Software Developer Apprenticeship
Your future career, after completion
Your future career, after your Software Developer Apprenticeship
Interested in becoming a Software Developer apprentice? Find all the information you need below…
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Who should apply for the Software Developer apprenticeship?
Becoming a software developer apprentice is ideal for anyone who enjoys building and testing high-quality code across front-end, logic and database layers. If you like interpreting design documentation and working as part of a team, then the Software Developer apprenticeship could be for you. The roles you might expect to be applying for after your 15-18 month Software Developer apprenticeship are: Web Developer, Mobile App Developer, Games Developer and many others.
What's the cost of a Software Developer apprenticeship & will I be paid?
Entry requirements to become a Software Developer apprentice
Individual employers will set the selection criteria. It is likely to include:
- Grades A*-C (9-4 equivalent) in English and mathematics
- a science or technology qualification is desirable but not essential
- or a relevant Level 3 Apprenticeship
- a qualification or part-qualification in a related area at a lower or the same level would be advantageous, but not required
Having a passion for IT will help Software Developer apprentices gain the most out of their apprenticeship programme.
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What technical knowledge will I learn as a Software Developer apprentice?
- Logic: writes good quality code (logic) with sound syntax in at least one language
- User interface: can develop effective user interfaces for at least one channel
- Data: can effectively link code to the database/data sets
- Test: can test code and analyse results to correct errors found using either V-model manual testing and/or using unit testing
- Problem-solving: can apply structured techniques to problem-solving, can debug code and can understand the structure of programmes in order to identify and resolve issues
- Design: can create simple data models and software designs to effectively communicate understanding of the program, following best practices and standards
- Analysis: can understand and create basic analysis artefacts, such as use cases and/or user stories
- Deployment: can understand and utilise skills to build, manage and deploy code into enterprise environments
- Development lifecycle: can operate at all stages of the software development lifecycle, with increasing breadth and depth over time with an initial focus on build and test.
- Can apply good practice approaches according to the relevant paradigm (for example object-oriented, event-driven or procedural)
- Can interpret and follow:
− software designs and functional/technical specifications
− company defined ‘coding standards’ or industry good practice for coding
− testing frameworks and methodologies
− company, team or client approaches to continuous integration, version and source control
- Can respond to the business environment and business issues related to software development
- Also, can operate effectively in their own businesses, their customers’ and the industry’s environments
- Can apply the maths required to be a software developer (e.g. algorithms, logic and data structures)
What qualifications will I gain?
- Level 4 Software Developer Apprenticeship, awarded by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
- City & Guilds Level Development Methodologies
What skills will I develop?
- Logical and creative thinking skills
- Analytical and problem-solving skills
- Ability to work independently and to take responsibility
- Using own initiative
- Taking a thorough and organised approach
- Ability to work with a range of internal and external people
- Ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
- Maintaining a productive, professional, and a secure working environment
Your future earning potential as a Software Developer:
What's included in the Software Developer apprenticeship?
Within the first month, all apprentices and employers will receive a thorough induction to the apprenticeship training program from a dedicated NowSkills tutor. This will involve:
- “Workplace Health, Safety & Wellbeing Assessment”,
- Completion of enrolment documentation
- The signing of the “Commitment Statement” and an “Apprenticeship Agreement”.
- The completion of initial assessments/diagnostics for English and maths
- Agreeing the Professional Development Plan (POP), which will detail: The sequencing and content of learning key milestones (for submitting portfolio evidence, exams etc.)
- Details of how to access any online learning platforms arrangements for safeguarding
- Inductions usually take a working day to complete dependent on the individual apprentice and employer
It is a statutory requirement that 20% of an apprentice’s working hours are allocated to training. A proportion of this time will be spent attending training workshops in-centre, with the rest made up by independent learning, guided distance learning and tutor sessions in the workplace. For Software Developer Level 4 apprentices, relevant training workshops, lasting 1-2x days at a time, will be placed between the apprentice and their mentor & tutor, according to individual need. Workshops may be delivered on the following topics:
Knowledge Session 1: Software Development Methodologies
- Understanding the Software Development Methodologies
- Understanding the Classic Model
- Understanding the Waterfall Model, V-Model, the Iterative Model & the Spiral Model
- Agile Fundamentals – Manifesto, Values, Principles, Practices etc.
- Extreme Programming (XP) Fundamentals
- SCRUM Fundamentals
- Advantages and Disadvantages of these models
Knowledge Session 2: Project Management
- Learning the responsibilities of a Project Manager, and how a good project manager uses consistent processes to deliver superior project performance
- Understanding the difference between ‘linear’ and ‘agile’ project lifecycles, and alternative approaches to managing them (Gantt chart vs Scrum board).
