. 

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Application Support (ASUP) - Level 5
  • Data Management (DATM) - Level 5
  • Programming Software Development (PROG) - Level 4
  • Software Design (SWDN) - Level 5
  • Systems Integration and Build (SINT) - Level 5
  • Testing (TEST) - Level 4
Alongside your salary of £57,000, Home Office contributes £14,580 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
  • Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • 25 days annual leave on appointment, plus 8 days public holidays and 1 day for the King’s Birthday, rising further with service
  • Flexible working options to enable you to achieve the work life balance that right for you including part-time, flexi time and job sharing
  • Training and development opportunities tailored to your role
  • An in-year bonus scheme
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity

You will also have access to benefits such as:

  • Season ticket loans and rental deposit loans
  • Cycle to work and payroll giving
  • Employee discounts - including a huge number of retailers (via the Edenred platform), Microsoft Home Use programme and gym membership
  • A variety of staff recognition schemes including thank you vouchers
  • Health and wellbeing initiatives including monthly mindfulness sessions
  • Staff support networks
  • Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks of statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid
  • Maternity and adoption support leave (paternity leave) of 2 weeks full pay
  • Up to 5 days paid leave for volunteering

Study leave and support for studying for a qualification or other accredited development relevant to your role

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and Personal Statement (Max Word Limit: 500).

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Your CV should include all relevant experience that relates to our Essential criteria listed in the advert and role description. Do not just list languages / platforms - do provide context.

Your Personal Statement should be aligned to explain why you are a good fit for the advertised role aligned to the Essential criteria listed in the role description.

Remove information that identifies you (for example your name, age or place of education) so that you’ll be judged on merit alone and not your background, circumstances, race or gender.

(Do NOT include e-mail addresses or links to online profiles, resumés, or prior work, either personal or business. Active links or e-mail addresses will result in your application being rejected)

The sift will be held on the CV and Personal Statement.

Candidates who pass the sift will be provided with a programming / coding technical exercise to complete, details will be provided prior to the interview.

Technical Exercise stage

This coding test will assess your ability to effectively perform in the advertised role. You will be sent detailed instructions along with an invitation to take the test. Please make us aware if you require any reasonable adjustments in order to participate in the test.

A technical test is a great opportunity for you to show us your technical capability in a structured and transparent way. We have an assortment of tests to assess different skills depending on the role.

The Interview Stage

Candidates reaching the required standard will then be invited to attend a final interview. The interview will assess your Technical Skills (SFIA Framework).

Regrettably, candidates who fail to complete the test and those candidates not reaching the required standard should note that their applications will not be progressed further.

Sift and Interview dates

Sift will take place week commencing Monday 4th December

Interviews will take place from Monday 15th January 2024 (subject to the Panels operational priorities)

Interviews will be held remotely and will be conducted via MS Teams.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to time constraints we may not be able to offer alternative interview date(s). It is therefore expected that candidates who are successful at sift stage will make themselves available during the above time frame given.

Further Information

Please read the essential skills for this position carefully. We will only consider those who meet the listed requirement. 

If you have previously made an unsuccessful application for a role with the same essential skills and are not able to demonstrate how you have developed these skills since your last application please reconsider applying as your application is unlikely to be successful.

For meaningful checks to be carried out, individuals need to have lived in the UK for a sufficient period of time to enable appropriate checks to be carried out and produce a result which provides the required level of assurance. You should normally have been resident in the United Kingdom for the last 3 years if the role requires CTC clearance, 5 years for SC clearance and 10 years for DV.  A lack of UK residency in itself is not necessarily a bar to a security clearance and applicants should contact the Vacancy Holder/Recruiting Manager listed in the advert for further advice.

  • Higher Security Clearance - This post requires the successful candidate to hold security clearance at minimum SC level (normally requiring a five year UK footprint). Job offers to this post are made on the basis of merit. Security vetting will only take place after the receipt of a job offer. 

  • Visa Sponsorship Statement - Please take note that the Home Office DDaT are unable to sponsor any individuals via Skilled Worker Sponsorship / Tier 2 (General) work visa.

This post is eligible for a DDaT Recruitment Retention Allowance this allowance is subject to an initial review within six months of taking up the post and thereafter an annual review in line with the departmental priorities and could be reduced or withdrawn at any time. 

A location-based reserve list of successful candidates will be kept for 12 months. Should another role become available within that period you may be offered this position.   

We often have similar roles available at different grades. If a candidate is suitable for a similar role or a lower grade than they have applied for, we may offer the candidate that role without the need to go through a further selection process providing the role has the same behaviours and essential skills.

Every day, Home Office civil servants do brilliant work to develop and deliver policies and services that affect the lives of people across the country and beyond. To do this effectively and fairly, the Home Office is committed to representing modern Britain in all its diversity, and creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best.

We are flexible, skilled, professional and diverse. We work to recruit and retain disabled staff and area Disability Confident Leader. We are proud to be one of the most ethnically diverse departments in the civil service. We are Stonewall top 100 Workplace Equality Employer and a Social Mobility Foundation top 75 employer.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant's details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

For further information please see the attached notes for candidates which must be read before making an application.

Existing Civil Servants should note that some of the Home Office terms and conditions of employment have changed. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the Terms and Conditions they will adopt should they be successful in application and should refer to the notes for candidates for further details.

Transfer Terms: Voluntary.

If you are invited to an interview you will be required to bring a range of documentation for the purposes of establishing identity and to aid any pre-employment checks.

Please see the attached list of Home Office acceptable ID documents.

Any move to the Home Office from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Reasonable Adjustments

If a person with disabilities is at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

• Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs

• Complete the “Assistance Required” section in the “Additional Requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you're deaf, a language service professional

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.


Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name : OptimusACRecruitment
  • Email :

Recruitment team

  • Email :

Further information

If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

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