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Head of Software Development

Horizon is currently looking for a Head of Software Development and the successful candidate will be joining the organisation at a very exciting time, where they will be responsible for leading multiple software development projects. Find out about just some of our projects and what we do below.

The role

The Head of Software Development will lead Horizon’s software development team and all its activities. You will drive the evolution of both commercial as well as scientific software solutions and tools, and be responsible for implementing industry-standard software development methodologies and software life cycle management. There is a big/smart data angle to the role, with a particular focus on High Throughput Screening data or other life science data assets and their exploitation through novel enterprise-wide data linking and search approaches.

The Person

As a Head of Software Development you will be able to demonstrate strong leadership and communication skills, with the ability to work to tight deadlines, ensuring that the projects are completed to time, quality and cost requirements.


  • Manage and lead Horizon’s software development team, across all sites and software projects
  • Responsible for the direction and evolution of commercial and scientific software solutions and tools
  • Develop software and tools to support Horizon scientists and scientific infrastructure
  • Develop non-scientific software and tools to support Horizon’s operational infrastructure
  • Scope out requirements for various integrations between existing systems (ERP, CRM, eCommerce, time sheets, website, scientific databases) and new systems (ELN/LIMS/lab automation) and implement those integrations
  • Develop and integrate software tools to support business intelligence and mining of existing internal data as well as publicly and privately available external data
  • Liaise with suppliers and external support companies as appropriate
  • Ensure industry-standards for software development methodologies and software life cycle management are being met across all projects
  • Responsible for central code-repository and its maintenance

Design software development roadmap and input into data roadmap

Helps to establish enterprise-wide search capabilities for the exploitation of data assets


  • Demonstrated proficiency and facility developing in the front, middle, and back end tiers
  • Proficient in the use of at least one high level language (java, c*, et al) as well as one or more lower level languages (python, vb, et al)
  • Experience and familiarity with open source scientific tools, databases, and libraries
  • Demonstrated proficiency with the web stack (html5, css3, javascript, ajax, REST, image processing)
  • Demonstrated proficiency with responsive design methodologies and libraries
  • Demonstrated proficiency with SQL and the ability to model databases (Oracle, MySQL, SQLite)
  • Familiarity and experience with performance tuning in the front, middle, and back end tiers
  • Ability to work to strict deadlines in a high pressure environment
  • Ability to translate end user specifications into working software, solicit feedback and iterate on an ongoing basis
  • Ability to translate technical information for end users and create confidence and enthusiasm in stakeholders
  • Work autonomously and as part of a team with a positive and professional manner
  • Ability to lead a team, motivate and continuously develop its members at a range of different levels
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • A relationship builder with all parties in the development life-cycle
  • Committed, reliable and flexible

You should be comfortable working in a fast-paced, team environment and on multiple projects with constantly changing priorities and deadlines, be well organized, self-motivated and have excellent communication skills and attention to detail.

In return we offer a varied and interesting working environment and we are focused on recognition and empowerment of our scientists and operational teams and a competitive salary and benefits package, including:

Group Personal Pension Plan with enhanced company contribution
Medical, Health & Life Insurances
Employee share purchase plan (Sharesave) 
25 days annual leave
One paid working day each year for volunteering
Childcare vouchers


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