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Systems developer: job description

Systems developer: job description

Systems developers produce, install and implement new and modified computer systems, networks and related operating software.
Self-employment via contract and consultancy work is increasingly common for developers with relevant experience.

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

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
  • writing mainframe computer job control systems
  • testing and modifying systems to ensure that that they operate reliably
  • user training
  • providing support
  • responding to feedback
  • fault finding, diagnosing and fixing

There are excellent promotional prospects for employees willing to move into managerial positions or to change job regularly.

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.

Unlike most career areas within IT, systems development is a small profession and there are relatively few opportunities. Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and recruitment agencies, and in local/national newspapers and relevant publications such as TARGETjobs IT & Technology, Computing and Computer Weekly as well as their online equivalents.

Qualifications and training required

Employers normally prefer graduates with 2.1 degrees in appropriate subjects such as physics, mathematics, computer science, software/computer engineering and electronics. For graduates without relevant qualifications, a postgraduate IT conversion course or a technical postgraduate degree can be of benefit. Relevant work experience is also often necessary.

Key skills for systems developers

  • Patience
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Logical mind
  • Good analytical skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Technical skills
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