Software developer

Alternative titles for this job include Programmer

Software developers design, build and test computer programmes for business, education and leisure activities.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£70,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become a Software developer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

University

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

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

Apprenticeship

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

Direct application

You may be able to apply directly 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.

More information

Career tips

You could build up your skills and knowledge using free online learning resources for programming languages, project management and software development methods.

Professional and industry bodies

The Chartered Institute for IT and TP Degrees have more details about training routes and qualifications in software development.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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
  • You will be expected to know how to use a computer and tools to benefit this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work at a client's business or in an office.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior developer, with team, project management, planning or research responsibilities. You could move into related areas like systems design, IT architecture and business systems analysis.

You could also set up your own business or work as a consultant.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Software Engineering Degree Apprentice

  • Wage : Competitive salary
  • Location: Preston PR4 1AX

ICT Apprentice

  • Wage : £136.90 Weekly
  • Location: Stafford ST19 5RX

Courses In England

HE FOUNDATION DEGREE COMPUTER SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PTE

  • Provider: CHESTERFIELD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

Internet Software Development Foundation Degree (FdSc) YR1

  • Provider: East Surrey College
  • Start date: 01 October 2019
  • Location: Redhill

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