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SEO Software Architect

  • Salary: £37428 - £41173 per annum
  • Job type: Permanent
  • Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
  • Sector: Software Development
  • Date posted: 14/11/2017
  • Job reference: J377327A

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Nottingham or Bristol or Swansea

£28,450 - £33,249

Role Purpose

The Software Architect is accountable, from inception to implementation, for the architecture, design and oversight of the build and implementation of IT systems across the agency ensuring that they deliver to the appropriate and agreed software patterns and coding standards.

Reporting to the Head of Solutions Design and Architecture, the Software Architect acts as the custodian of software requirements within DVSA and is accountable for creating and maintaining sophisticated software architectures and ensuring they are implemented throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC). This includes, but is not limited to, the production of code in-house and the production and delivery of code, by vendors.

The role holder works as a part of the agile digital team on a number of new initiatives across the agency as a part of the Government's wider digital strategy.

The role holder is responsible for leading, guiding and assuring the adherence to software frameworks by DS&T colleagues within the agile delivery teams by providing subject matter expertise, technical guidance and resolving complex technical issues.

Whilst the Software Architect does not have direct financial or budgetary accountability, the design and the subsequent performance of software will have far reaching implications in terms service run costs and future maintenance costs.

Main Duties

Activities may include

Roles responsibilities, accountabilities

Software Architecture

  • Identify the key components and requirements of DVSA's corporate strategy and directorates business plans in order to design and create the most appropriate software solutions for the business and analyse the implications for future maintenance of the architecture framework.
  • Acquire and maintain a complete and in-depth knowledge of the Agency's development programmes of work to ensure that software development standards and patterns are known and applied throughout the agency
  • Demonstrate technical leadership and provide authoritative direction to DVSA within the software architecture field and provide subject matter expertise and consultancy across the Agency
  • Produce Software Architecture Designs ensure these are followed in the production of software and solutions artefacts and are propagated through to high and low-level designs within all programmes of work
  • Remain current with developments in the field and ensure that wider industry (public and private sector) best practice is well understood and included where appropriate.
  • Build relationships and networks with software architecture colleagues across government, the IT industry and with suppliers to understand the market developments, gain industry insight, case studies and monitor market trends to provide comprehensive recommendations within DVSA on future software options and to enable intelligent software development planning for the future
  • Keep abreast of Government Digital Services (GDS) led initiatives to ensure DVSA adopts and incorporates latest practice into DVSA's software architecture.
  • Contribute to architectural output such as (but not constrained to) architecture overviews, solutions architecture blueprints, solutions options papers, reference architectures, software architecture patterns, high level designs, component and objective models, RAIDD logs
  • Review architectures and designs from a software architecture perspective providing constructive feedback to DS&T colleagues, programme and project leads
  • Work with the Digital teams to design software solutions that follow best practice
  • Engage with the Security Architect to ensure best practice of code creation is taken into account in the latest security guidance

Software Delivery Architecture Lead

  • Lead in the creation and maintenance of software development methodologies and life cycle within the agency, using subject matter expertise, own experience and judgement
  • Produce and apply software architecture patterns and coding standards that promote reusable, secure and efficient approaches and techniques in architecture and design that encourage reuse, minimise the accumulation of technical debt and promote agility of change.
  • Ensure agreed software architecture patterns and coding standards are implemented where appropriate to keep cost of run, maintenance and change to a minimum
  • Guide project teams and ensure compliance with the infrastructure architecture by providing infrastructure subject matter input, technical input and recommendations/proposals for the resolution of complex and competing infrastructure issues
  • Monitor issues and risks arising from the development or delivery of software solutions and especially identify where these do not conform to DVSA specific or accepted industry patterns / standards. Where necessary ensure that remedial actions are put in place
  • Ensure guidelines are followed and provide assurance that the architectural and code / development government processes are followed with variances being acted on promptly
  • Produce worked examples of code constructs that demonstrate good principles and practice in order to lead the development and upskill other Strategy and Architecture team members, programme and project leads in software knowledge in order to widen their skills, knowledge and disciplines and therefore prevent costly re-work in the business
  • Act as the single point of escalation for DS&T colleagues, vendors and suppliers on all matters of uncertainty or concern relating to software architecture. Ensure these are addressed and risks mitigated at the earliest opportunity. Ensure that decision points are ratified by the relevant boards and bodies within the governance system.

Live Support

  • Oversee and review the work of the Live Services team to ensure they work to the agree software architectures and follow agreed patterns and coding standards
  • Lead the Live Services teams in the resolution of software architectural issues by evaluating the risks, resolving complex technical issues and developing innovative solutions to address both the immediate and avoid future longer-term issues.
  • Evaluate performance of live software solutions to make recommendations for improvements and to ensure that learning is used to inform future designs.

