Apprentice Vacancies 2018

Unfortunately there are no vacancies at the moment as both available positions have been filled. The MMU website will be updated once both candidates have fully accepted the offer.

Apprentice Programmer

In partnership with MMU : Digital & Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship : Software Engineer & IT Consultant

What do we do? We write large database driven applications that run in a browser and integrate with native android mobile applications.

Why do we want you? We like to think of ourselves as dynamic just like our software - by growing our team with new and enthusiastic talent we think we can push our solutions on to new marketplaces. We are a small, tight knit team of developers working closely together which is why we all have direct involvement in all aspects of the development cycle - so we are keen to benefit from any new ideas and fresh approaches you have.

Who do we want? We are really looking for a developer and an IT consultant - but in our size of organisation the titles can sometimes be meaningless. You could be both, you could do network and security. But any way you look at it some days you'll be answering the phone doing 1st line support, and some days you'll have your head down coding a solution. We need team members who can contribute where we need it. You need to care about computers, and understand how computers function - not just as an abstract concept, and not just at a single level. Do you care about whether we are writing Android or IOS? Do you care about whether the server is Linux or Windows? Do you care about whether the filesystem is Ext3, Ext4, or something else entirely? Do you worry about whether we are coding in a text editor, or a fully featured IDE? These are all questions you need to have an opinion on, but also that you need to be flexible on. The right answer today might be the wrong one tomorrow, but it is important that there is always an answer!

If you join our team as a Software Engineer you will gain experience using PHP (and other languages) to build a huge and complicated database driven application, gain expert level skills in SQL, and learn to bounce around from Javascript/html in the browser all the way down to Linux server magic.

Our software is pointless without users. As an IT Consultant you will be working alongside our existing implementation manager to get new customers up and running, training users, fishing out new requirements from a sea of user wishes, and contributing ideas to new development.

Ultimately, even if you specialise in Cyber Security we will be able to find networking and server maintenance tasks to entertain you. You might not think of yourself as a programmer, but every cronjob you write is a little mini-program, and every firewall rule is a key part of our whole deployment. On the flip side, even the developers need to understand the security implications of seemingly minor tasks.

So why should you join Epix? We've been around for 26 years - so we are stable and reliable. We have a 'family firm' ethos (the owner's son and son-in-law work here, but don't let that put you off) so will support you if you need flexibility from time to time. We are a small team, just 7 of us at the moment, so you really can pitch in at any level and get the experience that suits you most - there's no mould that we are trying to force you into. We have successfully grown turnover steadily over the last few years and are ready to step up our game which is why we moved to a shiny new office in Manchester 2 years ago, and we have a picnic bench with a fake cherry tree in the office.

That's it. If it sounds interesting then please get in touch - fill in the form.

Job Description

To view each part of the job description, please click on the appropriate tab.

  • Apprentice Programmer

    We are looking for someone who can code and has an understanding of how computers work - but beyond that you will have the freedom to choose the details. The MMU course offers specialisms in software engineering, consultancy, security, and data analysis. All these roles are delicately intertwined within our organisation so you will have the opportunity to explore all aspects of development from taking requirements, training users, coding, and deploying solutions.

    Our two core needs are for a developer and an IT consultant, but you'll notice our job title is neither of these. That's because we believe that you need to do a little of both no matter what you are specialising in, and you should always have at least an eye on the cyber security aspects of any changes.

  • Details

    Your day to day duties will obviously be driven by your specialism, but you won't be able to avoid talking to users, fixing bugs, and designing new features.

