AWS IT Solutions Technician (Software)

Overview

AWS IT Solutions Technician (Hardware) Overview

Your apprentice will develop into the role of an AWS IT Software Solutions Technician. Tying in learning to your technologies, they will develop a greater understanding of AWS’s Cloud Services to ensure your organisation operates efficiently using Amazon’s SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) offerings.

Apprentices will be taught to apply a professional methodology or framework to gather and analyse requirements; to design, develop, test, and implement IT solutions and to provide ongoing support both directly to end users and for the underlying IT services.

Apprentices graduate their apprenticeship programme with the suitable skills, qualifications, experience and knowledge to work within motivated and multi-disciplinary teams. The specific tasks undertaken vary depending on what needs to be achieved by the team at any particular time. Some tasks may be very technical, others may be more analytical, business or user focused.

Successful IT Solutions Technician (Software) apprentices go on into roles such as IT Solutions Technician, Technical Analyst, Junior Support Analyst, IT Support Analyst, Systems Analyst, IT Technical Support, IT Systems Support Technician, Junior DevOps Professional, IT Service Desk or Technical Service Support (at 2nd, 3rd or 4th line support)

Technical Skills

Upon completion of their IT Software Solutions Technician apprenticeship, individuals will be able to:

  • Apply a professional methodology or framework in their work tasks.
  • Execute appropriate due diligence, including formal testing or validation
  • Apply a range of technical IT skills, including: accessing remote systems; file manipulation; file editing, changing system or application settings; system administration; setting up and upgrading components (infrastructure or software);
  • Operate in line with organisational polices, standards, legislation, security requirements, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality; and understands escalation policies.
  • Create and maintains documentation in accordance with best practice, organisational guidance and legislation.
  • Identify appropriate technical solutions using both logical and creative thinking.
  • Diagnose and understands client requirements and problems using sound analytical and problem solving skills
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of situations including formal and informally both within their team and externally.
  • Operate securely across all their areas of responsibility, in line with organisational guidance and legislation
  • Work at any stage of the software solution lifecycle.
  • Undertake maintenance of a range of contemporary or legacy software solutions to required levels of service.
  • Install and configures software system components including virtualised components where appropriate.
  • Write or maintains simple scripts or code.
  • Be able to search and manipulate different types of data sources, including both structured and unstructured.

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of their IT Software Solutions Technician apprenticeship, individuals focusing on the technical side will be able to understand:

  • the stages within the overall solution lifecycle.
  • the main principals, features, differences and benefits of Waterfall and Agile type methodologies and the function of service management frameworks.
  • the aims and benefits of DevOps approaches; including the benefits of automation, the ideas behind continuous integration and monitoring.
  • the principles of Solution Architecture including the importance of re-use.
  • why testing is necessary, the need for both functional and non-functional testing, the different types of testing available, including unit testing, integration testing, user acceptance testing and performance testing.
  • planning and delivery within their role and how this contributes to the wider team and the organisation.
  • how the end-user context influences the solution.
  • the key features of, and where to find, organisational requirements in relation to policies, standards, legislation, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality.
  • the main legislation, policies and standards that apply to IT solutions.
  • the concepts of networking including the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) and TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) network stacks, Ethernet LANs (Local Area Networks), IP addressing, Port numbers, DNS (Domain Name System), DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), and the principals of routing between LANs and WANs (Wide Area Networks).
  • the different types of network devices, routers and network switches, their relationship to the stack model and the use of firewalls.
  • the main components within an IT Solution including how hardware and software components work together
  • the main components of a computer system and their purpose, including servers, end-user computers, and mobile devices (both physical and virtual), user interfaces, CPUs, storage and connectivity.
  • the purpose of an Operating System.
  • the concepts of Cloud, Cloud Services and storage.
  • how their work contributes to business performance, continuity and resilience.
  • the main trends in emerging technologies - including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and automation - and the potential implications for digital activities.
  • the necessary numerical skills including Binary and Hexadecimal.
  • why cyber security is essential as part of the delivery of any solution
  • the importance of working securely and the main classifications of types of threats and common mitigation practices.
  • the meaning of risk in the context of security and can explain the relationship between levels of risk, impact, and designed level of protection in IT Solutions.
  • the role of configuration management and version control systems and when they should be used.
  • the concepts of virtualisation.
  • the use of different platforms (including web, mobile, or desktop applications).
  • the concepts of relational databases, non-relational structured and unstructured databases.
  • the concepts of solutions development to a given set of requirements, including the use of standard approaches for web and cloud-based solutions.
  • the benefits of and requirements for vendor support including commercial cloud offerings
  • the principles of Solution Architecture as applied to software.
  • why there is a need to follow good coding practices and have good coding standards.
  • the main categories of computer languages and the main features and benefits of each.
  • how to implement software solutions including simple programing to a given a set of requirements and how to connect code to data sources.
  • the purpose and usage of document mark-up languages including XML (extensible markup language) and html (hyper text markup language).
  • the use of relational databases, including tables, views, joins and indexes.
  • the use of Big Data environments for storage and analysis of non-relational structured and unstructured data the purpose of database normalization - organising the attributes and relations of a relational database to reduce data redundancy and improve data integrity.
  • how to develop, test and implement code following a logical approach.