Relationships Internal External

Work closely with the Head of Solutions Design and Architecture and the Solutions Architects to ensure a complete understanding of new and proposed solutions throughout the life cycle and as a result, provide effective input to the software architecture

  • Lead and drive the digital delivery teams in the development of complex software architectures and designs to meet the needs of the business, and to ensure compliance with the Agency's architectures, taking key decisions affecting the performance, reliability, and cost effectiveness of business critical digital services.
  • Lead and drive the 'run teams' (responsible for the running and maintenance of applications once live) to ensure that best practice is maintained and to lead and drive any architecture decisions.
  • Work with Information Assurance (IA) to ensure that the software architectures are secure and that the relevant information and design documentation is available to support IT health checks, penetration testing and vulnerability scanning. Mutual technical understanding between IA, Security and Software Architects will reduce risk across solutions.
  • Work closely with the Security Architect to ensure that code is designed to be secure and compliance with the Security Architecture, feeding back software knowledge and experience as appropriate.
  • Work closely with Government Digital Service (GDS) colleagues to ensure alignment to Government directives and to inform and influence those directives as appropriate, thus enabling DVSA's digital services to pass the mandatory Service Standard Assessments.

Required Qualifications, Skills, Experience and Competencies

Qualification requirements


  • Relevant software developer qualifications are considered an advantage

Skills and Experience

Essential Technical Skills

Must have held a role as a Junior Software Architect / Senior Developer / Digital (Dev or Tech) Lead or similar must have experience of software design at high, medium and low levels.

The role holder must be able to demonstrate a working knowledge in the following programming languages and tools / technologies

  • Java
  • .net languages - C# preferred
  • PHP
  • Jenkins
  • Common IDEs e.g. (Visual Studio / Eclipse etc.)
  • Window desktop & server
  • *nix preferably RHEL
  • Mac OX
  • iOS / Android / Windows for phone
  • Demonstrate a good knowledge of automation technologies such as Ansible and Puppet
  • Experience in mobile app development and mobile application architecture
  • Working Knowledge of Dev Ops, Continuous Integration and Testing
  • Agile methodologies
  • Logical and Physical modelling including knowledge of at least one formal notation (e.g. UML)
  • Experience of working with AWS implementations (Web, Application, Data and Network) and specifically in the production of infrastructure as code

Essential Non - Technical Skills

  • The role holder will have excellent communication and influencing skills.
  • Possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, be able to communication complex technical concepts to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Influence, present ideas, concepts and recommendations verbally and via documentation to the Senior Management Team, Senior Architects, Developers and Project and Programme Boards
  • Influence, guide and work with a variety of external teams, vendors, suppliers and stakeholders
  • Ability to work in a complex, dynamic and changing environment
  • Demonstrate leadership and authority in subject matter expertise of software solutions and cloud based environments
  • Responsible for own work, willing to accept accountability and ownership without guidance from senior management
  • Highly developed problem solving and analytical skills

Essential Experience

  • Experience of working in a medium / large organisation with highly distributed and mobile IT

Desirable Technical Skills

Experience in the following is highly desirable:

  • JSON
  • REST
  • XML, XLS etc....
  • Federated Security Models
  • TLS / SSL
  • Code generation tools such as Code Smith

Professional or Agency Specific Framework



Systems design DESN

The specification and design of information systems to meet defined business needs in any public or private context, including commercial, industrial, scientific, gaming and entertainment. The identification of concepts and their translation into implementable design. The design or selection of components. The retention of compatibility with enterprise and solution architectures, and the adherence to corporate standards within constraints of cost, security and sustainability.

Level 5

Specifies and designs large or complex systems. Selects appropriate design standards, methods and tools, consistent with agreed enterprise and solution architectures and ensures they are applied effectively. Reviews others' systems designs to ensure selection of appropriate technology, efficient use of resources, and integration of multiple systems and technology. Contributes to policy for selection of architecture components. Evaluates and undertakes impact analysis on major design options and assesses and manages associated risks. Ensures that the system design balances functional, service quality, security and systems management requirements.


Civil Service Competency Framework (behaviours)

Seeing the Big Picture

Be alert to emerging issues and trends which might impact or benefit own and team's work

Seek to understand how the services, activities and strategies in the area work together to create value for the customer/end user

Changing and Improving

Find ways to improve systems and structures to deliver with more streamlined resources

Regularly review procedures or systems with teams to identify improvements and simplify processes and decision making

Actively encourage ideas from a wide range of sources and stakeholders and use these to inform own thinking

Making Effective Decisions

Recognise patterns and trends in a wide range of evidence/ data and draw key conclusions, outlining costs, benefits, risks and potential responses

Ensure all government and public data and information is treated with care in accordance with security procedures and protocols

Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making to help build engagement and present robust recommendations

Leading and Communicating

Continually communicate with staff, helping to clarify goals and activities and the links between these and Departmental strategy

Recognise, respect and reward the contribution and achievements of others, valuing difference

Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner with all stakeholders and stand ground when needed

Delivering Value for Money

Recommend actions to achieve value for money and efficiency

Cultivate and encourage an awareness of cost, using clear simple examples of benefits and how to measure outcomes

Monitor the use of resources in line with organisational procedures and plans and hold team to account

Managing a Quality Service

Develop, implement, maintain and review systems and service standards to ensure professional excellence and expertise and value for money

Please refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework Level 3 for further information.

Any Other requirements

This role can be based in Nottingham, Bristol or Swansea.

Regular travel will be required across the UK (notably to DVSA locations in Nottingham, Bristol, Swansea, Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle) and to London to meet internal and external stakeholders and suppliers. This may require overnight stays.

Further Information

Please contact Colin Innes on or 07966 990473.

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