Head of Application Development

The Head of Application Development role is one of the senior management roles in the Software Solutions group which sits within IT Services. Software Solutions is responsible for the delivery and subsequent enhancement of the University's business-critical software applications and several services that facilitate and disseminate research, support teaching and learning, increase access to museums and collections, and facilitate and optimise internal administration. The activities undertaken in the group include consultation, design, development, implementation and third level support of software packages, bespoke software solutions and web applications in line with the University’s software, data and interfacing architecture standards. Software Solutions works closely with the Programme and Project Delivery Group, Infrastructure Services and other groups as appropriate, across many programmes and projects to deliver software solutions and subsequent enhancements and upgrades.

The post holder has responsibility for the development activities in all the technologies that Software Solutions utilises. Currently our system landscape is underpinned by varying technologies, including different coding languages (including PL/SQL, Java, PHP, Python, MS Dynamics), different databases (including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL), and different operating systems (including UNIX, Linux, MS Windows). In addition to ensuring that we continue to develop solutions in appropriate technologies, and carry out all the operational activities, this role will have a more strategic aspect too.

The post holder will be responsible for the development of application architecture, roadmaps for major applications and application clusters within the remit of Software Solutions and advising IT Services on priorities for application development across the portfolio based on the technical state and value of the applications. The post holder will be responsible for advising and deploying appropriate software development methods, governance and control based on ‘fit for purpose’ not ‘one size fits all’. They will introduce and move towards a service-oriented development practice that is based on business process management (BPM), service-oriented architecture, code re-use, assembly and integration.

Essential selection criteria

  • Education to degree level in a computing or IT-related subject or able to offer the equivalent in terms of professional training and experience
  • A strong understanding of the full life cycle of software development gained from previous employment in a software development environment or major software implementation project
  • Deep knowledge of architectural practices, in particular software architecture, and experience of developing and maintaining application landscape diagrams, road maps and other relevant artefacts
  • Knowledge and understanding of
    • Microsoft technologies (Dynamics CRM, BizTalk, SharePoint, SQL Server, Reporting and Analysis Services, C#, .Net and ASP)
    • Oracle, Web and Open Source technologies
  • Some experience in an agile development methodology such as Scrum or DSDM
  • Knowledge and experience of implementing standards and quality assurance in delivering software solutions
  • Experience of inspiring, leading, managing, motivating and developing a technical development team
  • A proven track record of experience in systems analysis, relational database design, software design and the development of Oracle and Microsoft systems
  • Proven ability to think and plan strategically and possess the creativity required to have a clear and full perspective, reconcile differences and thus identify, scope and implement IT solutions to support the education and research priorities of the University
  • The ability to plan, prioritise and manage resources pragmatically across a complex portfolio of programmes and projects to meet agreed deadlines
  • Experience of preparing business cases for funding
  • The ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with programme and project managers, team leaders, business users and other colleagues within the wider project team; developing partnerships through identifying and facilitating a common vision and set of goals for the team
  • The ability to maintain and develop good technical knowledge of ICT innovations and strategic technical direction
  • The ability to inspire, influence and communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical colleagues at all levels in both verbal and written communications and in a variety of styles
  • A ‘Can do/Make it happen’ attitude, taking ownership of issues and offering and implementing steps to resolve them

Desirable selection criteria

  • Experience of working in the higher education sector