Lead Software Engineer 255 views

GCHQ, the longest standing code-breaking intelligence agency in the UK, is offering you an exciting opportunity to join our Software Engineering Team as a Lead Software Engineer.


Do you want to do things that most people cannot? Do you like to grapple with complex and unusual problems? Our teams of Software Engineers find innovative and clever solutions to support a whole range of GCHQ’s technical capabilities. These roles contribute to our ability to collect and use intelligence to disrupt, divert and frustrate our adversaries. You could be creating innovating capabilities in support of national security objectives.

While the role is challenging, our flexible working policy ensures a healthy work-life balance. Wherever possible, we accommodate reduced hours or job share options, balanced against business needs.


We’re looking for people with demonstrable development experience who keep up with changing technologies and want to make a real difference to the UK.

Competent Practitioner Roles:
You are likely to be joining from a pertinent job elsewhere. You’ll be expected to take responsibility for large and complex pieces of work having experience to some degree of autonomy in how you tackle them.

Senior Practitioner and Team Leader Roles:
You’ll have the responsibility for complex and significant tasks and be a leader in your field, operating with minimal supervision.  You’ll be able to demonstrate similar experience elsewhere or have strong evidence that you are capable at this level of responsibility.

Principal Practitioner and Manager Roles:
Often with chartered status, you’ll be responsible for leading significant and important work, often in complex and uncertain areas. This may include significant financial, project or team responsibilities. You’ll engage at all levels of the organisation and lead in areas of high business impact, Alternatively, you may be an leading edge expert of world leading calibre, capable of solving the hardest problems possible and advancing your field into new unchartered areas.

You’ll have knowledge or experience in some of the following areas:

  • Design and development in the C family of languages, Python, Java or assembly, along with performance analysis and optimisation of software
  • Application and data Processing development, including web application frameworks, user interfaces and automated testing;
  • Ability to work with customers across the Software Engineering lifecycle within a self- organising agile team.


At GCHQ we’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we’ll enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities. We encourage professional development to help you reach Chartered Engineer or Chartered IP Professional. You could also have the opportunity to run internal schemes, in collaboration with the IET.


As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we help safeguard the UK from threats to national security. We operate seamlessly as partners to protect Britain’s people, interests and businesses from harm. Stopping terrorist attacks in the UK, and protecting our interests overseas – as well as making the UK the safest place to live and do business online. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful work that you simply won’t find elsewhere


Up to £48,000


Cheltenham (located within an hour’s journey of Birmingham and Bristol)


To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency and security requirements.  You’ll find more details here: Recruitment Process.

As users of the disability confident scheme, we also guarantee to interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for our roles.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re 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.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

– Personal interview*
– Drug test

*Interviews will be held in Cheltenham and Manchester.

If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our developed vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.


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