Apply Now

Applications processed via employer's online application form

Job Details


Belfast, Northern Ireland


Principal Frontend Engineer

  • We believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.

    As strategies, technologies and innovation collide, we create opportunity from complexity.

    Our diverse teams of experts combine innovative thinking and breakthrough use of technologies to progress further, faster. Our clients adapt and transform, and together we achieve enduring results.

    An innovation and transformation consultancy, we are over 3,200 specialists in consumer, defence and security, energy and utilities, financial services, government, health and life sciences, manufacturing, and transport. Our people are strategists, innovators, designers, consultants, digital experts, scientists, engineers and technologists. We operate globally from offices across the UK, US, Europe, and the Nordics.

    Bringing Ingenuity to Life.

    Job Description

    Role description and objectives

    As a Principal Frontend Engineer, you'll be a true subject matter expert in using frontend technologies and frontend JavaScript to develop solutions for our clients.

    You'll be leading a team or effort, so we'll be looking at you to set direction and take responsibility for successfully achieving technical excellence. You may have a team of people to support, be leading a development team, or else you could be working across multiple teams, providing some centralised expertise necessary for a larger program of work. Your team members will look to you as a trusted expert and will expect you to define the end to end software development lifecycle in line with modern best practices.

    • Deliver high-quality websites and applications using frontend technologies including HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Node.js.
    • Design solutions end to end. Teams and clients will look to you for advice and contribution in higher-level architectural discussions beyond just the frontend stack.
    • Own the development process for your team, building strong principles and putting robust methods and patterns in place across architecture, scope, code quality, infrastructure and deployments.
    • Model team behaviour for writing specifications and acceptance criteria, estimating stories, sprint planning and documentation.
    • Actively define and evolve PA’s frontend engineering standards and practices ensuring we maintain a shared, modern and robust approach.
    • It’s important you feel comfortable influencing team discussions with the client on the project.
    • Coach and mentor others in the team, regardless of seniority, working with them to build their expertise and understanding


    Professional experience

    To be successful in this role, you will need to have:

    • 5+ years experience with one leading JavaScript SPA framework (React preferred) and associated tooling (Gulp /Webpack, Redux, Jest etc).
    • Expert understanding of JavaScript including the DOM, events and progressive enhancement without using a framework.
    • Experience using Node.js and associated frameworks (e.g. Express, Next.js, Gatsby) to develop websites and APIs.
    • 5+ years experience working with designers to translate ideas into responsive code (CSS, Sass/PostCSS etc).
    • Expert understanding of semantic HTML, WCAG accessibility guidelines, common issues across web and mobile devices, and how to fix them.
    • Experience developing cloud-native applications (AWS, Azure, or GCP).
    • Experience defining testing strategies and applying test automation, ideally drawing on TDD or BDD.
    • Experience implementing CI/CD practices such as git, branching, automated tests and automated deployment pipelines.
    • Extensive experience working in an Agile team using Scrum or Kanban processes.

    In addition to the above, we would be thrilled if you also had:

    • A demonstrable eye for good user interface design, typography and user experience.
    • A good understanding of modern content management systems, coupled or headless (e.g. Craft, Contentful, AEM).
    • An understanding of SEO and frontend performance optimisation.
    • Experience developing with serverless, microservice-based, containerised or Jamstack/MACH architectures.

    Personal qualities

    • You are pragmatic and already understand that writing code is only part of what a software engineer does.
    • You can clearly communicate with both clients and peers, describing technical issues and solutions in both written and meeting/workshop contexts.
    • You are a confident problem solver and troubleshooter.
    • You are confident and generous in sharing your specialist knowledge, ideas and solutions.
    • You know when code is "good enough" to ship.
    • You are constantly learning and able to make others better by consciously teaching and unconsciously inspiring.

    Additional Information

    Benefits at PA:

    • Private medical insurance
    • Travel allowance
    • 25 days annual leave with the opportunity to buy 5 additional days
    • Company pension scheme
    • Annual performance-based bonus
    • Life and Income protection insurance
    • Tax efficient benefits (cycle to work, give as you earn)
    • Additional optional benefits (Dental, critical illness, spouse/partner life assurance)

    PA is committed to building an inclusive and supportive culture where diversity thrives, and all of our people can excel. We believe that greater diversity stimulates innovation, enabling us to fulfil our purpose of ‘Bringing Ingenuity to Life’, supporting the growth of our people, and delivering more enduring results for our clients.

    We only recruit, promote and reward our people based on their contribution, without regard to gender, race, disability, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or marital status.

    We welcome international applications, but we are unable to offer sponsorship for work permits, so you will need to have the full right to live and work in the UK. Unfortunately, your application will be automatically rejected if you do not have these rights.

Apply Now

Applications processed via employer's online application form