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Become A Lead Software Developer

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Working As A Lead Software Developer

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

  • $94,600

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Software 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.


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 Lead Software Developer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.


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.


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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Lead Software Developer jobs

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Lead Software Developer Career Paths

Lead Software Developer
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Contractor/Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Solutions Architect Program Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Management Consultant Product Manager
Product Manager, Mobile
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Senior .NET Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Senior Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Senior Java Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer Information Technology Specialist Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Contractor/Consultant
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Chief Technology Officer Senior Project Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Technology Architect Software Architect Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
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Lead Software Developer Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Chinese

  • French

  • Marathi

  • Carrier

  • Hindi

  • Korean

  • Japanese

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Real Lead Software Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Lead, Software Development Adobe Systems Incorporated San Jose, CA Sep 22, 2016 $205,000
Project Lead, Software Development Adobe Systems Incorporated San Jose, CA Oct 10, 2016 $181,000
Lead Software Developer Whispertext, Inc. CA Jan 07, 2016 $165,000
Lead Software Developer Whispertext, Inc. CA Mar 17, 2016 $165,000
Lead Software Developer Tigertext, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jan 09, 2016 $165,000
Lead Software Developer Whispertext, Inc. CA Jan 09, 2016 $165,000
Lead Software Developer Whispertext, Inc. CA Aug 15, 2015 $160,000
Lead Computer Scientist, Software Development Adobe Systems Incorporated San Jose, CA Jan 07, 2016 $158,325
Lead Software Developer Populus Group LLC Folsom, CA Dec 09, 2016 $156,525
Team Lead, Software Developer Thomson Reuters (Markets) LLC New York, NY Aug 23, 2015 $147,350
Team Lead/Software Developer Thomson Reuters Markets LLC New York, NY Apr 22, 2015 $147,350
Team Lead, Software Development Group Air Worldwide Corporation Boston, MA Feb 04, 2015 $118,893
Lead Software Developer Renwood Realtytrac, LLC Irvine, CA Sep 08, 2015 $118,500
Lead Software Developer Ansys, Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 27, 2016 $117,998 -
Lead Software Developer Ansys, Inc. Austin, TX Oct 21, 2015 $117,894 -
Lead Software Developer Ansys, Inc. Canonsburg, PA Feb 04, 2015 $117,000
Lead Software Developer Ansys, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Feb 04, 2015 $117,000
Team Lead Software Development Fortinet, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 18, 2016 $116,494
Lead Software Developer Capital IQ, Inc. New York, NY Dec 25, 2016 $115,000 -
Team Lead, Software Development Infor (Us), Inc. Greenville, SC Feb 12, 2016 $102,594
SR. Technical Lead, Software Developer Applications IB Technology Solutions Inc. Westlake Village, CA Sep 16, 2015 $102,500
Lead Software Developer Advantagetec Inc. San Rafael, CA Feb 09, 2016 $102,400
Lead Software Developer Qwest Corporation Littleton, CO Mar 02, 2015 $102,107
Lead Software Developer Sita Information Networking Computing USA, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 10, 2016 $101,613
Lead Software Developer Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques Atlanta, GA Jan 10, 2016 $101,613
Lead Software Developer Centurytel Service Group, LLC Monroe, LA Oct 15, 2015 $101,525
Team Lead Software Development Sabre GLBL Inc. Southlake, TX Sep 17, 2015 $101,500 -

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Top Skills for A Lead Software Developer


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Top Lead Software Developer Skills

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Web Services
  3. Database Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Debugged Oracle PL/SQL troubleshooting and fixing bugs in Business Objects reports.
  • Designed and developed REST web services using Jersey Framework.
  • Conducted performance evaluations; responsible for relational database design and performance, code reviews, standardized cod
  • Migrated Access Databases to Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Worked with Windows support team and management to configure Windows 7 notebook fleet for proper functioning with proprietary software suite.

Top Lead Software Developer Employers

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