Environmental Alert

Over the last couple of years I’ve spoken at a lot of local events and chatted to a lot of Bristol/Bath based digital folk whose interest was piqued by the work of GDS and the stories I told of working in the new, digital-by-default(ish), Civil Service. However most of them couldn’t be convinced to travel to Newport and didn’t fancy relocating to London so they went about their careers at agencies, at banks and freelancing with barely a backwards glance at the public sector.

I’m here to tell you that things have changed and there are no more excuses. The Environment Agency (is there any Government agency more Bristolian?) is recruiting for a new digital team right here in the city and it is recruiting a LOT. The salaries are pretty decent as well 🙂

They are looking for people to do the following (with more than one vacancy per role..)

  • Delivery Manager
  • User Interface Designer
  • Digital Tester
  • Digital Developer
  • Web Ops Engineer
  • User Researcher

You can find all the details on the Environment Agency jobs site but I’ve also copied and pasted the role descriptions below as I figure digital jobs should be of the web not on the web (as a .doc download).

I have ZERO to do with these jobs but I want this recruitment to succeed and I know there are loads of brilliant people I know who would be a massive asset to the public sector and some of you can expect to be bothered directly!


Delivery Manager

We’re looking for enthusiastic, experienced, motivated and confident Delivery Managers to lead the delivery of exciting and innovative digital services for the Defra group.

As a Delivery Manager, you’ll provide leadership for our digital service teams, maintaining and communicating a clear direction based on user needs and a service vision.

It’s a role that’s not just about introducing new services, it’s also about changing how Defra conducts its business and embedding a new ‘digital by default’ culture.

As a leader, you’ll bring customers and colleagues with you as we transform our services to meet their requirements. By leading collaborative scoping and planning exercises with senior figures from across Defra and key customers, you’ll be a visible and critical member of the team.

As a manager you will be responsible for prioritising workloads and managing the capacity and capability of your team. You’ll ensure that services are delivered to GDS Standards and through the correct methodologies and processes.

This is an exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunity to build on your portfolio of delivering services in an agile, dynamic environment. By applying your thorough understanding of GDS principles and processes to deliver innovative digital services, you’ll play a central role in how Defra creates a better place to live.

The bullet points below summarise some of the skills we are looking for.

Essential Skills

  • Extensive experience of delivering digital projects using agile frameworks, tools and techniques.
  • Proven capability of solving issues quickly and effectively, identifying themes and helping the team learn from experience.
  • Experience of coaching and mentoring both teams and senior stakeholders in agile delivery.
  • Adept at managing difficult relationships and helping teams overcome conflicts.

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of delivering digital services to the GDS Standard.
  • Proven history of balancing quality delivery with prudent budget management.
  • Experience of working within a public sector or large organisation.

User Interface Designer

As a User Interface Designer in the Environment Agency, you’ll define and design the interface and structure for some uniquely important digital services.

Our customers across industry and the public rely on our digital services for a variety of purposes — from applying for a fishing rod license to monitoring local river levels and flood warnings. They rely on us to provide user interfaces that are engaging, accessible, easy to navigate and responsive.

That’s where you come in…

You’ll apply your knowledge of standards such as the GDS design manual and WCAG 2.0 to ensure that our digital services meet user needs. You’ll build your understanding of those user needs by working alongside a cross-section of our business colleagues and key customers.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with a track-record of using interactive design to create a user interface that is fundamentally easy to use and understand, engaging graphical design, unpacking a complex workflow and creating wireframe mock-ups to communicate User Interfaces.

To succeed, you’ll need to be a strong communicator, enjoy working with a diverse team and maintain a clear focus on customers. If that sounds like you, apply to join the team and help create a better place to live.

Essential Skills

  • Extensive experience of working with customers to design digital service interfaces for web and mobile.
  • Solid experience of web and mobile application interface design. Core skills: hand-coded HTML (including HTML5), CSS, Javascript, sketching, design production, rapid prototyping.
  • Experience working within an agile, multi-disciplinary team environment, and ability to deliver iterative design components (including user journeys) to the development team.

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of designing interfaces to the GDS design manual
  • Working within a team using behavioural driven development, including the use of automated testing tools such as Cucumber.
  • Proven ability to effectively capture, utilise and share customer insight and views from a diverse range of stakeholders to ensure better policy and delivery.