    This is a varied role, and includes:
    ⊛ 1st line support - answering the phone, diagnosing problems, talking to users.
    ⊛ 2nd line support - even when someone else takes then original problem, you'll often be the one fixing it!
    ⊛ Reviewing code - we all get to check off each other's work as part of solving a problem.
    ⊛ Writing PHP - our main app is browser based. Currently sitting at around 500K lines of code.
    ⊛ Writing SQL - everything we do is data driven - so everything ultimatrly comes down to accessing the database.
    ⊛ Writing Java - our mobile app, the key feature for most of our customers, is a native Android app.
    ⊛ Writing Python - strictly speaking all we ever do is debug our python server that integrates between the Android app and the database because it is so reliable!
    ⊛ Website design - ultimatly our PHP pumps out html/css so you'll get to play with all the cool technologies in the browser.
    ⊛ Liaising with customers - with careful supervision, we'll encurage you to discuss requirements with customers, either over the phone or face-to-face.
    ⊛ Training - when we have an new customer going live we will take you out to site to meet the end users and help with one on one training.
    ⊛ Data processing and analysis - we often take large spreadsheets of data from our customers and need to understand them, and import the data.
    ⊛ Working in an office - the fact is we work from 08:00 until 16:30. We are a team and all need to be together to fix problems and write new bugs.

  • Two None

    Currently both available postions have been offered to appropriate candidates - this page is still here as a place holder until the offers have been accepted.

  • Salary

    Starting salary £14,000.

    By the time you graduate we expect you to be entering a junior programmer position. Given current rates for that role we'd expect you to carry on with us for between £25,000 and £28,000 when you graduate.

    In the meantime, assuming you keep up regular attendance on the course and hit all your assessment targets, there will be annual pay rises to seemlessly bridge between apprentice and junior roles and recognise the growing value you'll be bringing to us.

  • Geek and a Human

    We appreciate that you are completing an apprenticeship degree to gain the experience to do the job so it would be unfair for us to expect you to be able to tick all the boxes before we start. However, you'll need to convince us that you can already think yourself into the mindset of a computer programmer. You'll need to have written some code, and be able to talk us through how it works. You'll need to be able to discuss its good points, its bad points, and explain how you got the code to where it is.

    Once you've done that you'll have demonstrated both key attributes! Sometimes one aspect dominates and marks you out as not being a good programmer. If you are too human, and don't understand what the computer needs from you then you'll be no use to us. But if you are too far on the geek spectrum then we'll never be able to communicate together.

    If you've never written a line of code you aren't going to convince us that you are a programmer. It doesn't matter what language - but it matters that you have tried and succeeded (or not!). It doesn't matter how nefarious the code was, or how frivolous, but it matters that you've had a desire to fix a problem and chose a programming language to fix it. We all have problems in our life and nearly always they can be fixed by wasting a few hours writing code! Especially if it is going to save you a few minutes next time you have the problem.

  • Qualfications Required

    Acceptance onto the MMU Digital & Technolody Solutions Progressional Degree Apprenticeship.

    Current requirements are: Candidates for the Degree Apprenticeship should have a minimum of 104-112 points at A2 (Grades BCC) or an equivalent e.g. BTEC DMM. You will also require Maths and English Language GCSE grade A*-C. We will individually evaluate candidates who do not meet these requirements, but have workplace experience.

  • Closing Date for Applications

    We have no artificial closing date. Until we have filled both positions then we'll keep looking. If we find a candidate we think is a good fit then the position will be filled.

    Submit your CV below! And we'll get back to you asap.

    You need to complete your university application and enrol on the course. This usually takes place a couple of months before you are due to start your programme, but can sometimes be later. The university application is not difficult to complete and we will help and provide guidance when required.

  • Location and Hours

    Hours: Mon - Friday 08:00 to 16:30, with 1 hour for lunch. 1 day per week at university.

    Holidays: Statutory requirements + all the English bank holidays

    Dress code: Smartish casual! Including your interview, we don't expect suits! Except, because there's always an exception, when we are meeting customers - then it is strictly smart.

    Location: Oxford Street in Manchester city centre. Just 5 minutes walk from the MMU.

    3rd Floor, St James Building,
    79 Oxford Street
    Manchester
    M1 6FQ

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