Software Development Technician

Why a Software Development Technician Firebrand Apprenticeship?

Employers need Software Development Technician apprenticeships because...

  • Apprenticeships deliver the digital skills you need across your organisation. Whether it's hiring more skilled employees or improving the quality of existing staff's technical know-how, Firebrand’s apprenticeships bring new skills into the workplace quickly
  • Your people will engage with your business. Apprenticeships accelerate the speed and quality of key business projects by increasing the number of staff with skills to deliver them. Apprentices see they're making a difference, making them want to stay at their company for longer
  • Apprentices want to learn more. Your digital workforce need to be ready to keep up with the pace of technology change. A recent Government survey found 73% of digital apprentices plan to undertake further study within three years

Apprentices need Software Development Technician apprenticeships because...

  • You'll be ready for anything. IT apprenticeships teach and test the core skills that enable you to work effectively across a range of products. Once you've mastered the main concepts, you’ll extend your skills in current and future technologies used at work.
  • It makes you better at your job. Firebrand's programme helps you develop new knowledge about your job, gain new skills and embed new behaviours to help you make a greater contribution to your employer.
  • It's valued by your industry. More and more employers are recognising the value apprentices bring to their organisation. An apprenticeship badges you as a forward-thinking, highly skilled individual who is willing to keep learning - all key traits employers want to see in their digital staff

Firebrand's Software Development Technician apprenticeship delivers...

  • Industry-recognised quality. Our apprenticeships combine the core digital skills businesses need with the product knowledge learners want, giving apprentices a strong technical grounding and making them instantly productive
  • The skills you want. Customise programmes by adding product training and certification for apprentices to support business needs. Firebrand's programmes teach apprentices as much about successful application of systems as they do about mastering functionality
  • Great results. Firebrand's training delivers some of the best results in the sector - over 90% retention for the past two years, a 95% pass rate across all standards (national average 90%) and 46% of apprentices achieving Distinction (national average 30%).

Find out more about IT apprenticeships here

What is a Software Development Technician Firebrand Apprenticeship?

How will apprentices learn?

Firebrand's apprenticeship training is delivered through a combination of market-leading residential training, online learning and targeted support from our in-house subject experts:

Residential Training

A suite of Firebrand's proprietary training courses, delivered at our state-of-the-art facility in Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire. Courses cover all requirements of the knowledge modules for the standard, ensuring a strong grounding in the core skills of the role.

Once all knowledge exams are complete, apprentices will have the opportunity to undertake a course of their choice, providing additional depth of knowledge and (where applicable) professional certification.

Subject Matter Experts

Firebrand's resident authorities on all areas of the IT industry will host subject-specific webinars, advise on project development and provide additional live learning and masterclasses to support all levels of learning. This gives apprentices the additional knowledge and insight needed to turn a passing grade into a Merit or Distinction.

Personal Development, Behaviour and Attitudes

We support the personal development, behaviour and welfare of all apprentices through accredited online programme Impact. This video-led modular course will help apprentices develop their awareness and understanding of challenges they may encounter in the workplace and wider society. Learning content is linked to current events to provide real-world context. On completion of Impact, apprentices receive certification that contributes to their summative portfolio of evidence, showing how they have fulfilled key behavioural development criteria of the standard.


When not undertaking formal training, apprentices will be learning at work, applying their skills to business-specific projects and gaining a deeper appreciation of their role and business through off-the-job activity. They also undertake a six-month professional behavioural programme, Impact.

What's the process?

  • Onboarding activity – supported by our Enrolment and Administration Teams, apprentices and employers will undergo all necessary checks to ensure the apprentice can succeed on programme
  • First Day of Learning webinar – this online session, led by a Learning Mentor, outlines the apprentice's journey from initial meeting to End Point Assessment and the expectations of all parties involved
  • Learning Journey – the apprentice undertakes formal and informal learning over 13 months, covering, applying and recording all the competencies required to pass their apprenticeship. Residential training, online learning and Subject Matter Expert sessions will be spaced regularly, giving apprentices time to apply one skillset effectively before learning another. Progress is reviewed during formal sessions approximately every 8 weeks.
  • End Point Assessment – the final review, conducted by an independent body, of whether the apprentice has met all the competencies required to pass the standard. This includes a reference from the employer, portfolio of evidence, synoptic project and final interview with an assessor. End Point Assessment activities are completed over approximately 12 weeks.

