From land to sea, from state-of-the-art weather radars to oceanographic buoys and specialist floats, our engineers are the guardians of all data gathering equipment.
Without technology the Met Office wouldn’t be where it is today. Technology is key to every area of our work – from science and forecasting to marketing and consultancy. Without it, our world-leading meteorological forecasts and products would not exist, and our vision; to be recognised as the best weather and climate change service in the world would be, quite simply, unachievable.
When it comes to Information Technology, we lead the way. We’re constantly pushing ourselves to stay ahead of the game, exploiting technology to keep people safe, enable industries to operate, aircraft to take off and land safely, and Government to make key decisions. Working with global partners such as NASA, our IT projects reach as far as Space.
State of the art networking infrastructure lay the foundations for our raw data all around the world – from satellites and radars to ground and ship based observing stations. We use supercomputers to run our forecast models and predict the weather. Our new supercomputer processes 1,200 trillion calculations per second. equivalent to ~40,000 home computers. In addition, Met Office scientists rely on a network of Linux computers to handle the large volumes of data required and for visualising model output and creating forecasts.
Behind our cutting edge, world class technology are innovative, world class people. The Technology and Information Services programme drives our IT operations from concept, through development, to service delivery. They design, build and support the systems that deliver relied-upon forecasts 24/7, all over the world to meet the needs of our organisation and, most importantly, our customers
At the Met Office, we get reliable information on the weather and climate out to customers — fast. This information consists of automated and human intervened products and services with inbuilt quality control to ensure that accuracy and timeliness are maintained at all times.
The Technology Directorate is organised into 5 key functions:
• Plan - planning and managing the portfolio of work for the programme;
• IT Applications - building new IT services and capabilities for our wide range of customers;
• Service Transition - managing the transition of those services and capabilities into operations; and;
• IT Infrastructure & Operations - managing the Met Office IT infrastructure and operational delivery of our IT services;
• Information Assurance & Security - managing the accreditation of our systems and services alongside operational IT security.
The Plan function manages the change element of the entire IT Function. It is responsible for ensuring project delivery through the full software development lifecycle, by engaging with business teams at the early stages of product development, to ensure the right resources are allocated to projects and providing the necessary project management to ensure successful delivery to our customers.
This area is responsible for ensuring the whole IT function has a well-managed programme plan. Responsibilities include:
• Extensive engagement with the business teams to ensure that a mature application development pipeline exists
• Analysis of business requirement, working closely with our customers to develop the best solution to meet the customer need.
• Active resource management across a complex programme through a Gate process.
• The Project Management of critical business projects ensuring delivery ‘On-time and In-Full’.
Providing information is one thing. Helping people use it to its full potential is another. But that's exactly what the IT Applications Programme is all about. The programme transforms huge amounts of data into digestible chunks and specialist systems. And they look after existing systems too – developing and enhancing both functionality and content.
They make sure that everyone from research scientists to forecasters can easily manage process, store and produce information. Setting up weather observation systems, storage management and other core processes, the team is split into expert groups, covering corporate management information, forecast model data, observations and data for customers.
Once we've collected and sorted our data, we want to find different ways to get it to people. And with the use of mobile devices growing at an unprecedented rate, consumers now expect to access our information anywhere, anytime, on any device. This means a wide variety of challenges for our Applications team who develop everything from smartphone apps and engaging websites to visualisation systems for professional meteorologists.
It’s up to our Applications people to translate forecast data into future-focused systems and applications. Overseeing the full development lifecycle, they create forecasting visualisation tools, commercial web applications, and customer-specific systems for organisations such as the Ministry of Defence and the Environment Agency. Our customers are varied so our interfaces and programmes must reflect this – ranging from complex structures used by industries to simple desktop widgets for home use.
Responsible for the design and development of Met Office applications and data services this area is home to a core set of UX designers, front end and data service developers dedicated to the delivery of key Met Office products for internal, Public, Government and use. The team pull through world class science into a wide range of applications such as our Mobile web site, Defence tactical decision aids and commercial products for a wide range of markets. These services are all developed by this team using the latest web technology and agile methods to create compelling usable services.
KEY LANGUAGES: Java, Oracle, PLSQL, Python, Fortran, MongoDB, HTML 5, XML, Python, JBoss, Tomcat
IT Infrastructure & Operations
World-renowned, state-of-the-art infrastructure needs to be well managed . For us, this means much more than just ‘IT Support’ – if our systems or networks aren’t working perfectly, this can prevent us from being able to deliver vital weather services that our customers and the public rely on.
