Application developers and programmers take the software requirements of designers and translate them into effective and workable code. Although the job titles involved will change depending on the employer, most developers and programmers will specialise in a certain areas.
Programming and development staff almost always need to be in possession of a relevant degree, HND or foundation degree. Particularly relevant areas of study include computer sciences, mathematics, applied sciences and business management. However, it is not unheard of for self-taught programmers to find employment in the sector after practical demonstrations of their skills. Those without formal qualifications may be able to find a job in the industry by completing an IT conversion course.
The reach of computers these days means that recruitment agencies are looking for candidates for the majority of commercial sectors in the UK. However, financial services, retail, health and travel and tourism are sectors that have a very specific need for software developers. Programmers can find work with large, multinational companies, IT specialists or within the public sector. All candidates will need to demonstrate strong analytical skills, a high level of numeracy and the ability to work as part of a team on large projects.
Entry-level software developers and programmers can earn a basic salary of anything between £20,000 and £40,000, depending on their specific skills and the commercial sector. However, project managers and team leaders can earn up to £80,000 per year in the private sector.