Software & Application Design

Computer software designers/developers are responsible for creating new ideas and designing computer software, using principles of science and mathematics to develop applications for multiple purposes.

In this digital age, there are many opportunities to improve the technology around us. Designers/Developers work on games, operating systems and software programs and figure out what a program should do based on user needs, then create and test it to ensure its functionality.

Below are a few examples of Software & Application Design Careers,

  • Applications developer
  • Database administrator
  • Game developer
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Web developer
  • Web designer
  • Software engineer
  • Software tester

What qualifications could I need?

To take on a career in Software development you will normally need a HND, foundation degree, or degree to become a software developer. You could choose to study a variety of subjects, including:

  • computer science
  • information technology
  • software development
  • software engineering
  • mathematics
  • business information systems

If you don't have an IT-related degree, you may still be able to find a place on a graduate trainee scheme. Or use online learning to accumulate the knowledge you need. Many larger employers accept graduates with other subjects, providing they can show enthusiasm for the field and have some understanding of the development process.

To do a degree, you will usually need five GCSEs (A-C) including maths, English and science, plus three A levels or an equivalent level 3 qualification.  You should check with universities for exact entry requirements as vocational courses are acceptable for some degree courses but not all.  

What courses are available?

College of Further Education 

The IT and Computing course offers significant collaboration with employers, representatives from higher education and relevant professional bodies, in order to provide you with up to date technical content and the necessary knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes required to be successful in this sector.

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edX

Courses from Harvard, MIT, and more of the world’s leading universities, learn programming languages and concepts to prepare for a career in hardware or software development in the course below, or take a look at the range of courses from Microsoft hosted on the edX website.

Computer science courses on edX

Free online courses from Microsoft on edX

 

Alison

Alison offers free online Software Development courses, to gain useful skills and open up employment opportunities in a wide range of profitable industries. Learn the principles behind software testing, including verification and validation processes. 

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Udemy

By connecting students all over the world to the best instructors, Udemy aims to help individuals reach their goals and pursue their dream careers.

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Coursera 

Specializations and courses in software development address the process of creating software, including development tools and methodologies (such as Agile development), programming languages (including Python, C, Java, and Scala), and software architecture and testing.

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How do I find out more?

You can read up to date news articles in the Skills and Education of our website.

Creative Industries UK

The UK is a global leader in the creative industries. This website features statistics, case studies, video interviews, news and opinion pieces. They comprise the principal bodies from fashion, music, design, publishing, technology, crafts, video games, arts & culture, architecture, advertising, TV & Film, as well as government and non-government bodies who support the UK creative industries.

Find out more here.

Opportunities in Guernsey

Job Board

Work in Guernsey's technology sector, find jobs from Digital Greenhouse members.

Find out more here.

Careers Guernsey

Careers Guernsey offers insight into multiple stages of your learning and experience, from year 9-10 work experience placements to university and career advice.

Find out more here.

Jobs.gg

Jobs.gg is updated often with job positions in Guernsey

Find out more here.

Profiles

Matt Pyle

Developer, First Central Insurance & Technology Group

What do you do in your role?

I develop all aspects of our bespoke car insurance software, from developing the customer facing website to developing and supporting the backend systems involved in quoting, finance etc.

What training have you undergone?

Other than my bachelor's degree in Computing, I've had plenty of on-the-job training since being at FCG in all areas of a complex system that uses several different technologies and programming languages, and I am planning to start working towards Microsoft certifications this year, with the help of my work.

What do you do on an average day?

An average day at my job is very varied. I carry out development work for whichever project I'm currently working on, which could be anything from implementing a website redesign, to writing code to perform new functions behind the scenes. I will usually pick up other tasks throughout the day, like fixing bugs, setting up or deploying code to servers, working on documents, and helping out the business with any number of technical things that I can help with. There is a "work hard, play hard" attitude at our workplace, so while we work hard and achieve a lot as a team, we also try to incorporate a laid back and fun attitude; an average day also includes plenty of fun and general banter.

What skills do you need for your job?

Problem-solving, motivation, programming experience (in the case of my job, C#, HTML, Javascript and SQL), ability to work under pressure, and a good sense of humour!

What advice would you give job seekers in the same field?

