Software Developer

Why a Software Developer Firebrand Apprenticeship?

Employers need Software Developer 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 Developer 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 Developer 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, above-average pass rates across all standards and one-third of apprentices achieving Distinction (national average 21%).

Find out more about IT apprenticeships here

What is a Software Developer 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.

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.

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 10 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, knowledge tests 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 Developer Overview

Software Developer apprentices are taught how to build and test simple, high-quality code across front end, logic and database layers. They'll be able to interpret design documentation and specifications.

To achieve their Software Developer apprenticeship, apprentices must:

  • Demonstrate competence against two knowledge modules: Software Development Methodologies and Software Language. 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 Developer apprentices go on into roles such as a Web Developer, Application Developer, Mobile App Developer, Games Developer and Software Developer.

Technical Competencies

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

  • write good quality code (logic) with sound syntax in at least one language
  • develop effective user interfaces for at least one channel
  • effectively link code to the database/data sets
  • test code and analyse results to correct errors found using either V-model manual testing and/or using unit testing
  • apply structured techniques to problem solving, can debug code and can understand the structure of programmes in order to identify and resolve issues
  • create simple data models and software designs to effectively communicate understanding of the program, following best practices and standards
  • understand and create basic analysis artefacts, such as user cases and/or user stories
  • understand and utilise skills to build, manage and deploy code into enterprise environments
  • operate at all stages of the software development lifecycle, with increasing breadth and depth over time with initial focus on build and test.
  • apply good practice approaches according to the relevant paradigm (for example object oriented, event driven or procedural)
  • 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
  • respond to the business environment and business issues related to software development
  • operate effectively in their own business', their customers' and the industry's environments
  • apply the maths required to be a software developer (e.g. algorithms, logic and data structures)

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of their Network Engineer apprenticeship, individuals will understand:

  • and operate at all stages of the software development lifecycle
  • the similarities and differences (taking into account positives and negatives of both approaches) between agile and waterfall software development methodologies
  • how teams work effectively to produce software and contributes appropriately
  • and apply software design approaches and patterns and can interpret and implement a given design, compliant with security and maintainability requirements
  • and respond to the business environment and business issues related to software development
  • and apply the maths required to be a software developer (eg algorithms, logic and data structures)

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 one BCS qualification and one vendor qualification.

Funding

£18,000

Level

This is a level 4 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 16 months. Because this period involves both training and the final End Point Assessment (some of which must be carried out in the workplace), employers need to ensure the apprentice’s contract covers the full programme duration.

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.

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

What are the benefits of a Software Developer 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

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

Software Developer 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 Methodologies

Upon completion of this Knowledge Module, Software Developer apprentices will:

  • Understand and can operate at all stages of the software development lifecycle
  • Understand the similarities and differences (taking into account positives and negatives of both approaches) between agile and waterfall software development methodologies
  • Understand how teams work effectively to produce software and contributes appropriately

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

This online session, led by a Subject Matter Expert, will focus on core concepts that apprentices will need to learn to get the most from their next residential training course. It provides practical information and/or study activities to help apprentices gain the prerequisite knowledge needed for the course.

This online session, led by a Subject Matter Expert, will focus on core concepts that apprentices will need to learn to get the most from their next residential training course. It provides practical information and/or study activities to help apprentices gain the prerequisite knowledge needed for the course.

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
  • Software Process Management (3h 43minutes)*
  • Secure Software Development (3h 15minutes)*
  • Design Patterns (3h 13minutes)*
  • Clean Architecture: Patterns, Practices and Principles (2h 12minutes)*

Total time: 12 hours 23 minutes


Knowledge Module 2: Software Language

Upon completion of this Knowledge Module, Software Developer apprentices will:

  • Understand and apply software design approaches and patterns and can interpret and implement a given design, compliant with security and maintainability requirements
  • Understand and apply the maths required to be a software developer (e.g. algorithms, logic and data structures)

Read through the full curriculum for Firebrand's classroom-based training and choose one of the following software languages below. The chosen curriculum is supported by an online learning module.

This online session, led by a Subject Matter Expert, will focus on core concepts that apprentices will need to learn to get the most from their next residential training course. It provides practical information and/or study activities to help apprentices gain the prerequisite knowledge needed for the course.

This online session, led by a Subject Matter Expert, will focus on core concepts that apprentices will need to learn to get the most from their next residential training course. It provides practical information and/or study activities to help apprentices gain the prerequisite knowledge needed for the course.

This online session, led by a Subject Matter Expert, will focus on core concepts that apprentices will need to learn to get the most from their next residential training course. It provides practical information and/or study activities to help apprentices gain the prerequisite knowledge needed for the course.

OCA Java SE 8 Programmer

Java Basics

  • Define the scope of variables
  • Define the structure of a Java class
  • Create executable Java applications with a main method; run a Java program from the command line; including console output.
  • Import other Java packages to make them accessible in your code
  • Compare and contrast the features and components of Java such as: platform independence, object orientation, encapsulation, etc.

Java Data Types

  • Declare and initialise variables (including casting of primitive data types)
  • Differentiate between object reference variables and primitive variables
  • Know how to read or write to object fields
  • Explain an Object's Lifecycle (creation, "dereference by reassignment" and garbage collection)
  • Develop code that uses wrapper classes such as Boolean, Double, and Integer.

