Principal Developer

Summary

A principal developer leads and plans development across large or multiple teams.

At this role level, you will:

  • be an expert in many technical areas or a specialist with very deep knowledge in a particular technical area

  • use this knowledge, and work with related disciplines, to keep multiple teams working effectively

  • develop capability by facilitating internal mobility, shaping career paths and recruiting talent, ensuring they collaborate

  • identify, test and champion the adoption of emerging technologies

Background

Background Components

Description Background

Takes a logical, analytical approach to problem solving and pays close attention to detail. Has acquired an understanding of information systems concepts and practices, particularly those used within own organisation, and development standards in use across the industry. Has a good knowledge of own organisation’s policy framework, management structures and reporting procedures for all aspects of systems development.

Prior Knowledge and Skills

Work Activity Components

Title Details

Assessment

Assesses and documents the impacts, threats and opportunities to the organisation of specific technologies, products, services, methods and techniques. Considers their applicability within business and IT strategy, and their potential to influence strategy.

Development needs

Determines development needs for a professional practice area. Aligns development activities with organisational priorities, learning and development strategies and career pathways.

Communities of practice

Promotes the establishment and ongoing development of one or more community of practice (CoP). Encourages participation and ensures alignment with organisational needs.

Policy, standards and guidelines

Develops organisational policies, standards and guidelines for software construction and

Reviews and monitors

Assesses effectiveness of organisational policies, standards and guidelines for software delivery.

Planning and leadership

Plans and leads software construction activities for strategic, large and complex development projects.

Knowledge/Skills

Knowledge/Skills Components

Title Depth Details Type

Conceptual Thinking

Acquiring understanding and insights regarding the underlying issues in complex problems or situations through the development of abstract representations, the identification of patterns and the analysis of hypotheses.

Behavioural Skills

Creativity

Taking innovative approaches to problem solving and/or devising inventive and creative solutions.

Behavioural Skills

Cross-Functional and Inter-Disciplinary Awareness

Understanding the needs, objectives and constraints of those in other disciplines and functions.

Behavioural Skills

Teamwork

Working collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal.

Behavioural

Leadership

Clearly articulating goals and objectives and motivating and leading others towards their achievement.

Behavioural Skills

Follow-up and Monitoring

Checking progress against targets, taking action to resolve exceptions/ issues and reporting and escalating where necessary.

Behavioural Skills

Application Systems

Expert in

Technical or functional understanding of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) applications and/or other bespoke software deployed within the organisation in order to provide system configuration, audit, technical, and/or functional support.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Application Development Tools

Expert in

Software tools which automate or assist part of the development process.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Configuration Management

Proficient in

The discipline that gives precise control over IT assets and components by recording and maintaining information about the ‘configuration items’, including hardware devices, computer programs, software licences, documentation, network devices, and data centre facilities (virtualised and static).

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Programming Languages

Expert in

A set of codes and syntax (supported by software tools) that enables the unambiguous translation of specified functionality into source code for the creation of computer programs.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Operational/Service Architecture

Proficient in

Knowledge of the IT/IS infrastructure and the IT applications and service processes used within own organisation, including those associated with sustainability and efficiency.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Structured Reviews

Expert in

Methods and techniques for structured reviews, including reviews of technical work products, test plans, business cases, architectures and any other key deliverables.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Software Testing Tools

Expert in

Software tools which automate or assist any part of the testing process across all or part of the testing lifecycle.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Product Evaluation and Selection

Familiar with

The analytical comparison of IT products against specified criteria (including costs) to determine the solution that best meets the business need.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Middleware

Expert in

Software which forms part of the operating platform infrastructure.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

DevOps

Expert in

The collaborative approach consisting of agile practices, processes, and procedures designed to facilitate rapid IT service and product delivery. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture) and seeks to improve collaboration between development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams with the aim of shortening the systems development life cycle to provide continuous release of high-quality software.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Agile

Expert in

A collection of methods, practises, tools and techniques, underpinned by the Agile Manifesto, that enable teams to deliver high value products and services in small, workable, increments. An Agile culture typically encompasses concepts such as Servant-Leaders; ceremonies, Stand-Ups, Sprints and Retrospectives; and the deployment of tools and techniques such as Backlogs and A/B Testing.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Techniques for Effective Meetings

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for running effective meetings and for understanding and influencing the roles played by participants.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Coaching Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for coaching individuals or groups by a balanced combination of support and direction, including use of virtual learning environments plus add-ons to augment feedback specific to work items, workflow or career plans.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Standards Writing Techniques

Proficient in

Principles, methods and techniques for establishing, documenting, and maintaining standards.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Project Planning and Control Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques associated with planning and monitoring progress of projects.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Own Organisation’s Learning and Development Procedures

Familiar with

The procedures used within own organisation for staff learning and development.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Training Activities

Training Components

Title Details

Corporate Policies, Standards, Procedures, Guidelines and Tools

Policies, standards, procedures, guidelines, software tools and operating system facilities used in everyday work.

Coaching

Concepts, methods and techniques for providing coaching in subject specialisms to individuals or groups (e.g. GROW model).

Career/Talent Development Methods and Tools

The background, purpose and approach of the organisation’s career/talent development strategies and programmes. Their fundamental elements — competency and L&D frameworks, such as SFIAplus; talent management and development planning processes and tools; scheme administration and management; roles and responsibilities; and communication of the benefits.

