Systems Developers

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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


Qualifications and training required


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.


Key skills for systems developers


  • 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


Typical employers of systems developers


  • Specialist software development companies

  • Financial services firms

  • Banks

  • Technology consultancies

  • Telecommunications companies

  • Public sector organisations

  • Law firms


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