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Become A Contract Developer

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Working As A Contract Developer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $91,410

    Average Salary

What Does A Contract Developer Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Duties

Software developers typically do the following:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functionality of software, such as the level of security and performance needs. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it.

If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to the programmers.

Developers who supervise a software project from the planning stages through implementation sometimes are called information technology (IT) project managers. These workers monitor the project’s progress to ensure that it meets deadlines, standards, and cost targets. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

The following are examples of types of software developers:

Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the general public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

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How To Become A Contract Developer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Education

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.

Advancement

Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.

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Contract Developer Jobs

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Contract Developer Career Paths

Contract Developer
Senior .NET Developer Lead Technician Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Freelance Web Developer Web Application Developer Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst Implementation Manager
Integration Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior .NET Developer Senior Consultant Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Freelance Web Developer Senior Web Developer Senior Project Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Contract Software Engineer Principal Software Engineer Software Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Senior Consultant Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Architect And Developer Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Senior Director, Product Management
14 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Project Leader Product Manager
Senior Product Marketing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Lead Technician Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Interactive Developer User Experience Designer User Experience Architect
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Contract Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Engineering Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Contract Software Developer Software Development Engineer Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Management Consultant Product Manager
Vice President, Product Management
13 Yearsyrs
Contract Software Developer Principal Software Engineer Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Interactive Developer Engineer Senior Project Manager
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
Architect And Developer Information Technology Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Vice President-Products
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Contract Developer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Developer 3.1 years
Software Developer 2.6 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Solution Developer 2.3 years
Developer 2.2 years
Contract Developer 2.0 years
Junior Developer 1.4 years
Top Employers Before
Developer 10.6%
Consultant 8.8%
Programmer 5.1%
Internship 2.4%
Manager 1.9%
Instructor 1.9%
Top Employers After
Developer 13.3%
Consultant 9.7%
Programmer 2.8%
Owner 2.4%
President 2.1%

Do you work as a Contract Developer?

Contract Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

70.3%

Female

27.5%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

9.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.0%

German

16.0%

French

12.0%

Chinese

4.0%

Mandarin

4.0%

Russian

4.0%

Arabic

4.0%

Turkish

2.0%

Danish

2.0%

Icelandic

2.0%

Vietnamese

2.0%

Filipino

2.0%

Ukrainian

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Armenian

2.0%

Tagalog

2.0%

Italian

2.0%
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Contract Developer Education

Schools

Michigan State University

6.7%

University of Phoenix

6.7%

University of Texas at Austin

6.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.0%

University of Southern California

6.0%

San Jose State University

5.2%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.2%

Texas A&M University

5.2%

University of Louisville

5.2%

Oregon State University

5.2%

University of California - Irvine

4.5%

George Mason University

4.5%

University of Connecticut

4.5%

University of Washington

4.5%

DePaul University

4.5%

Purdue University

4.5%

National University

3.7%

University of California - Berkeley

3.7%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.7%
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Majors

Computer Science

24.8%

Business

21.4%

Computer Information Systems

5.5%

Electrical Engineering

4.6%

Computer Engineering

4.1%

Mathematics

4.1%

Management

3.9%

Accounting

3.4%

Finance

3.0%

Computer Programming

2.7%

Education

2.7%

Political Science

2.7%

Information Systems

2.7%

Communication

2.3%

English

2.1%

Graphic Design

2.1%

Information Technology

2.1%

Management Information Systems

2.0%

Marketing

2.0%

Fine Arts

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.3%

Masters

27.1%

Other

16.7%

Associate

6.2%

Certificate

3.7%

Doctorate

2.9%

Diploma

1.1%
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Top Skills for A Contract Developer

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  1. Web
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Data Warehouse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed POC for subscription and alerting capability through web services on NoSQL platform for Distributed Common Ground System (Army).
  • Created packages & stored procedures in PL/SQL utilizing SQL Developer for Oracle 11g.
  • Developed modules to collect data on an hourly basis for loading a 35 terabyte data warehouse for telecommunications engineers.
  • Converted Visual FoxPro application from version 7 to version 9 migrate data from native FoxPro tables to MS SQL Server database.
  • Project Details: Converted a data collection/report generation application originally written in classic asp to ASP.NET.

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