Looking for a Software Apprenticeship

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Kaizoku22
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I'm desperately looking to get an apprenticeship in software development asap but I'm not having any luck so far. My credentials are 9 GCSEs including A in Maths, and B in English, and a Level 3 in Electrical Engineering.

I want to stress that I'm looking for a placement starting very soon, I dont want to wait until the next academic year as some would suggest.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks
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winterscoming
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You're probably not going to find anything in the month before Christmas - this is always a quiet time of year for finding jobs.

CWJobs is a good site to keep watching - there's one starting in April 2020 here:
https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/job/apprent...td-job88743758

QA are quite a big provider for software engineering apprenticeships, so they may have others too.


Your qualifications all sound good, but is there anything else you could say about your hands-on experience with IT and programming? For example, GCSE Computer Science, or anything you might have taught yourself in your spare time. Otherwise, any programming skills you can learn over the next few months will help a lot if you haven't done very much before.
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Kaizoku22
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(Original post by winterscoming)
You're probably not going to find anything in the month before Christmas - this is always a quiet time of year for finding jobs.

CWJobs is a good site to keep watching - there's one starting in April 2020 here:
https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/job/apprent...td-job88743758

QA are quite a big provider for software engineering apprenticeships, so they may have others too.


Your qualifications all sound good, but is there anything else you could say about your hands-on experience with IT and programming? For example, GCSE Computer Science, or anything you might have taught yourself in your spare time. Otherwise, any programming skills you can learn over the next few months will help a lot if you haven't done very much before.
Hi, thanks for the response.

Admittedly, I have no prior experience with software but I have done a course in IT earlier this year but that was more to do with the components of a computer and how to protect against viruses etc. It's as you say though, teaching myself in the mean time haha.
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Kaizoku22)
Hi, thanks for the response.

Admittedly, I have no prior experience with software but I have done a course in IT earlier this year but that was more to do with the components of a computer and how to protect against viruses etc. It's as you say though, teaching myself in the mean time haha.
That's all useful and worth including those skills on your CV since it's going to be important as a Software Engineer to be comfortable with general IT skills like knowing your way around your O/S and commandline, some basic troubleshooting (e.g. are you someone your family and friends go to if their phone or computer is broken?), using Office/Excel, etc.

It would help a lot to gain some basic programming skills at least up to the same standard as GCSE or AS-Level CompSci, since you could be asked some algorithmic and computational thinking questions in the interview (e.g. a really common interview question is something like "show on a whiteboard how you'd write a Fizz Buzz program" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fizz_buzz ).

That's something you can definitely do on your own, and don't really need a course or teacher; loads of people teach themselves just using Google and spend time practising from books, youtube, tutorials, online courses, personal projects, etc. You could make a lot of progress in 3-4 months if you're not busy doing anything else. Perhaps you could set yourself a goal for Feb/March next year to have covered all the core skills of procedural programming using a language like Python, and then to challenge yourself to use that language to solve some algorithm problems.

A couple of places you could look to start:

https://www.py4e.com/ -- Free Python course by University of Michigan
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...6oAMk4JHw91mC_ -- Python videos
https://www.hackerrank.com/domains/python - Python challenges

Or some web development stuff here (web skills are really good to have on your CV too): https://www.freecodecamp.org/ https://www.theodinproject.com/ https://wd4e.com/
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Kaizoku22
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(Original post by winterscoming)
That's all useful and worth including those skills on your CV since it's going to be important as a Software Engineer to be comfortable with general IT skills like knowing your way around your O/S and commandline, some basic troubleshooting (e.g. are you someone your family and friends go to if their phone or computer is broken?), using Office/Excel, etc.

It would help a lot to gain some basic programming skills at least up to the same standard as GCSE or AS-Level CompSci, since you could be asked some algorithmic and computational thinking questions in the interview (e.g. a really common interview question is something like "show on a whiteboard how you'd write a Fizz Buzz program" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fizz_buzz ).

That's something you can definitely do on your own, and don't really need a course or teacher; loads of people teach themselves just using Google and spend time practising from books, youtube, tutorials, online courses, personal projects, etc. You could make a lot of progress in 3-4 months if you're not busy doing anything else. Perhaps you could set yourself a goal for Feb/March next year to have covered all the core skills of procedural programming using a language like Python, and then to challenge yourself to use that language to solve some algorithm problems.

