Lead Integration Engineer
Why Tokio Marine HCC?
Standing still is not an option in the current world of Insurance. TMHCC are one of the world’s leading Speciality Insurers. With deep expertise in our chosen lines of business, our unparalleled track record and a solid balance sheet, TMHCC evaluates and manages risk like no one else in the industry. Looking beyond profit, empowering our people and delivering on our commitments are at the core of our customer values, and so is a desire to grow and provide creative and innovative solutions to our clients. We have doubled our gross written premiums in the past 3 years and our plan is to do so again in the next 3 years. To support this desire, we need to be forward-thinking and innovative in every respect. That means continually improving our customer-focused business, it means providing systems, solutions and technology to enable seamless growth and business innovation, and it means having the best people capability to apply to these challenges.
Part of our evolution involves growing our team, and bringing in a range of views, perspectives and backgrounds that will allow us to deliver this forward-looking culture, that relies upon open and trusting relationships, and a shared vision for that continual improvement. We aspire to build an environment where new perspectives are encouraged, where resilience, fresh ideas and different opinions are valued.
About the Lead Integration Engineer Opportunity
TMHCC is in the midst of an IT transformation and is shifting towards a Product-centric operating model. This exciting time and opportunity places you in a role that is critical to the success of the Product teams, providing the teams with a best in class Integration service as well as bringing your subject matter expertise to guide and support integration developers embedded in product teams.
As an Integration Technical Lead reporting into the Head of Integration, and the most senior engineer in the team, your value goes far beyond coding. You will be an advocate for common Integration components across the business, helping to build the strategic vision and direction. Building the right things, searching for the most effective ways of discovering users’ problems and shaping solutions to make people’s lives better are crucial. You are responsible for researching, designing, implementing, and supporting our Integration estate in response to various changes proposed, or problems encountered. You will have done this frequently within high-performing Agile and DevOps centric teams, knowing how to act with team autonomy. You will strive to bring about ways of configuring your software, rather than to continually customise it.
You will be part of the Integration Component Services team and be a technical authority for anything related to our integration services. This team will consist of integrations engineers with different specialisms. Periodically, you may be embedded in product teams which have need of your expertise.
This role is an opportunity to be an Integration service evangelist in TMHCC, aiming to make the integration interfaces between product applications versatile, easy-to-use, re-usable, efficient, stable, capable, and widely used across the business.
You will work with our Architecture department and the Head of Integration to resolve the immediate risks around our current BizTalk 2013 estate going out of support in 2023 whilst understanding the long-term vision for our approach to ESB and API management.
You will strive to reduce complexity, decouple and de-risk systems, and empower Product Team customers to not be bogged down by complex dependencies. We are seeking a person who can share such a vision and help to execute it. You will be the technical lead of a DevOps minded team of technology specialists including multi-disciplined Engineers (spanning Development, Test, and Support roles), supported by the Architecture team as needed.
The Integration Technical Lead will work closely with counterparts in the BI Component Services team, to ensure that downstream feeds to BI systems are supported and well-maintained.
- Advise and assist the Head of Integration in concepts such as strategy, roadmap, team capabilities, stakeholder management, technical advice, support, monitoring, performance, SDLC, testing, research, and development.
- Oversee customer testing, support communications and training on features.
- Be an evangelist for integration software engineering excellence as a discipline and play the lead engineer role amongst your engineering peers in your Integration Community of Practice (CoP).
- Deputise for Head of Integration as required.
- Provide oversight of activities of integration engineers working within product and project teams. Ensure collaboration and knowledge sharing persists across all teams.
- Develop long-term technology strategies centred on business objectives.
- Identify services that will improve performance, enhance support, and increase capabilities.
- Contribute to peer-to-peer code reviews with other integration engineers both inside and outside of your team, to build high-quality, assured code that meets set and agreed standards
- Ensure technical specifications, documentation, and code repository guidance relating to the build, dependencies and support notes is maintained.
- Monitor the performance and usage of the integration estate, setting up proactive alerts to detect and prevent problems from occurring.
- Provide deeper line support in conjunction with the support documentation that exists and in cooperation with IT service management processes.
- Work with Head of Integration to develop metrics to help measure business value and success criteria by which to define your product within, and outside of, your team.
- Provide development insight and opportunities to your team wherever you see via opportunities to integrate or new trends to embrace.
- Apply empirical data (e.g., feedback or analytics) and statistics to problem-solving initiatives and opportunities to improve the digital estate.
- Apply the best engineering practices and standard operating procedures advocated within your Integration CoP as a rule of thumb, but readily present and propose alternatives to your team and CoP if you discover them.
- Create innovative solutions to meet technical needs leveraging integration and architectural knowledge within and outside of your team.
- Research your technical market in collaboration with your CoP – via the investigation of new technologies, approaches and standards, and attending training, to enhance knowledge.
- Work with the product teams to ensure you’re maximising use and re-use of their components across the product engineering teams. Identify initiatives and components that should be lifted out of product teams and delivered as part of the integration services.