Who's on hand to help?

Firebrand provide wrap-round support to ensure apprentices' technical, learning and personal needs are met. Every apprentice is supported throughout their qualification by a Learning Mentor, a former industry professional who understands exactly what it's like to work in the sector and can advise on how to evidence the required knowledge, skills and behaviours through the work apprentices do every day. Our Course Instructors deliver residential training, while in-depth information on subject-specific topics and industry insight is provided by Subject Matter Experts.

What happens at the end?

An apprenticeship is a recognised benchmark of skills and knowledge that allows an apprentice to:

  • Acquire professional accreditation (e.g. BCS Register of IT Technicians (RITTech))
  • Continue their apprenticeship studies at a higher level
  • Undertake further professional training to develop additional product knowledge and skills. Visit Firebrand's commercial training pages for details of how our accelerated training could support life after an apprenticeship.

Become an IT apprentice employer now

Reviews of Firebrand Apprenticeships

Feedback shows our approach is delivering the tangible benefits outlined above for both employers and apprentices. We are proud to work with and receive great recognition from our customers. Today we're actively helping employers and apprentices acquire better skills, be more engaged and make clear contributions to their business outcomes.

Apprenticeships deliver new skills…

The best thing about my apprenticeship? Seeing the progression from how you were when you started. Working on the job, you’re gaining skills constantly – you look at how far you’ve come and what you can do now. Level 4 Software Developer apprentice

A real-world approach delivers results…

My first cohort delivered a presentation on their live project to a local MP who came in, and he was blown away by the work these apprentices were doing, given that some of them hadn't coded up until that point. This was quite early on in their apprenticeship, month 4 or 5. They had more confidence than more experienced employees and they had a much more natural pattern than other people who have been here years. That was a bit of a light bulb moment, seeing what they could achieveLine Manager, Transport for London

Hiring apprentices promotes retention…

With graduates, they come in sometimes and they just want to keep moving on to the next thing, gaining promotion after promotion. coming in at a younger age and gaining the skills within the team means he’s settled with us and hopefully we’ll get to keep him a lot longer. Team Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

Firebrand’s people know the industry inside out…

The instructors on the courses are all excellent and brilliant. They have so much experience behind them. Not only are you learning on the job, you’re listening to them and their personal experiences which are always so interesting. Level 3 Infrastructure Technician apprentice

Training for the industry is better than training to the minimum requirement…

I saw some of the work that came out of [my apprentice’s] Java course, which was very good; exactly what we needed from him. He probably picked up a few things that he won’t be using day to day, but it gives him that extra depth of knowledge which makes him more confident when he comes to use the technology. Line Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

Apprenticeships train engaged people with the right skills…

Ultimately, one of the big reasons we're doing apprenticeships is to home-grow the exact kind of person we want, with the exact kind of skills. The more effort you put in…the more likely you are to get the kind of person you know will then be able to go anywhere within your organisation. Line Manager, Transport for London

Daniel is currently on his level 4 Network Engineer apprenticeship with Firebrand, and is due to complete his programme in 2018:

Software Development Technician Overview

Software Development Technician apprentices are taught how to design, install, maintain and support communication networks within an organisation or between multiple organisations. They'll understand network configuration and administration, the cloud and monitoring tools; and be able to give technical advice and guidance.

To achieve their Software Development Technician apprenticeship, apprentices must:

  • Demonstrate competence against two knowledge modules: Software Development Context and Methodologies and Programming. These are assessed by examinations set by the British Computer Society and regulated by Ofqual. Apprentices must pass both modules.
  • Submit a portfolio of evidence showing how they have applied the knowledge from these modules to projects and activities in their workplace.
  • Complete their formal End Point Assessment, which comprises: a synoptic project to showcase knowledge and skills from across the apprenticeship; a review of their portfolio of evidence; and a final interview with an independent EPA assessor.

Successful Software Development Technician apprentices go on into roles such as Network Technician, Network Engineer, Systems Engineer, Network Administrator.