Operators and Decision Constructs

  • Use Java operators; including parentheses to override operator precedence
  • Test equality between Strings and other objects using == and equals ()
  • Create if and if/else and ternary constructs
  • Use a switch statement

Arrays

  • Declare, instantiate, initialise and use a one-dimensional array
  • Declare, instantiate, initialise and use multi-dimensional array

Loops

  • Create and use while loops
  • Create and use for loops including the enhanced for loop
  • Create and use do/while loops
  • Compare loop constructs
  • Use break and continue

Methods and Encapsulation

  • Create methods with arguments and return values; including overloaded methods
  • Apply the static keyword to methods and fields
  • Create and overload constructors; including impact on default constructors
  • Apply access modifiers
  • Apply encapsulation principles to a class
  • Determine the effect upon object references and primitive values when they are passed into methods that change the values

Inheritance

  • Describe inheritance and its benefits
  • Develop code that demonstrates the use of polymorphism; including overriding and object type versus reference type
  • Determine when casting is necessary
  • Use super and this to access objects and constructors
  • Use abstract classes and interfaces

Handling Exceptions

  • Differentiate among checked exceptions, unchecked exceptions, and Errors
  • Create a try-catch block and determine how exceptions alter normal program flow
  • Describe the advantages of Exception handling
  • Create and invoke a method that throws an exception
  • "Recognise common exception classes (such as NullPointerException, ArithmeticExcpetion, ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException, ClassCastException)"

Java API Classes

  • Manipulate data using the StringBuilder class and its methods
  • Creating and manipulating Strings
  • Create and manipulate calendar data using classes from java.time.LocalDateTime, java.time.LocalDate, java.time.LocalTime, java.time.format.DateTimeFormatter, java.time.Period
  • Declare and use an ArrayListof a given type
  • Write a simple Lambda expression that consumes a Lambda Predicate expression
  • C# Beginners Tutorial*
  • C# from Scratch (3h 11minutes)*
  • Object-Orientated Programming Fundamentals in C# (4h 22minutes)*
  • C# Fundamentals with Visual Studio 2015 (5h 21minutes)*
  • C# Equality and Comparisons (4h 51minutes)*
  • C# Collection Fundamentals (5h 56minutes)*
  • HTML5 Fundamentals (3h 47minutes)*
  • HTML5 Fundamentals (2h 13minutes)*
  • Semantic HTML (1h 49minutes)*
  • Javascript from Scratch (1h 52minutes)
  • Introduction to CSS (2h 9minutes)
  • Front End Web Development: Get Started (3h 47minutes)
  • Front End Web Development: HTML5, CSS and Javascript (3h 4minutes)
  • Microsoft Professional Program for Front End Web Development
  • HTML5 Fundamentals (3h 47minutes)*
  • HTML5 Fundamentals (2h 13minutes)*
  • Semantic HTML (1h 49minutes)*
  • Building HTML5 and Javascript Applications (4h 50minutes)*
  • Java Fundamentals: The Java Language (7h 45minutes)*
  • Java Fundamentals: The Core Platform (7h 25minutes)
  • Java Fundamentals: Collections (4h 2minutes)
  • Java Fundamentals: Generics (3h 53minutes)

Total time: 70 hours 21 minutes


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.

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


Or choose two from any of Firebrand's courses listed below to add to this apprenticeship programme:

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

When do Software Developer 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.

When

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Finished

Open

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Running

Wait list

Open

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Finished

Limited availability

Open

Open

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Open

Open

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Finished

Wait list

Open

Open

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Finished

Open

Open

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Limited availability

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Running

Wait list

Open

Open

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Open

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Limited availability

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Open

Open

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

Who can enroll on a Software Developer 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.

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

How much does a Software Developer apprenticeship cost?

The total cost of this apprenticeship programme is £18,000. 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.

What does this cost include?

The breadth and depth of our course content means we deliver knowledge beyond the standard for every apprentice.

Training costs include:

  • A suite of residential training programmes delivered by our skilled Course Instructors
  • First attempts at all examinations required as part of the apprenticeship (plus second attempts at BCS examinations)
  • Online learning from Pluralsight, offering over 3000 video-based courses led by industry experts
  • Continuous support, guidance and advice from your Learning Mentor to help apprentices progress effectively
  • Where applicable, additional classroom training from a menu of vendor courses to broaden apprentices' knowledge and skills even further

Don't see the course you want included in the apprenticeship programme?

We can use our portfolio of over 600 vendor courses to tailor training for larger cohorts of apprentices, including a substantial discount for additional courses. Contact us to find out how we can deliver more value through a bespoke apprenticeship training package.

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 is the apprenticeship paid for?

Employers with an annual paybill over £3million can finance this training through the Apprenticeship Levy. The diagram below shows how the Levy is calculated:

For employers with an annual paybill under £3million, the government pay 95% of the total training costs, with the employer paying 5% of the total apprenticeship fee.

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

How are Software Developer 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).

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

What does a Software Developer 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.

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

How do Software Developer 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.

Read more...

Interested? Complete this form.

Exams

While apprentices benefit from new digital skills they can use in their job, almost all digital apprenticeships that Firebrand offer provide the chance to gain industry recognised qualifications.

Apprentices gain qualifications through either BCS or Vendor specific exams where applicable. These qualifications add to a professional career and can be used to help move seamlessly between roles in the IT industry.

All relevant exams that will be achieved during this apprenticeship are listed below:

  1. BCS Level 4 Diploma in Software Development Methodologies

Upon selection, the apprentice will also sit one of the additional examinations below:

  1. Microsoft Programming in C#
  2. Microsoft Programming in HTML5, CSS and Javascript
  3. Oracle Certified Java Programmer

Interested? Complete this form.

Call us to discuss your Firebrand Apprenticeship Now
0800 081 6022