Dorset Software

Dorset Software 2023 graduate opportunities

Company Company Profile

Dorset Software is a leading provider of IT consultancy services, with offices in both Oxford and Poole. We deliver innovative software development programmes to a range of high-profile clients spanning multiple industries.

IT experience is an advantage but not a prerequisite. Our comprehensive training programme gives you all the skills you need to thrive in a commercial software environment. After 2 years of working with a diverse range of clients, you’ll not only have gained a wealth of live development experience, but also a formal Level 4 qualification in Software Development.

With a relaxed environment, exceptional work-life balance and sociable colleagues, Dorset Software is the ideal place to start your career.

Apply: Dorset Software

Case Studies

[casestudy]
  • Name: Matt
  • Role: Developer
  • University: Queen Mary University of London
  • Degree: MSci Mathematics, PhD Mathematical Sciences

After completing my studies I was interested to find out what opportunities were available in the IT industry. I came across the advertisement for positions at Dorset Software and applied. I didn’t have much IT experience but the work sounded really interesting. The interview process was very friendly and I was offered a job shortly after.

My first few months were spent completing a training course which included a range of modules. After training I worked at a number of client sites, working on websites and desktop applications. The work was varied across a number of industries including health care, finance, and online retail. Working at client sites is a great way to be exposed to different technologies and gave me valuable experience.

For the last three years I’ve worked on a team managing internal and client systems and every day is different. One day we could be deploying a new version of an application to a client system, the next day we could be solving a connectivity issue involving SQL server instances or creating a new set of virtual machines in the cloud. Covering different types of work in this way has really helped to improve my knowledge and skills.

The social side of Dorset Software is fantastic. There are lots of activities including summer parties organised by the company and informal weekly gatherings at the pub. There are also a number of sporting activities that are subsidised by the company. I would say that Dorset Software is a great place to start your career in IT.

[casestudy]
  • Name: Lauren
  • Role: Developer
  • University: University of Southampton
  • Degree: MMath Mathematics

I studied Mathematics at university since I really enjoy the problem solving involved and the satisfaction you gain when you find the solution, but when I finished my degree I had no idea what type of career I wanted to pursue! Until I came across the job advert for Dorset Software, I hadn’t considered a career in IT. My experience in IT was very limited; I had gained some from volunteering but didn’t have any experience in programming at all. However Dorset Software caught my attention straight away, not only due to the fact that no specific IT knowledge was required but also that it gave me a cheerful and welcoming feel from the off.

After applying for the job, I received a response and had a preliminary interview the following day, then was invited to attend an interview in Poole shortly after. I found the interview as stress free as it could be! Everyone was really friendly, I was given a lot of useful information about the company and I got a sense then that it would be a great environment to work in. A couple of days after that I received a job offer, so the whole process was very quick.

You start right from the basics which was perfect for someone like me who had no experience in programming at all, but is also good for those with experience since it provides an introductory refresher. At times I may have struggled more than others due to my initial lack of knowledge, however I was constantly supported by a mentor who was always happy to help. The same can also be said beyond the training, there is always someone available to provide help and advice when needed. Overall the training was intense and I definitely learnt a lot in a short amount of time.

Recently I have been writing step by step test cases based on test plans, testing new releases of clients’ systems before they are delivered, contributing to the maintenance of systems currently being used by clients and providing them with help and advice. There are many opportunities for me to apply the skills I learnt during my degree, for example, using my analytical skills to understand the specification for a system in order to determine whether an issue reported is a bug or expected behaviour. The work is varied and interesting so no two days are the same!

I think Dorset Software is great company to work for. The working environment is relaxed and friendly and there is a fantastic collaboration between employees. Aside from the work itself there is also a great social community! There are various social events during the year and sporting activities during the week which provide brilliant opportunities to get to know your colleagues.

[casestudy]
  • Name: Arun
  • Role: Developer
  • University: University of Birmingham
  • Degree: MSci Physics with International Study

I applied for Dorset Software as the graduate roles sounded really appealing, and it seemed like an ideal transition into the technology industry from university, especially having minimal prior experience in programming. The fact that a small percentage of employees come from a computer science related background made me feel a lot more confident about the whole procedure.

The application process was really smooth and responsive; after applying online I had a friendly chat to get to know me further and learn a bit about my degree. Shortly after that I was invited to an interview day down in Poole, where you meet some members of staff and they give you a picture into day-to-day life at the company. I found the interview itself to be really insightful, and they don’t pounce on you with any sneaky, technical questions. It’s also a great opportunity to have a look around Poole and get to know the area, and maybe hit up the beach if the weather’s nice! Within a week of the interview I received my offer to start the following month.

Right from the off you’re assigned a mentor who offers support with your training, as well as any other aspect of life at Dorset Software. During the training you learn a range of programming concepts, such as C#, SQL Database, and HTML. I found these training courses thorough and challenging, and you really feel like you’ve learnt something new every day. Also, with my mentor’s assistance and regular progress meetings, I never felt too overwhelmed or out of my depth.

