You might be responsible for the replacement of a whole system based on the specifications provided by an IT analyst but often you'll work with 'off the shelf' software, modifying it and integrating it into the existing network. The skill in this is creating the code to link the systems together.
You'll also be responsible for:
- Reviewing current systems
- Presenting ideas for system improvements, including cost proposals
- Working closely with analysts, designers and staff
- Producing detailed specifications and writing the programme codes
- Testing the product in controlled, real situations before going live
- Preparation of training manuals for users
- Maintaining the systems once they are up and running
Most employers will want you to have a BTEC HND at the very least to get a foot in the door, however some companies runthat will consider candidates with AS Levels.
If you've got a degree it will , especially if it's in an IT, science or maths based subject.
If you've got a non-IT degree you might still be able to apply to a graduate trainee scheme, or you can take a postgraduate conversion course to get your CV up to scratch.
It is possible to move into software development from another profession. If this is you, play-up your business and IT experience and be prepared to take some IT-based courses if necessary.
The courses you'll find open most doors are of course the programming qualifications such as:
- Visual Basic
Keeping up with the rapid pace of change is vital in this profession, so you should benefit from a good solid training programme, especially if you work for a larger organisation.
You'll learn from more senior programmers and will go on external courses to keep your professional skills up to date.Your training should focus on programming, systems analysis and software from recognised providers including the British Computer Society, e-skills, the Institute of Analysts and Programmers and the Institute for the Management of Information Systems.
All the software vendors, including Microsoft and Sun run accredited training too.If you are self-employed then you should invest in training to keep your skills.