Senior Site Reliability Engineer – Department for International Development – Darlington

Department for International Development

Job summary

This recruitment is continuing as usual, but candidates should be aware that following the on the changes to some civil service departments, roles will be located in the new Department for Business and Trade. We will provide more information if you are selected for a role. This work remains of high importance to the civil service, and we thank you for your continued interest.

Join a team at the heart of the global economy! 

We create digital services, data tools and technology for businesses to prosper around the world. Have a look at our !

Our Digital, Data and Technology team develops and operates tools, services, and platforms that enable the UK government to provide world leading support to businesses in the UK and overseas.

You’ll get to constantly push boundaries in an environment free of heavy legacy, driven by curiosity, social purpose, diversity of thought, entrepreneurship, and the aspiration to offer an incredible experience to all our users.

Can we rely on you to make us more reliable? The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) helps businesses export and invest, and we need Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) to make sure our internet services work as users expect. 

Job description

As a senior SRE you will work to give development teams the tools for their job, including application performance monitoring, exception, log and metrics aggregation, dashboards, and declarative CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) pipelines.

You’ll evangelise product teams about service-level indicators, objectives, and error budgets, and negotiate them. You’ll help build and scale our global product platform and participate in an on call rota. 

Our tech stack includes:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Azure
  • Jenkins 
  • Terraform & CloudFormation
  • Kubernetes
  • Elastic Container Service (ECS)
  • Elasticsearch 
  • Python 
  • PostgreSQL 
  • Sentry 
  • Redis 
  • Person specification

    Essential Skills and Experience

    You should be able to demonstrate:

  • Experience and fluency in one or more programming languages, writing clean and effective code.
  • Ability to build code-defined, reliable, and well tested infrastructure on top of cloud computing systems (e.g. Terraform, CloudFormation).
  • Cloud experience with either Amazon Web Services, Azure or Google Cloud. 
  • Experience in designing, analysing, and troubleshooting distributed systems.
  • Knowledge of Linux/Unix fundamentals and TCP/IP networking. 
  • Ability to see user impact in the infrastructure changes.
  • Desirable Skills and Experience

    While not essential, it would be ideal if you have demonstrable skills and experience of: 

  • PaaS, Kubernetes, Django, oauth2/saml2 integrations in Python.
  • Experience coding infrastructure (i.e., Terraform, CloudFormation).
  • Experience in defining and measuring Service Level Objectives.
  • Experience in observability driven development. 
  • Experience in prototyping through reuse of existing Open Source components. 
  • Benefits

  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • Things you need to know

    Selection process details

    Interviews for this vacancy will be conducted virtually. We will, however, consider in-person interviews by exception.

    Please ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

    Sift and interview dates to be confirmed.

    Assessment and Interview

    As part of the you will be asked to upload a CV which outlines your experience, skills and fit for the role.

    At the sift stage for this role, Inspire People will assess you against the essential criteria listed above to compile a longlist of applications. If you are progressed through to this stage, you will be asked to complete a short, pre-recorded video interview with Inspire People or provide written answers to questions. These applications will then be sifted by DBT hiring managers.

    At the for this role, we will assess your technical/specialist experience and ask you questions around Behaviours and Technical skills, which are part of the Civil Service . 

    The technical element within the interview, where you will be asked a series of questions to demonstrate your specific professional skills and knowledge related directly to the job role and context, will assess against capabilities which are outlined under DevOps engineer within the DDaT framework which can be found . As part of this process, you will be asked to complete a technical exercise during your interview. More details will be provided following sift stage.

    The Technical Skills you’ll be assessed against are:

  • Availability and capacity management
  • Development process optimisations
  • Information security
  • Modern standards approach
  • Programming and build (software engineering)
  • Prototyping
  • Systems design
  • Systems integration
  • User focus
  • You will also be assessed against the Behaviours of:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Offer Stage 

    Appointments may be made to candidates in merit order based on location preferences.

     The salary we will offer is determined using interview performance. Scores at interview translate to proficiency levels and an associated salary. Once a successful candidate has a proficiency level and is part of the capability framework, they will be given opportunities to self-assess to progress through the pay scale within their grade during their time at DBT. For further explanation of proficiency levels and more information about DDaT click

    Candidates who pass the bar at interview but are not the highest scoring will be held on a 12-month reserve list for future appointments. Candidates who are judged to be a near miss at interview may be offered a post at the grade below the one advertised.

    If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

    The Department for International Trade embraces and values diversity in all forms. We welcome and pride ourselves on the positive impact diversity has on the work we do, and we promote equality of opportunity throughout the organisation.

    Harmonised terms and conditions are attached. Please take time to read the document to determine how these may affect you.

    Please note – the successful candidate will be expected to remain in post for a minimum of 18 months before being released for another role.

    Any move to the Department for International Trade from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

    New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

    Reasonable adjustment

    If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

    If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should contact the DDaT Recruitment team before the closing date to discuss your needs.

    Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of appointment on the basis of fair and open competition and appointment on merit, as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles.

    If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should in the first instance contact DIT by email: [email protected]

    If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission:

    Click to visit Civil Service Commission.

    If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

    For further information and to apply please click the link to direct you to the advertisers website.

    Further Information

    This role requires SC clearance, a condition of which is to have been present in the UK for 3 out of the past 5 years. For more information on security clearance, the Civil Service Code, our recruitment principles, and our complaints procedure, click .

    Vetting Requirements – SC

    All security clearances require you to provide evidence of your UK footprint where you have been physically present in the UK.

    The requirement for SC clearance is to have been present in the UK for at least 3 of the last 5 years.

    Failure to meet the residency requirements will result in your security clearance application being rejected.

    If you require SC clearance you will need to provide evidence of the below requirements.

    Checks will be made against:

  • departmental or company records (personnel files, staff reports, sick leave reports and security records)
  • UK criminal records covering both spent and unspent criminal records
  • your credit and financial history with a credit reference agency
  • Security Services records
  • Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


    Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is .

    .People working with government assets must complete checks.

    Nationality requirements

    This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
  • Working for the Civil Service

    The sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

    We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s .The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

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