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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

  • $112,000

    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.

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 Lead Software 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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Lead Software Developer Career Paths

Lead Software Developer
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager
Product Director
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Leader Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Leader Senior Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Senior Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Program Manager Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Owner Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Service Delivery Manager Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Solutions Architect Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Solutions Architect Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Consultant Systems Architect Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lead Software Developer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Software Developer 2.6 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Lead Software Developer
Consultant 4.4%
Programmer 4.2%
Developer 3.0%
Internship 1.9%
Top Careers After Lead Software Developer
Consultant 4.9%
Developer 2.8%

Do you work as a Lead Software Developer?

Lead Software Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

75.1%

Female

14.1%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

52.0%

Asian

18.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

10.5%

Unknown

5.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

18.2%

Spanish

18.2%

French

13.6%

Marathi

9.1%

Carrier

9.1%

Hindi

9.1%

Arabic

9.1%

Korean

9.1%

Japanese

4.5%
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Lead Software Developer Education

Schools

University of Houston

7.4%

University of Phoenix

7.4%

University of Texas at Austin

7.4%

Texas A&M University

7.0%

University of Southern California

6.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.2%

Purdue University

4.8%

More Tech Institute

4.8%

National University

4.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.4%

Drexel University

4.4%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.4%

Florida International University

3.9%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.9%

University of Illinois University Administration

3.9%

University of Florida

3.9%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.9%

New York University

3.5%

George Washington University

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

40.2%

Computer Engineering

11.5%

Business

8.7%

Electrical Engineering

7.9%

Computer Information Systems

5.0%

Information Technology

3.2%

Computer Applications

2.8%

Information Systems

2.8%

Mathematics

2.3%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Engineering

2.1%

Finance

1.9%

Project Management

1.6%

Physics

1.6%

Management

1.2%

Mechanical Engineering

1.2%

Computer Programming

1.0%

Computer Networking

0.9%

Mathematics And Computer Science

0.8%

Accounting

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.2%

Masters

36.1%

Other

10.0%

Doctorate

2.9%

Associate

2.8%

Certificate

1.8%

Diploma

1.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$112,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$86,000
Min 10%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$147,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Lead Software Developer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Lead Software Developer in the United States is $112,649 per year or $54 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $86,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $147,000.

Real Lead Software Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Software Application Developer Wise Men Consultants, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 26, 2016 $245,440
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 Mar 17, 2016 $165,000
Lead Software Developer Whispertext, Inc. CA Jan 09, 2016 $165,000
Lead Software Developer Tigertext, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jan 09, 2016 $165,000
Lead Software Developer Whispertext, Inc. CA Jan 07, 2016 $165,000
Software Developer Lead, Research IT Barclays Services Corp. New York, NY Aug 09, 2016 $160,000
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
Software Developer, Technical Lead Rodan & Fields, LLC San Francisco, CA Nov 23, 2016 $157,743
Team Lead Software Development Sabre GLBL Inc. Southlake, TX Jun 27, 2016 $114,941 -
$126,500
Team Lead Software Development Sabre GLBL Inc. Southlake, TX Nov 15, 2015 $114,941 -
$152,300
Team Lead Software Development Sabre GLBL Inc. Southlake, TX Sep 21, 2016 $114,941
Software Developer; Lead Software Developer Anchor Loans Cerritos, CA Oct 19, 2015 $114,837
Lead Software Developer Superior Solutions Inc. Milford Mill, MD Apr 04, 2016 $114,338
Lead Software Developer Ansys, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 03, 2015 $113,589 -
$130,000
Lead Specialist-Enterprise Software Developer Domino's Pizza, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Oct 28, 2016 $113,000
Software Developer & Support Team Lead Amdocs, Inc. Bensenville, IL Sep 09, 2016 $113,000
Lead Software Developer Anchor Loans, LP Cerritos, CA Oct 01, 2015 $100,000
Lead Software Developer Amdocs Inc. Richardson, TX Nov 05, 2016 $99,070
Lead Software Developer Amdocs, Inc. Richardson, TX Jun 09, 2016 $99,000
Lead Software Developer Qwest Corporation Dublin, OH Nov 15, 2016 $98,862
Team Lead Software Development Sabre GLBL Inc. Southlake, TX Jan 22, 2016 $98,775
Project Leader/Software Developer Cleversafe, Inc. Chicago, IL Oct 15, 2015 $98,758
Lead Software Developer Amdocs Inc. Bothell, WA Sep 15, 2016 $98,500
Lead Software Developer The Nielsen Company (Us), LLC Schaumburg, IL Dec 25, 2015 $98,300

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Top Skills for A Lead Software Developer

  1. Web Application
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and Implemented Spring Security to create a unified authentication mechanism for 2 web applications.
  • Designed, developed and implemented pricing functionality using OO design in C/C++, PL/SQL, Oracle, and Pro*C tools.
  • Implemented database schema to dynamically display web content based on user-type and affiliated access permissions.
  • Developed bank customer queue management application in Qt/MySQL.
  • Recommended and improved software development methodology corporate-wide.

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Software Developers

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Maryland
  5. New York
  6. Colorado
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Texas
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Arizona
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