The Technical Specialist should act as a conduit and ambassador between architecture and development, to develop and drive standards across the function, and ensure solutions are fit for purpose.
Closing date
4 Aug 2019
Full-time or part-time

About the Technology department

Technology delivers digital products and services used by applicants, providers, advisers, and commercial partners, while ensuring UCAS has a ‘digital by default’ infrastructure. UCAS is currently in a phase of digital acceleration – our approach is responsive, agile, and customer-focused.

The Technology department is divided into four primary functions – Technology Development, Technology Experience, Service Management, and Enterprise Architecture. As we develop our services, our teams work seamlessly in a digital ecosystem that balances the needs of students and education providers, and ultimately adds value to the student journey.

If you have a thirst to be at the cutting edge of technology and thrive off a fast-paced technical environment, we’d love to hear from you.

About the role

The Technical Specialist will work alongside the technology development leadership and management team, to ensure technical solutions are aligned to the Technology Strategy, UCAS’ architectural principles and designs, and deliver value to our customers.

Oversee the design process for application software through product design, development, testing, and transition into operation – Technical Specialists are involved in every step of the application software development lifecycle.

This involves creation of models and prototypes, evaluation of risks and defects, analysing specifications, and customising applications for specific customer needs. With a focus on agile methodologies, test automation, and continuous integration, technical specialists are expected to review and make suggestions to improve and enhance the delivery and deployment process.

Technical authoring
It is the responsibility of the Technical Specialist to produce and maintain artefacts relating to application design, integration processes, testing procedures, and deployment approach, relating to each product developed. The Technical Specialist will work with the technology development leadership team to produce and maintain the function development standards, guidelines, and pattern catalogue.

Technical subject matter expertise, support, and leadership
The Technical Specialist acts as a subject matter expert, technical coach, and mentor, and ensures that designs, standards, and best practices are understood and followed by the development community. The Technical Specialist will act as a technical lead and authority across a range of technologies, and work to establish reusable patterns and approaches. They should act as a point of escalation for resolution of technical issues and function best practices, with a view to raising the standards and capability of the team.

Technical specialists drive technical innovation within the function. This includes improvements to existing processes and practices, and the adoption of new technology and tooling. Where appropriate, new tooling, technology, or designs should be documented and presented for review at the Technical Design Forum or Architecture Review Board, as appropriate.

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • Support alignment and adoption of UCAS’ Technology Strategy.
  • Drive adoption and implementation of strategic UCAS technologies and architectural principles.
  • Develop and define design pattern catalogue, best practices, and coding standards.
  • Self-organise to address cross-cutting technical concerns, through proactive engagement with development teams, and collaboration with other technical specialists and solution architects.
  • Work with architecture and technical SMEs to ensure that the technical service landscape collateral is maintained and consumed by the scrum teams.
  • Work with technical roles across the department to drive evolution of the dev-ops toolchain, promoting improvements to streamline the software delivery process.
  • Maintain a detailed knowledge of relevant existing UCAS applications and systems.
  • Build innovative prototypes and lead development teams to develop quality solutions, by translating architectural designs into lower level implementation details, helping implement user stories if required.
  • Build, demonstrate, and critique working prototypes as enablers for future increments of work.
  • Improve capability across development teams to produce complex software, aligned to the technical roadmap.
  • Act as a trusted technical subject matter expert for development teams, TDMs, and other individuals across the business for specialist technologies.
  • Solve problems faced, and introduce the best technical solution.
  • Streamline the software delivery process by defining the dev-ops toolchain, continuous integration, and a continuous deployment model. Work to define common, reusable practices that can be applied to multiple delivery streams.
  • Collaboration across UCAS teams and functions, and our IT partners.

The Technical Specialist reports into a technical delivery manager.


Competative Salary with 30 days annual leave, voluntary flexible benefits, paid volunteering days, and a contributory stakeholder pension. It’s not just about the financial benefits that UCAS offers – on-site you can also benefit from our restaurant, affordable gym membership, free parking, unlimited tea and coffee, and many other perks. You’ll enjoy an exciting, agile working environment, with a vibrant culture and flexible approach to work, all of which reflects our teamwork and innovative spirit.

How to apply

Please see the role profile (225.58 KB)for more information. You will need to upload your CV on the next page, along with your notice period and salary expectations.

You will receive an email confirming that your application has reached us. We endeavour to contact all candidates before or soon after the closing date. However, due to high volumes of applications, we may not be able to contact all candidates. If you do not hear from us, please assume your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

All information you send to us will be kept in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. UCAS is committed to equality and values diversity in our workforce. We welcome and encourage applications from all candidates in line with the Equality Act 2010.

We reserve the right to close this job vacancy prior to the advertised closing date, if we feel we have found a suitable candidate.

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