Technical Competencies

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

  • write simple code for discrete software components following an appropriate logical approach to agreed standards (whether for web, mobile or desktop applications)
  • apply appropriate secure development principles to specific software components all stages of development
  • apply industry standard approaches for configuration management and version control to manage code during build and release
  • make simple connections between code and defined data sources as specified Test: functionally tests that the deliverables for that component have been met or not
  • follow basic analysis models such as use cases and process maps
  • support Software Developers at the build and test stages of the software development lifecycle
  • follow organisational and industry good coding practices (including those for naming, commenting etc.)
  • solve logical problems, seeking assistance when required (including appropriate mathematical application)
  • respond to the business environment and business issues related to software development
  • clearly articulate the role and function of software components to a variety of stakeholders (including end users, supervisors etc.)
  • operate appropriately in their own business', their customers' and the industry's environments
  • develop user interfaces as appropriate to the organisations development standards and the type of component being developed

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of their Software Development Technician apprenticeship, individuals will understand:

  • the business context and market environment for software development
  • the structure of software applications
  • all stages of the software development lifecycle
  • the role of configuration management and version control systems and how to apply them
  • how to test their code (e.g. unit testing)
  • that there are different methodologies that can be used for software development
  • the particular context for the development platform (whether web, mobile, or desktop applications)
  • their role within the software development team
  • how to implement code following a logical approach
  • how their code integrates into the wider project
  • how to follow a set of functional and non-functional requirements
  • the end user context for the software development activity
  • how to connect their code to specified data sources
  • database normalisation
  • why there is a need to follow good coding practices
  • the principles of good interface design
  • the importance of building in security to software at the development stage

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

Qualifications

Apprentices will achieve two BCS qualifications.

Funding

£15,000

Level

This is a level 3 apprenticeship.

Professional Recognition

This apprenticeship is recognised for entry onto the register of IT technicians confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence and those completing the apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration.

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.

Registration to the Register of IT Technicians (RITTech)

Once apprentices have completed their apprenticeship they are officially recognised by the British Computer Society (BCS) for entry onto the Register of IT Technicians, confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence.

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What are the benefits of a Software Development Technician apprenticeship?

Firebrand’s digital apprenticeships deliver new skills while supporting both the individual and their employer. Benefit from award-winning training supported by on-going guidance along the way with digital apprenticeships that create valuable, long-lasting employees.

Benefits to employers

Improved retention rate - 69% of companies say digital apprenticeships improve retention*. Apprentices are completely engaged by employers, knowing they’re highly valued employees. Employees find themselves in a marketplace where their hard-won digital skills are highly valuable and in demand.

Always learning - 73% of digital apprentices expect to undertake further study within two to three years*. With increasing digital transformation, apprentices continue to master new technologies and processes. Having digital workers that are focused on developing their skills will better position businesses around new technologies, like updated cloud platforms.

Tailor your training - Get business-specific skills alongside apprenticeship requirements. The flexibility of Firebrand’s delivery allows employers to select training options that align most closely with the existing technology stack to work on current projects. Where applicable, employers can embed specific vendor products, like Microsoft, into apprenticeships to deliver a greater depth of learning.

Happier employees - Apprentices feel valued with their new digital skills. 78% of digital apprentices reported improved job satisfaction, job security and career prospects*.This satisfaction increases productivity and happiness in the workplace, benefitting employers by increasing employee engagement.

Networking and peer learning - Firebrand’s residential training centre delivers award-winning public courses to industry professionals. Learning takes place alongside individuals from different organisations with varying levels of experience. Apprentices benefit from receiving a valuable insight into how their skills are applied in different contexts.

Watch the video below to see how Firebrand's digital apprenticeships help employers hire and train current and future staff:



Benefits to apprentices

Real world skills - Apprentices benefit from learning up-to-date digital skills in a time of rapid digitalisation. They develop technical knowledge and industry insight through practical learning and real life application. Become an expert in different technologies and a valuable asset to the team.

Investment in your career - Digital apprenticeships are a career investment – with Firebrand you’re committing to the highest quality IT training. This investment is the first step toward a rewarding future with an employer as they commit time and money in the learner's skills development. Digital apprentices feel so valued in their workplace that 89% of them said that they want to stay at the same employer for the next two to three years*.

Learn while at work - An apprenticeship combines a full-time job with formal learning. New and existing staff can benefit from the opportunity to learn while continuing to work, getting new skills without having to study on evenings or weekends.

