Platform Technical Lead

Sanger Institute

Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Category: Programming

Posted on: 13 Oct 2021

devops terraform kubernetes linux openstack

The Opportunity:

An exciting and technically challenging opportunity exists for a Platform Technical Lead to join the Parasites and Microbes Surveillance Operations Business Systems Team at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in support of the COVID-19 and MalariaGEN programmes. If you would like to be a part of an organisation that is actively contributing towards solving real global challenges, and you can adapt quickly to the needs of a broad range of stakeholders, then this may be one of those once in a lifetime opportunities - and we are looking for someone like you!

About Us:

The Surveillance Operations team is part of a scientific network that connects researchers and clinicians across the globe with cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies and genomic research. Through a number of projects, we provide a framework for generating, integrating and sharing genetic and genomic data, and for investigating key questions about COVID-19, malaria biology and epidemiology using bespoke software developments. These frameworks and proof of concept software developments are also the base for supporting genomic surveillance operations across various contexts going into the future.

As part of the MalariaGEN initiative delivering its current commitment under a grant provided by the Gates Foundation, we are currently building a solution to support the tracking and management of malaria studies and their associated samples. This solution allows global partners to register studies, send Sanger samples for DNA sequencing, along with their associated metadata, and one which enables the tracking and management of these samples through a complex process at the institute with the results being data released to partners and the public. In addition to this, the team have also delivered a similar solution for the tracking of COVID-19 samples, which are currently being sent to the institute for DNA sequencing.

About the Role:

As a Platform Technical Lead, you will take a hands-on approach towards the leadership of a technical team that supports legacy cloud infrastructure and implements new sustainable cloud infrastructure within the context of Surveillance Operations at Wellcome Sanger. This will include implementing best practice maintenance and monitoring processes underpinned by the relevant governance framework to ensure the long term health of complex digital solutions for the CoTrack (COVID-19), Conflux (MalariaGEN) application suites and any associated new digital products. You will work closely with key stakeholders and with the rest of the team to deliver on internal projects, deploying and administering the relevant infrastructure and related BAU activities while managing priorities appropriately. This role will collaborate with Wellcome Sanger CoreIT representatives, the Software Development Lead, Product Management Lead, Lead Scrum Master as well as the Solution and Data Architects. You will work closely with CoreIT to ensure the security and integrity of our environment at all times.

About You:

You are a talented leader, connecting people and managing a complex technical environment. You have the ability to quickly understand technical challenges and break them down into actionable steps. You are a team player at heart, enjoying collaboration with your peers when it comes to crafting new solutions or supporting existing ones. You know how to prioritise and don’t get stuck in the day to day, yet you also have a finger on the pulse with an eye to create transparency and sustainable monitoring of our technical landscape. You have a service-oriented mindset and can communicate complex technical issues/solutions to a broad range of stakeholders. You take ownership of and accountability for the environments that are in your care and you have great ideas about best practices that can be built into our way of working. You’re comfortable dealing with legacy environments and enjoy solutionizing with architects on new projects. You understand the importance of doing day to day support well and can see the bigger picture, thinking ahead according to the needs of our organisation.

Essential Skills

Technical Skills

    Extensive experience of managing technical resources to maximise collaboration and delivery according to stakeholder requirements
    Experience of DevOps and Agile principles
    Professional knowledge of popular ‘infrastructure as code’ technologies e.g. Terraform, Packer, Nomad, Kubernetes
    Professional knowledge and experience of managing Linux (Ubuntu) systems
    Extensive experience of Cloud based technologies and management (Open Stack, AWS, Google)
    Knowledge and experience with modern software development practices, including version control, continuous integration and workflow management tools such as Jira, Gitlab, etc.
    Experience of operational cybersecurity principles and associated solutions
    Familiarity with SQL and databases
    Experience in managing organisation level LDAP, CAS and SSO installations
    Demonstrable experience in creating technical roadmaps for systems for upgrades, security updates, release updates etc.
    Professional exposure to the management and configuration of web and application servers (Apache and TomCat respectively)

Competencies and Behaviours

    Ability to quickly understand technical and process challenges and breakdown complex problems into actionable steps
    Ability to work in a frequently changing environment with the capability to interpret management information to amend plans
    Ability to prioritise, manage workload, and deliver agreed activities consistently on time
    Ability to build collaborative working relationships with internal and external stakeholders at all levels

Ideal Skills

Technical Skills

    Familiarity with data storage and caching technologies
    OpenLDAP Administration skills
    Some Python development experience would be beneficial
    Understanding of network protocols, IPv4 addressing and subnetting, routing etc.
    Understanding of Kubernetes administration with Helm experience
    Familiarity with monitoring tools such as Zabbix and ELK stack
    Relevant cloud certification/s

Other information

We strive to be an inclusive and dynamic research environment, and encourage applications from those wishing to work flexibly to meet personal responsibilities. We are committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of their background. Acknowledging that people from certain backgrounds are under-represented at this level, we are especially interested in receiving applications from women and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.


We are excited to have our employees back on our beautiful campus here in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire. As this is a leadership position requiring high levels of interaction and engagement with a broad range of our scientific community, our CoreIT functions as well as various leaders across teams, this role will be required to be onsite full-time. We do however support a hybrid working model currently based on our return to site programme in line with COVID-19 regulations, and this is reviewed regularly by Wellcome Sanger.

Interview Process

Interviews will be taking place virtually and the successful candidate should expect to be fully supported through remote on-boarding and working from home during the initial weeks, to be discussed directly with the relevant line manager. This approach may vary for individuals located overseas and/or where a visa is required and starting will be based on a number of factors, we will be able to provide specialist advice to those affected candidates.

Please apply with your CV and cover letter outlining your suitability for the role.

CV's will be reviewed on an ongoing basis (interviews due to take place 9th/10th November)

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Job Source: Stackoverflow (Will expire by: 2021-11-27 00:00:00)

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