L8 Certificate in Software Development

Institute of Technology, Sligo (SG_KSOFT_E08)
Key Programme Details
Award

Certificate

NFQ Level

8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online

Mode

Part Time

ECTS Credits

40

Department

Computing

Skills Area

Information and communication (including ICT)

General Information
Contact

Jean Gilligan

Email

gilligan.jean@itsligo.ie

Phone

071 9305835

Address

Jean Gilligan,
Springboard Project Coordinator,
IT Sligo,
Ash Lane,
Sligo.

Role

Springboard Project Coordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline

19/09/2018

Start Date

19/09/2018

End Date

31/05/2019

About this Course

Management of complexity is one of the main problem to be dealt with in modern software development. Complexity is caused by the scale and the sheer number of alternatives available for the modern software developer. In order to tame the complexity students must be equipped with advanced software development techniques to identify and apply intuitive solutions/strategies. Students must be comfortable with the tools, techniques and frameworks available to organise, implement and test a reliable, well constructed complex software artifacts.

A breadth of knowledge that conveys the alternative approaches to constructing a software artifact, organisation and realisation of those ideas to scale is imparted. A breadth of knowledge also imparts in the graduate an ability to critically assess and adapt to new technologies when and as they become available. Graduates need to be able to articulate and present alternatives to those wishing to leverage the power and productivity of software artifacts. The different levels of needs identified by the software industry, the various other industries that it supports, the various roles that a graduate can take on need to be addressed.
This programme takes into account the specific requirements of the global software industry and what it expects from graduates. On graduation you can progress with advanced entry to the BSc (Hons) in Computing in Software
Development.

Objectives

The objectives of the programme include:
* Knowledge - know about:
-Evaluating frameworks and design patterns
-Documenting and dealing with complexity of code structure and system structure
-Techniques for solving problems
-Basic computational concepts and elementary data structures
-The edit-compile-link-run cycle from a user point of view

*Testing strategies
-The main activities of software development and their interactions, and some of the major problems of software development

*Skills - be able to:
-Explain at various levels the behaviour of fragments of programming language code
-Amend existing programs to adjust or correct their functionality
-Translate well-structured plans into working programs
-Use the error messages of the compiler to identify and correct mistakes in program syntax
-Use testing strategies to identify and correct semantic errors in programs
-Document and code complex software artifacts
-Manage Complexity
-Collaborate using modern code sharing platforms

*Attitudes - appreciate that:
-A programmer requires creativity in order to solve problems and precision in the construction and manipulation of programming language code
-A programmer builds up a repertoire of techniques for solving problems, usually adapting and reusing techniques as each new problem is encountered
-A programmer must be able to communicate his/her ideas to others
-Effective programming requires effort both in front of and away from a computer
-Learning to program requires commitment and perseverance
-Working independently and in teams is necessary in working environments

Entry Requirements

A level 7 qualification in Software Development/Software Engineering or similar.

Long Description

Management of complexity is one of the main problem to be dealt with in modern software development. Complexity is caused by the scale and the sheer number of alternatives available for the modern software developer. In order to tame the complexity students must be equipped with advanced software development techniques to identify and apply intuitive solutions/strategies. Students must be comfortable with the tools, techniques and frameworks available to organise, implement and test a reliable, well constructed complex software artifacts.

A breadth of knowledge that conveys the alternative approaches to constructing a software artifact, organisation and realisation of those ideas to scale is imparted. A breadth of knowledge also imparts in the graduate an ability to critically assess and adapt to new technologies when and as they become available. Graduates need to be able to articulate and present alternatives to those wishing to leverage the power and productivity of software artifacts. The different levels of needs identified by the software industry, the various other industries that it supports, the various roles that a graduate can take on need to be addressed.
This programme takes into account the specific requirements of the global software industry and what it expects from graduates. On graduation you can progress with advanced entry to the BSc (Hons) in Computing in Software
Development.

