Principal Data Engineer

Principal Data Engineer

Gibraltar, Guernsey, Haywards Heath or Manchester
up to £94,000 (depending on level of experience) plus excellent benefits package
Technology and Data
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We’re First Central Insurance & Technology Group (First Central for short), an award-winning innovative insurance and technology organisation, delivering market-leading motor insurance, underwriting, distribution, finance, technology and legal services.

We currently have an exciting opportunity for a Principle Data Engineer to join our Technology and Data team either Salford Quays, Manchester, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, or our offices in Guernsey. 

This is a hands-on technical role where you’ll be providing technical data solution leadership on projects and for persistent data products.  The role will involve taking responsibility for determining the data platform and data solution design technical direction in collaboration with Architecture and ensuring alignment of data solutions to the overall data platform patterns. The role holder will give clarity and technical direction to engineers who will build solutions against the agreed designs. Whilst not having any direction people management responsibilities directly, the role holder will need provide support, coaching and mentoring to data engineers to ensure they deliver to the required quality and integrity.

To be successful in this role, you’ll need:

  • The ability to share your experience and guide data engineers to deliver best in class artifacts in cloud solutions.
  • Expert level experience of building cloud data platforms.
  • A passion for data.

Job responsibilities:

  • Responsible for creating or guiding the low level design of data solutions, taking high level solution architecture artefacts and translating them into workable designs and work packages.
  • Responsible for the quality of the overall data platform(s), ensuring that data pipelines and database solutions are implemented effectively from a re-use and performance optimisation perspective.
  • Responsible for coding standards, low level design and ingestion patterns for the data platform(s), that all users, including data engineers follow.
  • Develop high complexity, secure, governed, high quality, efficient data pipelines from a variety of on and off premise, internal and external data sources.
  • Set the standards and ensure that data is cleansed, mapped, transformed and optimised for storage to meet requirements for business and technical use cases.
  • The design and build of data observability and data quality by design into all Data pipelines, promoting self-testing pipelines that proactively identify processing issues or discrepancies.
  • Build solutions that pipe transform data into data lake storage areas, physical database models and reporting structures across data lake, data warehouse, business intelligence systems and analytics applications.
  • Build physical data models that are appropriately designed to meet business needs and optimise storage requirements, ensuring maximum re-use.
  • Carry out unit tesing of own code, peer testing of others code to ensure appropriate quality, and be responsible for completeness and integrity of solutions delivered on the data platform(s).
  • Ensure that effective, and appropriate documentation that brings transparency and understandability are in place for all content on the data platform(s)
  • Coach and mentor Senior Data Engineers, Data engineers & Associate Data Engineers.
  • Create high complexity BI solutions including data mart, semantic layer, and reporting & visualisation solutions in recognised BI tools such as PowerBI
  • Any other reasonable duties as required.

Job-specific competencies

Experience & knowledge

  • Requires extensive experience of designing and building end to end data solutions (10 years +).
  • Exceptional at building strong, effective relationships with people from different disciplines.
  • Experience of carrying out data engineering design and build activities using agile working practices (such as Scrum or Kanban).
  • Data Factory/Synapse Workspace – for building data pipelines or synapse analytics pipelines.
  • Data Lake – Delta Lake design pattern implementation experience in Azure Data Lake Gen2 with file hierarchy namespace and low level permissions management.
  • Synapse Warehouse/Analytics – Experience in Synapse data mappings, external tables, schema creation from SSMS, knowledge on how Synapse pool works behind the scenes.
  • Azure Active Directory – for Managed identities creation and usage or for generating service principles for authentication and authorization
  • Version Control – Experience in building Data Ops i.e., CICD pipelines in Azure DevOps with managed identity.
  • Unit Testing – Experience in writing unit tests for data pipelines
  • Data Architecture – Knowledge or experience in implementing, Kimball style Data Warehouse. Experience in building Metadata with Azure Purview or Data Lake  Gen2.
  • Data Quality – Experience in applying Data Quality rules within Azure Data Flow Activities.
  • Data Transformation – Extensive hands on with Azure Data Flow Activities for Cleansing, transforming, validation and quality checks.
  • Azure Cloud – Knowledge and confidence in effective communication on Azure Cloud Subscriptions, Resource Groups, Subnet, VNet, Private Endpoints testing, Firewall rues management on Azure data platform components.
  • Keen and active interest in the use of data in the wider industry, with practical knowledge and networks.

Skills & Qualifications

  • A creative problem solver who thrives on creating simplicity out of complexity.
  • A passion for people and creating environments that enable others to flourish.
  • Resilient and comfortable prioritising in demanding situations.
  • Highly trustworthy and able to operate with integrity and discretion at all times.
  • Energetic and proactive, and someone who motivates others by their “can do, will do” attitude.
  • Able to operate with minimal brief, and a fast moving set of changing priorities.
  • Ability to bring together multiple different views and perspectives to create agreed designs and solutions.
  • Attention to detail.

What can we do for you?

We believe we can offer you a great working environment as we’re so passionate about our people. Here are just some of the benefits and perks that we offer…

  • Fantastic training and development opportunities
  • Employee benefit packages to suit your lifestyle
  • Flexible working
  • YOUday – we give you an extra day off to celebrate a special day
  • The opportunity to take a paid day off each year to do charity work
  • A health cash plan
  • Help with travel expenses
  • The opportunity to buy additional holiday
  • Company pension scheme
  • Group life assurance
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity pay
  • Professional subscription fees paid

Employee wellbeing is high on the agenda here too. We provide a weekly free fruit delivery, discounted membership at a local health club and access to an Employee Assistance Programme, which promotes physical and emotional wellbeing at work and at home. In addition, we provide wellbeing events throughout the year to support physical and mental health.

For further information on what we can offer and to learn more about this role, feel free to contact our dedicated Recruitment team.

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86% of people would recommend a friend to work at First Central

Based on 164 Glassdoor reviews (March 2022)


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Flexible working

We support colleagues who wish to work flexibly whilst meeting the needs of the business.


If it’s your birthday or you just fancy some me-time, get an extra day off for whatever you want.

Holiday Extra

We give you two opportunities each year to buy or sell up to five days of holiday.


Get a day off each year to take part in volunteering activities.

Health cash plan

Claim money back on your healthcare costs, such as dental check-ups and eye tests.

Season ticket loan

We provide interest-free loans to cover the cost of season tickets for rail, bus or car parking.