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Principal Engineering Manager - Run the Store

Job ID 12792 Closing Date 03/01/2022 16:59 Location London Contract Full time Salary and Benefits Competitive

Advance the world of digital through M&S

Leading the transformation of an industry. The continuous pursuit of new information, resourcefulness and invention. Thousands, if not millions of people benefiting from your product-led ideas, every day. That’s why you join M&S Tech. Here, you’ll be proud of your projects, enhance your understanding of new technologies, and shape the future of a new, digitally prevailing brand of retail. Progress isn’t in the pipeline, it’s already happening. And we’re as determined to advance technology through M&S, as we are to advance M&S through technology. Want to help us?

It’s a mindset, a special drive and an enthusiasm that says, ‘We can’t wait to solve this problem’. It’s growing closer as a team through deep discussions about the technologies we love, whether next-gen or old classics. Most of all, it’s wanting to share that excitement with our customers and colleagues – reinventing retail into its most innovative form, then unlocking fresh potential and raising the bar yet again.

Explore M&OS

Success Profile







Our salaries are competitive and reviewed every year.

Colleague Discount

Receive 20% discount in-store and online for you and a partner or family member.


A minimum 28 days’ statutory holiday per year, pro-rata if you’re part time.

Holiday Buy

You can reduce your salary in exchange for up to one contractual week of additional holiday, subject to eligibility and National Living Wage requirements.


We have discretionary bonus schemes depending on the role that you do and the performance of our business.


If you save 3% of your pay into our Pension Saving Plan we will add an extra 6%. More details at

Life Assurance

Free cover of two times your annual salary up to age 70. If you pay into our Pension Saving Plan we double this to four times.


Allows you to save between £5 and £250 per month for three years with the option to buy shares at a 20% discount – or simply take your savings back.


Invest between £10 and £180 each month from your gross salary to buy M&S shares and build up an investment.

My Choices

Enjoy savings on everyday costs to holidays, recognise your colleague’s success and get more information and support on your wellbeing & benefits.

Cycle to Work

Hire a bike and accessories through Cycle to Work and save on tax and national insurance.


Buy the latest technology with interest free financing directly from your salary.

Health & Wellbeing

Save money on you and your families medical and dental expenses. Get great discounts on gym memberships, active wear, and health products.

Mental Health Support

Free 24/7 support from our expert health and wellbeing partners PAM Wellbeing - including free counselling and CBT as well as support for your family.

Giving Back

Support charities you care about the most by donating through your pay or even volunteer for them for one day.

Financial Wellbeing

Access to information and support to help you manage your finances from long term savings to managing your debt or money worries.

Celebration Time

Celebration time provides additional time off (up to one day per year) for a special occasion.

Virtual GP service

Free and unlimited access to a qualified GP for all UK colleagues and their families.

Principal Engineering Manager - Run the Store

Job Purpose

As part of the M&S Software Engineering team, you’ll be joining a well-loved historic brand, working on solutions that serves millions of committed customers and thousands of colleagues. With ethical values that run right through the company’s core and technology leaders that truly understand software engineers and engineering, it’s an exciting time as we’re redefining into a digital first and engineering-led organisation, with the quality of our engineering team being a key differentiator.

We are seeking a passionate Principal Software Engineering Manager who will provide technical expertise, ship thoughtfully and operate with excellence. Being creative, curious, and adventurous, you will be an integral part of our empowered, self-managing, multi-disciplinary engineering teams - designing, building, releasing, and maintaining products. Working as an equal partner with the Product and Delivery teams you will deliver sophisticated and robust solutions to solve advanced problems for our customers and colleagues.

M&S Technology is looking to drive a step change in store operational efficiency and experience through our Intelligent Store strategy. Using data from sensors and applications to provide insight on our store operation and turn this into action - ensuring store colleagues know what to do, how to do it at the right time with the right tools and data. The breadth of the solution covers native and web applications, an evolving service landscape, event and stream driven business logic and IoT and sensor technology ranging from RFID to Machine Vision.

You will play a key role in driving our ambition to build an outstanding software engineering team, environment, and culture. We are looking for people to join our community of engineers to drive this transformation, build a modern digital ecosystem using exciting technologies and do the best work of their careers.

