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Become A GIS Developer

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Working As A GIS Developer

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

  • $87,122

    Average Salary

What Does A GIS 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 GIS 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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GIS Developer Jobs

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GIS Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

70.8%

Female

19.3%

Unknown

9.9%
Ethnicity

White

46.7%

Asian

24.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.2%

Black or African American

9.2%

Unknown

7.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

22.2%

Swedish

11.1%

Chinese

11.1%

German

11.1%

French

11.1%

Mandarin

11.1%

Korean

11.1%

Italian

11.1%
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GIS Developer Education

Schools

Clark University

8.7%

Arizona State University

6.5%

University of Akron

6.5%

University of Wisconsin Extension

6.5%

University of Arizona

6.5%

University of Texas at Dallas

6.5%

Kansas State University

6.5%

University of Florida

4.3%

University of Washington

4.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.3%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.3%

Texas State University

4.3%

Saint Louis University-

4.3%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

4.3%

Texas A&M University

4.3%

Florida International University

4.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.3%

California State University - Los Angeles

4.3%

Eastern Michigan University

2.2%

Gustavus Adolphus College

2.2%
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Majors

Geography

36.5%

Computer Science

19.5%

Business

5.0%

Information Technology

5.0%

Urban Planning

4.4%

Geology

3.8%

Civil Engineering

3.1%

Computer Applications

2.5%

Engineering

2.5%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Information Sciences

1.9%

Mathematics

1.9%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

1.9%

Mechanical Engineering

1.9%

Statistics

1.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Drafting And Design

1.3%

Computer Information Systems

1.3%

Photography

1.3%

Computer Engineering

1.3%
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Degrees

Masters

50.8%

Bachelors

35.1%

Other

7.3%

Certificate

2.6%

Doctorate

2.1%

Associate

1.6%

Diploma

0.5%
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Real GIS Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
GIS Developer Panoramic Solutions Group, LLC San Francisco, CA Jan 07, 2015 $198,265
GIS Developer Genuent, LLC San Francisco, CA Feb 16, 2016 $198,265
GIS Developer Panoramic Solutions Group, LLC San Francisco, CA Jul 01, 2015 $198,265
GIS Developer Panoramic Staffing LLC San Francisco, CA Jul 01, 2013 $177,395
GIS Developer Global Software Resources, Inc. Walnut Creek, CA Sep 30, 2016 $156,525
GIS Developer, Senior Pacific Gas & Electric Co San Francisco, CA Jan 22, 2015 $132,080
Gis/Edi Developer Judge Technical Services Inc. Lake Mary, FL Apr 28, 2014 $129,394
GIS Developer, Senior Pacific Gas & Electric Company San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2015 $125,445
GIS Developer Global Software Resources, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Jan 27, 2015 $117,000
GIS Developer Global Software Resources, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Jun 25, 2015 $117,000
GIS Developer Skillstorm Commercial Services LLC Los Angeles, CA Dec 14, 2012 $110,240
Gis/Edi Developer Infolob Solutions, Inc. Lake Mary, FL May 12, 2014 $108,524
Senior GIS Developer Razavi Application Developers, Inc. Washington, DC Sep 17, 2014 $106,537
GIS Developer Futura Systems Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 08, 2016 $84,500
GIS Developer Vnuit LLC Walnut Creek, CA Jun 16, 2016 $84,000
GIS Developer Spatial Business Systems, Inc. Lakewood, CO Jun 01, 2016 $82,000
GIS Developer Centaurus Technology Partners, LLC. Irving, TX Mar 22, 2016 $82,000
SR. GIS Developer Infotech Enterprises America, Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 24, 2014 $81,515
GIS Developer Infotech Enterprises America, Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 24, 2014 $81,515
Senior GIS Developer Logic Solutions Group LLC Houston, TX Feb 06, 2016 $81,500
GIS Developer Vnuit LLC Walnut Creek, CA Oct 05, 2016 $80,995
GIS Developer KCI Technologies Inc. MD Jan 01, 2015 $70,491
GIS Developer Cooperatives Computer Center, Inc. Castle Hayne, NC Sep 25, 2012 $70,000
GIS Developer Cyient, Inc. San Diego, CA Jul 10, 2014 $69,805
SR. GIS Developer Cyient, Inc. San Diego, CA Jul 10, 2014 $69,805
GIS Developer Bergmann Associates Buffalo, NY Sep 28, 2013 $69,618 -
$69,638
Engineer/Gis Developer Dewberry Consultants, LLC Fairfax, VA Jan 27, 2015 $69,618 -
$80,517
GIS Developer Tango Management Consulting, LLC Irving, TX Sep 03, 2013 $68,162
GIS Developer II England-Thims & Miller, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Apr 11, 2011 $67,954

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Top Skills for A GIS Developer

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  1. Web
  2. Arcgis
  3. Attribute Data
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Experienced with web-based administration via programmatic interaction with REST endpoints of published feature services.
  • Develop and customize application for SAP job tracking and SAP-GIS interface using ArcGIS Engine and C#.
  • Reviewed aerial photography to attribute data according to the EDM specifications.
  • Involved in complex shared environment upgrade with latest ESRI service packs (9.3.2) and patches.
  • Involved in the development of Drawing Different Symbols and loading the images on to the Maps using ESRI ArcGIS JavaScript API.

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Top 10 Best States for GIS Developers

  1. Virginia
  2. Washington
  3. Texas
  4. New York
  5. North Carolina
  6. Colorado
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Massachusetts
  9. California
  10. New Hampshire
  • (2,216 jobs)
  • (895 jobs)
  • (2,956 jobs)
  • (1,719 jobs)
  • (1,280 jobs)
  • (929 jobs)
  • (488 jobs)
  • (1,192 jobs)
  • (4,857 jobs)
  • (155 jobs)

Top GIS Developer Employers

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Jobs From Top GIS Developer Employers

GIS Developer Videos

Day in the Life: Software Engineer

Introduction to ArcGIS for Developers

How to become a Software Developer

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