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Become A Developer

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Working As A Developer

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

  • $71,620

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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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Developer Career Paths

Developer
Team Leader Business Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Module Lead Project Leader Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Development Administrator Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Technical Project Manager Implementation Manager
Integration Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Lead Technician Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Project Leader Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Module Lead Systems Analyst Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Technical Consultant Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Consultant Product Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Interactive Developer User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Manager Applications Development Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Operations Manager Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Developer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Developer 3.1 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Software Developer 2.6 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
Solution Developer 2.3 years
Contract Developer 2.1 years
Web Developer 2.0 years
Developer 2.0 years
Junior Developer 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Developer
Consultant 6.4%
Programmer 6.1%
Internship 3.6%
Top Careers After Developer
Consultant 7.2%

Do you work as a Developer?

Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

69.6%

Female

25.9%

Unknown

4.5%
Ethnicity

White

44.8%

Asian

29.6%

Hispanic or Latino

11.6%

Black or African American

8.6%

Unknown

5.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.4%

French

12.5%

Chinese

5.4%

German

5.4%

Mandarin

4.8%

Russian

4.8%

Hindi

4.0%

Portuguese

4.0%

Japanese

4.0%

Arabic

3.3%

Italian

3.1%

Carrier

2.3%

Korean

2.1%

Cantonese

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Hebrew

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Telugu

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Thai

0.8%
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Developer Education

Schools

More Tech Institute

10.3%

University of Phoenix

9.7%

University of Houston

5.4%

University of Texas at Dallas

5.3%

New York University

5.3%

University of Texas at Austin

5.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

Texas A&M University

4.7%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.5%

San Jose State University

4.5%

Northeastern University

4.2%

Purdue University

4.1%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.0%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.0%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.9%

University of Florida

3.9%

DePaul University

3.9%

University of California - Berkeley

3.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

33.2%

Computer Engineering

8.4%

Electrical Engineering

8.3%

Computer Applications

7.9%

Business

7.7%

Information Technology

6.4%

Engineering

5.1%

Computer Information Systems

4.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.5%

Information Systems

2.2%

Mathematics

2.0%

Mechanical Engineering

1.9%

Finance

1.6%

Management Information Systems

1.5%

Graphic Design

1.4%

Management

1.4%

Communication

1.2%

Education

1.2%

Accounting

1.1%

English

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.6%

Masters

30.6%

Other

11.3%

Associate

3.5%

Doctorate

1.9%

Certificate

1.8%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.1%
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Developer Videos

Day in the Life: Software Developer

WATCH THIS IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A WEB DEVELOPER! - Web Development Career advice

How to Be a Game Developer - Up at Noon

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Developer Institute for Building Technology & Safety (IBTS) Ashburn, VA Sep 30, 2017 $118,600
RPA Developer Karyo E-Systems Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 18, 2019 $104,350
Azure Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Xml/Xslt Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Microsoft Dynamics AX Developer GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 16, 2018 $96,000
Microsoft Dynamics AX Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 16, 2018 $96,000
Microsoft Dynamics AX Developer GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA May 16, 2018 $96,000
Mulesoft Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Python Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Python Developer GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Qlik View Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Xamerian Developer GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Angular Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Devops Docker Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Perl Developer GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 08, 2018 $95,000
Pega Developer GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2019 $94,000
Python Developer Swartek Corporation Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2019 $94,000
Pega Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2019 $94,000
Python Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2019 $94,000
Documaker Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2019 $94,000
Full Stack Developer E-Giants Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2019 $93,933
RPA Developer Custard Interface Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 15, 2019 $93,933
Dynamics NAV Developer Idol Soft, Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 02, 2018 $93,915
Appian Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2018 $93,000
RPA Developer I3Infotek, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 11, 2018 $93,000
RPA Developer Ciphernine Inc. Ashburn, VA May 17, 2018 $92,050
Full Stack Developer Datalysys, LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 17, 2018 $92,019
Mscrm Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2018 $92,019
Full Stack Developer Citratek Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 15, 2019 $87,667
Teradata Developer Kennedy International Software, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 29, 2017 $87,000
RPA Developer Karyo E-Systems Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 18, 2019 $83,480
RPA Developer Karyo E-Systems Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 19, 2019 $83,480
RPA Developer Karyo E-Systems Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 20, 2019 $83,480
Hyperion Developer Dimension Consulting Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2013 $80,018
Share Point Developer G3 Infotek Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 20, 2016 $80,000
Share Point Developer G3 Infotek Inc. Ashburn, VA May 19, 2016 $80,000
Senior.Net Developer Newt Global Consulting, LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 01, 2011 $78,775
Senior.Net Developer Newt Global Consulting, LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 06, 2011 $78,775
Platform Developer Gerent LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 15, 2019 $75,000
Python Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2019 $74,000
Servicenow Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2019 $74,000
Full Stack Developer Zillion Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 06, 2019 $72,862
MDM Developer Softpath System LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 05, 2019 $72,862
Appian Developer Zillion Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2017 $71,000
Sterling OMS Developer GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 18, 2017 $70,000
Ms.Net Developer First Object Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 08, 2016 $68,000
Developer Cerebrum Software Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 10, 2015 $67,600
Developer International Technologies Pro, LLC Ashburn, VA Oct 11, 2010 $62,067
Developer Cerebrum Software Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2015 $60,000
Developer International Technologies Pro, LLC Ashburn, VA Jul 07, 2010 $60,000 -
$70,000

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Top Skills for A Developer

  1. Web
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Data Warehouse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed and developed module integrating web payments and inventory management with accounting system.
  • Created stored procedures and Triggers using PL/SQL, Created tables, Views and other database objects using SQL Server 2000.
  • Performed regular backup of data warehouse, backup of various production, development repositories including automating and scheduling processes.
  • Developed application for exporting audio from client machine to Database server using CGI, Perl, HTML, Oracle and C++.
  • Utilize scripting languages like JavaScript to develop and configure customized QuickBase Applications.

What is it like to work as a Developer

5.0

Nice career

June 5, 2019 on Zippia

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Top 10 Best States for Developers

  1. New York
  2. Virginia
  3. Washington
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Georgia
  7. California
  8. Nebraska
  9. Utah
  10. Nevada
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Top Developer Employers

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Jobs From Top Developer Employers

Developer Videos

Day in the Life: Software Developer

WATCH THIS IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A WEB DEVELOPER! - Web Development Career advice

How to Be a Game Developer - Up at Noon

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