31 August 2021

Software Analysts

About the job

We are Dstl, we are UNIQUE, we’re recruiting Software Analysts.

We want to speak to you!

• Do you have an inquisitive mind?
• Do you like to understand how something works?
• Keen to do something worthwhile with global impact?
• Want to save lives?
• Use your coding skills on classified projects?
• Interested in missiles and weapon systems?
• Apply your coding skills to tackle embedded software conundrums?

The Reason

With a constantly evolving world and long term shifts in the balance of military power it is vital our Armed Forces continue to remain world-leading and have access to the most cutting edge and capable equipment. The recent Spending Review prioritises the modernisation of our Armed Forces' Weapons and Mission Systems across Sea, Land, Air and Space. This has resulted in a very significant additional investment in Science and Technology which has led to exciting opportunities within Dstl.

Want to REALLY make a difference?

We’re looking for motivated individuals with a passion for programming and coding keen to evolve and apply their skills in a creative and non-traditional way

Dstl who?

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the science, technology and engineering arm of the UK’s Ministry of Defence.
At Dstl, we harness science and technology to protect our nation – bringing together the best people with the best ideas, and applying them in unexpected ways. Because we provide the UK government with specialist science and technology research, advice and analysis, what we do is often sensitive, classified and internationally collaborative. Much of our work is operationally critical and has the potential to save many lives.

Together with other forward-thinking organisations around the country and overseas, we conduct leading weapons and UK military platforms research, and support UK Operations now and into the future. Here, you’ll contribute to providing threat assessments and undertake research and development to support and evolve UK Armed Forces capabilities to protect the UK and its allies. It means applying your skills and knowledge to advance the tools, techniques and tradecraft we use.

If you enjoy working with complex systems, have an appetite for problem solving and a desire to understand how things work, join us in the quest to make the UK a Science and Technology Superpower

We particularly welcome female and BAME applicants and those from the LGBTQI community, as they are under-represented within Dstl at these levels.
Job description
“Support the Physical Fighting Force”

In Threat Evaluation Group (TEG) , we are looking for individuals to work back to front very much without instruction manuals. You will deal in weapon systems, find vulnerabilities and help develop countermeasures to defeat them. The work is bespoke, often unbounded and requires creative minds with plenty of tenacity! Think of it as building a jigsaw, but without the picture…! The threat environment has never been as fast-paced, sophisticated or diverse, and so we are expanding to meet the challenge head-on.

Keen to get involved? Sounds like an awesome challenge...

As a Software Analyst in the Threat Evaluation Group (TEG) you will apply your programming and software engineering skills and experience to tackle embedded software conundrums contributing to current and future weapons assessment. More specifically you will evaluate military systems and their embedded software or digital circuits to identify vulnerabilities to support the protection of UK military airframes, vessels and vehicles.

These aren’t just desk jobs - we offer hands-on work like no other, with capabilities and facilities unique to Dstl.

So, how do Software Analysts at Dstl contribute to making our world a safer place?

Our main customers are the Defence Intelligence, Navy, Army and RAF Front Line Commands. Dstl undertakes Science and Technology research to ensure their weapons, vehicles, airframes and boats are advanced and cutting edge. We assess the threats against UK Armed Forces and identify vulnerabilities in our own and enemy systems to aid mission planning and tactics development. Our work has real direct impact, it facilitates the safe return of UK Armed forces from increasingly hostile environments.

Our work is essential; we need your help to help us achieve these goals now and into the future.

The roles available entail interrogating code, evaluating software sub- systems in support of threat system assessment. You’ll validate and verify your software analysis in parallel with Weapon System Engineers in TEG Labs and your output will be used to develop Threat Assessment Models. Our projects are highly diverse and every day is different - you’ll never be bored!

There is also the opportunity to do practical work in our unique labs, in the field, and aboard military vessels, airframes and vehicles, in the UK and internationally.

We have vacancies that range from suiting graduates through to experienced scientists and engineers. On the job training will be provided. Working closely with our military customers and industry partners there are many opportunities for travel, trials and for staff placements into industry and other MoD organisations.

We are keen to hear from people at all stages of their career. We are just as interested in people who have formal degrees as those with informal (hobby) experience. The most important thing is you have a genuine interest in this work and enjoy problem solving.

Ideally applicants should have a Computer Science/ Electronic Engineering background, but we’d also welcome applications from individuals with relevant practical or hobbyist experience to do with Electronics, Programming and Computers.

We recognise the unique skills and aspirations of our staff and are able to present them with an unparalleled range of opportunities to develop both the UK’s military capabilities and themselves.