Once training has finished, you’ll move onto a real project; either in-house or on client site. These projects can be anything from fixing bugs in an existing system, to programming entirely new software from scratch. My first client site was at an international financial service company, working on actuarial modelling and risk management software. This was an exciting opportunity to experience working at a larger company, and Dorset Software made the transition really easy, sorting out all the accommodation and travel arrangements I needed.

My favourite part of Dorset Software is the working atmosphere, and how easy it felt to integrate within the company. Because most people join as graduates, you’re surrounded by like-minded, friendly people, and there are several social and sporting activities to take part in outside of work. The office is an open and relaxed environment, set in a really nice location, and this combined with the free fruit and biscuits on offer makes it a great place to work!

[casestudy]
  • Name: David
  • Role: Project Manager
  • University: University of West London
  • Degree: BMus Music Performance

Description:

My route into working at Dorset Software was slightly unusual in the fact that I wasn’t a graduate that had recently finished a degree course. I had studied music at university and spent the last 13 years of my career as a musician in The Royal Marines Band Service. I had decided on a career change and wanted to move into the technology industry as this had always been an interest of mine. I had been learning some programming skills in my spare time and was also studying towards a BSc in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation. I was looking to move into Project Management as I had some qualifications in this area. I saw an advert for a Graduate Project Manager position at Dorset Software and did some research into the company. It looked like an interesting place to work so I decided to give them a call and see if someone in my position would be considered for the role. I was asked to send in my CV and a couple of days later I received a call inviting me to interview.

The interview day was very informative and friendly, giving a great overview of the company and explanation of the roles within it. I was impressed with the time taken by the company to engage with potential employees. I was successful at interview and joined a month later as a Graduate Project Manager.

Once started I was straight into the training which began with learning some of the tools and methodologies used in Project Management, culminating in taking the exam for the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification, which is industry recognised. The rest of my training was quite hands on working alongside another Project Manager acting as a mentor and working on some of the current projects. This was all great experience preparing me for when I would manage my first project. What’s great about the training at Dorset Software is that you are always supported by colleagues and mentors, offering their expertise and advice whenever needed.

I have been at Dorset Software just under a year now and have managed a variety of projects from complete new system builds to smaller website upgrades. It’s challenging at times but enjoyable and rewarding when everyone pulls together to produce a successful project.

My advice to anyone looking at applying to Dorset Software would be go for it! If you want access to top level training and want to be part of a friendly and supportive company, then there should be nothing holding you back.

[casestudy]
  • Name: Zac
  • Role: Developer
  • University: University of Manchester
  • Degree: MPhys Physics with Astrophysics

I studied Physics with Astrophysics at university which gave me some basic IT experience. I became familiar with a wide variety of different software applications, did an introductory programming course and had some labs working with digital electronics. I therefore had quite broad interest and experience in IT.

Shortly after submitting my application I had a short preliminary interview and was then invited to an interview in Poole. The company paid for my travel expenses to come down and even offered to pay for a hotel for me to stay in overnight. The interview process was really relaxed. A couple of days after my interview I received an offer to start the next month.

After completing my training I began to work in the IT systems management team. This work covered a broad range of activities and applications. From writing SQL scripts to alter data in databases, to customising various off the shelf applications, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Kentico. I also spent time providing fixes and instructing end users on how to use Dorset Software’s custom applications.

Possibly the best part of working in Poole is that instead of having a long commute on the tube, like most of my friends back home, I have a short cycle along the beach.

[casestudy]
  • Name: Brad
  • Role: Solutions Analyst
  • University: University of Bristol
  • Degree: MSci Chemistry

Description:

My undergraduate thesis project involved the study of using a virtual reality environment to model chemical reactions, and entailed some basic coding and software testing activities. I had also gained some IT experience through my customer service work with EE, where I helped customers configure their new devices and solved issues with their current ones. Combining all this with my own personal interest in technology, led me to apply for the role at Dorset Software.

After completing my training, I went to one of our client sites where I had the amazing opportunity to develop my Automation Testing skills. The training is fantastic, and you can end up a competent IT consultant after just a few months. There’s a wide range of things to be working on, and no two weeks are the same.

Following my client assignment and some further in-house project work, I decided to switch streams to become a Solutions Analyst; this is a more commercially focussed role and involves lots of communication with clients, which is an element I really enjoy. This also gave me the opportunity to be a bit more local to Poole; the travel that comes with going to client sites is stress free thanks to our wonderful Logistics department, but I do adore the scenery of Poole and Dorset – so it is nice to be around a bit here more. Places such as Chesil Beach, Hamworthy Beach, and Durdle Door are wonderful for summer and winter walks.

The social life is great, there is our weekly Which Pub, where a different pub is picked each week for a collective Friday evening visit. Bournemouth is also great, with lots of shops, bars, restaurants, and the famous beaches!

Application Procedure

Our recruitment process is one of the simplest and friendliest around. Take our 5-minute survey, then send us your CV and cover letter when prompted. After that it’s a short and informal video chat, followed by an introduction to the company, meet some of the team and a face to face interview at our Poole office. No tests or assessments!

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