Support a career change - Digital apprenticeships provide the skills to move into new IT roles, giving more control of the learner's digital career path. Move seamlessly between roles in an organisation without experience of a particular field, or using experience of other digital roles in a related field.

Never forget again - Digital apprenticeships reinforce learning. They’re built on the principle of learning and immediately using skills that will help apprentices do their job better. Quality programmes incorporate structured training and project activity to apply and demonstrate new skills. 90% of regular learning is forgotten within 3 to 6 days, unless it’s regularly reinforced. Firebrand’s training style helps gain skills more quickly, retaining and using them more effectively.

Watch the video below to find out how digital apprenticeships with Firebrand can kickstart careers:


*according to the 2017 Apprenticeships Evaluation for the Department for Education

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Software Development Technician curriculum

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.

We'll deliver all the knowledge apprentices need to learn for each knowledge module in the Standard through our Lecture | Lab | Review delivery. Apprentices then attend a Syllabus Review Session to cover the knowledge content covered in the apprenticeship standard.

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


Knowledge Module 1: Software Development Context and Methodologies

Upon completion of this Knowledge Module, Software Development Technician apprentices will:

  • Understand the business context and market environment for software development
  • Understand the structure of software applications
  • Understands all stages of the software development lifecycle
  • Understand the role of configuration management and version control systems and how to apply them
  • Understand how to test their code (e.g. unit testing)
  • Recognise that there are different methodologies that can be used for software development
  • Understand the particular context for the development platform (whether web, mobile, or desktop applications)
  • Understands their role within their software development team

Read through the full curriculum for Firebrand's classroom-based training and supporting online learning modules below.

Topic 1: Understand the software development lifecycle

Learners will understand that software development does not occur in isolation. Learners will gain an understanding of the stages in the lifecycle of software development and how these stages are likely to be performed by professionals in related disciplines. In particular learners will understand that core function of a software developer is to implement code to a given specification which will fulfil a set of functional requirements.

1.1 The role and scope of software development and its relationship to other associated disciplines

  • Describe the stages of developing software products through a development lifecycle:
  • Requirements gathering and analysis (separating functional and non-functional requirements)
  • Software design and prototyping including design trade-offs and diagramming
  • Choice of development languages and tools
  • Appropriate testing methodologies including validation and verification of meeting the requirements gathered
  • Deployment into production and ongoing maintenance
  • Describe the relationship of software development with other disciplines such as project management, programming, testing, service management, change and configuration management

Learners will understand why it is important for software to be implemented using a structured software development methodology and the benefits of following the chosen method. Learners will be able to discuss why these benefits are important to other professionals such as project managers, and to the sponsors of the software development project, and for those who will support the software once it is has been deployed.

1.2 Explain the importance of the following in a procedural (Linear) /staged (Iterative) software development lifecycle, e.g.:

  • Standardisation
  • Methodical approach
  • Analysis of each step
  • Collation of information
  • Ensuring correct design
  • Cost control
  • Robust evaluation to aid future development

Topic 2: Understand the similarities and differences between two software developments methodologies in common use in industry

In this topic, learners will learn to describe the advantages and disadvantages of at least two software development methodologies in common use in industry. In comparing these methods, learners will be able to explain when a particular method would be preferable for a specific software implementation projects, and what the consequences of choosing the wrong method might be. The learner will also be able to describe the different team roles and responsibilities of at least two methods.

2.1 Summarise software development methodologies, application, advantages and disadvantages.

  • Principles and rationale
  • Structure and stages
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Selection criteria
  • Team roles and responsibilities

Learners will learn the specific differences between at least two common industry software development methodologies. Learners will learn that different methods related to wider business issues beyond the scope of software implementation such as the focus on working product (Agile) over completeness of process (Waterfall).

2.2 Compare and contrast software development methodologies

  • Differences e.g. :
  • Structure
  • Phases with completion of each phase prior to moving onto the next phase of the cycle
  • Agile: Ability to work with uncertainty and volatility and focus on working products
  • Comparison e.g.:
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working products over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan
  • Agile recognises that while there is value in processes and tools, there is often more value in individuals and interactions

Topic 3: Understand how to respond appropriately to the business environment and business issues related to software development

Learners will understand that software development typically takes place in a wider business which places constraints upon the software development process. The learner will be able to explain the types of constraints that may typically arise, and how they can be mitigated.