You have me intrigued! How can I apply? Follow the links in this advert and tell us all about you! Once you’re on the ‘inside’ we can tell you so much more….

We acknowledge some of these skills aren’t taught at and transferrable from University or other jobs and so are looking for those with the potential to develop into Software Analyst Specialists but equally we value experience from industry and academia.

We encourage applicants to have technical experience or skills in or a specific interest in one of the areas listed below:

• Good understanding of computer architecture concepts
• Strong coding skills with at least one high level Programming language C/C++, Python to aid developing and debugging software across a variety of systems
• A working knowledge of C or C++
• Assembly Language (x86, ARM, or other)
• Embedded Real Time Systems and microelectronics
• Ethical Hacking
• Debugging
• Robotic Engineering
• Proven track record of growing AI and Machine Learning capability
• Applying software knowledge to home projects
• Knowledge of static and dynamic analysis of software systems from source code or binary using Ghidra, IDA, radare2, or other similar tools.
• Proficient at understanding source code for analysis
• Able to demonstrate good knowledge of algorithm design/ problem solving / problem decomposition.
• Experience developing scripts to decode and decrypt obfuscated data and network traffic
• Ability to document and explain technical details clearly and concisely in writing and graphics for technical and non-technical audiences

In addition to your technical skills, you will be able to think systematically, logically, and creatively; you will have a natural desire to understand how things work and why they perform as they do; you will have demonstrated an aptitude and appetite for complex problem solving; be able to communicate effectively; and you will be driven by a passion for engineering and technology coupled with the desire to ensure that the UK armed forces have the best information and equipment possible.

Important Information

Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be British Citizens who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to understand the work you will undertake to protect us from any security threats. For this reason, we regret that only UK Nationals will be able to apply for this role. If you are an international or dual-national candidate, and you think you have the skills we need, please consider applying to any of our government, security or defence partners.

This role will require full UK security clearance and you should have resided in the UK for the past 5 years. For some roles Developed Vetting will also be required, in this case you should have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

Communicating and Influencing
Working Together
Developing Self and Others
Technical skills
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

Why are you interested in working with Dstl and what would you bring to this particular role?
Please provide an example of a technical challenge you have overcome and how you approached solving it.
Please describe the most complex piece of code you have written. If possible describe how you went about testing the software including how you might identify any errors.
We'll provide a phenomenal range of benefits including;

- Fully flexible working, including alternative working patterns, annualised hours, compressed hours and job share, to name a few.
- Flexible Working hours, a 12 month reference period and the ability to bank hours. Up to 20 hours can be taken in any calendar month
- Training to enhance your learning. Excellent learning and development to ensure everyone fulfils their potential.
- Coaching and Mentoring from World Renown Experts in their field of Science and Engineering
- Choose your Career Path and earn promotion in role
- Develop and access novel and unique complex technology seen in no other industry
- Deliver reports and present to Military, Academia and Industry
- Opportunity for international travel
- Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and paternity leave of 2 weeks full pay.
- Chartership and accreditation support.
- Civil Service Pension.
- Generous annual leave, with the ability to buy and sell up to 5 days holiday per year.
- A competitive salary.
- Onsite gyms and restaurants.
- Staff discounts for high street and online shopping, restaurants and days out.

The Journey
Our people are at the very heart of our work and we’re proud to offer an open and inclusive environment to everyone.

We value your differences (alternative perspectives often provide the most innovative approaches to our work) and we’ll nurture your talent to achieve your full potential. We know you’re unique and that you can only be your best if you’re totally comfortable in the workplace so we have a variety of employee support networks to make sure you have the support you need if it’s required. (see the list of our networks below).

Don’t worry about falling in at the deep end; we’ll provide all the training and development to get your career started and support your ongoing professional development throughout your career. We’ll also offer to pay membership fees for a relevant professional institution and support you to achieve Chartership through our Chartership and Accreditation Scheme.

We have a vibrant young professionals community to get you used to the Lab’s working environment (and show you the best local pubs if you’re interested!).
We recognise that it’s important to keep a healthy balance between work and home life. The Lab offers a fully flexible work pattern and a generous annual leave entitlement; you can even buy more leave if you’re planning some extra special travel.

Our Diversity Networks

Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution. We have a number of support networks to ensure all employees feel supported at work.

These include the following;
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network
- Faith and Culture Network
- Parents and Carer Support Network
- Alternative Working Network
- Gender Equality Network
- New Starters Network
- Enabled Network, for people with visible and non-visible disabilities


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