Coding Careers: Professional Development for Junior Software Developers
Written on: 10 September 2020
Written by: Frances Hardcastle
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Getting started in a professional software role can be mind-blowing. Making the transition from coding in your spare time to working on full-scale commercial projects is a huge learning curve. During this time, you'll have racked up thousands of problem-solving hours, and seen your confidence grow. Yet sometimes it seems like the more you learn, the more you can add to your list of "things you know you don't know."
This can be an excellent time to pause. Take stock of everything you've achieved so far, and think about how you would like to progress in your career. In the tech industry, there are lots of opportunities for promotion. This can be a powerful incentive to build up your skills and responsibilities - but where can you start?
There are many different routes to professional development. This can be informal knowledge expansion - such as self-taught coding, free online courses, or wider reading. It can also include formal training, qualifications and certification. If you're looking to gain a qualification while you work - an apprenticeship could work for you.
What can an apprenticeship programme offer me?
An apprenticeship programme provides an excellent framework for professional development. Higher apprenticeship courses combine technical training sessions with practical, work-based assignments.
As you progress through the course, you'll expand your understanding of key programming concepts. You'll also develop your essential soft-skills, such as project management, communication and teamwork.
What about my employer?
For employers, investing in a Level 4 apprenticeship is a great way to accelerate the progression of junior developers. The course provides a solid grounding in the principles which underpin good programming - in any language. Throughout the apprenticeship, candidates apply their training to their real work assignments - delivering improvement and results right away.
Apprenticeships are a highly effective and cost-efficient form of workplace training. For smaller businesses, Government funding towards training costs is widely available. For larger organisations, funding can be drawn down from your Apprenticeship Levy contributions.
The Level 4 apprenticeship is equivalent to a foundation degree, so is a great option for the development of a self-taught coder, or someone who has recently completed a Level 3 software apprenticeship or college course.
At Baltic Apprenticeships, the Level 4 Software Developer programme contains seven units. The course includes training on project management as well as specific programming paradigms. You'll learn Object Oriented Programming, Human Computer Interaction, web development, systems development, databases and more.
You'll also complete an extra Microsoft Training Associate (MTA) qualification in HTML 5 Application Development Fundamentals.
Why Learn with Baltic?
At Baltic, we were the first apprenticeship provider to offer a completely digital apprenticeship training platform. You'll learn in the SMART Classroom, an interactive real-time platform blending lectures, hands-on practice and instructor interaction. Far from "death-by-PowerPoint," the SMART Classroom offers an engaging learning environment that you can join from anywhere with an internet connection.
In addition to the technical training led by our subject matter specialists, you'll also be supported every step of the way with a dedicated Baltic Learning Mentor. They'll work with you to develop your key skills and help evidence your competencies for assessment.
Unlike college-based apprenticeship programmes, Baltic deliver our technical training in concentrated blocks. This means your qualification can be fully integrated within your current job role. You'll be based full-time in your workplace, with protected weeks set aside for your training - minimising day-to-day disruption for your employer.