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Solution Architect - Retail

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Here at The Very Group we’re on an exciting journey to transform our technology estate and create even better experiences for our customers. We’re doing that by modernising our existing systems and platforms, utilising a wider variety of modern, cloud-based technologies. We encourage diversity, both in terms of people, technical skills and knowledge.

The Very Group has a “Tribe” and “Squad” Technology Delivery Model. This means that each primary area of the business is fully aligned to its primary function e.g. Financial Services, Customer Care, Logistics & Fulfilment, Digital Customer Experience (DCX) (front-end web and app development), Data and Retail. We do not operate as a traditional, centralised IT/technology team, though we do have some central technology functions such as operations, platform, security, risk, networking etc. Generally, each tribe is responsible for its own technology solutions and delivery of those solutions (bought or built) and interaction/integration with other tribes/3rd parties. Each tribe consists of the business operations colleagues and technology roles needed to support that tribe. This Solution Architect role is aligned with the Retail Tribe.

About the role

As a Solution Architect in the Retail Tribe, you will be responsible for architecting and designing business-critical application solutions as we modernise our complex estate and migrate to cloud-based solutions. Solutions may be bought or built. You will work in Agile delivery squads. This role will work across multiple initiatives in Retail and you will advise on solution strategy and work with Product Owners, Delivery Leads and all squad members in designing the most appropriate solutions to meet our business requirements, ensuring they meet our architecture principles and standards. You will also be part of the cross-Tribe Architecture Community, sharing ideas and understanding initiatives and roadmap/technical dependencies across the tribes and squads. You’ll be responsible for maintaining the technical roadmap for your squad(s). You’ll be actively involved in designing end-to-end solutions, including both application and infrastructure architecture for the services that your squad(s) are responsible for. You’ll work to best practices in utilising architecture patterns from integration, security and cloud (AWS is our primary cloud services provider). You will have a broad range of technical experience with previous hands-on experience across a range of technologies. You will ideally have had experience of on-premise to cloud migrations. You will collaborate with other squad members, including Software Engineers, Platform Engineers, Solution Architects, Product Owners, QA Engineers and other roles required by the squad(s) to which you are allocated.

Day to day

  • Ensure that our architecture standards and principles are addressed iteratively as Retail solutions are developed and implemented.
  • Collaborate with 3rd party delivery partners and internal teams to ensure that designs are agreed, reviewed and proper governance is applied.
  • Assist Software Engineers in ensuring that DevOps best practices are implemented (e.g. CI/CD, test automation etc.) to ensure that future changes and enhancements to the Retail platforms can be made quickly and with minimal risk.
  • Specify the design and build dependencies for our teams to implement the required data migration and integration requirements with other business platforms
  • Unblock architectural and design dependencies for both our delivery partners and our internal delivery teams and escalate where appropriate.
  • Ensure and oversee the implementation of non-functional testing.
  • Ideally, you will have knowledge and practical experience of the full Software Development Life Cycle, including coding practices, working to frameworks and operations for a broad range of technical engineering activities within your squad.
  • You will be required to take part and explain progress in Agile ceremonies e.g. daily stand-ups.


Key role aspects

  • Own the technical roadmap for your squads(s).
  • Participate in integration, data flow design and detailed technical solution design. Ensure that analysis includes the holistic view of technical and business impact of any changes to existing or in-flight initiatives.
  • Own non-functional requirements (NRF’s) around performance, security and scalability to ensure we deliver a resilient and great customer experience. Driving best practice around real-time logging, monitoring and alerting.
  • Preparing, reviewing and agreeing the design of epics and stories ensuring that NFR’s are addressed.
  • Comfortable challenging other, senior technicians and stakeholders on the most appropriate solution to a set of requirements.
  • Ensuring architecture documentation is kept up to date.
  • Identify obstacles, risks and issues that may/do impact the technical product and work with our Software Engineers to mitigate them.
  • Adhere to any internal and regulatory policies and standards that impact solutions.
  • Proactively support and mentor other team members, working with them to help them improve their skills.

Requirements

  • Demonstrable experience of multiple, significant successful project deliveries where you performed the role of Solution Architect.
  • Experience working in a fast-paced on-line Retail environment would be very desirable.
  • Familiar with architecture frameworks and modelling e.g. TOGAF, UML etc.
  • Be familiar with what our competitors are doing and keeping up with technology trends in Retail and advise the Retail leadership team and the squads you work with.
  • Experience of working in multi-cloud environments as we have a strategy to move all key applications to cloud.
  • AWS platform and services experience is very desirable.
  • Demonstrable experience of providing clear direction, coaching, mentoring and development support.
  • Demonstrable range of in-depth technical knowledge/experience in designing and integrating complex architectures, ideally across multi-cloud environments.
  • In-depth level of technical knowledge/experience in designing application integration solutions that have security, reliability, scalability, high availability and concurrency built-in from the outset.
  • Hands-on experience of multiple development technologies would a great advantage e.g. hands-on coding and support. Key technologies include AWS, Java, Spring/Spring Boot.
  • Technical knowledge of Oracle Fusion Middleware or IBM Order Management would be desirable, though not essential.


Benefits

  • Generous and competitive starting salary
  • 30 days holiday + bank holidays
  • Regular salary reviews and career progression
  • £6500 per year additional benefits allowance
  • Remote / Office split
  • Bonus
  • Matched pension at 6%
  • Brand discount up to 25%
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Free on-site gym
  • Discounted Restaurant and coffee houses


How to apply

If you're interested to find out more please contact Jordan Barlow or Steven Williams in the talent acquisition team or apply online.

If you are an internal candidate looking to refer someone in please follow the referals process and guidlines

Please note that the talent acquisition team are managing this vacancy directly, and if successful in securing this position, you may be required to undertake a credit, CIFAS and CRB check.

We're an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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