Underpinning Skills, Attitudes and Behaviours

  • Works professionally and independently, taking responsibility and initiative as appropriate
  • Demonstrates standard business courtesies and professional ethics in how they work
  • Demonstrates a productive and organised approach to their work
  • Works effectively with customers, clients and users.

Level

This is a level 3 apprenticeship

Duration

The duration of this Firebrand apprenticeship is 13 months. We recommend that apprentices are employed for a minimum of 16 months to ensure that their employment covers the End Point Assessment.

Curriculum

AWS IT Solutions Technician (Software)

Firebrand’s apprenticeship programme covers all mandatory knowledge and skills outlined in the apprenticeship standard. Every Firebrand apprentice attends a suite of market-leading training programmes, to cover knowledge required from the apprenticeship standard. This training is then fleshed out through a package of selected online learning, which also allows apprentices to explore any topics of particular interest/importance to them in greater depth.

How are apprentices taught?

Apprentices receive a range of market-leading training as part of their qualification – typically between three and five courses per apprenticeship - giving them fundamental skills at speed.

Firebrand uses a combination of award-winning vendor course delivery combined with additional custom content. This apprenticeship-specific delivery ensures apprentices learn the additional syllabus outlined in the standard in addition to industry-recognised curriculum.

The information below outlines the training curriculum delivered for each Knowledge Module through Firebrand's residential classroom-based training and online learning modules.


Knowledge and Understanding

Module 1: Using Computers

  • Common Computing Devices
  • Using a Workstation
  • Using an OS
  • Managing an OS
  • Troubleshooting and Support

Module 2: Using Apps and Databases

  • Using Data Types and Units
  • Using Apps
  • Programming and App Development
  • Using Databases

Module 3: Using Computer Hardware

  • Using Device Interfaces
  • Using Peripheral Devices
  • Using Storage Devices
  • Using File Systems

Module 4: Using Networks

  • Networking Concepts
  • Connecting to a Network
  • Secure Web Browsing
  • Using Shared Storage
  • Using Mobile Devices

Module 5: Security Concepts

  • Security Concerns
  • Using Best Practices
  • Using Access Controls
  • Behavioral Security Concepts

Module 6: Infrastructure

  • Cloud Fundamentals
  • Waterfall vs. Agile
  • DevOps

Module 1: Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming

Module 2: Understanding General Software Development

Module 3: Understanding Web Applications

Module 4: Understanding Desktop Applications

Module 5: Understanding Databases


AWS Knowledge and Understanding

Firebrand includes additional training for AWS IT Solutions Technician (Software) apprentices, which supports their core learning with AWS-specific knowledge. These courses are delivered when apprentices have submitted evidence to their End Point Assessment gateway.