Digital Tester

As a Digital Tester you’ll apply your strong customer focus and technical expertise throughout the service lifecycle. You’ll ensure that our digital services are robust, reliable, accessible, and usable on a range of devices. You’ll work within a diverse agile team, designing and executing tests and sharing your observations, so strong communications skills are vital.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with a background in digital testing to apply their skills and help improve our valued service to our customers.

Essential Skills

  • Experience of designing test approaches for digital services, embedding quality in the delivery and influencing team culture.
  • Experience of configuring automated test scripts and management of tests using software such as Browserstack and Saucelab
  • Experience of working within a team using behavioural driven development including the use of automation tools such as Cucumber.

Desirable Skills

  • Proven experience of working in an agile environment in multi-disciplined teams of developers and designers to create new digital services.
  • Experience of delivering digital services in line with the appropriate GDS Standard.

Digital Developer

Our customers across industry and the public rely on our digital services for a variety of purposes — from applying for a fishing rod license to registering cattle movements, from monitoring local river levels to receiving flood warnings.

Developing our digital online services in an agile way and with the customer in mind is vital to providing services that are readily accessible and always reliable.

As a Digital Developer, you’ll help us provide those important services by writing, adapting, maintaining and enhancing code that’s flexible, reusable and device agnostic. You’ll be a key player on our multi-disciplinary team, designing, creating and improving digital services, products and transactions to improve our environment.

To succeed, you’ll need to enjoy working as part of a diverse team and enjoy a technical challenge. If that sounds like you, apply to join our team and help us to create a better place to live.

Essential Skills

  • Extensive experience of digital services and APIs with detailed knowledge of at least one programming language (we use a range of languages including ruby and node.js)
  • An ability to communicate technical concepts to a non-technical audience
  • Experience working within multi-disciplinary teams delivering using agile methods and behavioural driven development
  • Being involved in the wider web development community, identifying good practices we can adopt and sharing our experiences

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of developing solutions that comply with the GDS Standard and design manual
  • Experience of integrating solutions with SAAS offerings
  • Experience in establishing and driving intra- and inter-team discussions to learn from experience and adapt organisational processes and plans.

Web-Ops Engineer

We’re looking for experienced and confident Web-Ops Engineers to lead our day-to-day digital operations as we transform our digital services for Defra group and our customers.

As a Web-Ops Engineer, you’ll work with colleagues across Defra group to keep our services online, supported and continually meeting customer needs. You’ll maintain strong partnerships with technical specialists and business leaders to provision servers based on user and service requirements.

By applying your demonstrable knowledge of building cloud-hosting environments and your understanding of the Government’s ’Cloud First’ policy, you’ll define the best systems, networks and platform configurations to achieve a diverse range of business objectives.

If you are confident communicator and leader with a solid record of monitoring and improving performance, apply to join the team and help create a better place to live.

Essential Skills

  • Extensive experience of configuring and operational management of cloud hosted services.
  • Experience of scripting of automated deployment and configuration management, using tools such a Puppet, Chef and Ansible
  • Experience of working very closely with developers and designers using agile methods and continuous delivery practices

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of designing infrastructure and managing operations based on the GDS Standard
  • Experience of debugging complex multi-server services
  • Ability to install and configure monitoring software

User Researcher

Our customers across industry and the public rely on our digital services for a variety of purposes.

As a User Researcher in the Environment Agency and Defra group, you’ll work with a core delivery team of digital experts, internal colleagues and external customers to gain a deep understanding of user and business needs.

You’ll bring your experience of using a range of research and analysis techniques to capture, represent and articulate user needs. You’ll then work as a key part of our teams to deliver services designed to meet those needs. Your specialist advice will also play a pivotal role throughout the service lifecycle to maintain a focus on user needs and outcomes, iterating services based on user feedback.

To succeed, you’ll need to be a strong communicator, have excellent analytical and problem solving skills, enjoy working as part of a diverse team and have a passion for user-centred design practices. If that sounds like you, apply to join our team and help us to create a better place to live.

Essential Skills

  • Experience of planning, designing, and conducting user research to elicit needs, both in early stage concept and later service delivery.
  • Experience of working with designers and developers to turn user data into actionable service needs that feed into service delivery.
  • Proven experience of working in an agile environment in multi-disciplined teams of developers and designers to create new digital services.

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of delivering to the GDS Standard.
  • Experience in web content, tools and transactional services, especially those with complex user journeys.