Principal Software Engineer – Children’s & Education

Job Introduction

The BBC’s Children’s & Education team deliver amazing digital experiences that inform, educate, entertain and inspire the nation’s children.

We provide some of the UK’s most popular websites and apps, which bring to life the globally renowned CBeebies and CBBC brands.

Our apps are some of the most popular for kids. Our apps are consistently in the top 5 of their categories in the app stores (see link below for example):

We have over 350+ interactive experiences across BBC online, powered by our internally built game engines (see link below for example):

Our flagship apps and 350+ interactive experiences are all powered by the same platform. This allows us to build multi platform experiences with a single codebase using modern web technologies. We call this the Universal App Platform (UAP), and you can read more about it in the blog post below:

Organised in cross-functional, agile teams, we’re focussed on creating world-class experiences for our young audience.

Role Responsibility

As a Principal Engineer, you will be responsible for leading the design and development of high quality, web and mobile products used by millions. You will work with other discipline leads to architect, deploy and operate these products. You'll be contributing hands on across multiple teams while leading technical projects delivered by both internal and 3rd party teams. We are looking for someone who can lead development, build sound architecture and foster best practices while mentoring other engineers to grow.

We don’t expect anyone to have experience of all the below, this just gives an example of the technologies and practices we value:

  • Drive best engineering practices within your team(s), define and teach practices such as CI/CD, TDD, cloud architectures and pair/mob programming
  • Work hands on in a team
  • Contribute to the vision and long-term strategy in your domain of expertise
  • Be a department-level expert in a particular area or go-to person for solving problems in your domain of expertise
  • Mentor other engineers
  • Be part of the BBC-wide developer community driving and influencing our key engineering decisions across the company
  • Understand the landscape of mobile application development for iOS and Android 
  • Have a passion for modern web technologies
  • Whilst not essential, having some working knowledge of WebGL/Canvas and frameworks such as Pixi.js and Phaser would be a bonus

The Ideal Candidate

We’d love to talk to you if you:

  • Have several years of working experience as a Software Engineer with some of the following technologies: JavaScript, React.js, PWA’s, Hybrid App frameworks (Capacitor, Ionic, Cordova), AWS, Cypress, BrowserStack
  • Have led technical projects
  • Have extensive knowledge and experience working in an agile environment
  • Can gain a deep understanding of the product and business goals, which you can translate into a technical solution
  • Have experience in mentoring and supporting peers and engineering teams, fostering best engineering practises
  • Actively invest in your technical skills and leadership abilities
  • Have a deep understanding on how to build a well architected codebase upon clean code and test driven principles
  • Have experience in identifying, debugging and resolving complex production issues
  • Be able to find new, innovative and experimental ways of solving problems

What’s important to us in Children’s & Education:

  • We are a diverse team that prioritises collaboration
  • We have a track record of developing our staff, and participating in schemes to boost diversity, graduates/apprentices/Step Into Tech are important to us
  • We strive for self organising teams, and empower Software Engineers to take part in all aspects of the product
  • We care about quality, with extensive automation, and TDD practices
  • Data powered decision making - looking at real user information and using that to choose what to do next
  • We work collaboratively within the department and beyond, looking to deliver joined up solutions where we can 
  • We value our people, offering 10% development time, a good work life balance and flexible working opportunities

Package Description

Band: D
Contract type: Permanent
Location: Salford (Up to 1-2 days onsite per week)

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 (1 of which is a corporation day) with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

The situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak is developing quickly and the BBC is keen to continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people across the BBC, while continuing to protect our services. To reduce the risk access to BBC buildings is limited to those essential to our broadcast output. From Wednesday 18th March until further notice all assessments and interviews will be conducted remotely. For more information go to

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.

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, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic 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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