3.1 Describe the business environment related to software development

  • Business environment pressures:
  • Are there any specific project requirements such as contractual constraints – time, cost, quality, compliance, regulatory, innovation criteria?
  • Are there configuration management and change control constraints?
  • Are there opportunities to promote alternative practices – Agile over waterfall, rapid prototyping, modularity over performance

Learners will learn how to describe the business issues related to software development and how to mitigate them. In particular, learners will understand the importance of engaging with project management as business owners of the software development project.

3.2 Understand how to respond to the business environment and business issues related to software development

  • Engagement with project management:
  • Understand how to identify potential risks and flag them
  • Understand how to identify where additional technical resource will be required
  • Support effective cost estimation
  • Accurately Forecast effort (time) required

Topic 4: Understand why teams must work effectively to produce software

Learners will learn to explain a range of common roles found within an industry software development function. One person may hold multiple roles within an organisation. Core functions of business analysis, software design, software implementation, testing and architecture will be discussed.

4.1 Describe the roles and responsibilities within the software development and implementation lifecycle

Business analysts

  • Requirements analysis and capture
  • Resource estimation and planning
  • Requirements validation (including scope, documenting assumptions and exclusions)
  • Requirements engineering
  • Requirements tracking
  • Separation of functional and non-functional requirements
  • Specification development

Designers - Design a software model that fulfil the specifications:

  • Refinements of specifications
  • Use of diagramming tools
  • Use of formal and mathematical specification approaches
  • Choice of system architectures
  • Different design approaches and trade-offs such as, but not limited to: modularity v. performance
  • Choice of structured design
  • Documentation of design

Developers

  • Implementation choices – development language and tools
  • Debugging methods
  • Performance measurement
  • Validation and verification – ensuring the code meets the design specification

Testers

  • Quality assurance
  • Black-box and white-box testing
  • Formal proof models
  • Static and dynamic analysis tools

Technical architects

  • Deployment choices and architectures
  • Configuration management and change control

Learners will learn that software development in industry is seldom an individual effort and that to be an effective software development professional, it is important to work as a member of a development team. This will require the learner to understand the wider business context and how they can engage with it through their peers and managers.

4.2 The importance of working as a member of an effective development team

Describe how key roles and responsibilities can be used to form teams. Key Roles e.g.

  • Project manager
  • Business analysts
  • Designers
  • Developers
  • Testers
  • Technical architects

Describe factors that influence effective team working and their importance including internal and external factors e.g.:

  • Communication
  • Composition
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Maturity of the team
  • Skill set
  • Leadership style
  • Resources
  • Climate and environment of the organisation
  • Sponsor
  • What is Programming (2h 50minutes)*
  • Software Process Management (3h 43minutes)*
  • Secure Software Development (3h 15minutes)*
  • Test-driven development: The Big Picture (1h 50 minutes)*

Total time: 11 hours 38 minutes

*Preparation for Accelerated Learning Classroom attendance/experience


Knowledge Module 2: Programming

Upon completion of this Knowledge Module, Software Development Technician apprentices will:

  • Understand how to implement code following a logical approach
  • Understand how their code integrates into the wider project
  • Understand how to follow a set of functional and non-functional requirements
  • Understand the end user context for the software development activity
  • Understand how to connect their code to specified data sources
  • Demonstrate knowledge of database normalisation
  • Understand why there is a need to follow good coding practices
  • Understand the principles of good interface design
  • Understand the importance of building in security to software at the development stage

Read through the full curriculum for Firebrand's classroom-based training and supporting online learning modules below.

Implementing software code following a logical approach

Understand how to implement code, following a logical approach.

  • Explain the fundamental concepts of programming
  • Demonstrate the core constructs used when writing code
  • Explain and demonstrate how algorithms are used
  • Explain and demonstrate how data structures are used and how data is represented in software code
  • Describe how to write software code in order to solve problems
  • Understand the fundamental concept of Test Driven Development (TDD)

How code integrates into the wider project

Understand how code integrates into the wider project.

  • Describe the activities undertaken in the following stages of software development
  • Outline the activities undertaken in the following stages of software development
  • Understand software development activities for the following roles
  • Describe the key business concepts and artefacts that must be considered during a software development project
  • Describe how software development is conducted within governance structures and the role of the project manager
  • Understand how effective team-working contributes to the effective delivery of software projects

Developing software against a set of functional and non-functional requirements

Understand how to follow a set of functional and non-functional requirements.

