Systems developer: job description

Systems developer: job description

Systems developers produce, install and implement new and modified computer systems, networks and related operating software.

What does a systems developer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Systems developers build and maintain businesses’ IT systems (such as a business’ programs, databases and websites) by programming and testing new and existing functionalities. Their role may have crossover with systems analysts and systems designers as they may also get involved in working out the business requirements and designing the system.

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • researching and examining current systems and consulting users
  • liaising with colleagues such as systems analysts and designers
  • writing software, documentation and operating manuals
  • testing and modifying systems to ensure that that they operate reliably
  • user training
  • providing support
  • responding to feedback
  • fault finding, diagnosing and fixing

Typical employers of systems developers

  • Computer/telecommunications equipment manufacturers
  • Systems software houses
  • Banks
  • Public service organisations
  • Utility companies

Self-employment via contract and consultancy work is increasingly common for developers with relevant experience.

Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and by recruitment agencies.

Qualifications and training required

Unlike most career areas within IT, systems development is a small profession and there are relatively few opportunities. It is common to get into systems development after gaining some experience as a software developer or web developer first. To enter either of these professions you often need an IT-related degree; athough, apprenticeship opportunities are on the increase.

Key skills for systems developers

  • Patience
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Logic
  • Good analytical skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of programming languages, such as C#, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and SQL