Principal Software Engineer - Platform


Job Introduction

Platform is the BBC department that powers content for the BBC.  We develop & support key content management, publication & distribution systems used in all the BBC’s Online & broadcast products, from BBC Alba to the Weather app.

Our team in Salford focuses on the distribution side – dealing with the interesting challenges that come from developing database & API software that has to support 1000’s of requests per second and 100’s of data changes per minute with broadcast level resilience and an ever changing feature set.

Our department is on the 4th floor of Dock House, MediaCity. There’s 45 or so of us, organized in 5 software development teams that include software engineers, testers and product managers.  Our teams work on:

  • Publishing TV & Radio programmes to iPlayer & iPlayer Radio
  • Publishing TV & Radio clips to the BBC online products
  • Tracklists & Now playing information for iPlayer Radio.
  • iPlayer on Sky & Virgin
  • Publishing News topics & articles to the BBC News & Sport products.
  • API Management technologies used throughout the BBC.
  • Syndicating News articles to social platforms & BBC commercial partners around the world.

We work as agile teams, striving for continuous integration in our cloud-based infrastructure. Our technologies include SQL & NoSQL database technologies, Scala, Node, Python and whatever else we need to get the job done.  

To get the most out of our large volumes of data we are using Machine Learning techniques to better understand what we have, and to present our unique content in more interesting ways to the audiences. Additionally we are using data about how our products perform to better drive decision-making about their future development.

The BBC offers an inclusive workplace where the principles of fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy are promoted and are part of our everyday goals and behavior. We select candidates for our positions on the basis of merit. We are an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. We value and respect every individual's unique contribution to the BBC

Role Responsibility

  • Lead the design and development of effective software that meets given complex, strategic business needs for immediate team and broader BBC
  • Ensure alignment of the teams products and services with BBC technology and architecture strategy
  • Provide knowledge and best practice to the broader BBC in areas of deep expertise
  • Ensure the team’s approach to testing is fit for purpose
  • Lead integration of the software with monitoring and support tools
  • Provide technical knowledge, insight and leadership to peers and colleagues
  • Review and give constructive feedback on others’ code
  • Support product and departmental managers in communicating strategy and product fit and effectiveness to stakeholders at all levels
  • Ensure the team’s software works well in its operating environment
  • Be an expert on the BBC’s operating environments whom team members can consult. Play a part in shaping those operating environments
  • Ensure that the team’s technical product documentation is always complete, accurate and coherent
  • Lead troubleshooting and resolution of issues throughout the product life cycle including out of hours support for incident resolution
  • Work with other technical leaders in the broader organisation to define, document and distribute best practice and standards
  • Lead and encourage continuous improvement of the teams delivery and development processes
  • Effectively participate in the teams software development methodologies, such as pairing, code and documentation reviewing and continuous delivery
  • Work with project, product and technical leads to design software and create implementable specifications and tasks at product and roadmap level
  • Work with 3rd Party ("Indies") where necessary providing direction, support and documentation
  • Learn new technologies and keep abreast of existing technologies and help introduce them where appropriate

The Ideal Candidate

  • Understanding of REST and API design.
  • Some understanding of functional programming.
  • Worked with cloud service providers (ideally AWS) using an infrastructure as code approach.
  • Able to effectively coach Software Engineers, giving them the opportunity to make their own decisions and mistakes.
  • Champions a lean approach to software development.  With small iterations focusing on the simplest valuable outcome.
  • Comfortable giving and receiving constructive feedback.  Able to encourage a feedback culture within the team. 
  • Extensive experience designing and writing robust software for large scale applications in a fast changing environment with rapid release cycles
  • Expertise in multiple mainstream development frameworks
  • Expertise in business domains relevant to the BBC
  • Expertise with mainstream development and deployment tool chains. (IDE, SCCS, CI)
  • Expertise in database design and use in software applications
  • Experience of open source practices
  • Expertise in web architecture and key technologies (HTTP, DNS, distributed design)
  • Expertise in test driven development and broader testing and QA concerns
  • Leadership experience of project working and professional software development processes, including agile
  • Expertise in choosing and applying design patterns
  • Effective leadership and collaboration inside and beyond the team. The ability to influence diverse and senior stakeholders effectively
  • Takes responsibility for driving products and system to success

Package Description

Grade 9 (Proposed Band D)

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for ambitious software engineers to seek new challenges and work on many different and varied products.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • A vibrant digital community – we have a strong focus on continuous improvement and engineering excellence. We host regular talks from internal and external speakers, and provide generous opportunities to attend industry events and conferences.
  • A variety of technical challenges – we work across a wide range of platforms, languages and technologies; from the latest frameworks and open standards, to the newest devices and modern cloud platforms.
  • Benefits - We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible 35-hour working week for work-life balance and 26 days holiday with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

About the Company

We don’t focus simply on what we do, we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below. You’ll be asked questions relating to them as part of your application for this role.

The BBC is committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and therefore strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups. We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of their background.

BBC Design + Engineering

D+E offers a wide range of stretching, creative and impactful careers for talented people. We are the team that’s building the future of the BBC, whilst delivering TV, radio and online services to millions of people worldwide every day.

As well as being the people behind iPlayer and the News, Sports and Children’s services, we develop, support and maintain the systems and infrastructure that keeps the BBC on air and are responsible for the biggest British-run digital service in the world. In D+E, you’ll be working on unique challenges, hand in hand with the best creative minds in the UK and alongside one of the world's leading production and distribution companies (BBC Studios).

We offer challenging work but with the time to think and do things right. We uphold a 100 year history of invention and innovation in the BBC by welcoming and developing people of all backgrounds. 

Attached documents

  • Job Description
  • BBC Values


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Confirmed 9 hours ago. Posted 30+ days ago.

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