Here’s Why You’ll Thrive in a Principal Engineer role at Sainsbury’s

Nov 07, 2022
hackajob Staff

A great engineer never stops growing…so why should you? At Sainsbury’s, the sky’s the limit, which is why they’re on the hunt for engineers like yourself to join them in one of their most exciting roles: Principal Engineering.

“My role is to bring to life our corporate and tech strategy, articulating how what we build contributes to it. I am here to celebrate success, to provide inspiration for my colleagues by seeking to always improve what we do, to make it better, faster and more efficient.”
Alice Carafoli Brown, Senior Engineering Manager

Before you know it, you could be contributing to future technical strategy for a retailer that sees 5 million customer sales transactions* in a typical day. Keep reading as we uncover why Principal Engineers thrive at Sainsbury’s, with real-life examples of projects you could get involved with and a sneak peek into the team.

You’ll be a trusted leader with plenty of data to get stuck into

Power real lives up and down the country with a cracking dataset

With over 1.2 billion transactions a year*, you’ll be able to empower your peers and solve some of the most gratifying challenges of your career across brands such as Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat, Nectar, TU and more; as well as work with a great tech team.

As one of the nation’s most recognised and most innovative retailers, you’re sure to thrive as a Principal Engineer here. If you’re happy to lead teams with your technical expertise then Sainsbury’s will give you the freedom and provide you with the right tools to guarantee mutual success.

2. You’ll contribute to Sainsbury’s 3 Pillars of Tech

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from Will Holmes, Senior Software Engineer at Sainsbury’s ‌ ‌

As Principal Engineer you’ll contribute to a shared vision of the three pillars of Sainsbury’s.

Customer and Data Tech

The first of Sainsbury’s Tech Pillars, Customer and Data Tech is dedicated to how they create and deploy technology that is widely used by millions of customers each day*. As a Principal Engineer, you and your team could help to run the tech that powers Sainsbury’s Groceries Online, Argos pay at browse, SmartShop or more. As Sainsbury’s is driving forward with personalisation and analytics, the role of the Principal Engineer will be really key to this.

Colleague and Operations

With a retailer as large as Sainsbury’s, there’s no shortage of operations to smoothen and colleagues' to help out. The second of the tech pillars, it focuses on using tech to help all connected to Sainsbury’s ecosystem, whether internally or externally. In your role, you’ll have ample opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the diversity of Sainsbury’s and take part in opportunities of all sizes.

Platform Engineering & Service

The final of the three pillars, as a Principal Engineer, you’ll really be able to develop the tech that customers and colleagues alike use. With special emphasis on understanding and using tools that are better for the planet and in line with modern-day technologies.

If you can see yourself helping to shape their engineering practice without having to line manage, then keep reading to see what else a Principal Engineer at Sainsbury’s would mean for you.

3. Drive real change with cutting-edge technology

Tech they've recently delivered

Interested in the recent tech Sainsbury’s has delivered? My Nectar Prices is a great example of this. These personalised discounts mean that customers get exclusive deals on their favourite products when they shop with Sainsbury’s SmartShop. The tech team worked on this project by making use of hyper-personalisation which takes into account an individual’s shopping behaviour as well as offers redeemed and product availability.

As a Principal Engineer you could also get involved with the internal work they’ve delivered to help their 168,000 colleagues*, such as the Activity App, which helps all employees in their day-to-day jobs.

Work on innovative and intuitive projects

Some of the key tools they’ve recently created in the Activity App for colleagues include the Colleague Hub (for access to all tools and a quick sign-in), Activity (to put all things colleagues need to do and read in one place) and Stock (which allows colleagues to check availability, price and location of products)*. Working as a Principal Engineer, you’ll help Sainsbury’s to continue to evolve as a modern digital retailer serving people internally and externally.

4. You’ll be supported in your personal development and professional growth

You could contribute in many ways

“We also get personal development days to take time out from our regular work and spend time on upskilling ourselves. I am provided with the right guidance, mentors and a supportive Line Manager to grow as a true software professional.”
– Priyanka Singh, Associate Engineer

Personal development is crucial to the team at Sainsbury’s. Not only will you be provided with the tools to keep you up-to-date with tech, but you’ll also continue to progress in a way that suits you personally. Whether it’s the ability to meaningfully contribute to the valued behaviours of Own It, Make it Better or Be Human, or the capability to keep growing in your craft, colleagues at Sainsbury’s are supported to be the best version of themselves.

5. You’ll be able to bring your whole self to work

The stats speak for themself

Work-life balance matters and so does your identity and well-being. Phil Jordan, Sainsbury's Group CIO says:

“We know categorically that we make better decisions, innovate more effectively and develop better solutions when we have as broad and diverse an input as possible."

For Sainsbury’s, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand. Out of over 1,400 colleagues, 26% are ethnically diverse* and connected to a great colleague network, ‘I AM ME’ which is driving change*. And what’s more, there are inclusion networks for many communities such as LGBTQIA+, those with disabilities, and more like Proud @ Sainsbury’s, EnAble, We Care and Inspire which allow everyone to be exactly who they are through meaningful conversations that inspire action.


There’s so much more that you’ll love about being a Principal Engineer at Sainsbury’s, but to find out the rest – you’ll just have to join! If you haven’t already, make sure to create a profile on the hackajob platform, where Sainsbury’s is currently hiring for this role or log in to your profile here. We can’t wait to hear from you.

*SourcesAll original stats and figures mentioned in this post can be found in Sainsbury’s Tech Brochure here