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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

  • $87,000

    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 Career Paths

Contract Developer
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Software Development Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Senior Consultant Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Project Leader Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Program Manager Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Owner Development Director Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Owner Director Information Technology Director
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Owner Director Of Sales Business Development Director
Solutions Director
13 Yearsyrs
Contract Software Engineer Software Engineer Lead Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Technical Project Manager Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Development Manager Manager Applications Development Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Contract Software Developer Senior Java Developer Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Web Developer Senior User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer User Interaction Designer User Experience Designer
Product Lead
7 Yearsyrs
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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
Web Developer 2.0 years
Contract Developer 2.0 years
Junior Developer 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Contract Developer
Developer 10.6%
Consultant 7.8%
Programmer 4.9%
Internship 3.1%
Top Careers After Contract Developer
Developer 13.6%
Consultant 8.9%
Owner 3.5%
President 2.0%

Do you work as a Contract Developer?

Average Yearly Salary
$87,000
Show Salaries
$55,000
Min 10%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$138,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Twitter
Highest Paying City
Santa Clara, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.1 years
How much does a Contract Developer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Contract Developer in the United States is $87,461 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $55,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $138,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Top Skills for A Contract Developer

  1. Web Application
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Data Warehouse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Advised and directed development and testing of FishGroups.com, an integrated web application for online communication.
  • Involved in coding Oracle stored procedures, functions, packages, triggers using PL/SQL.
  • Stored Procedures calculated End of Month rebates for Open Dealers using the fuel sales data from the SAP-SIMON data warehouse.
  • Modified existing stored procedures using TransactSQL.
  • Project Details: Converted a data collection/report generation application originally written in classic asp to ASP.NET.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Contract Developers

  1. California
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Texas
  4. Connecticut
  5. Massachusetts
  6. New York
  7. Virginia
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Delaware
  10. New Jersey
  • (6,830 jobs)
  • (846 jobs)
  • (4,819 jobs)
  • (845 jobs)
  • (1,780 jobs)
  • (2,728 jobs)
  • (3,485 jobs)
  • (212 jobs)
  • (257 jobs)
  • (2,483 jobs)

Contract Developer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,438 Contract Developer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Contract Developer Resume

View Resume Examples

Contract Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

66.2%

Female

27.7%

Unknown

6.1%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

9.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.2%

German

17.6%

French

9.8%

Danish

3.9%

Chinese

3.9%

Mandarin

3.9%

Arabic

3.9%

Swedish

2.0%

Icelandic

2.0%

Turkish

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Norwegian

2.0%

Armenian

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Italian

2.0%
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Contract Developer Education

Schools

Rochester Institute of Technology

7.6%

University of California - Irvine

6.7%

University of Kentucky

6.7%

Western Washington University

5.7%

DePaul University

5.7%

Purdue University

5.7%

Ohio University -

4.8%

University of South Florida

4.8%

University of Wisconsin Extension

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.8%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.8%

University of Texas at Austin

4.8%

University of Georgia

4.8%

Northeastern University

4.8%

George Washington University

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%

Bowling Green State University

3.8%

Florida State University

3.8%

Howard University

3.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

25.6%

Business

15.2%

Computer Engineering

5.8%

Computer Systems Security

5.6%

Information Technology

4.3%

Computer Information Systems

4.0%

Psychology

3.8%

Graphic Design

3.8%

Marketing

3.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.4%

Finance

3.1%

Political Science

2.9%

Computer Applications

2.9%

Management

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.7%

Biology

2.5%

Communication

2.0%

Mechanical Engineering

2.0%

Engineering

2.0%

Physics

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.8%

Masters

24.7%

Associate

9.0%

Certificate

5.5%

Doctorate

3.9%

High School Diploma

3.1%

Diploma

1.0%
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Updated May 18, 2020