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Apprenticeships in software development

Hugh Jeremy
I build systems to solve difficult problems. CTO Procuret, rural networking specialist, general purpose ubernerd.
Updated on ・2 min read

Here in Australia, if I want to be a sparky, chippy, bricky, or dunny diver, I would start out as an apprentice. As a first year apprentice electrician I would get paid about $40k AUD per year to work and learn on the job.

If I stuck with my learning, I would be looking at an average of about $85k per year, and well north of $130k if I gunned it into senior electron-pushing.

Apprenticeships mean mentorship, training, pathways and practical experience. They exist in society because they are great way to turn fresh-faced kids into seasoned professionals in a safe, fair manner.

So where are all the software developer apprenticeships? If I search for "apprentice software developer", I get:

  • advertisements for bootcamps
  • "entry" level jobs requiring "previous XX experience"
  • aggregator listings for trainee jobs in non-software fields

When I started out writing, I had zero knowledge and an extreme propensity to stick my typing fingers in the proverbial wall socket, just to see what would happen. Fortunately I had some great mentors around me to nudge me towards good practice.

Now I get to build entire tech stacks for startups. How did I pull that off? How do I help more people pull the same trick? I'm not sure, but it sure didn't involve bootcamps or applying to trainee jobs demanding "3+ years in PHP/Wordpress". I'd like to...

  1. Pay forward the help I received
  2. Spark discussion about apprenticeships in programming

So, I've posted my first job ad for an apprentice (please note - applications for this position are now closed). If like me you are fortunate enough to have risen from the fresh-faced to the battle-hardened ranks of keyboard-warriors, I encourage you to do the same.

Discussion (3)

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ddayi5l3arn1ng profile image
D Day

I'd love to have a shot like this. Being middle aged and changing careers I find it extremely hard to find apprentice work.

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gabrielvsm profile image
Gabriel Vasconcelos

That's awesome!! I actually don't remember seeing a apprentice program ever, at least not where I live, the closest to it was an trainee program but you had to be in college to apply

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