Software Engineering Team Lead, BBC News And Weather Apps, Javascript

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

Job Introduction

The BBC’s News and Weather Apps are two of the most well-known, well loved and widely used apps in the UK, with many millions of daily users on each platform.

This is your opportunity to work with us on the next generation of these products.

Historically the app development team has worked alongside a number of backend teams that provide content driving the app. However, we are changing to adopt a new app architecture strategy closely aligned with the Backend For Frontend pattern. This means we are expanding the team to be truly cross-functional with app and backend engineers working alongside each other.

This role will be instrumental in establishing the people, practices and expertise to build, develop and operate a backend for the BBC News and Weather apps.

What’s our challenge?

We face a problem of changing news consumption habits, especially with younger news readers. We know that our current users, those millions we talked about earlier, absolutely love the BBC News app, and that it serves their needs fantastically well. So far, so great...

But, we also know that for millions of others the way they consume news is completely different now and that the existing app does not meet their needs. So, the “next generation” of our app will be our answer to not just discovering, and meeting the needs of this new audience, but to bringing both existing and new users together through a well considered, thoroughly tested, highly personal experience.

Of course, this is no trivial thing to achieve and will require us to rethink everything from the features of the app, to the way it’s architected and importantly the backend that is driving content to the app. This has led us to rethink how we architect our apps backend and we are now beginning to take that forward.

Now do you see why we need you to join us? :-)

How do we work?

The team is split into pods that are semi-autonomous teams of cross-functional members formed around a specific task, framework, or other clear purpose. Pods change overtime and nobody is expected to stay in the same Pod for any longer than they want to. Everyone in every Pod has a responsibility to help maintain their own Pod backlog, with the support and guidance of the wider team.

As a team we value constant feedback and self improvement. Not sure we’re doing things as well as we could? Then just tell us. Everything from Lint rules to how/if/why we write JIRA tickets has been raised and debated and changed.

This is your team and we have found that it runs best when everyone believes that we are all doing the best job we can, given the knowledge at hand, our skills and abilities, and the resources available.

We value work/life balance as a crucial part of a healthy team, so you can expect some concerned looks if you start opening Pull Requests on a Sunday morning or firing off emails on a Friday night. We also have trained Mental First Aiders in the department if you need them and a private support line if that suits you better.

What we are looking for?

To support this expansion we need a Software Engineering Team Lead who will work alongside other Team Leads and Principal Engineers to provide the technical expertise, direction and leadership to the team. You will also have a responsibility to provide pastoral care to other members of the team based in Glasgow (who could be spread across multiple pods). Therefore we are looking for someone who has also had experience in line management, nurturing engineering talent, encouraging their development and ensuring the team as a whole is working effectively.


Since the overall team is split between two BBC sites, being comfortable working with distributed and remote-friendly working practices is a must.

What do you get in return?

We offer competitive salaries, flexible hours, remote working that emphasises the importance of work life balance.

The BBC puts great value into learning and development and you’ll have the chance to attend conferences as well as immediate access to online material such as LinkedIn Learning membership.

We also offer unique opportunities to grow your career and skills through the BBC Academy - a treasure trove of online and classroom courses (some with accreditation) that can teach you anything from Building Microservices on AWS to Big Data And Machine Learning Ethics to How To Write A News Article.

Ever get home at night and want to do nothing more than just watch iPlayer with some fast food? Us too. That’s why we introduced Learning Day. Each Sprint we set aside an entire day to allow you to explore your own ideas and career development. Want to get deeper into AWS or delve into GraphQL, this is your chance.

We take our responsibility as a public service very seriously and so we take our time to not just talk about things like accessibility, localization, ethics, privacy and security, but to do them to the best of our ability.

You’ll also get to work with a team that is genuinely diverse, within a supportive organisation. We encourage and celebrate that diversity and champion inclusivity in everything that we do. For example, we’ve written about how we created our Team Charter and the different Communities we are building within the team and business.

As part of that commitment we offer placements to people on the BBC’s Graduate and Trainee programs providing those still in the early phases of their career a chance to contribute and learn with us. If you join us you can help by offering mentoring, buddying, pairing and/or coaching.

There is also a wide community of practice around web technologies for sharing ideas.  We travel to meet each other in our respective cities, we attend (and sometimes speak at) internal/external conferences together, chat on Slack and comment on Pull Requests on GitHub.

Role Responsibility

●     Provide technical oversight and direction to peers and colleagues  - ensuring quality standards are maintained and best practise is employed.

●     Working with Product Managers, Project Managers, Technical Architects and Test Engineers to help shape and define the work of the team.

●     Provide technical representation of the team into relevant cross-team technical discussions

●     You’ll be able to facilitate collaboration between other stakeholder engineering teams to ensure the right conversations happen to help solve challenging technical problems.

●     You’ll have experience of building, leading and mentoring a small team of software engineers.  You’ll help engineers to grow and support them in advancing their careers

●     You seek learning opportunities to deepen your expertise, broaden your knowledge and through leading by example support the growth of the technical capabilities of the team

●     Review and give constructive feedback on others' code

●     Help identify, diagnose and suggest improvements where team working practices are not effective. Encourage continuous improvement across the team.

The Ideal Candidate

You may have experience of some, but not necessarily all, of the following:​

●     A strong background in software development and in-depth knowledge of design principles and patterns for building scalable, microservice based, high-traffic backend APIs.

●     An expert in Javascript and its use in backends

●     Leading and managing a team of Software Engineers with a mix of experiences. Recruiting, mentoring and cultivating a diverse team where everyone can give their best.

●     Be a strong advocate for using appropriate test techniques to ensure a high level of quality is achieved.

●     Effective leadership and collaboration inside and beyond the team. A proactive nature and desire for continuous improvement.

●     Comfortable working with complex systems, containing many dependencies and how to navigate across multiple teams to coordinate and get work done.

●     Proven experience in providing technical leadership and technical decision making. 

●     Strong communication skills, be able to articulate concepts succinctly and know how to tailor messages in a way that is appropriate to the audience.

●     Experience of an agile environment, pairing and working within a collaborative team.



●       Continuous Integration/Delivery.

●       Had experience of architecting and developing backends for consumption by mobile apps.

●       Comfortable working in an environment that moves fast and being able to adapt to changes and seek out ways forward.

●       Comfortable with distributed working practices and making a success of cross-site work.

Package Description

Use standard E.g. see Package Description here

Package Description

Band: D
Contract type: Perm
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 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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