In this article we look at some of the different professional qualifications for a software developer, whilst this is in no way exhaustive it does highlight some of those qualifications, how they can be attained and possible value.
With a big focus from the UK Government, apprenticeships are being given more credibility due to the marketing and incentives provided. The recent changes to how the apprenticeships are funded, and the availability of training is supposed to improve access to apprentices and improve the commercial importance of the training.
As for all training/qualifications listed here there are huge variations between the training providers and quality of training. Whilst an apprenticeship places more emphasis on employer training the training provider should be delivery quality software delivery & software development modules appropriate to the employer. We have found a number of apprentices approach us for a subsequent apprenticeship (there are different levels which can be likened to different years at University with Level 5 being the highest) with their earlier apprenticeships having been on
That opens a very big question/discussion around any qualifications – with such a large number of programming languages and frameworks available direct teaching of a language can cause issues if a new language is to be learned. I am personally a fan of teaching the fundamentals so that a competent professional can pickup/understand/learn any language – critical when we work in an industry that is constantly evolving.
According to Which there are 209 courses within the UK related to computer science, there will undoubtedly be more courses that indirectly contribute to becoming a software developer. With an average 15 hours of teaching over 3 years this is quite an investment, especially with the costs to attend University. It is worth noting that University is more than just learning your subject – there are core skills including independent working, social skills, negotiation and many more that are gained in this safe and secure environment. Whilst there is no doubt that a suitable course will give a great basis for a software development career, care should be taken over the modules available and quality of teaching. We often find some candidates for our vacancies having taken specific modules that whilst might have been stimulating have limited their career choices and/or haven’t prepared them for a commercial world.
British Computer Society
The chartered institute for IT is the industry recognised body to award professional qualifications for IT in the UK – they recognise courses (apprenticeships and degrees) which count towards a professional qualification. They are audit and validate training providers to ensure the training is delivered to a suitable quality and in-line with the BCS syllabus across a wide range of technical and professional areas. Unlike a lot of other industries (traditional engineering, accounting etc) there isn’t as much focus to be a member or indeed to have the BCS to formally recognise your capability. Whilst there are many reasons for this the main I believe is due to the fact that customers/clients/employers will use a good software development resource regardless of the recognition of qualifications from the BCS. As there is then no need to be accredited a lot of people don’t bother –whilst the BCS will recognise your professional level and allow you to be measured against your peers it is a worthwhile recognition of your professional experience.
The range of qualifications and memberships of the BCS can be summarised as follows:
Membership – Apprentice
Membership – Associate (1 years’ experience)
Membership – Professional (5 years’ experience)
Membership – Fellow (IT leadership)
Qualification – Chartered IT Professional (CITP)
Qualification – Register for IT Technicians (RITTech)
Qualification – Chartered Engineer (CEng and Ieng)
School of Experience
Whilst there is no doubt having a formal qualification and training to underpin your knowledge is a great help, there are still a large number of professionals whose only training has been on the job. Couple a supportive employer, a solid training plan and online/classroom-based training and it is possible over a number of years to develop the skills to be classed as a software development professional. With such a large array of online courses and easy accessibility to hardware and software, anybody with the right mindset can learn any software programming language.
Matter Of Software
Here at Matter Of Software we are proud to support all routes and backgrounds in our team, we recognise the person behind the skills and provide them with access to working with some of the best clients, most innovative projects and alongside a supportive team. We use open source technology (Java, PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS etc.) to develop our solutions ensuring a wide talent pool for us to recruit from and a solid future for our team. If you are interested in understanding how our team can support your business please don’t hesitate to get in touch.