- Understanding to use planning tools to define the project and avoid scope creep
- How to initiate, define and organize a project
Knowledge Session 3: Agile Project Management
- 12 Principles of the Agile Manifesto, and what they mean for your projects
- An introduction to Scrum – the most widely adopted Agile Method
- Definition of ‘Done’
- Team Values and culture
- Team roles in Agile – Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team
- Team communication and team size
- Structure of Agile projects
- Building understanding through User Stories
- Estimating tasks and effort
Knowledge Session 4: The Development Lifecycle
- Learning the different phases involved in the software development cycle to develop any Software Product.
- Building high-quality and secure software using SDLC methodologies such as agile, lean, and traditional/waterfall.
- Analysing a software development team’s SDLC methodology and make recommendations for improvements.
- Comparing and contrasting software development methodologies with respect to environmental, organizational, and product constraints.
Knowledge Session 5: Programming With C#
- Basic Program Structure
- Managing program flow and events
- Working with arrays and collections
- Working with variables, operators, and expressions
- Using private, internal, protected and public visibility modifiers
- Using exception-handling to create robust applications
- Creating derived classes that inherit from custom-written or .NET classes
Knowledge Session 6: Programming with Java
- Creating Java applications that leverage the object-oriented features of the Java language, such as encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism
- Creating applications that use the Java Collections framework
- Searching and filtering collections using Lambda Expressions
- Implementing error-handling techniques using exception handling
- Implementing input/output (I/O) functionality to read from and write to data and text files
Knowledge Session 7: Databases
- Applying queries in SQL to create, read, update and delete data in a database
- Applying the concepts of entity integrity constraint and referential integrity constraint (including definition of the concept of a foreign key)
- Sketching conceptual data models (including ER) to describe a database structure
- Applying SQL to create a relational database schema based on conceptual and relational models
Knowledge Session 8: Software Testing
- Understanding fundamental concepts of software testing
- Demonstrating understanding of how different development and testing practices, and different constraints on testing, may apply in optimising testing to different contexts
- Using established techniques for designing tests at all test levels.
- Interpreting and executing tests from given test specifications
- Writing and communicating clear and understandable defect reports
Included: Ongoing Professional Development
Apprentices will be guided by a NowSkills tutor and their workplace mentor, throughout the duration of the infrastructure technician apprenticeship. For a level 4 apprentice this must equate to 1/2 a working day for every week they aren’t attending training in centre, and will likely consist of:
- Mentoring sessions with the nominated employer mentor
- Training in the workplace, relevant to the standard
- Producing/collating evidence for the apprentice’s summerative portfolio
- Work shadowing
- Industry visits
- Attendance at competitions
- Online learning
- Studying or researching
Before an apprentice can reach the threshold for the gateway phase, apprentices must have successfully achieved the following exams:
- City & Guilds Level Diploma in Software Development Methodologies
- A recognised vendor or professional qualification in software language
Included: Tutor 1:1s
These take place monthly, either at the workplace or live online with the tutor. The will involve:
- Coaching sessions, in areas of training need agreed with the tutor
- Professional Development Reviews (PDRs), which employers must partake in. These allow for a meaningful discussion between all 3x parties about the apprentice’s achievements, areas for improvement and progress made to date
- Updating of the Professional Development Plan (POP)
- Provision of ongoing careers education, information, advice & guidance
- Feedback on an apprentice’s work
- English, maths, and wider digital skills development
- Support in understanding and applying: safeguarding; fundamental British values; health, safety, & wellbeing; and equality, diversity, and inclusion
In addition to tutor 1:1s, all apprentices and employers must also partake in a monthly Professional Development Review (PDR):
- A meaningful discussion about the apprentice’s achievements
- Identifying areas for improvements, and agreeing a consequent target plan
- Looking at progress made to date
Included: Gateway to End-Point Assessment
This is the period in which the decision is made whether the apprentice is ready to cross the threshold phase, from learning and formative assessments to the end-point assessment phase. This decision will be made by the employer, training provider, and apprentice, based on the apprentice’s progress. To move onto the end-point assessment phase, it is essential to have passed all the knowledge modules and/or vendor or qualifications or professional qualifications and to provide a portfolio of work.
Congratulations! You will have completed your Software Developer Apprenticeship! You will have learned the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours to embark on a rewarding IT & digital career.
What happens after I successfully complete the Network Engineer apprenticeship?
Upon successful completion of the Software Developer Level 4 Apprenticeship, further progression opportunities are available:
- Promotion in the workplace, or a movement into a managerial role
- Study at a higher level of apprenticeship (dependent on occupation)
- Enrolling in a degree (full or part-time) or even a degree apprenticeship
- Continuing in the role, but undertaking additional, related qualifications to further development
NowSkills tutors and support staff are trained to advise you on the wide range of career options available after your apprenticeship. For many apprentices this may be continuing employment in a permanent with their apprenticeship employer; for others, it may be new education or career opportunities.