4

Trying to keep the overall question + answers applicable to anyone in Software, but advice RE my specific points at the bottom would be amazing!

A little backstory

I left college in July at 18, and got a job as a web developer full time 2 months later instead of going to University like most 18 year olds do in England, and am studying Computing & IT with Business (BSc) at the Open University part time.

I managed to land this job because I've been working on a family friend's Rails startup idea for 2 years part time around school, despite not having a degree to go into a graduate role.

While my parents employers (NHS and YAS) provide official CPD, I haven't heard anything about this in my field of work.

To the point

  1. Do people in software often get the opportunity to take courses, CPD etc., funded by the employer?

  2. What sort of courses and training are available that are even relevant to the field?

  3. Would a small startup (10-15 employees) even consider providing CPD + training to their developers?

  • 1. Depends on nature of the business and owner 2. Huge selection of private and vendor specific study materials 3. Very slim chance, depends on the owner and budget – Strader Nov 9 '18 at 20:00
3

I consider skills development opportunities each time I interview with a company, and I negotiate it as part of my employment contract.

Usually companies are pretty good, and will agree to a book budget and an online subscription to something like Pluralsight or Udemy, but I have also been able to negotiate myself things like annual conference budgets and other things.

My current employer offers all these things (including international conferences), as well as hack days (on projects other than the companies), days organised with companies such as Amazon (for AWS learning) and Microsoft (for .Net and Azure learning) and other things.

While basic skills for the job are certainly the employees responsibility, no job role is frozen in time and the point of "continuous professional development" is to grow your skill set and experience level in a way which is beneficial to all involved.

You will learn better ways of doing things, things you should not be doing, and you will keep abreast of updated versions of the software you are working with. All of those are beneficial to both employee and employer, and thus all employers should IMHO offer some degree of CPD opportunity, even if its as little as a subscription to the O'Reilly Safari bookstore or a Pluralsight subscription.

So, in short, it entirely depends on the company, but yes CPD is not an unknown in the software industry - and indeed in my experience its getting better each year.

1

Do people in software often get the opportunity to take courses, CPD etc., funded by the employer?

Often, though not always. The best employers realize that their staff both need and want to grow, and may offer training to help with that.

(The best employees recognise that their career development will always be their own responsibility, first and foremost... I've had several interviewees try to explain to me that they don't have the skills they need to do the job I'm hiring for, but it's their current employer's fault for not training them, so I should hire them anyway. It's not a convincing argument).

What sort of courses and training are available that are even relevant to the field?

There are many sites that offer online courses available fairly cheaply, see for example Udemy (I have no affilation with them, other similar sites exist).

More formal qualifications (such as Microsoft's MCSD, again no affiliation) are more comprehensive, but more expensive, so may be harder to convince an employer to pay for.

Would a small startup (10-15 employees) even consider providing CPD + training to their developers?

Some might. Can't hurt to ask...

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.