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In the first three months of 2020, a Developer to Engineer pilot programme has accelerated the development of 20 junior software developers across Scotland and has equipped them with the skills to develop further in their roles.

The Digital Skills Partnership, with funding from Skills Development Scotland, created the programme to help fast track junior developers and their careers to answer the call from industry for more experienced developers.

Between January and March our pilot cohort drawn from eighteen companies took part in coaching sessions to improve their soft skills in communication, teamwork, problem solving, systems thinking, self-awareness, resilience and time management.  

Our expert coaches worked alongside the developers to not only equip them with the soft skills needed to progress, but to further develop their technical skills addressing specific aspects of software development and coding in a team environment.

The benefits of having junior developers taking part in the pilot are already being felt by industry with one employer telling us:

“As a result of the sessions we’ve noticed that our member of staff is able to talk about the work that he’s doing more clearly and he’s also become more confident.  This means that he’s able to contribute to meetings when he has something to say, resulting in his work becoming better and faster.”

The programme was designed in collaboration with industry to ensure that the sessions delivered the right blend of development most commonly needed by junior developers. Through feedback from both employers and the junior developers taking part, we know that it’s working and producing significant capability improvement of participants and delivering the value that employers need.

Frances Sneddon, CTO of SIMUL8 Corporation commented:

“I think the program has really challenged him to think about what it means to be a developer beyond technical skills. He’s thinking at a much more sophisticated level about how he can help shape the team’s processes and practices and challenge us to be even better.”

The funding from Skills Development Scotland allowed this pilot to take place and prove how we can quickly upskill staff and that the benefits are not just confined to the individuals themselves but are clearly being felt by the companies who employ them.

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