  • Understand the difference between functional and non-functional requirements and how these are used to drive software development activities
  • Identify the different types of non-functional requirements, and the reasons they are important to the end-product of software development
  • Recognise common ways in which software requirements can be expressed
  • Describe the qualities of good requirements and the impact of poor requirements
  • Explain how to determine the correct level of test coverage based on each requirement / type of requirement

The end user context for software development

Understand the end-user context for the software development activity.

  • Understand and recognise the relationship between the user and the environment in which the software will be used
  • Understand the individual business and external constraints and dependencies that need to be taken into account when developing software
  • Describe the methods used to identify end-user needs

Connecting code to data sources

Appreciate the importance of seamlessly connecting applications to databases and understand types of data storage and their applications.

  • Explain the purpose of data storage for storing new information (orders or customer information)
  • Explain the purpose of data storage for extracting and displaying data
  • Explain the concept and key features of databases and data stores

Database normalisation

Demonstrate knowledge of database normalisation.

  • Explain the purpose and importance of effective data modelling and normalisation
  • Demonstrate the principle of normalisation, that information or data should be stored only once

Following good coding practices

>Understand why there is a need to follow good coding practices.

  • Explain the importance of good coding practice
  • Explain the purpose of good software coding principles and practices
  • Understand that there are a range of open and organisational coding standards and where to source them

Principles of good interface design 

Understand the principles of good interface design.

  • Explain human computer interaction and understand the issues associated with interactive systems
  • Describe the key concepts and processes of good user interface design
  • Explain the importance of usability when developing interactive systems
  • Describe the fundamental considerations for developing an accessible system and the purpose of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

Building in security software

Understand the importance of building security in to software at the development stage.

  • Describe the following types of security issues and the scale and nature of threats that can impact software development
  • Explain what is meant by 'building security in', in terms of secure software development and creating a secure end-product, and why it is important
  • Describe proactive security approaches during software design and development
  • Explain approaches to make software more secure
  • C# Beginners Tutorial*
  • C# from Scratch (3h 11minutes)*
  • HTML5 Fundamentals (2h 13minutes)*
  • Algorithms and Data Structures (3h 13minutes)*
  • Test Driven Development: The Big Picture (1h 50minutes)*
  • Software Process Management (3h 43minutes)*
  • MTA Database Fundamentals (4h 35minutes)*
  • Secure Software Development (3h 15minutes)*
  • Clean Architecture: Patterns, Practices and Principles (2h 21minutes)*
  • Software Process Management (3h 43minutes)*

Total time: 28 hours 04 minutes

*Preparation for Accelerated Learning Classroom attendance/experience


Additional Courses

Choose from one of Firebrand's accelerated courses listed below to add to this apprenticeship programme. These courses are delivered when apprentices have submitted evidence to their End Point Assessment gateway.

There are some course combinations for this programme which mean you can select more than one course - we'll discuss this with employers on a case-by-case basis.

These additional courses support apprentices in achieving a Distinction grade at End Point Assessment.

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When do Software Development Technician apprentices train?

Firebrand’s apprenticeship programmes are based around a core suite of residential training programmes delivering fundamental knowledge and skills to support on-the-job activity. All training courses are held at our dedicated training centre in Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire.

Basing delivery around our public training schedule allows Firebrand to offer apprenticeship delivery on an open cohort basis. However, where an employer can provide enough apprentices to form a closed cohort (typically between 8 and 15 apprentices per cohort) we can schedule closed-cohort training at our delivery centre. We run both open- and closed-cohort training for current employers; the delivery option selected depends on business needs, in terms of both required skills and operational logistics.

Below we've listed the course dates for the training delivered at Firebrand's training centre against this programme.

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27/8/2018 (Monday)

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11/2/2019 (Monday)

14/2/2019 (Thursday)

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25/3/2019 (Monday)

28/3/2019 (Thursday)

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6/5/2019 (Monday)

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Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

Who can enroll on a Software Development Technician apprenticeship?

Apprentices don’t need lots of experience to enroll on a digital apprenticeship with Firebrand. Our digital apprenticeship programmes give individuals all the skills needed to be a digital expert in their new role.

