Development Lead

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Created: May 16, 2013


Are you seeking to build a career in a world-leading institution using your skills and experience in software development to preserve a nation’s history?

Building on our award-winning experience in digital preservation, The National Archives is developing a new Digital Records Infrastructure (DRI) system to acquire, store and preserve our rapidly increasing digital collection. Operating at petabyte-scale, this system will ensure the long-term preservation of the UK government’s records. Records such as government websites, the records of significant public inquiries, the decisions and deliberation of senior officials, ministers and prime ministers and the nations digitised history from the 10th to the early 21st century are all to be preserved in the system.

As the Development Lead for the DRI, you will play a key role in the delivery of this innovative and high-profile system, ensuring that it remains capable of handling the latest digital records as new record formats are presented to the archives for permanent preservation. The current system comprises a series of batch-processing workflows constructed predominantly in Java, XSLT, XML Schema and Bash script running in a Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment. You will influence the future technical design of the system and be responsible for setting the technical direction and tasks of the team, mentoring staff, undertaking code review and also writing code yourself. You must be an expert in at least one or more programming languages, with a good level of knowledge of others. A concrete understanding of TCP/IP networking and Linux systems would be an advantage.

You should be passionate about both technology and information management. Your creativity and experience will be essential to the organisation to inform and shape the design of new workflows that you will need to translate into efficient operational code. You will liaise with Heads of Department, technical staff throughout the Technology Directorate, and colleagues across The National Archives and beyond; the role will be varied and challenging.

Reports to: Head of Digital Archiving Infrastructure Department

Role and Responsibilities

In this role you will:
  • Lead development and maintenance of the DRI system; setting technical direction, developing code, supporting less experienced members of the team and working with external product suppliers when necessary
  • Work closely with the Head of Digital Archiving Infrastructure and liaise with key stakeholders, including the Heads of Digital Preservation and Systems Development, to ensure that the needs of the business are met effectively and that successful integration with The National Archive’s strategic projects e.g. Discovery, is achieved
  • Develop and promote the use of appropriate software development standards to ensure product quality
  • Mentor team members in existing and new technologies, undertaking code review and agreeing goals for continuous self-improvement
  • Evaluate and recommend relevant software technologies and products to ensure that The National Archives gains optimum benefit from technological advances; this will include working with external suppliers of digital preservation technology
  • Develop and maintain a high degree of knowledge of digital preservation technologies and the latest world-wide developments ensuring that The National Archives' colleagues are kept appropriately informed
  • Deputise for the Head of Digital Archiving Infrastructure, representing the department as and when necessary, and take an active role in departmental and directorate planning
Person Specification

  • Strong track record in leading technical development and in delivering complex applications, whilst adhering to published technical standards
  • Excellent experience of programming in Java with Maven, Spring, Hibernate, and RESTful web services
  • Excellent working knowledge of XSLT and XML Schema; experience of XQuery and Schematron would be a bonus
  • Demonstrable experience of processing large XML documents in Java or other languages
  • Demonstrable experience of information modeling and an understanding of document, graph and relational models
  • Experience of development in a Red Hat Enterprise or CentOS Linux environment
  • Experience of Agile methodologies, in particular Scrum
  • Demonstrable ability to work productively as part of a team, maintaining key working relationships both within an organisation and externally
  • Energy and enthusiasm, with an ability to work under pressure to achieve defined goals together with a methodical and meticulous approach
  • Excellent ability to analyse and problem solve, to assimilate concepts and the details of complex systems quickly and to explain technical ideas in a simple and concise way to others with less technical knowledge
  • A working knowledge of TCP/IP networking; an awareness of IP Routing and Linux firewall configuration
  • Knowledge of HTML and JavaScript and a recent JavaScript framework, e.g. jQuery
  • Experience of developing, deploying and debugging applications on Tomcat
  • Good understanding of Source Control Tools, such as Subversion and Git
  • Experience of continuous integration, e.g. Jenkins and testing methodologies (TDD / BDD)
  • Knowledge of, or currently learning, at least one functional programming language
  • Experience of Scala or a desire to learn Scala
Additional Information

Security Clearance
This role requires SC level security clearance or willingness to obtain.  Arrangements can be made through Human Resources upon appointment if this level is not currently held.

Kew, West London

Working Arrangement
Full-time. Permanent


Starting Salary
£40,000 - £45,000 plus generous benefits package, including pension, childcare vouchers (after 6 months service), sport and social club facilities, onsite gym, subsidised staff restaurant and opportunities for training and development.

How to Apply
To submit your application please click the 'Apply for this job' button at the bottom of this page.  Additionally, please upload a recent copy of your CV and a supporting statement.

Supporting Statement
Please explain how you meet each point in the person specification. You may draw on knowledge, skills, abilities, experience gained from paid work, domestic responsibilities, education, leisure interests and voluntary activities. Please note selection for interview will largely be based on the information you provide in this section.  Please write on separate sheets, but remember to put your name and post applied for on each sheet.

For Further Information
Please contact the Recruitment Team on 020 8392 5203.

Closing Date
Friday 31st May 2013 at midnight

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:45 UTC