The recently published North West Skills Forum report points to the regional need. A comprehensive interview process with over 30 regional ICT companies revealed strong demand for ICT skills - “CSO data shows private sector ICT jobs in the North West have grown strongly adding almost 850 additional jobs, which is a growth of 72% in the seven years from 2008 to 2015”.
It has been reported that almost 40% of ‘difficult to fill’ roles across all sectors in Ireland in recent years were in the area of ICT. The ICT sector accounts for the highest share of new employment permits issued each year, illustrating the challenges that employers are facing in filling positions in this sector. At 42%,employed programmers and software developers had over double the national average share of non-Irish nationals (15.4%); the share of non-Irish IT business analysts & systems designers was even higher at 44% (SOLAS, 2017).
The report, in particularly, highlighted the above-average demand for ‘expert’-level skills in the region compared to the national need. Against a background of strong global demand for ICT Talent, it makes sense to create multiple pathways to ICT careers which will make it an attractive option to a broader range of people. A sustained effort is required to increase the ICT skills supply including through further education and higher education, conversion programmes, continuing professional development (CPD). To support the growth of the ICT talent pipeline, employers also need to promote careers to prospective employees, particularly women.
In addition, both the EGFSN study and the FIT ICT Skills Audit also highlights that people with developed ICT skills are not just needed in the Technology sector. Many different types of jobs now require various levels of ICT Skills proficiency.
This trend is likely to continue as technology increasingly becomes embedded in business functions and processes
across companies and sectors. The continued development and adaptation of new technologies will, over time, result in the emergence of new skillsets, jobs and career paths.

For all IT Sligo Springboard programmes, the participants will be enrolled on a mandatory and accredited ‘Personal Effectiveness and Employability’ programme and also a structured job readiness programme called ‘Get Working’ that will be delivered by distance learning using an enquiry based and interactive learning approach. These programmes are designed to improve the employability skills of the students with particular emphasis on CV and Interview preparation and on the job transferable skills to become an effective team member. These modules will also outline the skills needed for effective engagement in the workplace.
The course entitled “Get Working” is developed and hosted by HR specialists. During this programme the students will gain the technical skills and knowledge for work in the Biopharma and Med Tech manufacturing sectors, this job readiness programme will compliment that learning by enhancing the student’s employability. This programme consists of topics including, ‘Strategies for job readiness’, ‘What I have to offer’, ‘Identifying the right role & target employers’ as well as ‘Preparing for interviews’.
The ‘Personal Effectiveness and Employability’ programme has been assigned 10 credits and will be delivered in semester two following the ‘Get Working’ programme and on completion of this module the learner will be able to develop an independent, self-managed, reflective approach to study and work. They will become familiar with workplace cultures and collaborate effectively in groups, teams and meetings.

Why Choose This Course

The North West Regional Skills Forum conducted a skills survey amongst ICT employers in the Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim region between July 2017 and January 2018. This audit involved face-to-face interviews with 28 employers in the ICT/FinTech sectors. In addition, follow-up interviews with 12 employers were carried out to further analyse the data collected.
The purpose of the skills survey was to determine employer requirements in relation to education, training and recruitment so education and training providers in the region could be further informed in relation to the needs of industry. This resulted in the publication of a skills report for the ICT/FinTech sectors which is available on the Regional Skills Forum North West website.
This skills survey was an initial step in forming a cluster of ICT companies in the North West who will collaborate in areas such as training, education and recruitment. IT Sligo has committed to responding to the needs of employers participating in this cluster group and views the Springboard initiative as a facilitator in addressing some of the concerns employers have in relation to recruitment and up-skilling.
The North West Regional Skills Manager in his letter of endorsement has stated that "The Certificate (Level 8) in Software Development, proposed by IT Sligo directly addresses this skills need, particularly that of the region. The online, part-time delivery mode ensures ease of access for prospective student and would be highly prized by employers keen to retain and grow talent inhouse. The software developer skill-set is in particular demand and this Level 8 provision is of particular interest raising as it does the expertise level for employees and those looking to migrate to the region."
Ireland’s success story in the ICT sector is impressive:
•Over 105,000 people are employed in the technology sector in Ireland, with approximately 70% of those employed by FDI companies.
•ICT Exports are worth €72 billion per annum (40% of total national exports).
•4 of the top 5 exporters in Ireland are technology companies
•Nine of the world’s top 10 ICT companies are located in Ireland and the IDA supports over 200 FDI firms in this sector. The sector’s traditional players with long-established operations – such as Intel, HP,IBM, Microsoft and Apple, have been joined by newer firms leading the way in the internet and social media revolution, including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, eBay and Twitter. Their arrival has firmly positioned Ireland as the internet capital of Europe.
•Ireland is the also the European data centre location of choice for world leaders including IBM, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, MSN and Adobe and is poised to become a global cloud centre of excellence.
Ireland’s reputation as a centre of Software excellence is unrivalled in Europe. It is home to over 900 Software companies, including both multinational and indigenous firms, employing 24,000 people and generating €16 billion of exports annually. The sector’s wide-ranging activities include Software Development, R&D, Business Services and EMEA/International headquarters.

