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Become A Principal Software Engineer

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Working As A Principal Software Engineer

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

  • $112,018

    Average Salary

What Does A Principal Software Engineer Do

A Principal Software Engineer is responsible for the technical aspects of an organization's projects. They diagnose, document, and troubleshoot systems to resolve problems identified through testing, as well as implement strategies to improve integration and efficiency.

How To Become A Principal Software Engineer

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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7,299 Principal Software Engineer jobs More

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Real Principal Software Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Software Engineer Twitter, Inc. New York, NY Jan 01, 2016 $265,000
Principal Software Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Nov 10, 2016 $231,000
Principal MTS, Software Engineer Paypal, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 12, 2015 $220,474
Principal Software Engineer ETSY, Inc. New York, NY Jun 15, 2016 $215,000
Principal Software Engineer VEVO LLC San Francisco, CA Nov 21, 2016 $215,000
Principal Software Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 19, 2016 $213,675
Principal Software Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 31, 2016 $213,675 -
Principal Software Engineer Microsoft Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Feb 23, 2015 $211,595
Principal Software Engineer Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 19, 2015 $210,662
SR. Principal Software Engineer Handset Asurion LLC San Mateo, CA Sep 03, 2015 $200,000
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Top Skills for A Principal Software Engineer


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Top Principal Software Engineer Skills

  1. C/C++
  2. Web Services
  3. Windows NT
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Code was written in C/C++ and Perl.
  • Architected and contributed to full stack data dissemination software for real time mission data via web services.
  • Designed and consulted on all matters related to Windows NT kernel level development.
  • Defined and developed software architecture, numerous system algorithms and GUI of monitor submitted for FDA approval.
  • Used PL/SQL Stored Procedures to query both the Planning and Finance databases.

Top Principal Software Engineer Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Principal Software Engineer

  1. Dell EMC
  2. CA Technologies
  3. Oracle
  4. Broadcom
  5. Dell
  6. Wiesenportz Enterprises, Inc
  7. Symantec
  8. Raytheon
  9. General Dynamics
  10. Fidelity Investments
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Principal Software Engineer Videos

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How to Become a Successful Software Engineer