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Degree Apprentice Programmer

This year we are hiring another degree apprentice programmer to enrol on the MMU Digital & Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship, starting in September 2022. 

We currently have 3 apprentices on this fantastic course who are valued members of our team working on real projects. We are recruiting again this year for another programmer to join the team.

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What do we do? We write large database-driven applications for businesses to manage their work and workforce. These typically run in a web browser and integrate with native mobile applications.

Why do we want you? We are constantly growing and always looking to encourage new talent. Ultimately you will be the future of the team, and we look forward to seeing you succeed. Every member of the team is involved in shaping the direction the company takes.

Who do we want? We are looking for someone interested in solving problems using the code they have written. You will be a developer, but the job titles are a bit redundant in our size of organisation. Some days you will be writing code, talking to customers carrying out 1st line support, and other days you will be in production meetings pitching your solutions to the rest of the team. You need to love computers and understand how computers function - not just as an abstract concept and not just at a single level. 

Join our team as a degree apprentice programmer. 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 down to Linux server magic.

So why should you join Epix? We've been around for 30 years - so we are stable and reliable. We have a 'family firm' ethos (the founder's son and son-in-law work here, but don't let that put you off), so we will support you if you need flexibility from time to time. We are a small team, just 9 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 several years and can justify having a pool table in the office.

 

That's it. If it sounds interesting, please get in touch - fill in the form and send us your CV.

​If you would like to learn more about what it is like to work at Epix, you can read about it in the apprentice lifestyle blog.

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Job Title - 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.




Role - 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:

  • 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 ultimately 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!
  • 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.
  • Website design - 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 encourage 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.




Number of vacancies - One


We are currently looking for a single apprentice this year to join the team of 3 apprentices who have started since 2018.




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 finish the course on £25,000 - £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 seamlessly bridge between apprentice and junior roles and recognise the growing value you'll be bringing to us.




Experience/Skills - 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.




Qualifications Required


Acceptance onto the MMU Digital & Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship. Current requirements are: Candidates for the Degree Apprenticeship should have a minimum of 104 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 - Closing Date for Applications


We have no artificial closing date. Until we have filled all 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.




Boring Stuff - Location and Hours


Hours: Mon - Friday 08:00 to 16:30, with 1 hour for lunch. 1 day per week at university during term time. Holidays: 25 days + 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. At the moment we are only doing 2 days per week in the office, and the rest WFH, but we are being very flexible as the team adapts how it wants to work around Covid. 6th Floor, St James Building,
79 Oxford Street
Manchester
M1 6FQ




Agencies


In case you missed it elsewhere..it is company policy not to deal with employment agencies for a variety of reasons. Please do not waste our time, or your own, by contacting us unless we have specifically requested you to do so. If you wish to appeal this policy decision then please submit a request via the Contact Us page.





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