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DATA AND IT

Software Development Technician Apprenticeship Level 3

The Software Development Technician Apprenticeship equips individuals with the ability to build software components and implement and test code. Apprentices learn to build simple software components (whether web, mobile or desktop applications) to be used by other members of the team as part of larger software development projects. Software Development Technicians gain the skills and knowledge needed to interact with a wide range of stakeholders as part of the Software Development Lifecycle.

This occupation is found in every sector ranging from large multinationals, public sector bodies and government projects to small consultancy firms designing bespoke software solutions for clients.

This occupation is found in organisations, large and small, in all sectors, and within public, private and voluntary organisations. These can include but are not limited to retail, finance, and telecoms providers.

Typical job titles include: Software Development Technician, Junior Developer, Junior Web Developer, Junior Application Developer, Junior Mobile App Developer, Junior Games Developer, Junior Software Developer, Junior Application Support Analyst, Junior Programmer, Assistant Programmer and Automated Test Developer.

 

Level: 3

Qualification gained: Level 3 Software Development Technician Apprenticeship

Optional qualifications:
PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer Certification
Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals

1. Standards to be met
2. Length of apprenticeship
3. Training modules
4. Entry requirements
5. End point assessment
6. Progression
7. Funding

Standards to be met

The Apprenticeship standard sets out the essential Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours that somebody would need to demonstrate to be successful in this job role, this includes practising continuous self-learning to keep up to date with technological developments. Apprentices will need to show they are competent in all the areas detailed in the standard when they take End Point Assessment.

The Knowledge areas of the apprenticeship will be covered through completion of our dedicated training courses which have been mapped to the standard. The Skills and Behaviours are developed through the practical experience gained in the job role, workplace training and mentoring, and the completion of 2 work-based projects.

Knowledge

  • Software Development Life Cycle and Project Planning keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the fundamentals of all stages of the software development life cycle including development, Quality Assurance, User Acceptance Testing, and release.

    Roles and responsibilities within the software development lifecycle. Roles and responsibilities of the project lifecycle.

    Basic principles of software project planning including risks and dependencies, integration, prioritisation of tasks, escalation of problems, quality, time and end user experience.

  • Software Development Approaches, Methodologies and Testing keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the key similarities and differences between different software development methodologies, such as agile and waterfall. Software development approaches for example object oriented, event driven or procedural.

    Key principles of software testing frameworks and methodologies. Fundamental approaches to actions such as sequence, selection and iteration. Key principles of testing for components (including software, hardware, data), interfaces and the resulting service.

  • Collaboration and Teamwork keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn different communication methods, how to adapt appropriately to different audiences including collaborative technologies such as discussion threads and document collaboration. Principles of effective teamwork to produce software.

  • Software Design keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the fundamentals of software design approaches and patterns, including when to identify reusable solutions to commonly occurring problems. Basic principles of software designs and functional/technical specifications.

  • Organisation Policies, Standards, Legal and regulatory Requirements keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn organisational policies and procedures relating to the tasks being undertaken, and when to follow them. For example, the storage and treatment of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sensitive data.

    The importance of valuing difference and understanding the protected characteristics named in the Equality Act 2010.

    Awareness of legal and regulatory requirements and their practical application to the role for example, Data Protection, Security, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Data sharing, marketing consent, personal data definition.

    Role and importance of Industry Standards and where to find them (e.g., ISO standards, IETF RFCs).

  • Computing Systems and Emerging Technologies keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the fundamentals of computing systems including physical, virtual and cloud technologies. Basic principles of emerging technology trends and innovations such as Internet of Things (IoT) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Augmented Reality (AR).

  • Databases, Data Structures, Algorithms and Problem Solving keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the fundamental principles of algorithms, logic and data structures. For example, how they work using a step-by-step solution to a problem, or rules to follow to solve the problem. Principles and uses of relational and non-relational (nosql) databases.

    Principles of pattern recognition such as looking for similarities among and within problems. Fundamentals of breaking down a complex problem or system into smaller, more manageable parts.

  • Security Principles keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the basic principles of processes and protocols used to ensure internet security, including concepts of security assurance.

  • Digital Tools keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the basic principles of digital tools and their use in business: management and presentation tools, evaluation tools and techniques and project management tools.

Skills

  • Writing and Deploying Code keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Write simple code for discrete software components following an appropriate logical approach to agreed standards (whether web, mobile or desktop applications) under supervision.

    Apply appropriate secure development principles to specific software components at all stages of development. Follows organisational and industry good coding practices (including for naming, commenting etc.).

    Follow a given software development approach according to the relevant paradigm (for example object oriented, event driven or procedural) in line with work instructions. Implement secure code in appropriate languages of different types which is maintainable, readable, and functional.

    Use simple debugging techniques, such as interactive debugging, print debugging, and remote debugging. Build scripts in line with work instructions for deployment into the relevant environment.