We've provided answers to common questions from both employers and apprentices to help establish whether an individual is eligible to enroll on a programme:

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

Individuals can enroll 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 recommend having five GCSEs, including English and Maths, though we'll help apprentices meet the minimum criteria before the apprenticeship starts. However, there are alternatives open to apprentices if the criteria hasn’t been met.

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

Individuals can enroll on an apprenticeship without GCSEs. They'll need to achieve a Level 2 or above in a Functional Skills test prior to the apprenticeship. We'll arrange the delivery of the test to apprentices before they start.

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

Individuals need to be learning new digital skills, not re-learning old ones. Firebrand’s digital programmes may not be suitable if candidates have extensive work experience or an IT-based degree in the area that is being upskilled.

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

Firebrand’s apprenticeship programmes are based around a core suite of residential training programmes delivering fundamental knowledge and skills to support on-the-job activity.

Our block-release approach allows apprentices to acquire an entire skillset in one out-of-office period, rather than gaining skills incrementally in a day-release model. Residential training allows apprentices to immerse themselves in a specific product and understand how it can be effectively applied to tasks in their workplace, making them instantly more skilled and productive on their return.

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How much does a Software Development Technician apprenticeship cost?

The total cost of this apprenticeship programme is £15,000. How much you pay as an employer will depend on whether your business pays into the Apprenticeship Levy. Read below for to learn more about how apprenticeships are paid for.

Firebrand’s approach to apprenticeships and the breadth and depth of our course content means we deliver knowledge beyond the standard for every apprentice. Apprentices on our standard programmes receive exactly the same training, from the same skilled instructors, as industry professionals attending on a commercial basis; this is reinforced by more than 3000 online learning course options and support from Learning Mentors and Subject Matter Experts with senior-level industry experience. Set against the funding cap, this overall training package represents exceptional value for money.

Our standardised cost model accommodates a high degree of flexibility, allowing employers to adjust the content of their training package to include required skills or products. We'll work with employers to make sure their package is comprehensive, covering business training needs while minimising any incremental costs incurred through change requests.

Are employers or apprentices charged for the accommodation at Firebrand's residential training centre?

There's no additional charge for accommodation and food provided as part of our residential training delivery.

How does the Apprenticeship Levy work?

Where employers have an annual paybill over £3million, they'll pay 0.5% of that total paybill into the Apprenticeship Levy. Payments are made on a monthly basis, and they’ll show in the company's Apprenticeship Service account as soon as they’re made.

Through co-investment from the government, Levy-paying businesses receive an extra 10% top-up in their Apprenticeship Service accounts. This means every £1,000 will be increased to £1,100 in value. See how Levy payments work below:

If an employer's annual paybill is under £3million, the government pays for 90% of the total training costs, meaning you can access award-winning accelerated IT training at a fraction of the cost when you invest in apprenticeships. See how non-Levy payments work below:

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How are Software Development Technician apprentices assessed?

An End Point Assessment (EPA) is the final step in the apprenticeship journey for employers and apprentices. The assessment allows apprentices to demonstrate that they've developed all the competencies (skills), knowledge and behaviours outlined in the Standard to prove they're able to do the job they've been training for throughout their programme.

Who delivers End Point Assessments?

EPAs are delivered by independent End Point Assessment providers. The British Computer Society (BCS) is the organisation that assesses all Firebrand apprentices - it's the Chartered Institute for IT and is the professional body for the digital industries. 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.

The EPA lets apprentices map out their digital skills by looking at examples of their best work. It’s designed to bring together all the completed work and skills they’ve learned into one portfolio. Upon completing their EPA, apprentices receive a grade for their hard work, either Pass, Merit or Distinction. The EPA is a chance for apprentices to prove to their employer, themselves and the assessor that they have certain knowledge and skills which have been officially recognised.

What’s included in the EPA?

Summative Portfolio

While working in a new role, Firebrand Learning Mentors will help apprentices collect evidence of their best work. This is called the Summative Portfolio and it’s submitted as evidence of their digital skill development. The Summative Portfolio can be written, image-based, audio or video – whatever medium helps apprentices get the point across best.

Synoptic Project

Apprentices complete a Synoptic Project as part of the EPA. ‘Synoptic’ means a general summary so it’s a learner's chance to test their new knowledge. The Synoptic Project applies new learning to problems outside a normal working environment. Apprentices spend three to five days away from work completing different skill-related projects. Firebrand Learning Mentors will then help submit the best project to the BCS as part of their overall portfolio.

