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IT Engineering

We’re built on thinking like yours

IT Engineering

Our team

Our engineers cover a broad range of areas, including Systems and Software Engineering, Early Stage Prototyping, DevOps, Testing, Infrastructure, Performance, Availability & Security Engineering, and Networks. We’re looking for highly-motivated engineers who like us believe in curiosity, collaboration and a culture of openness and enterprise.

Current vacancies

Explore our current vacancies and apply for roles at Nationwide.

Application Security Engineer

Competitive

Location Swindon, London
Contract Permanent

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Senior Software Developer - Java

Competitive

Location Central London
Contract Permanent

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Software Developer - Java

Competitive

Location Central London
Contract Permanent

View job

There are 22 vacancies in IT Engineering
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(TEAM) IT ENGINEERING 1

What we do

We’re working towards rebalancing our work in favour of engineering excellence over governance process. We want greater efficiency so we’re figuring out how to reduce testing time and production incidents, and how to bring more work in-house. By letting our engineers focus on tech, not management, we’ll get there even faster.

Op Resillience Image (002)

Resilience starts and ends with the right culture and governance

Head of Engineering Pieter Lindeque suggests that organisations reconsider the way in which they approach and integrate Operational Resilience and Disaster Recovery. He recommends a set of core principles and tells of how at Nationwide we’ve addressed some of the challenges in our journey.

In a world of disruption, operational resilience has never been more important

Regulatory demands mean we must act now.

Following significant IT-related incidents in the financial services sector and calls to action from successive Treasury Select Committee reports, regulators are proposing to bring operational resilience into their respective policy frameworks, building on existing obligations for Business Continuity and IT Disaster Recovery. According to Bank of England’s Nick Strange,

“We regard operational resilience as an outcome, something we should strive for … and to do that we must manage operational risk effectively”

The Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority consultation papers set an expectation that firms will have completed any investment required to stay within their impact tolerance within three years. To achieve this, core services identification, mapping and testing activity needs to be completed within the next 18 months.
The following key principles have been established for the regulatory response:

  • Identify - Identify important business services and set impact tolerances for these
  • Map - Map resources to business services
  • Test - Test ability to remain within impact tolerances using scenarios
  • Invest - Take action to ensure operation within impact tolerances

What is Operational Resilience? And how does Disaster Recovery fit into it?

At Nationwide Building Society we define Operational Resilience as the ability to prevent, respond to, recover and learn from operational disruptions in order to maintain our propositions and services to members.

Disaster Recovery is the ability to recover critical services in a disaster event, such as a hosting location loss or cyberattack, in order to maintain our propositions and services to members. As such it is a key part of Operational Resilience.

The Nationwide response

Our Operational Resilience Strategy was board approved in 2018. This was quickly underpinned by a funded Operation Resilience programme of work that formed part of our broader technology strategy. In 2019, we approved our DR strategy and a three-year roadmap for taking our IT Disaster Recovery capability to the next level. Our IT DR Strategy is founded on the principles below:

  • Customer driven – meeting customers’ expectations for service availability
  • Business service aligned testing and recovery – regular mandatory testing, prioritising critical services alongside existing testing. Recovery processes aligned to business services
  • Board endorsed – business service recovery is treated as an organisational priority
  • Aligned to operational resilience strategy – service recovery is consistent with the associated strategies and principles
  • Plan for failure – robust, tested capability in place to enable full recovery to alternate hosting location
  • Resilience by design – design and build incorporate resilience as a priority
  • Business-led governance – service focussed governance model, including DR standards and principles
  • Effective execution – optimal resourcing with the necessary skills and capabilities for implementation, automation and future operation
  • Clear ownership – business ownership of service recovery
  • Iterative enhancements to recovery capability – progressive improvement through rehearsal, testing and remediation

This led to the development of a framework that consists of four elements, shown in the diagram. This framework underpins our entire IT DR Strategy.

 

Unicorn Twitter

Unicorns are our competition

Mike Bainbridge has worked in IT strategy for over 20 years, with a background in e-commerce his focus has always been delivering high-performance customer solutions. At AWS (Amazon Web Services) he runs the Digital Innovation program, to help enterprise organisations understand how to build a culture and process for scaling innovation.

He was presenting our monthly Tech Talk and opened with the attention-grabbing assertion that unicorns are our competition. He explained:

A unicorn is a company worth £1 billion.

These unicorns are building, testing and delivering products at a pace that the market has never seen before.

