Principal DevOps Engineer

  • Dundee, UK
  • Full Time
  • Findmypast

Job Description

Family history is a multi £BN high-growth market that is changing quickly, with the introduction of new products and technologies. At Findmypast, we’re excited to reinvest into Engineering as we expand our teams in 2021 and are looking for a Principal DevOps Engineer to join us on our ambitious journey.

As a technology company, we are fortunate to be able to work remotely during these unprecedented times. Over 20% of employees have joined Findmypast since the start of the pandemic and we have made sure our people are well supported, found new ways to connect while working remotely and even held our annual offsite company meeting virtually for the first time.

Looking to the future in a post-pandemic world, we anticipate that our teams might spend 30% or more of their time collaborating in person at our offices in either our London or Dundee hubs and up to 70% remotely.

Underpinned by our technical and business values, we’re very open about how me make software. Those values are represented by the things we do:

  • Collaborate daily with pair programming
  • Care about quality; testing our own code
  • Deploying to production multiple times a day; we typically record 1000+ monthly deployments with a commit lead time of ~40 min.
  • Continuous learning; dedicating an hour of our working day to learning to help empower us to mitigate the challenges of our work
  • We favour long lived teams who bring a long-term vision to software domains, owning the software they build.


Why is this a great opportunity?

One of the key challenges of the role will be helping the business scale our existing service to support an anticipated increase in user demand (possible 10x our current traffic). The service is currently on premise, with a mixture of legacy applications (Windows .Net stack, SQL Server) and new microservices architecture of Kubernetes, NodeJS and Postgres. We are also actively investigating using AWS to scale our services. Your role in the DevOps team will be to provide technical leadership and drive technical improvement, in particular to implement innovative solutions to reliability and scaling.

You will be joining our engineering team and be a valued member working closely in a collaborative, autonomous, cross-functional team. Your role will include:

  • Technical leadership, confidently navigating through all phases of challenging and complex projects
  • Mentoring and supporting others to ensure efficient, high-quality implementation at both a project level and on your own tasks
  • Contributing to strategic technical direction of our Engineering department
  • Managing (via automation) our deployment infrastructure at Findmypast.
  • Work closely with engineering teams to reduce toil and increase speed of delivery.
  • Designing and documenting tooling, including writing and reviewing code, to provide self service tools to the wider engineering team.
  • Reviewing and improving our DevOps tools and security.
  • Undertaking measured, strict troubleshooting of complicated systems and potentially resolve time-critical incidents.
  • Partaking in an on-call rotation alongside the Engineers who build our production backend.

If you’re keen to read more about how our Engineering team works and hear about some recent remote onboarding experiences, check out our tech blog.


What we’re looking for:

  • You have led on complex projects from inception to delivery.
  • Experience mentoring others and consistently pushing for continuous improvement.
  • Experience managing technical roadmaps with a long-term view of architecture within and across other engineering teams.
  • A broad knowledge of DevOps practices and tools such as Puppet, Ansible (or similar), Prometheus, Grafana, ElasticSearch, Git, Jenkins, Nagios, etc.
  • Strong knowledge of Docker.
  • Deep knowledge of Kubernetes management, ideally on premise.
  • Deep knowledge of Linux (we use Ubuntu) and all layers of the networking stack. You should be confident discussing in detail what’s going on under the hood.
  • Someone comfortable with large scale production systems and technologies, for example load balancing, monitoring, distributed systems, microservices, and configuration management.
  • Experience from designing and executing small to medium scale systems automation projects with strong autonomy.
  • Strong coding skills in at least one programming language, and a desire to pick up more. We work primarily in JavaScript, but you’ll run into several other languages on a regular basis as well.
  • Passion for solving problems using open source software.
  • Someone who thrives in a rapidly evolving environment.
  • Strong communicator and love working as part of a team.
  • You have deep knowledge of and champion sound engineering practices like pair programming, upfront automated testing, continuous deployment, and trunk-based development.
  • You love learning and embrace our self-directed daily learning hour, mentorship, engineering communities of practice and professional development opportunities.

About Findmypast

We’ve come a long way from our early days digitising historical records to now: a fast-growing, consumer subscription tech company with a talented team, engaging products, millions of users around the globe, and billions of online historical records. Our mission is to connect people to their family stories.

There are real opportunities for ambitious people to gain new experiences, solve interesting problems, take responsibility for new products and initiatives, and advance their careers. We work in collaborative, cross-functional teams. We value our diverse and welcoming culture. We stay connected and celebrate success together in our weekly tech demos and (currently virtual) social activities. Our values – Honour History, Stay Curious, Create Magic and Be Human – provide the compass for how we work together and invent together.



We’re passionate about making FMP a great place to work and setting people up to succeed. Benefits include:

  • 30 days holidays + 4 bank holidays. We also offer the option to purchase up to 4 additional days.
  • Excellent pension contribution from day one of up to 15.5% of your basic salary (9.5% matched company contribution with a 6% contribution from the employee’s side).
  • Flexible working, as we want all our employees to have a brilliant work-life balance.
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity leave.
  • L&D budget and access to learning and training opportunities.
  • Various social remote activities to keep connected as a company.
  • Employee Assistance Programme, wellbeing app access and Mental Health First Aiders.
  • Life assurance.
  • Private medical insurance, health and dental cash plan options.
  • Gym membership and staff discounts.
  • Cycle to work scheme.
  • Season travel tickets.
  • Subscriptions to Findmypast and British Newspaper Archive.

We are an equal opportunity employer and want Findmypast to be the best company for all our diverse employees and customers. We encourage applications from everyone and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability status or any other protected characteristics. If you’d like a deeper understanding of our commitment to diversity, check out our careers page to hear from our CEO, Tamsin. Should you require adjustments to be made to the recruitment process, please let us know and if you’d like to share your pronouns then please do!