Apprenticeships & Traineeships

Software Development Technician Apprenticeship Standard, Level 3

Course overview

A Software Development Technician typically works as part of a software development team, 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. They will interpret simple design requirements for discrete components of the project under supervision. The approach will typically include implementing code, which other team members have developed, to produce the required component. The Software Development Technician will also be engaged in testing that the specific component meets its intended functionality.

The Software Development Technician, Level 3 will give the apprentices the opportunity to develop the following knowledge and skills:

Technical Competencies:
- Logic: writes good quality code 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 user 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 initial focus on build and test.
- Can apply good practice approaches according to the relevant paradigm.
- 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.
- Can operate effectively in their own business’s, their customers’ and the industry’s environments.
- Can apply the maths required to be a software developer.

Technical Knowledge and Understanding:
- Understands and operates at all stages of the software development lifecycle.
- Understands the similarities and differences between agile and waterfall software development methodologies.
- Understands how teams work effectively to produce software and contributes appropriately.
- Understands and applies software design approaches and patterns and can interpret and implement a given design, compliant with security and maintainability requirements.
- Understands and responds to the business environment and business issues related to software development.
- Understands and applies the maths required to be a software developer.

Underpinning Skills, Attitudes and Behaviours:
- Logical and creative thinking skills.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to work independently and to take responsibility.
- Can use own initiative.
- 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.
- Maintain productive, professional and secure working environment.

Modues:
- Knowledge Module 1: Software Development Context and Methodologies (for level 3 Software Development Technician).
- Knowledge Module 2: Programming (for level 3 Software Development Technician).

Additional Information:
- This apprenticeship is day release, apprentices will have block weeks for English and Maths Functional Skills if required.

Entry requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this is likely to include English and maths GCSE Grade 4 and above.

How will I be assessed?

Summative portfolio:
In the summative portfolio apprentices present evidence from real-work projects, illustrating the application of all the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the standard.

The evidence should be based on real work projects or outputs. The evidence can be supplemented with the following
- performance reports
- reflective accounts by the apprentice
- expert witness testimony
- customer feedback

Synoptic Project:
The synoptic project presents evidence from a business-related project testing the application of a selection of the knowledge, skills and behaviours defined in the standard. Each project will specify which selection of knowledge, skills and behaviours it is designed to test.

The project is designed to assess apprentices in a consistent way, irrespective of their workplace and their role within their company and each project will take, typically, five working days to complete.

Apprentices will complete their project off-the job, so that they are away from the day to day pressures of work and in a ‘controlled' environment, which may be on the employer’s premises or the training provider’s premises. must therefore be completed outside of day-to-day work pressures.

Employer Reference:
The employer will provide a reference setting out their views of the quality of the apprentice’s work.

The Assessment Organisation will provide guidance and a simple template seeking employers’ comments against the grading minimum standards, criteria and dimensions.

The employer will not be asked to grade or provide a rating, as they do not have the comparative experience or evidence.

Interview:
The interview is a structured discussion between the apprentice and their independent assessor, focusing on the summative portfolio and the synoptic project, with reference to the employer reference as appropriate. It covers both what the apprentice has done in terms of the standard of their work, and also how they have done it. This enables the end point assessment to include the full range of technical knowledge and competencies as well as the underpinning skills, attitudes and behaviours.