- Adhere to audit, compliance, and security policies and standards in all activities.
Ways of Working
- Analysis and Research: You solve problems – by generating solutions from user stories and acceptance criteria that you help to shape. Always consider: What are all the moving parts of the solution? How do they fit together? What happens if…? What are the pros and cons? Is it a cost-effective solution? A many-sided analysis of the problem and opportunities is key.
- System Design: You will build the technical underpinning that brings solutions to life. This could range from tasks like building back-end architecture or creating algorithms, demonstrating creativity when designing technical solutions.
- Implementation: Your goal is to implement efficient code into the overall product infrastructure that satisfies requirements. Since Integration Engineers build systems connected front- and back-end solutions, it is crucial to ensure the engineers understand the implementation protocols (coding, testing and deployment) you follow, set out by your CoP’s standards. Your aim should always be to help your service become more configurable when it comes to making changes, rather than having to customise code, and your coding standards should aspire to support that.
- Support: Your service always needs continued iteration, support, and patching. When problems arise—such as bugs or user experience errors—you must design, implement and test the fix, working in tandem with QA engineers on your team to continuously support your service throughout the software development lifecycle.
- Communication – You must collaborate across different teams and understand the language of business, marketing, sales, and analyst teams, then interpret it to your team, in order to align around the same problem and goals and help bridge the gap between strategic and tech teams.
- Customer-focused approach – Throughout your Services’ development, customer experience will be a top priority. Post-release, feedback should be sought and used to identify areas of improvement, so you continually create solutions to solve the customer’s pain point and avoid the risk of over-engineering the solution or solving a problem that doesn’t exist for them.
- Prioritisation – You will be in an environment where there are a huge number of things that could be improved. You need to work with your team’s architect to help the Head of Integration to evaluate these options and drive greater returns by prioritising features that deliver business value.
- Engineering Best Practices – Re-use is hugely important: most problems can be solved with a pre-existing solution. You will need to develop and evangelise best practices – advocated by your CoP, enabling more efficient use of time, money, and brainpower.
- Out of the box thinking – Finding a novel solution that’s viable isn’t easy. Being open to unique ideas and not being scared to pivot into new opportunities is a desirable quality we seek.
Job Purpose & Key Objectives
With the Head of Integration
- Support and challenge the “What” and “Why” proposals of the Head of Integration and, once agreed, put together the “How” to achieve these.
- Assist the Head of Integration with budget planning estimates (personnel, hardware, software, etc.)
- Working with the architecture function, provide input to the Integration Strategy. Using your expertise to give advice on how the high-level Component Services vision, strategy, and requirements should be defined and communicated.
- Report to them on a line-management basis and seek guidance on good practice.
- Help them feed into the Head of Component Services on our integration platforms’ status and performance.
- Deputise for Head of Integration as required
With your Integration Team members:
Multi-disciplined engineers: Provide technical leadership to a combination of high-performing experts and engineers (covering mostly a mix of development and support, QA/test, DevOps) by:
- Helping to refine deliverables to a joint understanding, following the agreed ‘definition of ready’.
- Act autonomously to push changes along the software delivery lifecycle, ready for tests, show-and-tells, and releases, as appropriate.
- Mentor team members in technical concerns.
- Oversee technical requirements for documentation, cross-skilling, and training strategies.
- Work collectively on backlog grooming exercise (or the equivalent thereof).
- Provide administrative “line management” for technical partner resources (access requests, approvals, etc.)
- Provide thought leadership and be the most senior engineer, providing support and guidance to the integration engineers.
- Actively participate within standards discussions relating to integration development, but also practice standards for coding, repositories, peer reviews, re-use and sharing, versioning, common components, support, development, testing.
- Research and inform community colleagues of new and emerging practices that TMHCC could benefit from, which could be absorbed into teams.
- Assist with production of documentation on agreed standards as needed.
- Always be ready to present your ideas, challenges and constraints to them, but be flexible enough to give your wholehearted commitment to the eventual direction or prioritisation set.
- Provide reporting of your progress between sprint cadences, and provide estimation of proposed changes on effort required, using a suitable technique (e.g., story points, # sprints).
- Assist with change submissions to governance bodies (e.g., Design Authority, CAB) as needed.
- Regularly mentor, and review work of, less experienced team members.
- As the team grows, you may be expected to provide line-management responsibilities to other engineers.
With Product, Component Service and Project Teams:
- Develop relationships with contacts from product teams, other component services (BI, Digital, Policy Administration) teams and project teams across the wider TMHCC business.
- Understand stakeholder priorities and their need for Integration between applications.
- Assess and detect any potential dependencies between the following, advising teams as and where needed:
- Changes that may affect how integration services will need to work.
- Changes made with integration services that impact a customer’s product.
- Provide support and guidance on teams developing on the integration platform.
- Assist in designs and development of complex or significant integration initiatives.
- Provide blueprints and design patterns to help speed up integration development.
- Support and challenge integration proposals at the Technical Design Authority (TDA).
