Software developer

You’ll find Software Developers working in almost all sectors, including the healthcare and social care sectors. They work in an always-evolving environment, as the need for intuitive digital products increases and advances in technology are made.

In the NHS in Scotland, demand for Software Developers is high. Services in patient care, including Telecare and Home Health Monitoring, are expanding all the time. A national digital platform is also being developed to improve access to health and care records.

Digital teams in NHSScotland are responsible for developing and delivering and maintaining a range of digital products that are used across the service.

As a Software Developer working in the health service, you would contribute to the development and delivery of software solutions that are:

  • secure
  • reliable
  • efficient
  • scalable
  • cost effective

Depending on the needs and priorities of the organisation, you may work on more than one project at a time. Software Developers usually work in a team with other Digital Professionals. The delivery team includes these roles:

  • a Product Owner
  • a Delivery Manager
  • a Solutions Architect
  • Software Developers
  • UX Designers
  • Content Designers

In your work activities you would be expected to:

  • review, maintain and improve current systems to add value and help the organisation to provide an excellent service
  • produce clean, secure and efficient code that meets required standards and technical specifications
  • collaborate with other members of the service team throughout the software development life cycle
  • integrate software components with third-party applications
  • test, verify, debug and deploy software solutions and systems
  • prepare technical specifications and training manuals

You may also research and investigate new technologies that could benefit the organisation.

Useful skills include:

  • experience in software development, across the entire software development life cycle, using a variety of software design patterns
  • good knowledge and experience of using cloud technologies, such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • knowledge and experience of SQL and NoSQL databases
  • experience of continuous integration and deployment processes 
  • experience in Agile methodologies
  • strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • strong communication skills
  • excellent technical and practical skills
  • a high level of accuracy and excellent attention to detail
  • good teamworking skills

Useful abilities include:

  • able to work on your own initiative and take responsibility for making decisions
  • able to make the right decisions based on experience
  • capable of working with limited supervision, pro-actively reporting on status and tasks 
  • able to communicate with stakeholders across all levels of the organisation

You’re likely to need an HND or a degree in Software Development or Computer Science. Many Scottish colleges and universities deliver courses in these areas. You should check specific entry requirements before applying.

Foundation Apprenticeships

A Foundation Apprenticeship in IT: Software Development could give you the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to start your career journey as a Software Developer.

Modern Apprenticeships

A Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecommunications at SCQF level 5/6 is a framework for people interested in working in Software Development.

Graduate Apprenticeships

A Graduate Apprenticeship in IT: Software Development is a good opportunity to learn the technical, practical and job-specific skills that are in demand. It’s work-based, but you’ll also attend college or university to get your degree.

Find out which apprenticeship is right for you at

During your career as a Software Developer, you could gain additional qualifications, such as:

  • postgraduate degrees, including a Masters in Software Development, or a Masters in Computer Science
  • short courses or self-directed learning will provide opportunities to explore and investigate new tools, technologies, systems and processes

These qualifications will help your career prospects and could lead to more senior roles, such as Lead Developer, Technical Architect or Development Team Lead.

Learn more about the NHSScotland Education Pathways for Business and Administration.