Government Digital Services

Who we are
At the Government Digital Service (GDS), our mission is to build a simple, joined-up and personalised experience of government for everyone. Using our unique position at the centre of government, we develop services that work for the user, however complex the underlying systems may be. We believe that ensuring things work for end users is the only way to realise the efficiencies that come with digital transformation.

Our focus is on delivering five missions in the following areas:

– GOV.UK as the single and trusted online destination for government information and services.
– Joined-up services that solve whole problems and span multiple departments.
– A simple digital identity solution that works for everyone.
– Common tools and expert services.
– Joined-up data across departments.
– You can read more about these missions and our vision for the transformation of government in our 2021-2024 strategy.

What you’ll do

We’re looking for developers of all experiences and backgrounds who can work across a range of services. During the application process, we will take your skills and any preference you express on-board and aim to match you to an appropriate service and team. GDS staff move between services and teams on need and request and as a result, you may be required to learn a new programming language.

GOV.UK is the place to find government information and services. It’s designed to make dealing with government simpler, clearer and faster. It’s a microservices based architecture, primarily based upon Ruby on Rails, with PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch and a variety of other technologies. Read more about GOV.UK on the Inside GOV.UK Blog.

The Government as a Platform (GaaP) programme provides a range of shared services, solving common problems across government:

GOV.UK Pay (Node.js, Java)
GOV.UK Notify (Python)
GOV.UK Design System (HTML/CSS/JavaScript, Node.js)
GOV.UK PaaS (CloudFoundry, Go, Node.js)
GOV.UK Forms (new team, tech stack TBC)
GaaP supports essential services used by millions of people every day, playing a vital role in digital transformation across the public sector.

Digital identity enables people to prove who they are online, with the necessary level of confidence to access and use particular services. Effective identity assurance is central to digital transformation, and the Government is committed to establishing a standards-based digital identity ecosystem that allows individuals to safely access a range of public and private sector services.

8 million people have already used the current cross-government system – GOV.UK Verify – to identify themselves and interact with public services digitally. GDS is now working closely with other departments to develop a new solution – GOV.UK Sign In – that will make it even easier to login and access services. GOV.UK Sign In is a serverless system built with Java, AWS Lambda, API Gateway and DynamoDB, with a front end in Node.js and TypeScript.

As a developer in GDS you’ll:

– Work as part of a multi-disciplinary agile team, getting involved with every part of the lifecycle of a service, from user research to deploying code to production
– Build RESTful web services to serve a variety of citizen and government needs, taking responsibility for the quality of code you produce
– Implement toolkits and APIs for purposes such as integration, performance optimisation, security and scalability
– Share knowledge of tools and techniques with your wider team, both developers and non-developers
– Share your work and the things you’ve learned through blog posts and show and tells, with the option of presenting at conferences and meetups
– Support the live operation of the services we run, and participate in out-of-hours support rotas where necessary – you’ll be paid an allowance, and a further hourly payment, for any duties you perform when on call

– Help recruit other developers and, where appropriate, getting involved with sifting and interviewing

You’ll share the responsibility for the digital transformation of government. You’ll ensure high quality code is delivered in line with programme goals and delivery cycles. You’ll thrive using agile methods and enjoy working openly, collaboratively and as part of a multidisciplinary team focused on one or more services. Above all, you’ll want to make government better, which may sometimes involve challenging the status quo.

To learn more about what developers do in government please review the DDaT Capability Framework.

Who you’ll be

We’re interested in people who:

– Have experience in back-end development, with detailed knowledge of either Ruby, Java, Node.js or Python
understand software design principles
– Research and learn new programming tools and techniques
– Take a systematic approach to solving problems
– Have experience using automated testing 
– Have experience using the command line to operate software
– Have experience using version control to manage source code
– Have experience working in a collaborative environment, ideally as part of a multi-disciplinary agile team
understand common web security risks (eg. OWASP Top 10)
– Appreciate the importance designing services which are accessible to users of all abilities
– Have an awareness of technologies used for web applications, e.g databases, backups, CDNs and search, and of Unix-like operating systems, e.g. Linux and/or Mac OS
– Have experience working on, or with web technologies
– Want to use their skills and experience to make a genuine difference, and are excited about working on important services that are used by millions of people

 The selection process as a standard for all of our roles consists of:

– An application screening process
– A phone interview
– An interview
– A paired programming exercise

GDS offers hybrid working for all employees. This means that everyone does some working from home/remote working and also spends some time in their local office. You will agree to your hybrid working arrangement with your line manager in line with your preferences and business needs.


To apply for this job please visit