Growth
It is worth noting that 80% of the software sector is attributed to indigenous companies that are, in the main, young and fast growing. However, the LERO report on the Irish Software Landscape Study reported that In the case of the foreign/MNC sector, the numbers involved in software development here have increased by 23% in the past three years. This is also encouraging and reflects the move higher up the value chain in terms of employment here.
The outlook for future skills needs shows demand for higher education graduates from enterprise continuing to increase. The education sector has responded to this need - graduate numbers (2010-2014) in Science, Maths & Computing have risen by 32% and by 46% in technology. Computing graduates have a far higher share in employment nine months after graduation than the overall cohort.
The outlook is positive. Morgan McKinley report10 that demand for software developers shows “no sign of slowing down”, with the first half of the 2016 marked by high volumes of recruitment activity report. In addition, the report acknowledges that: “Over the past 12 months salaries have increased across the majority of areas particularly in the development space.”
Recent LinkedIn data has shown that the Irish software sector is a major beneficiary of professional migration to Ireland. There was a 36.1% increase in LinkedIn members based in Ireland working in the sector (March 2016 vs March 2015.)
Equity of access for students to the higher education system continues to improve - the number and share of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and of students with a disability rose between 2012/13 and 2014/15 (from 22 per cent to 26 per cent and 7 per cent to 11 per cent respectively).
However, there remain marked disparities in terms of access to the system. The third National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015–201912, launched by the Minister for Education and Skills in December 2015, provides a framework for driving increased participation by target groups through targeted actions into the future to enhance equity of access.

IT Sligo Springboard participants can avail of the services of the Careers office and the IT Careers Portal. The Careers officer provides guidance to students regarding their programme of study and career options. A virtual and campus based career fair occurs annually and students have access to employers and their current requirements. Students can attend live events where they can visit live interactive sessions with employers.
Students also have access to a postgraduate fair, which also occurs annually on campus. As part of this event, students will have an opportunity to attend CV Clinics and have their CV professionally checked by HR professionals. They can also attend seminars and lectures relating to career development, identifying target employers, how to connect with employers, collaborate effectively in groups and in identifying and applying on the job soft skills.
IT Sligo delivers a six week 'Get Working' MOOC in semester 1 and this programme is delivered in association with HR specialists within the 'Worklink' organisation.
Following which the students then participate on a 'Personal effectiveness and employability' programme in semester two which is designed to enhance participants job readiness training. This is a 10 credit module and it has been designed to enhance the skills needed for effective engagement in the work place.
IT Sligo also helps students get ahead in the world of work with an industry placement. Thanks to our close contacts and research collaborations with many companies and major employers, we can offer a wide variety of opportunities in destinations across the region and beyond.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the programme typically assume the role of software developer. They build and test high-quality code across front end, logic and database layers. Developers typically work as part of a larger team, in which they have responsibility for some of the straightforward elements of the overall project. While the customer requirements will typically be defined and agreed by more experienced or specialist members of the team, such as a business analyst or technical architect, the developer will be able to interpret design documentation and specifications.
Though many will find employment within ICT companies, recent surveys indicate that over half will work in an ICT
capacity within other sectors (e.g. finance, manufacturing). Such convergence is resulting in greater interoperability
between disciplines such as ICT, business, engineering, manufacturing, financial services and customer service which were once pursued as unique and individual career paths.

Timetable Info

Lectures delivered online in the evenings and also available to download as recordings. The schedule will be confirmed in September.

Delivery Location

IT Sligo delivered online

Delivery Notes

e-Learning

Admissions Contact Details
Instructor

Admissions department

Address

Online Admissions,
IT Sligo,
Ash Lane,
Sligo.

Phone

071 9318511

Email

admissions@itsligo.ie

RPL Information

IT Sligo recognises and assess prior experiential learning of applicants through its RPL process. The institute is committed to maximising access and flexibility to applicants and the RPL procedure outlines how a learner may apply for and obtain credits for prior learning. The definition of credit in this instance is the award of a grade for learning in the context of the relevant course schedule.

Application Procedures

Apply online through the Springboard website www.springboardcourses.ie

Media
IT Sligo online

Experience online learning at IT Sligo

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2ytk4szuvg6opxm/AABKwO9YnAT9ErMeEpJVGlI5a?dl=0


Online learning webinar

The webinar demonstrated the medium by which online programmes are delivered at IT Sligo

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6R5gsxoeXRZQnplMGRfdGVpWG8/view?usp=sharing


IT Sligo Website

Programme page for Level 8 Certificate in Software Development

https://www.itsligo.ie/courses/certificate-software-development/