Senior Developer

London or Birmingham preferred, remote working anywhere within the UK also an option
Up to £60,000 per annum plus generous benefits
04 Jul 2017
24 Jul 2017
Contract Types
Design Disciplines
Digital / Web
Job Functions

About Us

The Big Lottery Fund (the Fund) distributes around £650 million of National Lottery Funding across the UK each year supporting health, educational, environmental, and charitable projects. We are fortunate to be able to support around 12,000 projects each year with grants ranging from as little as £500 to multi million pound programmes. By funding good causes, the Fund makes a real difference to local communities all over England.
The Fund is committed to putting people in the lead – it is our official vision and our top priority. To that end we are taking significant steps to embrace the user-centered, iterative culture of digital development, putting those values and practices at the heart of how we work. As a sign of how seriously we are pursuing this vision, we have created a new multidisciplinary Digital Team mixing design, programming and product management expertise, and we have appointed a specialist digital lead (Tom Steinberg) to the Senior Management Team, in order to head up that team. Our mix of skills and ways of working have been substantially shaped by the Government Digital Service’s Service Design Manual, and by modern digital working practices seen across the world. We are big fans of working in the open, where possible, and you can see our current work on our public GitHub repository.

About the role 

The Big Lottery Fund receives thousands of applications a year, for projects that seek to benefit millions of people. Handling these is a large scale process of real consequence, and one in which the quality of user experience can make a significant real world impact. In 2017 this means that high quality digital channels are essential for fulfilling our mission.
The role will entail building and iteratively improving user-centered digital services for the Fund, starting with the Big Lottery Fund’s main website. The role is situated within the Digital Team, a brand new part of the organisation that has been set up to give the Big Lottery Fund an in-house capacity to research, design, deliver and iterate high quality digital services. With colleagues, you will have a key role in rebuilding the Fund’s public-facing website from scratch on a new technology base, using a range of agile and user-centred working practices. Whilst this role is primarily about our public-facing services, you may also be asked to assist with the construction or configuration of back-end tools, working to make the lives of our colleagues more efficient and effective.
The Digital Team’s structure and working practices are heavily informed by the Government Digital Service’s Service Design Manual, and by modern, iterative software development practices in general. Work will be arranged in sprints, and run in an agile way, with plenty of user-testing and user-conversations to inform choices.
You will work closely with the Digital Team’s current Senior Developer, jointly working on a range of problems that will span the spectrum from front-end to back-end, from interpreting user research to data processing. You will have major input into choices relating to core technologies that the Fund’s new digital services will be built on, and the many architectural decisions which still remain to be made. 

Whilst this role is primarily about serving our customers and stakeholders, it has an important second client: our colleagues. This role is one of a few that will introduce more agile, iterative development approaches to the Fund, and which will involve building more services in-house, and relying more on SaaS systems to help facilitate this task. This represents a somewhat new way of working for the Fund, and so it will be of great importance to work transparently, to engage positively and constructively with colleagues, and to explain why agile, user-centred development practices work as they do.
It is also likely that the Fund will occasionally seek your expertise as it seeks to make the best possible grant making decisions relating to project proposals containing significant digital components.

Hours per week: 29.6 hrs – 37 hrs (i.e. 4 or 5 day working week)

Person specification 

You will be a capable software developer with deep experience in at least one open source framework.

You will bring with you a proven track record of delivering customer-facing digital services that placed user experience and user needs at the heart of their priorities, either as a solo coder or as part of a team. 

You will need experience in:

  • Building server-side web applications, with detailed knowledge of at least one open source framework e.g. Express.js, Rails, Django
  • Front-end web development (HTML/CSS/JS) - formal design training is not required because you will be working with skilled designers
  • Working knowledge of Unix-like operating systems such as Linux and/or OSX, especially making cloud hosting services like AWS ready for testing and production deployment
  • Building and using test suites
  • Contributing to securing digital systems against hacking and intrusions
  • Working knowledge of database systems
  • Knowledge of modern version control systems
  • Ability to research and learn new programming tools and techniques
  • Translating technical concepts for a non-technical audience, and working well with non-technical peers


The following are not essential, but will strengthen your application:

  • Experience presenting work at user groups and conferences
  • Understanding of the use of responsive web design
  • Experience of working with JavaScript libraries to produce data visualizations
  • Being involved in the wider web development community, identifying good practices we can adopt and sharing our experiences

How to apply 

Please send your CV with a covering letter via the Apply button describing how your experience meets the requirements of the role, and your reasons for applying to

The selection process will involve a lightweight coding test prior to interview selection. The test will be sent to candidates on 24 July 2017, who will be given 7 days to submit their code in response by 9am 1 August 2017. 

Invitations to interview for shortlisted candidates will be sent out no later than 3 August 2017. Interviews will take place on 9 August 2017 in London, although Skype will be considered for candidates for whom travelling poses a problem.
Please note that secondment arrangements will be considered.

NB: It is unlawful to employ a person aged 16 or over who does not have permission to live and work in the UK.  Please be aware that you will also need to supply a copy of your eligibility to work documents before starting employment with the Big Lottery Fund. You will need to bring the original documentation on the first day of your employment.  The Big Lottery Fund cannot sponsor individuals to live and work in the UK. 

For more information, or if you would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail please contact Tom Steinberg at

The Fund is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

We are committed to increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and will respond positively to meet individual needs throughout the recruitment process. Once in post, the Fund will ensure that any appropriate reasonable adjustments to our workplace are made, in order to support colleagues with any form of disability.

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