Software Engineer 276 views



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MI5 is responsible for protecting the UK from threats to our National Security. It’s our job to ensure the safety and prosperity of our country, countering threats from terrorism and espionage. Whatever your role you will contribute to our mission in keeping the country safe.

Who we are

Engineering is the beating heart of MI5, developing and maintaining capabilities that support all aspects of our business. We use agile methodology to deliver products that are core to MI5’s operations, working to the full spectrum of investigative, analytical and corporate areas of the organisation. Our products are built across a variety of different tech stacks, giving engineers access to a career where they can move between teams to build experience in a wide number of technologies or develop a deep specialism in their preferred area. Embracing a DevOps mind-set, our teams run what we build. Whether it’s building a platform to enable the analysis of data, systems to track the progress of our investigations, compliance services to ensure we are operating legally or tooling to improve our developer experience, the nature of our work presents unique and fascinating engineering challenges, the likes of which you will never have seen before.

Our teams

We build products that provide capability across MI5. Our multi-disciplinary product teams are made up of engineers who work alongside product owners, business analysts and agile delivery colleagues to ensure MI5 gets what it needs. The majority work in Scrum or Kanban. We have strong graduate and apprentice programmes that place our more junior staff alongside experienced engineers to support their development.

Our tech stacks vary between product, but most back end systems are built in Java or C#. We use technologies such as Oracle, Mongo, Elastic Search and Hadoop for data storage. On the front end we’re mostly JavaScript focussed, employing frameworks such as React.js.

Who you are

We are looking for experienced Software Engineers who can take more of a senior role in their team, providing technical direction to their products and mentoring more junior colleagues. We’re interested in people who:

  • Have strong experience of programming in Java, C#, Python or JavaScript
  • Are familiar with good continuous integration and continuous delivery principles
  • Understand agile methodology
  • Have awareness of design patterns and how to implement them
  • Are confident in leading others
  • Constantly want to improve themselves and learn new things
  • Enjoy communicating with technical and non-technical colleagues

What you’ll do

You’ll share our collective responsibility to keep the country safe and strive to develop your team. Our teams work closely with each other and with mission customers, so it’s important that you’re able to communicate and share your knowledge. As a more senior engineer you’ll be expected to:

  • Take ownership of large problems, break them down and work with the team to deliver new features through the whole engineering lifecycle
  • Support products owned by the team, providing on-call if necessary, working with users to identify and fix defects
  • Build automated tests to maintain the assurance of our continuous integration pipelines
  • Support and mentor junior colleagues, helping them to understand what great software engineering looks like
  • Participate in guilds and cross-organisation initiatives to build our community of engineers

Learning and development is central to our engineering ethos and we invest heavily in our people. As part of your MI5 career we will support you in broadening and deepening your technical and non-technical skills. We have access to a wide variety of classroom and online learning, as well as our own development programmes and schemes. We work with external bodies such as the Institute for Engineering and Technology and the British Computing Society to support and fund accreditation for our staff, which could be in a specific technical area or more broadly, such as becoming a Chartered Engineer.

Recruitment Process

You will be invited to upload your CV and complete an online application form. Successful applicants will be invited to a telephone interview, which will include competency based questions and will explore your motivation to work for MI5. Please visit Interview preparation to help you prepare for your interview.

If successful, you will be invited to a face to face interview at MI5. The final stage is a security interview with one of our vetting team.

You should read about the vetting process and satisfy yourself that you meet the criteria outlined in the vetting pages of the How to Apply section prior to submitting an application.
Giving misleading information or omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously. You should ensure that you follow our guidance from when you apply.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

As part of our commitment to the “Disability Confident” scheme we offer an interview to all candidates with a disability who meet our minimum criteria for the job vacancy that they are applying for. This is known as the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS).

Along with the standard eligibility requirements for this post, your application will be assessed on how far you meet the job requirements. Your application must score the minimum amount of points set. On successful completion of this stage, you will be invited to interview. This will normally be a telephone interview and is our guaranteed interview.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must meet our residency criteria. You must be a born or naturalised British citizen and one of your parents must be a British citizen or have substantial ties to the UK.

Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for nine out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. However, we will still consider you if you’ve served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, studied abroad, or lived overseas with your parents.

Due to vetting requirements, you will need to be 18 years old, or above, to apply. Your application may take around six months to process.

Owing to the sensitivity of our work, we do not publicly disclose the identities of our staff. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.

The Security Service is committed to reflecting both equal opportunities and the society we protect. We particularly welcome applications from women and Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates.

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