How to become a software engineer apprentice: Bode's story

Meet Bode, 19, to find out more about life as an apprentice software engineer at British Land. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"I enjoy the complexity and being able to build whatever I want with computers; there are no limits."

How did you get your job?

As part of an internship, I worked on a youth engagement project. We worked closely with British Land so that led me to know a bit more about them and the work they do.

I found their apprenticeship schemes after doing some research online. I applied and now I'm working there as a software engineer apprentice.

What skills do you use on a typical day in your job?

Every day is different. I have been working on lots of different projects, for example, I worked with a flexible work space company to create a piece of software to make it easy for people to book meeting rooms.

I use problem solving skills most days because I do things like coding.

I also need to be able to communicate well with others.

Bode studied Computer Science, Psychology, and English Language at A-level.

What choices did you make to get where you are today?

I studied ICT at GCSE and Computer Science at A-level. I also taught myself a lot of IT skills, for example how to make a website and develop software. I used to do it for fun. I told British Land about this experience in my interview and they found it really intriguing.

My parents really wanted me to go university but I wasn't keen. The price was too high for me and I thought there was another option. I'm now studying a degree alongside my apprenticeship. I had to prove myself because I originally started on a two-year higher apprenticeship which did not include a degree qualification.

Top tips

  • Find your passion and follow it
  • Nothing is certain in life – you have to learn how to work hard through uncertainty
  • Have clear examples for interviews. I taught myself how to build a website and I used this experience to secure my job.

What to expect if you want to be a software developer

Bode's passion is software development. Once he's finished his apprenticeship, he'll be able to consider a career as a software developer. Software developers design, build, and test computer programmes for business, education, and leisure activities.

  • Software developer salary: £20,000 to £70,000 per year
  • Software developer working hours: 37 to 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a software developer?

  • Typical entry requirements: You can become a software developer through a university course, apprenticeship, or working towards this role in a company. You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in a subject like Computer Science, Information Technology, or Software Development. You could also a a software developer higher apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship in software engineering, like Bode. You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A-levels (or equivalent) for a higher or a degree apprenticeship. You can build up your skills and knowledge using free online learning resources for programming languages, project management, and software development methods.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

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