Software Developers

GCHQ is offering an exciting opportunity for software developers with a range of experience, from graduates to seasoned professionals, to join our software teams. With a passion for technology, you’ll have the ability to solve complex technical problems with innovative and clever solutions. 


As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to keep our nation safe. We work closely with MI5 and MI6, our partners in the intelligence community, to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats. Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. We operate under strict legal controls, safeguards and requirements, set by ministers to protect national interests. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful work that you simply won’t find anywhere else. 


In an agile team where the work is challenging and rewarding, your work will directly support the whole range of GCHQ’s technical capabilities. One day, you may be developing software to access the computers of a terrorist group.  The next day, you could be carrying out operations to retrieve vital online clues about the location and identity of members of an organised crime ring. Or even be disrupting, denying or degrading the computer networks of adversaries, including cyber criminals. Your work could also sometimes be in support of vital military operations.

The following roles are currently available:

Competent Practitioner roles - You’re likely to be joining from a relevant job elsewhere or have recently obtained a relevant degree (see requirements section for more info on degree subjects). Expect to take responsibility for reasonably big and complex pieces of work having some degree of autonomy in how you tackle them.

Senior Practitioner roles - You’ll have responsibility for complex and significant tasks and be a leader in your field, operating without the need for much supervision. This may include financial or team management responsibilities, but not always; your strengths may lie in your technical skills and knowledge rather than your leadership ability. You’ll have demonstrated similar experience elsewhere or have strong evidence that you are capable of this level of responsibility.

Principle Practitioner and Manager roles - Often with charted status, you’ll be responsible for leading significant and important work, often in complex and uncertain areas. This may include significant financial, project or team responsibilities. You’ll engage at all levels of the organisation and lead in areas of high business impact, including national and international level. Alternatively, you may be a deep expert of world leading calibre, capable of solving the hardest problems possible and advancing your field into new and uncharted areas. 


We’re looking for passionate individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds, who are intuitive and curious about technology and want to make a real difference to the UK.

To apply for these roles, you'll have, or expect to obtain shortly, a 2:2 degree or above in a relevant STEM subject (Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Science, Technology, Engineering), or you have relevant work experience.

Along with an aptitude for problem-solving, you like to keep up with changing technology and are able to develop sophisticated code and grasp computing concepts. You could also have some knowledge or experience in the following areas:

  • Design and development in the C family of languages, Python, Java or assembly
  • Performance analysis and optimisation of software
  • Design and development using distributed big data technologies such as Hadoop
  • Application and Data Processing development, including web application frameworks, user interfaces and automated testing. 


At GCHQ we’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential. But you’re not expected to come to us with a wealth of knowledge, or skills, on day one. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your personal needs and the requirements of your work, we’ll enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities.

You’ll be offered a competitive package with excellent development opportunities and encouraged to gain professional development to help you reach Chartered Engineer or Chartered IP Professional. You could also have the opportunity to run internal schemes, in collaboration with the IET. 


Starting salary of £26,091 - £29,694, with the potential to earn skills and retention payments up to 2k where applicable.


Cheltenham and Manchester. 


To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency and security requirements. You’ll find more details here.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

- Face to Face interview*

- Drugs test 

*Interviews will be held in Gloucester.

If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our developed vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.