Lead Engineer - BX Stores (23143) in London

About the Role: Lead... Holland & Barrett International is striving to be the world's leading health and wellness business. Currently the largest in Europe and growing in other markets, the health and wellness of our colleagues and...

Job description

About the Role:

Lead Engineer

Holland & Barrett International is striving to be the world's leading health and wellness business. Currently the largest in Europe and growing in other markets, the health and wellness of our colleagues and customers is at our heart.

Technology at H&B

We're on a mission to make health and wellness a way of life for everyone – and technology is at the heart of our future to become a leading omni-channel retailer. We're building some great products, and we're investing in the rapidly advancing technology that is helping our customers meet their health and wellness goals. We're delivering more speed in the retail experience, greater convenience in service and delivery, and increasing personalisation in our brand and product propositions, both in-store and online.

Collaborative, working at pace and always with a strong customer focus in everything we do. We love the cloud, we prefer building the right solutions over buying generic ones, and we embrace automation and testing in all thing's software, infrastructure, and data.


The Role

The position sits within our Retail vertical and specifically our Stores Tills Team.

In 2019 we decided to build rather than buy our till systems.  We built our V1 from scratch based on what stores and colleagues were already used to and that would run on our old existing hardware.

This was done in a true agile (with a small a) way.  It's a big challenge and a critical piece of software that our colleagues use.  We started small 1 till in 1 store, got feedback, improved, and scaled up to the whole estate in UK, Ireland, Netherlands, and Belgium.

Since 2019 we've processed over £1bn worth of transactions in 4 countries and 2 currencies. We've added additional features like Click & Collect integration, loyalty sign up at the till point and order in store – where a customer can order items to be shipped to home or the store at the till point.

Four years on we've just purchased some fancy new hardware, and we're rolling out a major update (V2 of the system) to make use of it.


This is a lead role and covers the full stack in the true sense.  It covers the till application itself, some backend api services, reporting systems and some operating system maintenance.

  • Integration to hardware – think serial ports to receipt printers and barcode scanners.
  • Integration to apis – like loyalty, stock etc.
  • A complete reporting suite for operational reports stores use to look at their sales and performance.
  • Own issues and drive solutions to problems.
  • Support what we build.
  • Build our own tooling for debug, support, and monitoring.

There's a large amount of autonomy and collaboration.  This is most definitely not a ticket factory role.  It sounds cliché but we do work a bit like a startup.  We've built a great reputation amongst colleagues in store using our tech as well as our peers in the head office.  We're a small team working on the till side of things, but we form part of the larger InStore team for social and collaboration.

You will sometimes need to visit stores to observe tills in use, get feedback from stores about an issue, try out new ideas and generally just meet our users.

We want you to become the ‘go to' person for anything related to the till system.

Everything we build we put the customers and colleagues needs at the forefront of our decision making. Engineers will be involved in understanding current store journeys customers have and how that experience can be enhanced whether by the technology directly or by supporting the colleague engaging the customers.

We are on a multi-year transformation moving away from both legacy tech and legacy processes to truly embrace our vision of what our store experience can be.


  • Operate independently without technical oversight, and be able to lead design of software across a subset of functional areas
  • Consistently deliver high quality cross-functional software
  • Work closely with other departments to ensure project are completed on time
  • Be active in learning and sharing new techniques and aware of innovations in neighbouring disciplines, e.g. product, QA, UX
  • Mentor and develop your squad, enhancing their technical and professional skills
  • Consider the impact of new information on existing decisions and plan accordingly
  • Be able to describe complex technical areas and practices to both technical and non-technical audiences in ways they can understand
  • Understand how the business operates, what the strategy is and how that relates to your work in conversations with key stakeholders
  • Know your customer and build awareness and understanding of their needs in your Team
  • Own the responsibility for security and compliance
  • Drive innovation by exploring new technologies, tools, and methodologies to improve development processes and enhance the overall quality of our applications
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest trends, advancements, and best practices in engineering, development, and share knowledge with the team.
  • Bring own ideas and solutions forward for discussion and proof of concepts
  • Have an active interest in the sector, monitor competitors


Key requirements:


  • The core of the till is written in Kotlin using the Vertx
  • The UI is web based using VueJs
  • This is wrapped up in an Electron desktop application.
  • A tiny amount of .Net for some operating system integration
  • Some PowerShell scripts for support and installation automation
  • Ansible for maintenance tasks
  • We use AWS for hosting, (DynamoDB, RDS, S3)
  • Kafka messaging about transactions

Key Skills and Experience:

  • Have owned or been responsible for an inhouse built application
  • Comfortable running workshops, requirements meetings or other collaboration events with others in the company to flush out issues, requirements, or ideas.
  • We're not looking for someone who matches our stack perfectly, but you should be comfortable picking up new tech stacks.
  • Proven experience as a Lead or Senior Engineer in Java or Kotlin
  • Experience with a reactive web UI frameworks
  • Some SQL and NoSQL database experience
  • Proven experience as a Lead or Senior Engineer in Java or Kotlin. You'll need to be comfortable in Kotlin.
  • Proficiency in writing clean, modular, and maintainable, and testable code, with experience in unit testing and UI testing frameworks.
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work effectively with cross-functional teams.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities, with experience mentoring and guiding junior developers.
  • Passion for innovation and continuous learning, with a proactive attitude towards exploring new technologies and best practices.
  • Familiarity with Agile development methodologies.
  • Experience with version control systems, such as Git.
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical thinking skills.
  • Familiarity with continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.
  • Strong attention to detail and a commitment to delivering high-quality software.

Nice to Have:

Have worked on real systems in public facing locations like kiosks in retail store or transport hubs or applications like digital signage.

What we offer:
  • We operate virtually. Remote, hybrid, or in our tech hubs – we work in an agile environment where you can thrive. 
  • We offer a 10% performance incentive scheme for our tech teams. 
  • Learn from the best – at H&B you'll have the opportunity to enhance and expand your skills and shape your career. 
  • We want you to produce your best, so we provide you with the best tech equipment. 
  • Stay healthy with a 25% discount on all product ranges to help you live well. 
  • We like to recognize and celebrate our people with our Colleague Recognition Scheme, so your hard work won't go unnoticed.

About H&B

Holland & Barrett is one of the nation's most loved and trusted brands, known for offering quality health food, vitamins, and supplements all sold by highly trained and qualified advisors.

Bucking the current trend of high street retailers, we forecast significant growth and expansion plans in the coming years, with considerable investment going into all areas of the business. We certainly embrace change and drive speed in everything we do. Every day presents a different challenge, but every day is also filled with fun, teamwork, and passion to succeed and surpass every expectation.

Our culture respects equality, values diversity, and encourages individuality – because this allows our people to unlock their potential and be their best. We welcome everyone who shares our EPIC values regardless of background, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Extra information

Type of Contract
Graduate jobs
Published at
Profession type
Full UK/EU driving license preferred
Car Preferred
Must be eligible to work in the EU
Cover Letter Required

London | Retail Jobs | Graduate jobs

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