Mentoring

Methods and techniques for providing mentoring support to less experienced individuals.

Latest Cyber Security Threats for Senior Execs

Short, high-level, up-to-date and to-the-point briefing on the latest threats and vulnerabilities in cyber security.

PDAs

PDA Components

Title Details

Job Shadowing and Special Assignments

Undertaking temporary periods or secondments in other roles, inside or outside IT, particularly those that offer a new perspective on own function or exposure to other environments and cultures.

Project Assignments

Participating in a project team, working group or task force established to deliver a solution to a specific problem or issue – especially valuable if the group is inter-disciplinary.

Mentoring

Acting as a mentor, advising those for whom there is no direct responsibility, on matters to do with their job role, career and professional development.

Gaining Knowledge of Broader IT Issues

Increasing and maintaining currency of knowledge of broader IT issues through reading, attending and participating in seminars or conferences, special studies, temporary assignments etc.

Gaining Strategic Knowledge of Employing Organisation

Developing a comprehensive understanding of the business environment in which the employing organisation operates and its position, policies and direction in relation to industry, country and global issues.

Gaining Knowledge of Standards and Legislation

Gaining and maintaining knowledge of relevant national and international standards and legislation.

Participation in Professional Body Affairs

Taking an active part in professional body affairs at branch, specialist group, committee or board level.

Qualifications

Qualification Components

Title Awarding Body

Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT

FEDIP Leading Practitioner

FEDIP

Organisation Skills

Framework » Organisation
Category » Subcategory
Skill Name and Description Level

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Availability and capacity management

You can define, analyse, plan, forecast, measure, maintain and improve all aspects of the availability of services, including power. You can control and manage service availability to meet business needs cost-effectively, including managing the capability, functionality and sustainability of service components (such as hardware, software, network resources, and software or infrastructure as a service).

2 – Working

You can manage service components to ensure they meet business needs and performance targets.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Development process optimisation

You can identify opportunities for improving the development process, make these improvements and evaluate their success. You can work with others to select and implement tools and practices to build confidence and reduce risk in each stage of the software development life cycle (from planning and prioritisation through to build, test, deployment and monitoring).

3 – Practitioner

You can analyse current processes. You can identify and implement opportunities to optimise processes. You can lead and develop a team of experts to deliver service improvements. You can help to evaluate and establish requirements for the implementation of changes by setting policy and standards.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Information security

You can maintain the security, confidentiality and integrity of information systems through compliance with relevant legislation and regulations. You can design, implement and operate controls and management strategies to allow this.

4 – Expert

You can demonstrate in-depth knowledge of information security. You can design, quality review and quality assure solutions and services with security controls embedded, specifically engineered with mitigation of security threats as a core feature.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Modern standards approach

You can apply a modern standards approach throughout automation and testing.

4 – Expert

You can demonstrate a strong understanding of the most appropriate modern standards and practices, and how they are applied. You can coach and guide others in these standards.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Programming and build (software engineering)

You can use agreed security standards and specifications to design, create, test and document new or amended software.

4 – Expert

You can advise on the right way to apply standards and methods to ensure compliance. You can maintain technical responsibility for all the stages and iterations of a software development project. You can provide technical advice to stakeholders and set the team-based standards for programming tools and techniques.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Prototyping

You can apply technical knowledge and experience to create or design workable prototypes, both programs and physical outputs. You can understand parameters, restrictions and synergies.

4 – Expert

You can use a variety of prototyping methods. You can share best practice and coach others. You can look at strategic service design end to end.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Service support

You can maintain and support services.

3 – Practitioner

You can identify, locate and fix faults.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Systems design

You can create the specification and design of systems to meet defined business needs. You can work with business and technology stakeholders to translate business problems into technical designs. You can visualise the ideal user service and come up with design ideas and possible design approaches. You can effectively explore different approaches to solving problems.

4 – Expert

You can design systems characterised by high levels of risk, impact, and business or technical complexity. You can control system design practice within an enterprise or industry architecture. You can influence industry-based models for the development of new technology applications. You can develop effective implementation and procurement strategies, consistent with business needs. You can ensure adherence to relevant technical strategies, policies, standards and practices.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – Systems integration

You can identify integration points between systems and processes, designing data contracts and communication between the components. You can make use of modern design patterns that reduce risk and complexity where possible. You can perform integration tests as part of the development process, drawing on suitable testing frameworks and methodologies.

3 – Practitioner

You can define the integration build. You can co-ordinate build activities across systems. You can understand how to undertake and support integration testing activities.

DDaT » Software Development

Software Development – User focus

You can understand users and identify who they are and what their needs are, based on evidence. You can translate user stories and propose design approaches or services to meet these needs. You can engage in meaningful interactions and relationships with users. You can show that you put users first and can manage competing priorities.

3 – Practitioner

You can collaborate with user researchers and can represent users internally. You can explain the difference between user needs and the desires of the user. You can champion user research to focus on all users. You can prioritise and define approaches to understand the user story, guiding others in doing so. You can offer recommendations on the best tools and methods to use.

This job role profile was created in collaboration with BCS, using Role Model Plus. BCS is the professional body that has the responsibility of updating this job family.

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