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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

  • $86,000

    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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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
Project Developer 2.3 years
Developer 2.2 years
Contract Developer 2.0 years
Web 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?

Contract Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

63.7%

Female

26.1%

Unknown

10.1%
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

University of Phoenix

8.2%

University of Texas at Austin

7.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

6.6%

Michigan State University

6.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.6%

University of Southern California

5.6%

Texas A&M University

5.1%

San Jose State University

5.1%

Purdue University

5.1%

University of California - Irvine

4.6%

DePaul University

4.6%

University of Georgia

4.6%

Capella University

4.6%

University of California - Berkeley

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

George Mason University

4.1%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.1%

New York University

3.6%

National University

3.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.6%
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Majors

Computer Science

26.1%

Business

20.3%

Computer Information Systems

6.8%

Computer Engineering

4.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.9%

Information Technology

3.3%

Mathematics

3.3%

Finance

3.1%

Management

3.0%

Communication

2.8%

Psychology

2.8%

Information Systems

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%

Political Science

2.5%

Accounting

2.5%

Computer Programming

2.3%

Graphic Design

2.2%

Education

2.0%

Computer Applications

1.9%

Engineering

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.8%

Masters

24.8%

Other

16.5%

Associate

7.1%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

2.8%

Diploma

0.9%
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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:
  • Crafted project vision document, business requirements document, and function requirements specification for web application.
  • Integrated legacy Oracle PL/SQL/Stored Procedures into Spring declarative transaction management.
  • Developed modules to collect data on an hourly basis for loading a 35 terabyte data warehouse for telecommunications engineers.
  • Added new functionality in printing, data delivery and screen population using SQL Server databases and LinQ queries.
  • Project Details: Converted a data collection/report generation application originally written in classic asp to ASP.NET.

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