Consumers have been through a digital transformation where their experiences and expectations have also transformed. This change is where large organisations who have remained the same in their ways of working have struggled to keep up with the demands of the market and their customers. Whereas the unicorns have done the complete opposite and embraced a culture of innovation, enabling their employees to heighten their creativity through accountable freedom. The number one factor for an organisation to succeed is their culture.

At Amazon there are principles to make everyone feel like a leader, their own leader. To let them make decisions, to let them invent, innovate and think big. Amazon has over 700,000 employees, and by allowing this culture of innovation to flow, someone, somewhere within those 700,000 people, will have the “next big thing”. If you compress people into silos, take their ability to create and innovate away, over time your business will fail.

It's not only the culture, but the structure of an organisation that is important. Mike's next point resonated with many at Nationwide as we transform. He recalled asking: 

“If 10 people in an organisation, from executives to a branch assistant had come up with a ground-breaking idea, would all of those people follow the same path to get that idea started or recognised by someone who can do something with it?”.

When this question was asked originally, 9/10 people said 'no'.

The people who said 'no' felt that the language in traditional organisations held them back. Words such as ‘experiment’ automatically sounds like failure. This is the mould that has to be broken; when it comes to experimenting, failure is okay. We learn more from failing than we do succeeding. Having that license to fail in a safe environment where innovating and experimenting is encouraged will help businesses become more efficient and self-aware. It is only through innovation do we learn where we need to improve and what our strengths are.

Innovation is imperative at Nationwide. Through it we are maturing, growing and learning, providing legendary service whilst staying relevant to our evolving membership.

Ian Andrews

Can organisations be big & agile?

When the term Agile is used in the world of large organisations, it’s simply a synonym for ‘cheaper and faster’, along with a widespread assumption that it is a purely a methodology. Similarly, delving a bit deeper, there is also a disconnect between business operations and tech teams in terms of understanding and implementing Agile.

So, is Agile a methodology or a mindset?

I believe Agile is a mindset, and the manifesto corroborates this position:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Large corporations often look at start-ups with envy because of the speed with which they can execute, the lack of perceived controls and a fleet of foot approach. The strength lies in business being able to work closely with tech, being able to respond to change quickly and so enable quicker routes to the realizing of business benefits.

Agile meets legacy and scale

In my experience, large corporations are shackled by legacy and scale, plus they are fundamentally more grown up – i.e. they have to solve bigger problems. When large organisations try to emulate Agile in pockets with best intentions, and often lots of excitement, it doesn’t always lead to the desired outcome.

Service lines meet tech

When you get people inside business service lines who need something done by a certain date, their vernacular is increasingly ‘let’s do this Agile’, but they haven’t anticipated nor understood the changing mindset that they need to adopt it. And even when business and tech get closer together it rarely works as a collaboration.

I thought for a long time, like so many, that Agile was a set of methodologies. The revelation that it was a mindset requiring different disciplines and methodologies really blurs the line between Waterfall and Agile. In fact, an Agile mindset lends itself to delivering all types of change.  It means having more conversations, planning little and often, keeping everything transparent and blurring the lines between job roles.

These techniques can be applied regardless of methodology, which is what has to happen in large organisations. When you start to remove the barriers between business service lines, IT delivery and business operations you get a much tighter coupling between the outcome the business is looking for and how IT responds.

So my conclusion is that it’s a mindset that transcends both methodologies. And it’s most useful when viewed in this way – and especially for large organizations where you can’t afford to be a purist about any one approach.

Agile at Nationwide

We’re embarking on a very big transformation programme through our Big Investment, and part of that is moving slowly and sustainably towards a new working paradigm with Agile at its heart. But not with the superficial intent of getting it done quicker and cheaper as that acting with that intention alone tends to create further complexity. The irony is that that will probably happen eventually as a result anyway.

Key take-aways

My advice to large organisations keen to embrace an Agile mindset would be to embrace the business’s desire to move at pace but to be instrumental in educating business leaders about the change in attitude and behaviours that will be required to make it work. It’s not just something that you do in IT.

If I were to distill the most important principles of Agile for large organisations, I would say they are:

  1. Individuals having the ability to accept change and adapt quickly.
  2. Brutal transparency.
  3. Trying to solve problems, including anti-patterns, swiftly.
  4. Sharing the right knowledge to the right audience.

Ian Andrews is Nationwide's Head of IT Engineering.