Software Developer at Transport for London

What is a Software Developer?

Can you imagine a world where bus times weren’t readily available on a smartphone? In today’s world, we rely heavily on technology and software. As a software developer for TfL, you’ll be working as part of a team to support development and testing for customer experience software products. You’ll make sure the software functions well, is bug-free and meets all of TfL’s business requirements.

A career in software development is a very solid choice in a world driven by technology – there’s an app for almost everything! Technology drives Transport for London too, from keeping travellers up to date with live accessible timetables to using your phone to pay for a bus.

If you have a passion for technology teamed with a knack for problem-solving, this could be the perfect career for you!

What does a Software Developer do?

As a software developer you’ll be testing and developing bespoke software and system support for the Customer Experience operations within Transport for London (TfL).

In order to be able to work well with your team, you’ll be using a project management method called Agile SCRUM. The SCRUM technique was initially developed as a way for software developers to work well together in a team. It comprises of breaking down tasks and having daily updates on the progress of the project to ensure that all tasks ahead are covered and everyone knows their tasks to complete and report back on. Although the SCRUM technique was originally created for software developers, it has been adopted by other industries. You’ll have a qualified scrum master who oversees, motivates and guides all involved in the project.

Along with your team, you’ll be responsible for the development and automated testing of customer experience software products so they meet business requirements that have been determined using the SCRUM process. Here are some things that you might do in a day:

  • Participate in SCRUM meetings to determine the list of work to be completed and the course of action to be taken by each member of your team.
  • Have short, daily discussions with your team to problem solve and keep track of progress.
  • Participate in code reviews, change control, bug-tracking and production processes to ensure consistent software engineering standards are upheld.
  • Work with test analysts to identify and resolve any programming issues.
  • Develop, test and maintain code for software used by the customer experience department.

Is a career in software development right for me?

Do programming languages come as second nature to you? Do you work best as part of a team? If you want a career that will challenge your problem-solving skills and make a difference to TfL’s customers then a career as a software developer could be a great way to become part of tomorrow’s future today.

How to become a Software Developer

Studying maths and ICT-related subjects at school will help you a lot in any technology career, including software development. These qualifications will stand out on your CV as well as give you the foundation skills and knowledge you’ll need to learn.

Learning programming languages such as Java, SQL Server T-SQL, Oracle PL/SQL, XML, HTML, Javascript and C++ or C# will help you in your career, as you may need to know several programming languages. As well as this, to widen your knowledge and develop your skills, having a good understanding of software frameworks (such as .NET) and different operating systems will boost your employability. It will help you have some knowledge of software development tools and techniques like UML, Agile development, continuous integration and TDD, as well as some experience of automated UK and performance testing. A lot of software development relies on regular testing, both manual and automated, so this will be a useful area to explore.

There’s more than one route into a career in software development. As well as the university and apprenticeship routes, degree apprenticeships offer the chance to work towards an undergraduate degree while earning and gaining experience of a working environment.

Early jobs in software development don’t always require a degree or apprenticeship. They will, however, require a good breadth of knowledge of programming languages, frameworks and operating systems. Got access to a computer? Start learning programming early on and this could help you when applying for entry-level software developer roles.

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