Employer reference

All employers are required to write unique references for their apprentices. They should demonstrate how they've applied the knowledge, competencies and behaviours in the projects they've been given at work. Firebrand will work with employers with guidance and a template to help them complete this throughout the apprenticeship programme. It's a great opportunity for employers to detail the rewarding relationship they’ve built with the learner, which is a reflection on their time as a valuable member in the team.

Interview

All completed work is sent to the BCS, along with an employer’s reference. Apprentices then finish the EPA with an interview from an assessor at the BCS. This is a chance for apprentices to discuss all their completed projects and explain how they’ve developed the skills to meet the digital apprenticeship standard.

How do employers support?

Employers help prepare the apprentices for EPA, while also reinforcing their new digital skills. By writing a reference, employers get to detail what value-adding projects apprentices are working on and the benefits of their new professional relationship.

Engaging in regular one-to-one’s also keeps employers informed and lets apprentices provide updates on what skills they’ve learnt and how they plan to use them in their role

How does Firebrand support?

Firebrand’s Learning Mentors guide apprentices and employers along the way. The Learning Mentors make sure the learner’s EPA submission is the highest quality of work possible.

While also supporting the employee's learning, Firebrand provide various resources for employers, like a template for their employer reference. This makes the process easier and lets employers focus on writing the best reference they can.

Benefits of RITTech registration for individuals and employers

RITTech is recognised by employers and recruiters, demonstrating a higher level of skills and professionalism across digital and technology industries. With 'RITTech' after their name, it proves individuals are competent at what they do (RITTech is only awarded to people working at a SFIA Level 3 or above standard) and it shows they care enough to apply to be on this register.

RITTech status demonstrates quality and professionalism for the individual, who they work for and to their customers. Employees with RITTech have proven they care about what they do, and the people who employ them will care as well. Some organisations even use attainment of RITTech as part of their professional development measures.

Source: British Computer Society

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

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What does an Software Development Technician apprentice's journey look like?

Employers should know what’s happening at every step of the apprenticeship. That’s why Firebrand have identified how their employees learn and at which point they’ll get to apply their new digital skills.

How does Firebrand support learning?

Firebrand includes residential training, online training and plenty of work-based support from a dedicated Learning Mentor. Residential and online training is spaced throughout the programme to ensure the apprentice has time to learn and apply skills before moving onto something new.

How do I ensure my employees are always learning?

Firebrand schedules training carefully so that the learner gains skills they can use immediately at work. Residential courses happen from month 3 and are usually an average of 2 months apart. In between, there’s online learning and Learning Mentors activities (e.g. behavioural modules, Functional Skills). All apprentices complete several work-based projects for their portfolio. Learning Mentors support them with writing up each project over a 12-week period.

Help along the way

There are three main sets of people who support apprentices – Firebrand’s Learning Mentors, Course Instructors and Subject Matter Experts. All of them have different responsibilities, but the benefit of Firebrand’s model is that apprentices get really good technical expertise, plus strong guidance on how to complete their apprenticeship successfully.

Apprentices meet their Learning Mentors on the first day and discuss the full apprentice programme in depth. The Learning Mentors begin understanding the learner’s personal approach, level of knowledge and learning style.

Learning Mentors help if the learner is stuck on something. They use their industry experience to guide apprentices in the right direction, helping them solve tasks from a different perspective. While also providing support, Learning Mentors check to see if the required standards are being met when completing work-based projects.

Learning with Firebrand

Apprenticeships combine a full-time job with formal learning. Firebrand’s formal training includes between three and five specialist IT courses. These courses are decided by the employer during the on-boarding process.

When apprentices are on a Firebrand course, they’ll be in Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire at Firebrand’s all-inclusive training centre. They’ll receive accommodation, food and a free shuttle bus from the train station. They then return to work and apply what they’ve learnt, tailoring new knowledge to their organisation’s technologies.

Coming to the end

As apprentices reach the end of the apprenticeship, Firebrand’s Learning Mentors will help them get ready for the EPA.

See the End Point Assessment (EPA) section for more information.

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How do Digital Marketer 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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Call us to discuss your Firebrand Apprenticeship Now
0800 081 6022