Hi, I’m Chris Hulley and I’ve worked as a senior software engineer on health-related benefits for just over 2 years. I was attracted by DWP’s ambition to create fast-paced agile delivery teams that use the latest tech across a number of platforms to deliver digital services across government.
I was recently asked what I enjoy most about my role here at DWP Digital, so, with that in mind, here are the top 3 reasons why I don’t hate Mondays!
Digital projects don’t come bigger than this
And they don’t! Since I arrived, the pace of change has been extraordinary (and exciting) and that’s just within our own directorate. We’ve re-platformed most of our services using new cloud technology, completely rebuilt our CI pipeline, introduced new encryption standards for all data, enabled monitoring and alerting (that’s visible throughout the business) and built in resilience.
I was lucky to join at the inception of CHAP’s (Children, Health and Pensions) new Send your fit note service. Using a smartphone or tablet, users can quickly take a picture of their fit note, fill in some supplementary details and submit. They then get a text message confirmation when it arrives in our backend systems and that’s it, all done!
Building this solution came with some complex technical hurdles (optical character recognition & photo recognition to name two), which needed to be balanced with legitimate security concerns around receiving citizen-submitted photos into our backend systems.
This service has been rolled-out nationally and we’re receiving around 10,000 fit note submissions per week: reducing footfall in to jobcentres, minimising repeat visits to the GP for duplicate fit notes, and publishing open source utilities and applications that can be reused across other projects.
There’s a huge emphasis on user security
If cyber security and data encryption is something that interests you, this is the ideal place to understand more about it - possibly on a much larger scale than you may have experienced before.
We’re big on security here at DWP (let’s face it, who isn’t?!), but there’s the added factor that we’re handling citizen data, so security has to be at the core of everything. It’s a unique challenge!
Personally, I find the whole area of security, encryption and protection fascinating, and I love the ways in which we’re using cutting-edge methods and tech to protect customer data.
You can work in the way that works best for you
As an Engineering practice, we’re spread across a number of different specialisms and locations because we’re designing digital services to solve a myriad of user needs. Having this wealth of experience to draw on is invaluable and, given the opportunities for learning and personal development, we continue to be better informed to constantly refine our services across the entire practice.
Being empowered to choose and develop our own digital solutions is actively encouraged and being able to work up an idea from spike to feature is one of most satisfying aspects of our agile delivery teams.
If you’re thinking about joining us, my tip is to leave your assumptions about working for a government department at the door! In my experience, it’s not what people expect! It’s fun, fast-paced and you get to work with talented, technically-inspired people every day.
We’re currently recruiting for a variety of software engineering roles – as well as other roles across the organization. Check out our careers site for the latest vacancies. Or follow us on Twitter @DWPDigitalJobs.