My advice would be not to give up. In Guernsey, there are plenty of finance jobs, so it can appear that there are very few technology opportunities here, but they do exist. It took me a few years of being in a limbo of retail and admin jobs, before taking the plunge and going to uni as a mature student in an effort to get into a technology-based role when I graduated. I then got extremely lucky in finding my current employer after a year of university and securing a graduate job for when I finished; but there is definitely a growing technology sector in Guernsey that is increasing in diversity of options, and I believe that it will continue to grow.

What would be your top tip for individuals wanting to get into the field that you work in?

If you are passionate about technology and working as a developer, your attitude can be just as important as anything else. If you can show your potential employer that you have a strong desire and will to succeed and progress, they will look very favourably on you. Programming is something that can, and should, be both a hobby and a career; if you can prove to your future employer that you have the right attitude and are working towards the aptitude, many will want to invest in employing you as a person, and not just your skillset.

Jean-Luc de Garis

Digital Apprentice, KPMG Channel Islands Limited

What do you do in your role?

I get involved in a variety of activities, for example, IT Audits and help test the controls. I research new technologies and assess their potential use cases in our business as well as our clients. I also run internal robotic process automation (RPA) projects to increase productivity in our firm.

What training have you undergone?

I have completed lots of internal training ranging from EU data protection to understanding different markets and industries. On a more technical side, I have undertaken RPA, data protection, cyber security and IT Audit training. On top of that training, I am also in my first year of a four year digital and technological solutions degree run by the University of Exeter during which I will specialise as a data analyst.

What do you do on an average day?

A normal day for me would start by reviewing the news followed by my schedule which is set week by week and reviewed by my manager to ensure I am busy. I would then either carry on with a project that has continued on from the previous day or I would be delegated a research report or some IT Audit work to do. It’s hard to describe an average day as the work I do varies with client demand.

What skills do you need for your job?

Soft, interpersonal skills are crucial. I learn about different business models/processes/techniques every day and it’s important to know when and how to ask the right questions at the right times. Problem solving is a given, you need to have that perseverance to stick at a problem – when you solve it the sense of achievement is always worth it. Overall, a general willingness to learn. Every day I improve my technical and interpersonal ability through being inquisitive and proactive.

What advice would you give job seekers in the same field?

Keep challenging yourself. When you see a problem and think to yourself ‘I have no idea how to solve that’ give it a try and then use all your resources to help you along the way. Community forums are really useful and once you know where to find information and how to get it quickly you will learn to solve problems much more efficiently.

Matthew Champion

Consultant, C5 Alliance

What do you do in your role?

I work with various clients in order to understand their needs and then develop solutions (such as by writing software).

What training have you undergone?

I taught myself to program originally and then later attended a BTEC course in IT at the College of Further Education. Since I've started work, I've done some Microsoft training and have recently started a degree level course in computing at the Open University!

What do you do on an average day?

On an average day I'll work with a client to help clarify their needs, discuss how we can best resolve them and then work towards achieving that result. In practical terms, that often means discussing a feature or a bug fix, figuring out how to approach it and then writing the code to implement it.

What skills do you need for your job?

Logic and problem solving skills are very helpful when writing software, but it's also important to be skilled in communication! I spend a lot of my day talking to various stakeholders to discuss different approaches and possible issues, so being able to share my point of view or explain something complex is very useful.

What advice would you give job seekers in the same field?

Keep on top of new technology! This industry doesn't stay still for long, so it's good to keep up to date.

What would be your top tip for individuals wanting to get into the field that you work in?

You can learn most of the skills you need at home, so start now! You can do online courses that teach you how to write code which is a great way to get started.

Charles Christian

Consultant, C5 Alliance

What do you do in your role?

Member of the Data Practice working on Software solutions in the Business Intelligence Space

What training have you undergone?

Currently a Microsoft Trainee Associate (MTA) in Database Fundamentals, working towards becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in BI Development

What do you do on an average day?

Keep up with my training and play with data and code!

What skills do you need for your job?

Logical understanding of data structures and knowledge of SQL, C# and several other programming languages

What advice would you give job seekers in the same field?

There are plenty of training resources available on island and online to help you understand the BI Space and to gain valuable experience and qualifications, keep expanding your knowledge and keep learning!

What would be your top tip for individuals wanting to get into the field that you work in?

