Ministry of Justice
What it's like to support Prisons and Probation through WebOps
I am Ewa Stempel, Lead WebOps Engineer in MoJ Digital & Technology. I joined the Ministry of Justice and the Digital Studio Operations team in July 2019 and didn’t know what to expect. I however was very excited to start working in the public sector for the first time ever and to play a part in making a difference in people’s lives.
I feel lucky to be part of the MoJ-helping to protect the public and giving people a second chance. The values of the organisation - purpose, humanity, openness, together - are values I share, and this was a big part of why I chose the job.
We believe that building diverse and inclusive teams is as important as the skills and expertise of the people. Different backgrounds bring varied perspectives and these should be cherished.
Our lovely team
The MoJ invests in us and values us as people, not just resources for a task. We get 10% of our time to spend on learning, and access to learning platforms - Linux Academy and Pluralsight, to name a couple. We also build Communities of Practice to share knowledge across the MoJ and wider government. There are even opportunities to go into prisons if you want to, as some of our team have done. The 'user' after all is at the centre of everything we do.
We have a lot of freedom to choose the tools we use, whether it be from a small open source repository or a feature in Azure or AWS. We’re using Kubernetes to help software developers become more self-sufficient, GitHub Actions to automate repetitive tasks, and Terraform to hold our infrastructure as code (IaC). And of course, we still have legacy application issues to solve, as most organisations do: we call it ‘fixing the basics’.
In the past, we worked at the Digital Studio in Sheffield - a great, collaborative place where we sat with developers, product managers, user researchers, and specialists from prison and probation. Covid-19 has changed that, but we know we have worked successfully as a fully remote team for 9 months now, and are likely to carry the lessons we’ve learned into the coming years.
The team has welcomed 11 new starters since the first lockdown - all remotely. We highly highly recommend it to anyone, whether you are considering a career change like me or perhaps considering working in the public sector for the first time.
Don’t just take my word for it, read our five-star reviews from members of the team and people outside!
The team has a proactive approach to monitoring, maintenance, automation, and driving down costs.’ – Howard
They are all approachable and do not make you feel stupid due to not having a technical background, and they explain things simply – Duncan
Working with DSO is a breath of fresh air compared to some DevOps teams. They are not only knowledgeable but approachable, jargon-free, helpful, and a pleasure to work with – Rich
Working here is a real pleasure. Positive environment, helpful cooperating colleagues, flexible working, and lots of training opportunities that are relevant in ever-changing IT – Sandhya
I recently joined the MoJ as a WebOps Engineer, having spent the last 15 years working as a mechanical engineer in the railway industry. Coming from a completely different background, I was pretty nervous about starting and how my limited experience in this field would be perceived. However, I need not have worried; everyone in the team has been extremely welcoming and helpful in getting me up to speed! Despite working remotely due to the global pandemic, the on-boarding process has been great, with regular communication with my colleagues through Slack and video calls. Overall my impression of working at the MoJ is extremely positive and I would recommend it to anyone, whether considering a career change like me, or perhaps considering working in the public sector for the first time – Rob
Hopefully, that gives you a flavour of what it’s like to work here. To borrow from Daniel Pink, we have a strong sense of purpose, working to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in society; the trust and autonomy to focus our abilities on a shared vision; and an organisation that encourages us to grow as individuals and professionals.
Latest News from
Ministry of Justice
Drug dogs to detect new versions of spice to stay one step ahead of criminals02/03/2021 10:15:00
Prison drug dogs will be trained to sniff out new and emerging strands of Spice as part of the government's comprehensive plan to tackle violence and disorder behind bars.
New laws to protect victims added to Domestic Abuse Bill01/03/2021 15:15:15
A raft of new amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill will be presented, providing greater protections for victims and further clamping down on perpetrators.
Driving economic growth and recovery in the legal sector01/03/2021 10:15:00
How the Legal Services is GREAT virtual trade mission supported legal professionals to expand their businesses internationally.
Landing my first Junior Design role through Twitter22/02/2021 15:15:15
Blog posted by: Siddiqah Islam, 19 February 2021 – Categories: Interaction Designer, Recruitment.
Expansion of prison kitchen training scheme to cut reoffending19/02/2021 10:15:20
Thousands of offenders will be diverted away from crime by the expansion of a catering training scheme in prisons across England and Wales.
Requirement for all parole hearings to be held in private to be relaxed09/02/2021 10:15:00
The rule which currently requires all parole hearings to be held in private will be relaxed as part of the government’s efforts to increase public confidence in the process.
The 5-year beta phase-How we prepared for live assessment03/02/2021 13:15:00
Blog posted by: Sharondeep Shergill, Alex Saunders, Jim Warren and Uchenna Ndikom, 02 February 2021 – Categories: live assessment, Our services.
Extra £40m to help victims during pandemic and beyond02/02/2021 13:15:00
Victims of rape and domestic abuse will be helped by a major £40m funding boost for specialist support services, the Government yesterday confirmed.