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Senior Data Engineer

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

BBC audiences expect the best content to be available to them in a single place, personalised to their preferences and interests. At the moment this is difficult for us to achieve since our content and audience data is distributed across systems that are hard to connect. We’re also missing metadata about lots of our programmes, which makes them difficult to discover. We’re currently unable to properly engage the next generation of TV license fee payers, many of whom already have less affinity with the BBC than the rest of the UK population.

Datalab was formed to address these issues, by creating a simpler way to discover content. We are doing this by bringing all of our data together into one place, and by using machine learning to enrich it. As we do this, we become able to match our programming with individuals’ interests and context. Our approach is to build a data platform that can be extended by other BBC teams, and which allows many different products to create consistent and relevant experiences for audiences.

In December 2018 we launched the first completely algorithmically driven (but editorially supervised) product in the BBC. While this is an experimental platform with an audience experience that will continue to evolve, it provides an insight into the broader capability we are building. 

Our team objectives are:

  1. Make it easy for BBC teams to rapidly develop and deploy Machine Learning engines
  2. Provide great recommendations across multiple BBC products

Role Responsibility

Individuals within the Data Engineer role ensure that data pipelines are scalable, repeatable, secure and can serve multiple users within the BBC. They help facilitate getting data from a variety of different sources, in the right formats, adhering to data quality standards and that downstream users can get that data quickly. This role usually functions as a core member of an agile team.

These professionals are responsible for the infrastructure that provides insight from raw data and handles diverse sources of data seamlessly. They enable big data and batch/real-time analytical solutions that make use of emerging technologies. Additional responsibilities include developing prototypes and proof of concepts for the selected solutions, and implementing complex data projects with a focus on collecting, parsing, managing, analysing and visualizing large sets of data using multiple platforms.

They understand how to apply technologies to solve data problems and to develop innovative data solutions. The Data Engineer is a technical job that requires substantial specialist knowledge in a broad range of software development and programming fields. These professionals have knowledge of data analysis, end user requirements analysis and business requirements analysis to develop a clear understanding of the business needs and to incorporate these needs into technical solutions. They have a solid understanding of physical database design principles and the system development life cycle. These individuals must work well in a team environment.

As a Data Engineer you will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team to ensure that the BBC’s data management, analytics and data science services are put into practice and matured in the area that you support to transform business capabilities and enable the next generation of Broadcast and Digital services.

You will be a specialist in your field with expertise in at least one technology, software, infrastructure, application, digital or broadcast and production domain. You will provide knowledge and guidance to multiple stakeholders. You will have an appreciation of how the complete range of data science specialisms impact your area and you will use this knowledge to ensure you deliver data-informed change, improve decision making and creative reuse of assets across the area that you support.

Are you the right candidate?


  • Bachelor's in computer science, computer engineering, or equivalent work experience
  • Data engineering, data science, or software engineering experience
  • Experience of leading teams of engineers
  • Capability to architect highly scalable distributed systems, using different open source tools
  • Experience with agile or other rapid application development methods
  • Experience with object-oriented design, coding and testing patterns as well as experience in engineering (commercial or open source) software platforms and largescale data infrastructures
  • Understands how algorithms work and have experience building high-performance algorithms
  • Knowledge in different programming or scripting languages
  • Specialist knowledge of data modeling and understanding of different data structures and their benefits and limitations under particular use cases
  • Experience using Big Data batch and streaming tools


  • Broadcast, production, start-up or media experience
  • A mix of public sector and commercial experience

Package Description

Band: D
Contract type: Permanent
Location: Glasgow

We’re happy to discuss flexible working. Please indicate your choice under the flexible working question in the application. There is no obligation to raise this at the application stage but if you wish to do so, you are welcome to. Flexible working will be part of the discussion at offer stage.

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for employees to seek new challenges and work in different areas of the organisation.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • 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 BBC

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.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here


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