Key Accountabilities and Responsibilities

The Principal Software Engineer Manager role is the embodiment of ‘solving problems through technology’ with key responsibilities as follows:

  • Lead senior engineers to build and maintain high quality and reliable software
  • Responsible for the engineering excellence of their teams e.g., behaviours, operations, and technical quality
  • Line manage and develop senior engineers to ensure they have the right skills, development plans and demeanour to learning
  • Maintain and cultivate effective relationships with Product and Delivery teams in order to prioritise, problem solve & maximise value to market
  • Work with the wider Technology function to implement the technical strategy, adopting the North Star principles
  • Lead the development and improvements to M&S standard frameworks and policies, ensuring that they are understood and adopted
  • Coach, support and guide senior engineers to produce clean, quality code through code reviews and pair programming
  • Drive DevOps practices to automate the Product development life cycle and ownership demeanour
  • Foster a culture of experimentation and innovation to drive solutions
  • Ensure products are fully supported by teams and product groups both in and out of hours
  • Lead development of Product Group OKRs and Product health, and demonstrate responsibility for the entire Product Group's objectives
  • Drive the improvement and measurement of Product Group quality and reliability via software engineering standard methodologies and metrics
  • Orchestrate continuous learning and improvement initiatives for the Product(s) and Product Group(s)
  • Solve problems collaboratively, communicating decisions to senior partners
  • Lead product planning and roadmap with an agile mind-set focusing on supporting our colleagues
  • Engage with product colleagues to improve value for the customer and to understand ambiguous requirements
  • Demonstrate and champion pragmatism in terms of commercial delivery and software quality
  • Promote technology, innovation, values, and ways of working within the team and wider community
  • Active contribution and leading of Fellowships and Orchestras (Communities of Practice) with a focus on positive momentum
  • Lead recruitment and new starter on-boarding activities
  • Own and deliver initiatives to take M&S Software Engineering to the next level by challenging the status quo
  • Enhance and implement M&S Engineering talent strategy
  • Foster self-management and accountability at the team level through servant leadership
  • Support recruitment and brand outreach activities.
Key Experience

Job knowledge – specialist skills, experiences, qualifications, specific systems or practices relevant to the role, the latest function specific knowledge

Business knowledge – level of commercial awareness, economic, commercial, political experience, industry specific knowledge to differentiate M&S from competitors

Problem solving – analytical skills, ability to direct, lead and deliver solutions that go beyond existing ways of doing things

People & Leadership skills – communications, leadership and talent development skills.

  • Excellent knowledge in all stack areas, from front-end through to back-end
  • Extensive background in software engineering with several years’ experience in a variety of systems and technologies
  • Consistent track record in delivering, operating, leading, hiring and pivoting at Product Group level and above
  • Strong experience of leading successful delivery in a scaled agile software environment
  • Experience building and leading teams of highly skilled, senior software engineers that deliver high-quality software
  • Excellent understanding of system design, software architecture, cloud, and software engineering standard methodologies,
  • Great knowledge and advocate for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
  • Enthusiast of DevOps: you build it, you run it
  • Strong understanding of testing strategies and reliability engineering
  • Highly organised and can lead workstreams, handle senior partners and their expectations
  • Excellent people management, interpersonal, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to lead and line manage senior engineers, engineering managers and technical partners to a desired outcome, without prescribing it
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken and able to adjust for different, including non-technical, audiences
  • A servant-leadership attitude that is willing to take ownership
  • Able to influence people at senior levels and from the highly technical to non-technical
  • Previous polyglot hands-on senior software engineer
  • Leading large product areas with 10+ teams
  • Previous software engineering community leadership experience
  • Professional presentation delivery at internal and external events
  • An ambition to be an open-source contributor, technology writer or speaker
  • Knowledge of Software approaches like Domain Driven Design
  • Experience in event driven API architectures and associated best practises
  • Advocate and experience of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
  • Sophisticated experience of DevOps: you build it, you run it
  • Advanced experience with cloud engineering
  • Cares about the business and the bigger picture with significant prior examples
  • A senior leadership attitude that is willing to take ownership
  • Demonstrable entrepreneurship in previous organisation(s)
  • Experience with distributed systems, preferably Internet of Things or sensor-based solutions.
  • Experience with event-based architectures.

M&S is ready to push boundaries to lead the industry into a greener, speedier, more inspiring digital era. That’s why we’re revolutionising how we work and offering our most exciting opportunities yet. There’s never been a better time to be part of our team. Marks & Spencer aims to be an inclusive organisation, trusted and admired by our colleagues, customers and suppliers. Join us and make an immediate impact. We are committed to an active Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy, which starts with our recruitment and selection process, and we are happy to talk smart/flexible working.  We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process. If you consider yourself to have a disability or learning difficulty which means you are unable to complete the application process online, please get in touch either by phone on 0345 300 3725 or by email so we can make alternative arrangements for you.


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