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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:
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.
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Director Of Software Development
Top Careers After Director Of Software Development
Hispanic or Latino7.2%
Black or African American0.6%
Director Of Software Development
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University of Phoenix10.2%
Georgia Institute of Technology -6.6%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute6.3%
University of California - Berkeley5.1%
Santa Clara University5.1%
University of Texas at Austin5.1%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology4.7%
Stevens Institute of Technology4.3%
University of Colorado at Boulder4.3%
Johns Hopkins University4.3%
Pennsylvania State University3.9%
University of Southern California3.9%
University of Utah3.9%
Carnegie Mellon University3.9%
University of Florida3.9%
New York University3.5%
Arizona State University3.5%
Director Of Software Development
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Director of Software Engineering||Coursera Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Sep 18, 2016||$275,000|
|Director of Software Engineering||Developer Express Inc.||Glendale, CA||Jun 25, 2015||$240,000|
|SR. Director, Software Engineering||Ca, Inc.||Santa Clara, CA||Sep 26, 2016||$240,000|
|Director, Software Engineering||Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||May 01, 2015||$215,000|
|Director of Software Development||Salesforce.Com Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Jul 10, 2016||$214,947|
|Director, Software Development||Flextronics International USA||Mountain View, CA||Nov 17, 2015||$214,864 -
|Director, Software Engineer||Aruba Networks, Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Dec 09, 2015||$214,240|
|SR. Director, Software Engineering||EMC Corporation||Seattle, WA||Sep 23, 2015||$214,000 -
|Director, Software Engineering||Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.||San Bruno, CA||Jan 10, 2015||$210,000|
|Director, Software Engineering||Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.||San Bruno, CA||Oct 01, 2015||$210,000|
|Senior Director, Software Engineering||Beachbody, LLC||Santa Monica, CA||Sep 13, 2016||$210,000|
|Senior Director, Software Engineering||Beachbody, LLC||Santa Monica, CA||Sep 20, 2016||$210,000|
|Director, Software Development||Unigroup, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Apr 20, 2015||$206,000|
|Director, Software Engineering||SONY Network Entertainment International LLC||Los Angeles, CA||Feb 22, 2016||$205,000|
|Senior Director Software Development||Websense, Inc.||San Diego, CA||Aug 28, 2015||$171,745|
|Director, Software Engineering||Sears Holdings Management Corporation||Hoffman Estates, IL||Oct 17, 2016||$170,000|
|Director, Software Engineering||Sears Holdings Management Corporation||Plano, TX||Oct 21, 2016||$170,000|
|Director, Software Development||Audible Inc.||Newark, NJ||Aug 15, 2016||$169,126|
|Director, Software Development||IMS Health Incorporated||Wallingford, CT||Nov 19, 2016||$168,650|
|Director of Software Engineering||Healthedge Software, Inc.||Burlington, MA||May 01, 2016||$167,939|
|Director Software Development||NFP||Austin, TX||Aug 20, 2015||$165,922|
|Director, Software Engineer/IT EQ Cash Connectivity||UBS AG||New York, NY||Apr 03, 2016||$165,000|
|Director Software Development II||Fiserv Solutions Inc.||Sugar Land, TX||Nov 27, 2015||$133,455 -
|Director of Software Development||Haas Group International, Inc.||Austin, TX||Sep 02, 2015||$133,240|
|Associate Director, Software Engineer/Retail Trading||UBS Financial Services Inc.||Weehawken, NJ||May 07, 2015||$132,000|
|Director of Software Engineering||NCI Information Systems, Inc.||Washington, DC||Oct 26, 2015||$131,000 -
|Associate Director Jc40-Software Developer Application||Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S. Corporation||Teaneck, NJ||May 03, 2016||$130,666|
|Director, Software Engineering Development||National Financial LLC||Jersey City, NJ||Aug 26, 2016||$130,666 -
|Director-Software Engineering||Moody's Analytics||South San Francisco, CA||Sep 18, 2015||$130,540 -
|Director of Software Development||Arbor Health LLC||Franklin, TN||Jun 25, 2016||$130,500|
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