  • Module 1: Working with IAM
  • Module 2: Working with VPC
  • Module 3: Introduction to EC2
  • Module 4: Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) Basics
  • Module 5: Amazon Dynamo DB Basics
  • Module 6: Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • Module 7: Serverless Computing
  • Module 8: Beanstalk and Blue/Green Deployments
  • Module 9: CI/CD
  • Module 10: Monitoring
  • Module 11: Additional AWS Services

Prerequisites

Who can enroll on a AWS IT Solutions Technician (Software) apprenticeship?

Is there an upper age limit for someone that wants to go on an apprenticeship programme?

Individuals can enrol as long as they’re over 16 - there’s no upper age limit. With a desire to learn and a real interest in IT, Firebrand will teach individuals everything else they need to know to succeed.

What's the minimum educational criteria for entry onto Firebrand's apprenticeship programme?

We don't set specific educational criteria - all our programmes are designed to upskill individuals with no prior experience. We only require apprentices to pass the Functional Skills diagnostic prior to enrolling on the programme (see below).

It's up to an employer whether they wish to specify any particular qualifications or experience (such as GCSEs or a relevant lower-level apprenticeship) as part of their application process.

I have someone that I want to put on an apprenticeship but they have no GCSEs in English and Maths. Can they still enrol on an apprenticeship programme?

Individuals can enrol on an apprenticeship without GCSEs. However, they will be required to pass a Level 2 Functional Skills assessment in both English and Maths as part of their apprenticeship.

During enrolment, we'll ask apprentices to take an online test to determine whether they meet Level 2 standards in English and Maths, before they start the programme. As long as they reach this standard, they can begin the programme. Our Functional Skills tutor will work with them to ensure they pass the exams during the first months of their apprenticeship.

My potential apprentice has an IT based degree. Are they eligible?

Possibly. We look at every case individually to see whether an individual's previous learning makes them suitable for an apprenticeship. In most cases, as long as there is clear evidence that an individual requires the skills to do their job and has not received previous training in most of those specified, then they are eligible. Even where an individual has some of the skills required, we may be able to adjust the programme (and the price) so they can get the training they need.

However, as apprenticeships are intended for individuals who need to learn skills from scratch, Firebrand’s digital programmes may not be suitable if candidates have extensive qualifications or work experience that cover the skills to be taught in the programme.

My apprentice doesn't want to learn through residential training. Can we still use Firebrand as a provider?

Not really. Our residential training courses are absolutely fundamental to our apprenticeships - this is when apprentices get the knowledge and skills they need to pass exams that show they've met the requirements of the apprenticeship. The supporting training we offer helps to prepare for these courses, but doesn't deliver the full spectrum of learning.

Over 20 years of residential delivery, we've consistently seen the benefits of professionals being able to acquire an entire skillset - and take their exam - in one out-of-office period. The immersive, no-distractions approach really allows them to focus on their learning, rather than feeling they're being called away from the day job. They take exams with the knowledge still 'fresh' and return to work with all the skills they need to progress.

End Point Assessment

How are AWS IT Solutions Technician (Software) apprentices assessed?

An End Point Assessment (EPA) is the final step in the apprenticeship journey. Each apprentice is assessed by an independent organisation, who checks the individual can demonstrate all the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by their apprenticeship standard.

What happens during EPA?

Before EPA, apprentices enter a 'Gateway' period, where Firebrand's Learning Mentor will work with the employer, the apprentice and our Quality Team to judge whether the apprentice has fully met all requirements of the standard. After that, they will formally enter the EPA process and complete all the elements for that standard. The full EPA takes around 12 weeks to complete.

EPA elements vary slightly between digital standards, but all include a combination of the following:

Summative Portfolio

Apprentices collect evidence of how they have applied the knowledge, skills and behaviours learned during training as part of their job. This evidence is uploaded to their OneFile account, and monitored by their Learning Mentor and the Quality Team to ensure it is comprehensive and relevant. This evidence - the Summative Portfolio - is submitted to demonstrate their professional development over time. Summative Portfolio evidence can be written, image-based, audio or video – whatever medium helps apprentices get the point across best. Every apprentice's Summative Portfolio will include a series of projects, longer-form pieces of evidence showing how multiple skills have been used on a particular piece of work. 