    Design simple software solutions to meet a requirement using tools and techniques, such as waterfall and agile.

  • Algorithms, Data Sources and Databases keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Make simple connections between code and defined data sources as specified. Apply algorithms, logic and data structures in a supported context in line with work instructions.

  • Software Testing and Problem Solving keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Test simple code and analyse results to correct errors found using unit testing under supervision. Conduct a range of test types under supervision, such as Functional and Non-Functional.

    Apply structured techniques to problem solving, including carrying out simple debugging of code. Solve logical problems, seeking assistance when required (including appropriate mathematical application).

    Follow simple testing frameworks and methodologies in line with work instructions.

    Apply techniques to break down complex problems. Implement test plans under supervision to show that a test plan is implementable in practice and implementation conforms to the plan.

  • User Interface Design and Development keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Develop user interfaces as appropriate to the organisation’s development standards and the type of software development being developed. Support development of effective user interfaces.

  • Defining and Documenting Requirements keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Support the creation of simple software documentation and visuals to effectively communicate understanding of the program. Define functional and non-functional requirements such as use cases, storyboards, user stories, performance, and accessibility. Develop and use simple acceptance criteria.

  • Communication keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Support the communication of software solutions and ideas to technical and non-technical stakeholders.

  • Adhering to Organisation Policy and Regulatory Requirements keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Work within operational requirements such as health and safety, budgets, brands and normal business protocols. Follow work instructions to contribute to building a given design whilst remaining compliant with security and maintainability requirements.

    Follow instructions to ensure client data is held securely under supervision e.g., not using personally identifiable information in test systems, making sure personal actions comply with ICO regulations. Apply and maintain procedures and security controls to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

    Demonstrate how Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be used to frame and measure desired outcomes.

  • Collaboration and Version Control keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Use collaboration tools and technologies for source and version control to enable working together on common projects, regardless of physical location.

    Use collaboration tools and technologies for writing technical documentation for, and adapting to, specific audience(s). e.g., technical, non-technical, internal, external.

    Follow company, team or client approaches to continuous integration, version, and source control as instructed. Work in a shared code base with appropriate etiquette and tools, such as modularity and data definition.

Behaviours

  • Critical Thinking keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Use critical thinking skills when undertaking work tasks.

  • Independent and Collaborative working keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Work independently and take responsibility within tightly defined parameters. Team player, for example working collaboratively, keeping others informed using effective communication, recognising personal and professional limitations, and seeking advice when necessary.

  • Committed to Continuous Professional Development keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Committed to guided Continuous Professional Development.

  • Working Productively, Professionally and Securely keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Maintain a productive, professional, and secure working environment.

Length of Apprenticeship

The End Point Assessment cannot be taken until the apprentice has been on programme for at least 12 months. The Apprenticeship will typically take 18 months in order for them to complete all of the training modules, be able to consistently work at or above the occupational standard, create a portfolio of evidence and complete the independent end point assessment.

Key milestones:

person Ongoing skills and behaviours
av_timer Optional interactive sessions
laptop Knowledge
person_pin Talent coach check in
border_color End point assessment


 
START OF APPRENTICESHIP
 
 
Month 1
person_pin Onboarding and induction

 
Month 2
laptop Python Programming Fundamentals

person Coding

 
Month 3
person_pin Talent coach check in

laptop Intermediate Python Programming

person Data and Databases

 
Month 4
laptop Portfolio Introduction

 
Month 5
laptop Workplace Project 1

person Testing

 
Month 6
person_pin Talent coach check in

person User Interfaces

laptop SQL and Databases

 
Month 7
person User Interfaces

 
Month 8
person Documentation

laptop Web Technologies

 
Month 9
person_pin Talent coach check in

person Communication

laptop Workplace Project 2

 
Month 10
laptop Agile Software Development

 
Month 11
person Version Control

 
Month 12
person_pin Talent coach check in

person Critical Thinking

 
Month 13
person Work Professionally

 
Month 14
border_color Submit portfolio

person_pin Talent coach check in

laptop EPA Readiness Training

Month 15
border_color Gateway

Month 16
border_color Professional Discussion with Portfolio

Month 17
border_color Project Report with Questioning

Month 18
border_color Completion

Training modules

Apprentices will need to complete all their training modules to cover the knowledge required in the apprenticeship standard and to be fully prepared for the end point assessments.

All modules consist of online self-paced learning and a live training component. These components are linked to work-based projects that the learner completes to support them in building competencies and their portfolio.

Training will be delivered through our flexible live online classes. The following training modules are completed by apprentices on this standard:

Python Programming Fundamentals

This module will introduce programming using Python. This will include:

  • Introduction to Python and computer programming
  • Data types, variables, basic input-output operations, basic operators
  • Boolean values, conditional execution, loops, lists and list processing, logical and bitwise operations
  • Functions, tuples, dictionaries, and data processing.

