Conrad, Software Engineering Academy Leader gives his top tips for the coding test in the application process

Early Careers posted on 19 Jan

“What great candidates on the Software Engineering Academy all demonstrate is their passion for Technology.”

Sky Careers

It really doesn’t matter what you’ve studied. Genuinely. We get asked this question all the time on campus and what great candidates on the Software Engineering Academy all demonstrate is their passion for Technology.

This may be through studying a Computer Science or IT related degree or not! You could be studying something like Geography or Art but enjoy coding or creating apps, anything that would make you someone that would fully embrace the great training and development opportunities provided on the programme which will ultimately give you all the tools you need to be a great Software Developer.

We need to see this on your application. When you’re asked “Why Sky?” and “Why this programme?” you need to ensure you’ve spent time identifying the reasons that the role stands out. It’s not enough to say Sky’s a big company with great opportunities…. Ask your careers service for advice, they’re there to help.

If your written application is successful, you’ll be asked to complete a coding test.  They’ll be a set deadline for this giving everyone the same opportunity to show us their skills. This is a key way of us identifying your suitability for the role. As highlighted above your background doesn’t matter but we’re looking for the below in your response:

  • Good coding structure
  • Code efficiency
  • Non repeating code I.e. Use of loops rather than repeating the same piece of code over and over again
  • Ability to meet a brief – providing a response that meets this rather than going off on a tangent
  • Evidence of code you have actually created
  • Testable code


We get lots of messages on the best approach to take when completing the task, so we caught up with Conrad who heads up the Software Engineering Academy to give you some tips on how to approach the test. Here are his top tips:

  • Read the brief carefully – sounds obvious, but be really clear on what you’ve been asked to do
  • Break the test down into modules
  • Plan your work – it’ll really help you to reach the end goal
  • Choose your technologies carefully and use a modern day web language. You can pick whichever one you’d like to use that you feel is best suited to completing the task
  • Test you code and make sure it works as you would expect it to – when we view it, you want us to see it at its best so this is a must!
  • Use of frameworks is permitted, but don’t over use them
  • If you don’t have knowledge in a particular area, then research it, look it up online and then apply it.  It’s not cheating and something that we really look for.


The most important thing though is take you time and don’t rush. When submitting your final solution provide us with some documentation on how to get the test running. A zipped folder is our preferred way of receiving it but if you struggle to submit this way, using something like Dropbox is acceptable, just send us the link and all the information we’ll need to access it.

A telephone interview and assessment centre will then follow where we’ll get a chance to find out plenty more about you.