Synoptic Project

This is an extended, specific project task set by the EPA organisation, which is designed to allow apprentices to use a variety of skills to achieve a relevant solution to a previously unknown problem. Apprentices select their project from a shortlist of options. Synoptic projects ('synoptic' just means 'providing a general summary') last for approximately 40 hours, and must be completed in the workplace under supervised conditions. This allows assessors to 'benchmark' apprentices from different companies and in different jobs within a similar context.

Case Study Presentation

Instead of the Synoptic Project, some standards include a Case Study to help assessors make consistent judgements. As for the Synoptic Project, EPA organisations set a shortlist of possible titles, from which apprentices choose one for further development. They have 20 hours to complete the case study, before delivering the results of their work as a 20-minute presentation to an EPA assessor. The presentation includes a question-and-answer session on the apprentice's approach and methods. 

Knowledge Tests

Some standards don't include knowledge exams or certifications as part of the training requirements. Instead, apprentices' knowledge is assessed through a series of multiple-choice tests during EPA, which align to each of the modules they complete. For these standards, Firebrand's training programme includes a residential preparation course, when apprentices will go through the test format, revise knowledge topics and gain practice before taking the final knowledge tests.

Employer reference

This extended document is created by the apprentice's employer mentor, and explains how (in their view) the apprentice has met all the required competencies of the standard through the work they do. Firebrand Learning Mentors will provide a template and regular guidance on completing this document, so it becomes an ongoing record rather than a last-minute summary. The finished document should demonstrate the apprentice's value to the employer - a crucial element in deciding how effectively they've achieved the goals of the apprenticeship.

Interview

The final element is a one-to-one interview between the apprentice and the EPA assessor, usually conducted remotely. The assessor will ask the apprentice about the work in their Summative Portfolio and their approach to completing the Synoptic Project/Case Study. 

Who delivers our End Point Assessments?

The British Computer Society (BCS) assesses all Firebrand apprentices - it's the Chartered Institute for IT and the professional body for the digital industries.

RITTech registration

All successful apprentices appear on the BCS Professional Register for IT Technicians (RITTech) free of charge, and are entitled to use the RITTech letters after their name.

RITTech is recognised by employers and recruiters, demonstrating a higher level of skills and professionalism across digital and technology industries. RITTech is only awarded to people working at SFIA Level 3 or above standard.

Source: British Computer Society

Find out more about the End Point Assessment (EPA).

Progression Plan

How do AWS IT Solutions Technician (Software) apprentices progress?

The pace of digital transformation means there’s always going to be new technologies and smarter processes in businesses.

Progress to the next level and learn even more new digital skills. Progression is a natural step in the IT industry and it keeps employee's skills refreshed.

Develop and reinforce technical knowledge by advancing to a higher-level apprenticeship or training on Firebrand’s public courses. Gain certifications on public courses from vendors like Microsoft, AWS and CompTIA.

Level 3

For apprentices at the end of their Level 3 apprenticeship, advancing to Level 4 is the next natural step. Learn further digital skills while in a more specific IT related role. Specialised Level 4 roles include being a Data Analyst, Cyber Security Technologist or Network Engineer.

Rather than just understanding an organisation’s technologies, learn to master them. Level 4 apprentices apply previous skills with new technical knowledge to gain greater responsibility in a digital role.

Take a look at our Level 4 apprenticeships to continue developing your IT career.

Level 4

After a Level 4 apprenticeship, apprentices can enhance certain specific skillsets and gain further product knowledge by taking Firebrand’s public courses. Public courses are the best option after successfully completing a Level 4 qualification. They align individual courses with desired IT skills.

There’s no limit to the number courses that apprentices can take. Continue learning with Firebrand and gain the certifications needed to move into top IT roles at twice the speed. Continue building a professional career in the right way with recognised industry qualifications

Start choosing certifications from over 700 public training courses.

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