From managing the network that underpins the entire Met Office IT estate, through desktop services to the supercomputer and the models that run on it, the IT Infrastructure & Operations team are at the heart of delivering IT services for the Met Office. Our services also include the biggest website in UK Government, a lynchpin element of the global meteorological data exchange systems and a host of product generation systems serving both commercial and Government customers. We also provide a range of IT services supporting other programmes within the Met Office including Finance, HR, Observations and Science.
KEY TECHNOLOGIES INCLUDE: Windows, Linux, AIX, networking technology such as CISCO, Oracle, Storage, IBM mainframe technologies
The Met Office provides a 24/7 capability all year round, providing key information to commercial and government customers when they need it most. The Production environment is one of the most advanced in UK government. A dedicated team of Service Transition professionals are responsible for continually assuring and managing changes to these systems. They also coordinate the many service providers, suppliers, development and project people involved in new releases of software, hardware and documentation. Our varied technologies and customer base provide constant interest and challenge for the team. Professional ITIL skills and experience are at the heart of this programme.
Service Transition responsibilities include:
• Planning and overseeing the successful handover of services to our 24/7 Production environment.
• Testing (including load testing) the full diversity of our product set from the scientific development to the deployment of applications to the latest technology sets including mobile and web applications.
• Taking corporate responsibility for knowledge management and the integrity of software through configuration management.
• Managing customer and user expectations of releases and roll-outs.
KEY DISCIPLINES: Functional & Technical Testing, Configuration Management, Knowledge Management and Release Management
Information Management and Assurance
Access to reliable, available information is crucial to the Met Office business. The Information Management and Assurance team is responsible for the evaluation and establishment of a wide range of means by which we control, secure, exploit and protect our information. This involves not only the technical aspects of day to day operations but also the risk assessment and provision of guidance to development projects, advice to the general business and the demonstration of compliance with government legislation, regulation and best practice.
This area is responsible for:
• Maintaining an appropriate level of accreditation for all Met Office information systems which is compliant with government security policy and aligned to business need.
• Providing policy and technical guidance for all information security matters.
• Assisting all business change activity with the assessment and mitigation of information security risks.
• Managing and investigating any security incidents.
• Identifying the Met Office’s exposure to internal and external threats and ensuring effective and appropriate prevention and recovery measures are in place;
• Ensuring Knowledge and Information Management (KIM) requirements are reflected in corporate objectives and plans; and
• Supporting the business in both the exploitation and protection of information.
KEY DISCIPLINES: IT Security, Protective Monitoring, Information and Knowledge Management, Compliance & Assurance and Business Continuity Management.
The career possibilities for Technology and Information Services are varied and first class, just like our technology. That’s because we’re as focused on developing our people as we are our systems. Our widely-recognised IT Professional Skills Framework helps our staff make the most of their career in technology. Our project management career framework is similarly based around industry best practice.
Whilst some of our systems and applications are unique, we don’t expect you to come in and know it all. Nor do we, necessarily, expect you to come from a meteorological background. We invest in your development: we’ll give you the right tools, the training and the support, to help you do make the most of your career with us.
With endless opportunities to work with ever-evolving technologies, the days are never dull for our Technology & IT people. You’ll never be pigeon holed either, opportunities range across our IT and Project management roles.
We recruit at different levels, from trainee through to experienced IT professionals. The skills and qualifications that you need will vary from role to role, and will be clearly outlined in adverts and profiles. While we don’t expect you to know everything, it’s fundamental that you’re keen to learn and develop your skills.
Our technology needs analytical, inquisitive minds: people who aren’t afraid to think outside the box, people who don’t shy away from complex challenges and love applying their skills to solve problems. We need hands-on, get-up-and-go people who are as genuinely passionate about technology as we are. Again like us, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to technology, with a keen understanding of current and future IT developments.
Your softer skills are just as important as your technical ones. You’ll be a real team player but also comfortable working from your own initiative and managing your time. As an organisation, we’re dedicated to delivering excellent service to our customers and so will you be. User-focused, your work will demonstrate how well you understand the needs of our customers.
Our Exeter headquarters is driven by technology. It’s home to our high performance supercomputers, where the majority of our world-class IT systems and services are created and where many of our brightest, game-changing ideas have been turned into industry-leading technology.
We are respected by the worldwide meteorological community as a leader in our field. Working in our Technology and Information Services team, not only will you be working with world-class IT, you’ll have opportunities to be part of this success.