Systems developer: job description
Systems developers build the behind-the-scenes software for a wide range of business and organisational functions.
A systems developer is a type of software developer. They develop and implement applications and programs for the backend processing systems used in businesses and organisations. Backend processing systems are the behind-the-scenes parts of software that don’t have a user interface, except for administration purposes. They are used a lot in online banking and HR systems, for example.
Typical responsibilities of a systems developer include:
- discussing the client’s requirements and the proposed solution with a senior developer (for developers at mid-skill level and below)
- using development tools to write and test code to develop these solutions
- writing documentation and operating manuals
- testing and modifying systems to ensure that they operate reliably
- user training and support
- responding to feedback
- fault finding, diagnosing and fixing bugs
- Specialist software development companies
- Financial services firms
- Technology consultancies
- Telecommunications companies
- Public sector organisations
- Law firms
Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and by recruitment agencies.
To get into systems development you usually need a degree related to computer science or software development; however, a few graduate employers now take on graduates from different subject backgrounds if they show the right aptitude.
Apprenticeships in software development (which could open the door to a systems developer career once you have gained experience) are on the increase. To find out more about getting into IT and technology via a school leaver route, visit the IT and technology section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.
- Mathematical aptitude and strong problem-solving skills
- Programming languages such as C# and Java
- Excellent organisational and time management skills
- Accuracy and attention to detail
- An understanding of the latest trends and their effect on a commercial environment
- Teamwork skills, because most projects require input from individuals in different roles
- Self-development skills to keep up to date with fast-changing trends