Software Engineering Team Lead - Voice & Conversational Interfaces

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

Job Introduction

Voice and Conversational User Interfaces are the new frontier in interaction with internet services.  From Alexa to Siri, Google Assistant to Cortana, the way we interact with the internet is changing, fast.  Assistants are rapidly becoming a part of everyday life for millions of our consumers and are now the fastest growing medium for interaction with the internet across the country.  Our mission within the newly formed BBC Voice and Conversational Interfaces team is to shape interaction with the BBC at both an audience and organisational level through these assistants, and pioneer new formats and technology that bring the BBC to life in an artificial intelligence first world.  It’s exciting stuff.

With a focus on software engineering, you will be expected to lead teams and project implementation across the entire Voice UI and Conversation User Interfaces portfolio as required. Working in a multi-disciplinary environment with Product Managers, Project Managers, Technical Architects and Test Engineers, you will use Agile, Lean and DevOps principles to ensure the development of new features run smoothly and that your team’s work meets the technical and operational standards for all of the BBC. 

Design & Engineering (D&E) is the BBC’s technology division that is providing the catalyst for this transformation, with the Voice and Conversational Assistants group responsible for leading change in our audiences’ interaction with the BBC. 

Role Responsibility

As a team leader you will be responsible for leading one or two of our multi-disciplinary agile teams, providing the technical oversight and direction for the wide range of challenges that come at us every day. We value strong ownership of the systems and components we build and encourage iterative and experimental approaches. We believe in empowered autonomous teams with a strong sense of purpose.

Day-to-day your responsibilities include:

  • Building excellently engineered, high availability solutions capable of handling huge volumes of traffic.
  • Ensuring the quality of our work meets the high technical standards for BBC Online output.
  • Planning features and projects using agile development practices.
  • Working with our editorial and design colleagues on new application concepts and building prototypes.
  • Developing tools and methodologies to improve our development process.
  • Working closely with our operational support teams to ensure our solutions our supportable, scalable and reliable.
  • Collaborating effectively with other teams and clients of our services to deliver the best possible audience experience.
  • Seeking for opportunities to employ new technologies, design patterns and methods to enhance our products and services.
  • Keeping abreast of developments in software engineering and technologies particularly related to mobile devices.
  • Reviewing the work of your colleagues and helping others.
  • Solving operational issues, including working under a Dev Ops model.
  • Assisting with recruiting, mentoring and training new team members.

The Ideal Candidate


You will have experience of:

  • Leading and managing Software Engineers.
  • Designing, developing and supporting large, complex production systems at scale.
  • Creating and supporting reliable and scalable cloud based micro services on the cloud.
  • Developing systems in Node.JS, including RESTful APIs.
  • Starting new projects, including responsibility for the architecture and design.
  • Growing existing systems to meet increased demands.
  • Ability to rapidly acquire new skills and to work with new technologies.
  • Solid software engineering/web development experience, with the ability to engage with others.
  • Agile software development methodologies including behaviour driven development and test driven development.
  • Producing maintainable code within collaborative environments.
  • Communicating effectively with both technical and non-technical colleagues at all levels in an organisation.
  • Adopting a “can do” positive attitude, a willingness to learn and collaborating with colleagues.


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

  • Experience of building systems with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Working with serverless infrastructures such as AWS Lambda.
  • Administering Linux servers.
  • Experience with Voice UI SDKs (Amazon Alexa, Google Home, etc).
  • Relational and NoSQL databases such as schema design and scaling.
  • Caching and performance at scale.
  • JavaScript, ECMAScript 6, code management with NPM.
  • Using publish-subscribe and message passing software patterns, preferably in JavaScript.
  • Browser side debugging using appropriate tools such as Chrome DevTools, breakpoints, memory profiling and CPU profiling.
  • Talking in industry forums, interest groups or broader industry engagement.
  • Relationship management, including a track record of collaboration and influence.
  • Leading teams in high-pressure environments.
  • Coaching, mentoring and developing colleagues.
  • Successfully liaising with external suppliers.

Package Description

Grade 9 (proposed band D)

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for ambitious software engineers to seek new challenges and work on many different and varied products.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • A vibrant digital community – we have a strong focus on continuous improvement and engineering excellence. We host regular talks from internal and external speakers, and provide generous opportunities to attend industry events and conferences.
  • A variety of technical challenges – we work across a wide range of platforms, languages and technologies; from the latest frameworks and open standards, to the newest devices and modern cloud platforms.
  • 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. You’ll be asked questions relating to them as part of your application for this role.

The BBC is committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and therefore strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.  We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of their background.

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