With the IT Platforms function:
- Incorporate platform and tooling changes, patches and upgrades that affect integration services
- Set-up and review the support and service request processes between ITSM and your team’s 2nd line levels of support and response.
- Implement tools , processes and mechanism to enable effective 1st line support of integration solutions.
- Interact with the Change Advisory Board as required to provide a forward schedule of Change, submit Change Requests, package releases, set up release plans, and respond to enquiries
- Interact with Environment Management to ensure the health and consistency of your team’s development and test environments, and to notify them of Systems Integration Environment changes to be made as a result of integration service changes.
- Provide consultancy and support of BAU practices such as disaster recovery testing, maintenance weekends, month end processing.
- Be engaged and proactive regarding “hardware” estimates and plans
- Agree suitable ‘critical path’ test cases for development testing to assist with assuring the change when deployed to test environments
- Verify whether acceptance criteria are met in development, and jointly resolve to either amend the build or notify the team lead of unmet criteria and reasons
- Review outcomes of automated and manual test reports, and user acceptance testing, being present at any required test sessions
- Regularly participate with them in the testing, fault-finding, defect fixing, and re-test sequence
With the Architecture function:
- Assist the Head of Integration on feeding back on how Integration changes may impact other architectural topologies.
- Submit intended Integration changes that have defined architecture roadmap dependencies and constraints, to the Architectural Review Board (ARB) for impact and feasibility assessment.
- Check the progress of architecture-led activity upon which Integration services may be reliant (e.g., Cloud orchestration strategy, or API-led Integration approach).
With DevOps Engineers:
- Create best practices and processes to facilitate CI/CD, source control, and build & release.
- Assist with sequencing dependencies or release plans for complex releases
- Work to ensure development environments are maintained to the same standards and versioning that exists in the test and production environments.
- Notify of any differences you find in development vs test environments on changes pushed.
- Together with architects, proactively highlight any inter-dependencies on other teams’ that may apply with the release.
- Review and update support obligations between ITSM platform teams, DevOps engineers and yourself for changes that require support provisioning.
Skills and Experience
- Experience in developing and implementing an integration strategy which has delivered proven business value.
- Evidence of integration evangelism, where you can champion how you’ve furthered frontier thinking on integration services or implemented new integration mechanisms (APIs / modules) in your background, either by selling the benefits of connective integration components vs customisation, or by finding better ways of working via enhancements to Integration services.
- Strong stakeholder management skills with the business and team leadership roles
- Strong written and verbal communication skills with the ability to listen, present and communicate solutions clearly and concisely with technical and non-technical audiences.
- An in-depth understanding and broad experience of continuous deployment of business-critical systems to production.
- An excellent understanding of software development lifecycle, with knowledge and experience of Agile product delivery methodologies e.g., Scrum, Lean, Kanban, XP, within an Agile or DevOps environment.
- Demonstrable experience implementing integration services preferably within insurance or similar sector.
- Experience in cloud technologies (such as PaaS, IaaS or iPaaS, across Azure, AWS, or others).
- Capable of technical deep dives into infrastructure, databases, and applications as needed, yet able to have strategy discussions with leadership.
- You understand the benefits of Test Driven Development and Behaviour Driven Development.
- Understanding of automation technologies (such as build, configuration, test, deployment, delivery or monitoring).
- Proficiency in software engineering tools.
- Ability to document requirements and specifications.
- A good understanding of Microservices and SOA principles.
- Able to interpret architecture artefacts to understand and suggest potential enhancements
- Reliable under pressure with good sense of humour and contribute to team morale.
- Excellent attention to detail in your work.
- BSc degree in Computer Science, Engineering or relevant field.
Specific Technical Skills and Domain Experience
- An excellent understanding of a wide range of integration strategies and techniques across a diverse mix of technology environments, from fully open source / bespoke environments through to fully proprietary and COTS based, with both on-prem and cloud-based deployments
- Experience in delivering BizTalk upgrades and understanding of the risks, issues and complexities.
- Demonstrable experience of specific Integration architecture and design techniques including microservices, SOA, API and Event driven architectures, REST, EAI and Stream-based integration (SDI).
- Knowledge of the front-to-back-end technology stack, and how the layers interact together.
- Knowledge of how integration engines and APIs meet security design principles and customers' security compliance standards.
- A track record of success in software systems integration, either as a consultant or engineer.
- Broad exposure to cloud vendor gateway products (Google, AWS or Azure) and latest/emerging integration product sets.
- Exposure to Lloyds messaging formats an advantage.
- Working knowledge of network requirements for interfacing including HTTP, SSL, SFTP.
- An appreciation of containerization and serverless concepts.
- An understanding of the three-tier API architecture( Experience, Process, System).
- Knowledge of a broad range of non-functional considerations and their application to integration solutions.
- An appreciation of domains outside of your core expertise, such as networks, DevOps, security, and infrastructure.
- Familiarity with the following technologies desirable and/or useful
- IBM IDR,
- IBM DataStage,