Tipo de empleo: Full-time, Part-time, Permanent

Salario: £47,549 - £60,188 a year

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Contenido de trabajo

Reference number



£47,549 - £60,188
National: £47,549 - £54,728, London: £52,289 - £60,188 + Industry Leading Pension + Benefits


Grade 7

Contract type


Business area

DEFRA - Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS)

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



The successful candidate may work from our offices in Bristol, York or Warrington. We welcome a hybrid style of working - from home and in an office. Please be aware that this role will be contractually based in a Defra group workplace/office. The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time.Please also be aware that space within the London office is restricted and it may not be possible to be based in this location.

About the job


Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS) is the trusted team for digital across the entire Defra Group.

Defra is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.

For further information on DDTS, see the candidate information pack attached at the bottom of the advert and visit Defra Jobs.

Follow our Defra Digital blog for all the latest news and insights.

Job description

We are currently recruiting for three Lead Test Engineers.

You will be working on several meaningful digital services in a challenging environment which continues to evolve as an exemplar in the Digital, Data and Technology (DDAT) Quality Assurance & Test profession.

Working in a supportive, diverse, and user-focused culture our flexible working arrangements mean you can maintain a healthy work-life balance. You will play an important par tin building a digital future for Defra and our customers. This means big changes to how our services and technologies are designed and delivered.

Quality is at the heart of our digital strategy. Everyone is responsible for quality, and we have a team of skilled people who make sure quality is delivered in the most effective way


Your new role

  • You will be driven to making the government better, using your innovation and challenging the status quo.

  • You will be writing test code to prove the services are meeting the acceptance criteria.

  • Working in a multidisciplinary team on a wide range of digital projects, you will use industry standard agile methodologies and software testing tools to help build sustainable and robust digital services for our customers whilst upholding the Government Digital Service standards.

  • As a Lead Test Engineer, you will provide expert software test engineering leadership and influence the automated testing approach on one or more digital services.

  • You will be a subject matter expert on technical testing, and contribute to the team community, coaching and mentoring team members, promoting knowledge sharing and adoption of good practice.

  • You will assess and own escalated risks raised by more junior engineers at the programme and project level and promote a culture of continuous improvement.

What you’ll need to succeed

  • Experience of authoring and validating acceptance criteria and using Behavioural Driven Development or similar approaches in practice.

  • Expertise in test automation ideally through the use of Node JS to drive and mock services.

  • A strong working knowledge of non-functional testing, preferably using open-source tools such as JMeter or similar.

  • Experience in testing web APIs using Postman or Karate DSL or similar.

  • You can advise on and devise up-to-date non-functional testing techniques, peer review code and coach others. You know how to write test strategies for business critical services and provide guidance on risk approaches.

  • Experience of testing within a continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline preferably using Jenkins or Azure DevOps on cloud platforms

  • Comfortable using source control tools such as Github and Gitlab.

  • Confident using exploratory test techniques to focus testing on the areas of greatest risk.

Successful candidates should also be able to demonstrate the following personal attributes:

  • Experience of leading more junior test engineers and ensuring that the team conform to good software practice and are producing high quality, well tested software.

  • Experience of mentoring teams to grow their technical skills and create development opportunities.

  • Ability to research and learn new tools and techniques.

  • Experience of advising on how to apply standards and methods.

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Proven experience balancing multiple priorities and dealing with ambiguity .

  • Candidates with previous experience within a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) role or Test Engineer role with experience in test automation development for functional testing are also encouraged to apply.

Candidates who are judged to be a near miss at interview may be considered for other positions in Defra which may be at a lower grade, but have a potential skills match

Application Process

As part of the application process you will be asked to:

  • complete a CV

  • provide a 1000-word statement of suitability. The statement of suitability will ask the following on your application form: Please provide evidence on how you meet the skills and experience criteria under the Responsibilities section listed on the job advert.

  • Provide automated functional tests for a shopping cart example web site such as https://www.saucedemo.com/. Your code should be written in a Javascript automation framework, published in Github and a link to the repository included in your application. The tests should cover login, add to cart, checkout and logout. At interview you will be asked to present and demonstrate the framework and will be asked further questions about the solution you have provided.


Sift will begin shortly after the advert closes.

Should there be a large number of applications, an initial sift will be conducted using your suitability statement.

Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.


If successful at sift stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on your Experience, and the listed Behaviours and Technical Skills.

Interview dates are to be confirmed.

For further information on Success Profiles, visit Defra Jobs and watch the following videos:




Visa Sponsorship Statement

Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Developing Self and Others

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Automated Functional Testing
  • Technical knowledge of functional and non-functional testing including advantages, disadvantages and testing tools.
  • Technical knowledge of automated testing frameworks.
  • Environmental knowledge including continuous integration and deployment.

We only ask for evidence of these technical skills on your application form:

  • Automated Functional Testing


The Institute for Fiscal Studies recently said that “the biggest difference between public and private sectors remains the value of employer contributions to public service pensions. These are much more generous in the public sector than in the private sector”

  • You will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK - Contributory pension (worth 26.6 - 27.9% of salary)

  • If you have accrued pension rights in another pension scheme, you may be eligible to transfer these rights into the Civil Service Pension Scheme

  • Learning and development tailored to your role

  • An environment with flexible working options

  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity

For a full list of the benefits of working for Defra, please view the attached Candidate Information Pack at the bottom of this job advert.
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Plazo: 11-04-2024

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