Software Development Manager


Software Development Manager

Department: IT
Level: Manager
Reports to: Head of IT
Location: Royston with travel to other sites as needed
Hours: 40 hours a week


Responsible for the I.T. Software Development Team delivering solutions with the focus and approach as if the Team was a Software House. Create detailed technical development specifications for the Developers, steer best practice and ensure solutions are developed to agreed development standards. Deliver in-house designed and developed software solutions that meet customers’ needs to required timescales and quality and aligned with the HC Strategic Business plans.


Business relationship
  • Work closely with Head of I.T. identifying solutions that support the medium to long term strategic business plan
  • Review existing solutions looking for opportunities to enhance or add benefit to meet changing Hotel Chocolat needs
  • Develop effective working relationships with key Hotel Chocolat contacts to understand their roles and departments to enable the identification of appropriate developments and opportunities
  • Encourage interaction between the Developers and the business to build an understanding and awareness of business needs that will benefit the development of solutions
  • Work with key users to consider the wider business needs when specifying and designing new solutions in order to ensure the maximum benefit is realised.
  • Provide visibility and updates to the business on the progress and delivery of developments, promoting the function and benefits of the solutions
Software Assets
  • Define and maintain programming, testing and documentation standards
  • Implement and manage appropriate Software QA checking
  • All software assets to be developed for scalability
  • Promote creation of in-house software library
  • Common ‘look and feel’ across all solutions
  • Manage appropriate Version control for solutions
Solution Delivery
  • Estimate and plan projects from start to finish managing internal and external resources as required
  • Ensure any development requests follow the development process with the appropriate technical specifications and requirements fully documented
  • Design solution architecture and produce technical requirement documents for the Developers
  • Define project deliverables and resource requirements for and maintain ongoing management of projects
  • Ensure software solutions and enhancements are delivered within financial and time constraints of the project
  • Ensure any developments supplied by the Team have been fully tested and approved before being deployed
  • Ensure users receive appropriate end user training and documentation for any developments supplied by the Team
  • Provide assistance and additional development bandwidth for projects if needed
Support / Maintenance
  • Provision of 2nd and 3rd line support services by the Developers
  • Ensure the Apps + Data Team are fully aware of software developments and provide appropriate materials to allow them to support the applications
  • Maintain appropriate source code backups with version control and ensure it is included in the wider HC backup process
  • Software developments to maintain appropriate access and security of customer data according to the Hotel Chocolat security policy – in conjunction with the requirements of Data Protection and PCI Compliance
People Management
  • Provide steer and support for the Developers ensuring best practice is employed at all times and review quality of coding
  • Provide monthly development update to Head of I.T.
  • Manage the Development Team to include resource planning, appraisals, holiday management, attendance, discipline, pay reviews and career development
  • Interaction with Apps and Data Team where needed to ensure seamless links between the two Teams

Skills & Qualifications

  • Software Development Team Management
  • Proven ability to question and identify requirements from user requests
  • Proven track record of successful project implementations controlling the entire lifecycle from specification through development, testing and deployment
  • Full understanding of change control and problem management from conception to implementation/resolution.
  • Experience of Unit Testing and Version Control. Methodical approach to testing.
  • Experience in database, reporting and MI technologies as follows:
    • Microsoft SQL Server (SSRS/SSIS/SSAS)
    • Deployment of M.I./OLAP, SQL report writing and data models
    • Database development language (or Visual Studio applications) with proven business examples where the knowledge has been implemented
  • Experience in software development languages and technologies as follows:
    • A solid background in Object-Oriented development and experience applying these principles to meet customer requirements
    • An understanding of the Microsoft technology stack (IIS, SQL Server, C#/VB.NET, ASP.NET Web Forms/MVC) and front-end (HTML/CSS, JavaScript)
    • Exposure to a variety of project types, such as intranets, web sites, web services, server-side applications and client applications

Key Attributes

  • Ability to communicate in a clear and concise way and empathetic towards customer needs and requirements
  • Efficient and well-organised with excellent administration, planning and organisation skills and ability to prioritise tasks in a high-pressure environment
  • Able to identify and drive IT plans in line with overall business strategies
  • Brand ambassador and Commercially aware
  • Act with professionalism, discretion and sensitivity
  • Excellent understanding of all aspects of the Hotel Chocolat business channels
  • Passion, energy and aspiration in line with Hotel Chocolat brand and core values
  • Proven understanding of business processes and the way they can interact with business systems
  • Self-starter with a positive attitude, flexible and willing to travel
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong self-awareness, communication, networking and interpersonal skills
  • Thrives on change and keeps abreast of IT technology and development

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