Software Developer

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Software developers design, build and test computer programs for business, education and leisure services.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a graduate training scheme
University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in:

  • computer science
  • information technology
  • software development
  • financial technology
  • software engineering for business
  • maths

Entry Requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

 

College

You could do a college course, which may lead onto more advanced qualifications or a higher apprenticeship, or help you to get a trainee position with a company. Courses include:

  • A Level in Computing
  • Level 3 Certificate in Programming
  • T level in Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Higher National Certificate in Computing

Entry Requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and computing
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national certificate or higher national diploma

 

Apprenticeship

You could do a software developer higher apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship in software engineering.

You could also complete a digital and technology solutions degree apprenticeship.

Entry Requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

 

You may be able to apply for a place on a graduate training scheme with a company if you have a degree. These are often open to non-IT graduates as well as those with a computing qualification.

 

You’ll need the following skills:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge for understanding programming
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills for sharing ideas
  • persistence and determination
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • talking through requirements with the client and the development team
  • taking part in technical design and progress meetings
  • writing or amending computer code
  • testing software and fixing problems
  • keeping accurate records of the development process, changes and results
  • carrying out trials and quality checks before release
  • maintaining and supporting systems once they’re up and running

The following salaries are a guide only:

  • Starter: £20,000 
  • Experienced: £70,000

 

Working Conditions

  • You’ll usually work Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.  
  • You could work at a client’s business or in an office.
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