A couple of places you could look to start:

https://www.py4e.com/ -- Free Python course by University of Michigan
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...6oAMk4JHw91mC_ -- Python videos
https://www.hackerrank.com/domains/python - Python challenges

Or some web development stuff here (web skills are really good to have on your CV too): https://www.freecodecamp.org/ https://www.theodinproject.com/ https://wd4e.com/
Thank you so much. There are so many languages such as HTML, Java, C#, Python, NET & .NetCore, SQL, Cloud Architecture, Angular etc. I just don't know which order to learn them in. What would you recommend?

And would you say I should apply for a Level 3 software apprenticeship now, and work my way up to a Level 6 degree apprenticeship? Or learn on my own for a while until I'm ready to apply for the Level 6 role?

Because as it stands, I'm 22 and was planning on going to Uni a few years back so I'm not trying to waste any more time.

Thanks again
Last edited by Kaizoku22; 1 year ago
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Kaizoku22)
Thank you so much. There are so many languages such as HTML, Java, C#, Python, NET & .NetCore, SQL, Cloud Architecture, Angular etc. I just don't know which order to learn them in. What would you recommend?

And would you say I should apply for a Level 3 software apprenticeship now, and work my way up to a Level 6 degree apprenticeship? Or learn on my own for a while until I'm ready to apply for the Level 6 role?

Because as it stands, I'm 22 and was planning on going to Uni a few years back so I'm not trying to waste any more time.

Thanks again
Firstly, Python is a really good place to start because it's quite accessible (human-friendly), very popular and widely-used, good for a lot of different kinds of applications (web apps, desktop UI apps, arcade games, data science, sysadmin scripting, and many more), massive amounts of free help/support available on the internet, lots of good code editor tools freely available (PyCharm Community Edition), used by a lot of big employers, and commonly used by schools/colleges/universities as a first programming language for students too.

I know it's easy to get lost in the number of languages and tools to learn - try not to worry about that; in many ways the place you start doesn't matter. The absolutely crucial skill to build is Computational Thinking - i.e. learning to "think-like-a-programmer"; including learning how to analyse problems, recognise patterns, understand programming language constructs, think algorithmically, able to follow standard problem solving techniques, etc.

All of that is really the "hard bit" in programming since it's a whole new and unfamiliar way of thinking about the world which might seem a bit unnatural and counter-intuitive at first - it just takes a lot of practice before it really starts to click, but the way to do it is by starting with really small/simple problems and gradually build up the complexity to bigger and more interesting things whenever you're ready (i.e. not trying to run before you can walk..). So the most important thing is getting any kind of first-hand experience using any programming language to solve problems -- you only really need one programming language, the rest can follow much later. (It really doesn't matter which language - Python is excellent, but Java and C# are also good too)

You'll probably see HTML, CSS and JavaScript mentioned everywhere; these are the "three amigos" for web design/development - HTML and CSS aren't programming languages - they're languages which are used for creating the content, appearance and layout of web pages which are loaded in a web browser. JavaScript is a programming language which runs inside a web browser to make websites/apps do more interesting and dynamic things beyond just simple text/images/buttons/forms/etc.
Web development is also a good place to start because it's got quite a gentle learning curve. It's a good starter if you have any project ideas for creating websites/apps or if you'd like to start with something more creative/design-oriented; otherwise I'd focus on core programming skills, algorithms and computational thinking using Python.



On the Apprenticeship options - you've already got a Level 3 BTEC, so that should be enough to be accepted into a Level 4 'Higher' apprenticeship, or a degree-apprenticeship. Your main problems at the moment though really are the time-of-year, and also that you'd stand a much better chance at these being able to bring some programming experience and samples of projects you've worked on into the interviews - over a few months you could put aside several hundred hours to practice and make a lot of progress; depending how much time you want to dedicate to it each week.

(There's a site called GitHub which is really useful for hosting the source code for your personal projects. A lot of self-taught programmers use this, and the "git" tools are useful to learn as well since most employers use it for managing their code: https://guides.github.com/activities/hello-world/ or https://help.github.com/en/desktop/g...github-desktop )
Last edited by winterscoming; 1 year ago
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