Data is all around us, if you work in an industry you know well, it might be that you know the data well enough to manipulate it and produce actionable intelligence based on it.

Jake Duquemin

Business Solutions Architect, Resolution IT

What do you do in your role?

Develop and manage various solutions to help companies' modernize their business processes. I mainly focus on using Office 365 to create my solutions, specializing in SharePoint. However I also use the whole power platform which consists of PowerApps, PowerBi and PowerAutomate to create solutions. I also have to be able to support these systems, mainly SharePoint, whenever a user encounters any errors.

What training have you undergone?

Currently I have an MCSA in Office 365, and I am currently training to get my MCSD with my first exam being on programming with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I have also gone on some artificial intelligence courses, and lots of inhouse SharePoint and Office 365 training. I also have an A-level in computer science, and a GCSE.

What do you do on an average day?

Help clients with managing their Office 365 and SharePoint environments, and working on any ongoing projects. Most of the projects I work on are creating client portals, company intranets and migrating on-server clients to the cloud. All of these projects are using SharePoint online.

What skills do you need for your job?

Good problem solving skills, time management skills and patience. Patience is important as there will be times when you are stuck trying to get a piece of code, or some solution to work and it can take hours to finally figure it out. This also shows why you need good problem solving skills.

What advice would you give job seekers in the same field?

Ensure you're enthusiastic about developing and technology in general as this helps when going into interviews as the company will be much more likely to hire you if you have a good knowledge of the industry. Also knowing some base coding languages, even when using SharePoint which is a low-code solution knowledge of coding really helps.

What would be your top tip for individuals wanting to get into the field that you work in?

Go into the job eager to learn as you will quickly realise there is a lot to learn. I would especially recommend this to anyone coming straight out of school, as this is what I did and I quickly realised how little I knew about technology and computers. However I was able to quickly learn as I applied myself and was eager to learn.

Dave Wratten

Business Solutions Architect, Resolution IT

What do you do in your role?

My role focuses on App development using .Net Core and the Office 365 Power Platform.

What training have you undergone?

I have completed a MCSD certification (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) and I also gained an AgilePM Foundation qualification. As well as these certifications I have taken online courses on Azure and DevOps and read books on .Net Core, Agile coding principles and data management.

What do you do on an average day?

My typical day consists of working on projects to build solutions for our clients. This includes developing and testing the solution, as well as communicating with the client to provide updates, gather requirements, discuss feedback etc.

What skills do you need for your job?

Problem solving is a key skill in this line of work along with attention to detail and communication. This combined with a knowledge of solution development in .Net and Office 365 are the skills I use on a daily basis.

What advice would you give job seekers in the same field?

There are a lot of resources online to help you learn the platforms and get you started. Then keep practising and developing these skills by building some projects.

What would be your top tip for individuals wanting to get into the field that you work in?

Start building some apps and make a portfolio to show to employers.

Tom Upson

Software Developer, First Central Insurance and Technology Group

What do you do in your role?

I work in a team of software developers to provide First Central with technical change to the Group's core software applications.

What training have you undergone?

We are provided with access to a large suite of online courses, as well as dedicated internal meetings for knowledge sharing and codebase familiarisation.

What do you do on an average day?

While the nuances of day-to-day tasks can vary, generally I am working on implementing changes to our websites and services, fixing bugs in the code, and supporting other teams which may require involvement from the development function.

What skills do you need for your job?

We operate predominantly on Microsoft Technologies, which includes C# for back-end services and websites, SQL for interfacing with the databases, and TypeScript for our front-end websites. Other than technical skills, communication and teamwork are of paramount importance as without effective communication, a scenario as simple as multiple members of the team approaching the same issue in different ways can often result in the appearance of bugs in the code.

What advice would you give job seekers in the same field?

Schemes like an internship can really help you get your foot in the door, and even if it doesn't work out, you're still getting your name out there, which is especially beneficial in Guernsey.

What would be your top tip for individuals wanting to get into the field that you work in?

Although there are many possible paths technology can take you, my top tip specifically for an aspiring developer would be practice makes perfect. If you're not confident with the technical skills you currently have, get stuck in with courses, personal projects and in general, build up your portfolio. And even if you're not technical, a strong foundational understanding of programming and how code works will serve useful in most jobs in the digital sector.

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