Python will be used as the main language for training. Apprentices will be able to use their learning to pick up other programming languages they may need to use in the workplace.

Intermediate Python Programming

In this module apprentices will build on the Python Basics from Module 1. They will start to look into Object Oriented Programming concepts. This will cover:

  • Modules, Packages and PIP
  • Strings, String and List Methods, Exceptions
  • Object-Oriented Programming.

Apprentices can take the optional Python Institute – PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer certification but this is not included as part of the apprenticeship and will have to be funded by the employer.

SQL and Databases

This module is used to develop a practical understanding of databases and creating software Apps. The first part will cover the essential concepts of databases including:

  • What is a database?
  • Designing a database and data modelling
  • Managing tables
  • Querying and sharing data in the database using SQL.

The second part cover the fundamentals of the Microsoft Power App Platform including:

  • The business value of Power Platform
  • The core components of Power Platform
  • Capabilities of Power BI
  • Capabilities of Power Apps
  • Power Automate
  • Power Virtual Agents.

Apprentices can take the optional Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals certification but this is not included as part of the apprenticeship and will have to be funded by the employer.

Web Technologies

This module will cover the basics of Web Development and Web Development Technologies including:

  • Configuring HTML5 tags to display text content
  • Configuring HTML5 tags to display graphics and play media
  • Configuring HTML5 tags to organise content and forms
  • Configuring HTML5 tags for input and validation
  • Formatting the user interface by using Cascading Style Sheets
  • Coding by using JavaScript.

The module provides a strong foundation on using Web Technologies. It will enable apprentices to pick up other web technologies they may be using in the workplace e.g. React.js, Node.js

Agile Software Development

This three-day immersive workshop will explore Agile principles and mindset and how this can be used within Software Development Projects. It will include:

  • Develop a blueprint to becoming agile and using agile methodology for the projects you are part of.
  • Understand various philosophies including collaboration within teams, continuous improvement and frequent feedback.
  • Whilst this module will cover the history of agile, the manifesto and principles, the focus will be on experiencing this within teams and taking a practical understanding back to the workplace.

EPA Readiness Training

The End Point Assessment readiness module provides apprentices with practical strategies and guidance on how to approach the two assessment tasks in the End Point Assessment.

This module will take them through a practical application of a technology project.

They will be provided with a practical project structure which they will use to create a project report.

The EPA Readiness Training will help support them in preparing for their End Point Assessment giving them an opportunity to build skills in an immersive exercise getting real time feedback as they hone their skills.

Entry requirements

Apprentices on this standard must be in a full-time IT support role where problem solving, troubleshooting, and rectifying a range of IT and network problems for customers is the primary focus of their work activities. There are no other formal entry requirements for this Apprenticeship.

Apprentices who have not achieved an A*-C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English GCSE are required to gain Functional Skills Level 2 as part of this Apprenticeship.

Apprentices typically have one of the following:

  • GCSE or other Level 2 qualification
  • 12 months of work experience in the last 24 months if they do not have any other Level 3 qualifications

Additionally, apprentices must have a grade C (4) or above in Maths at GCSE or equivalent.

End point assessment

Every Apprenticeship includes an End Point Assessment (EPA), assessed by an independent End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). The apprentice will take their EPA at the end of their programme where they will demonstrate they are competent in the role that they have developed in.

This apprenticeship end point assessment will include:

1. Professional Discussion underpinned by portfolio

This assessment will take the form of a professional discussion appropriately structured to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence. It will involve questions that will focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours mapped to this method of assessment.

A portfolio of evidence containing examples of work sufficient to show the apprentice can apply the knowledge, skills and behaviours mapped to the professional discussion is submitted. The portfolio is not directly assessed, it underpins the professional discussion.

2. Project Report with questioning

This is a practical assessment during which the apprentice will demonstrate the KSBs assigned to this assessment method based on a post-gateway work-based project. Therefore, the project’s subject, title and scope will be agreed between the employer and the EPAO. The employer will ensure that it has a real business application and the EPAO will ensure that it meets the requirements of the EPA (including suitable coverage of the KSBs assigned to this assessment method).

Progression

A potential next step would be to undertake the Level 4 Software Developer apprenticeship, providing the job role matches the Standard. This level has a focus on taking more responsibility for elements of software projects and more advanced coding skills.

Funding

The total cost of this apprenticeship programme is £15,000. If you are a Levy payer this means that the maximum that can be withdrawn from your Levy fund for somebody on this apprenticeship is £15,000.

For non or marginal Levy payers (where you have overspent your Levy fund), 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship will be funded by the government meaning you will only have to pay 5% of the agreed price. Please contact us for more information on the Levy and funding.

Contact the team keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down