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Working As A Senior Software Development Engineer

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

  • $115,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Software Development Engineer 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 Senior Software Development Engineer

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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Senior Software Development Engineer Career Paths

Senior Software Development Engineer
Principal Software Engineer Principal Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Principal Engineer Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Principal Engineer Senior Project Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Java Developer Senior Consultant Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Java Developer Senior Consultant Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Java Developer Lead Technician Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Project Manager Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Project Leader Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Project Leader Information Technology Manager
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Project Manager Engineering Director
Research And Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Manager Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Senior Project Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Project Manager Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Project Leader Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Software Architect Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer/Senior Tester Senior Systems Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Senior Software Development Engineer
Developer 3.8%
Programmer 2.4%
Consultant 1.9%
Engineer 1.4%
Internship 1.4%
Top Careers After Senior Software Development Engineer
Consultant 3.4%

Do you work as a Senior Software Development Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$115,000
Show Salaries
$88,000
Min 10%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$150,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Hulu
Highest Paying City
Cupertino, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Senior Software Development Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Software Development Engineer in the United States is $115,743 per year or $56 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $88,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $151,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Senior Software Development Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Software Development Engineer In Test Netflix, Inc. Nov 01, 2015 $250,000
SR. Software Engineer, Frontend Web Development ROKU, Inc. Aug 29, 2016 $235,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Jul 15, 2016 $204,000 -
$224,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Aug 20, 2016 $204,000
Core Engineering Senior Software Developer Tower Research Capital LLC Jan 08, 2016 $200,000
SR. Software Engineer-Web Development ROKU, Inc. Dec 12, 2016 $190,000
Lead Senior Software Development Engineer Governmentjobs.com, Inc. Jan 30, 2016 $185,000
Lead Senior Software Development Engineer Governmentjobs.com, Inc. Jan 20, 2016 $185,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Nbcuniversal Media LLC Apr 27, 2015 $184,000
Tech Yahoo, Software Development Engineer, SR. Yahoo! Inc. Jun 11, 2015 $180,000 -
$200,000
Tech Yahoo, Software Development Engineer, SR. Yahoo! Inc. Jan 13, 2015 $178,000 -
$198,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Rainnet Systems, Inc. Mar 10, 2016 $175,000
SR. Staff Software Development Engineer Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. Aug 26, 2015 $175,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Mar 26, 2015 $172,400
Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Yahoo! Inc. Apr 02, 2016 $131,968 -
$160,073
Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Yahoo! Inc. Nov 30, 2015 $131,968 -
$160,073
Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Yahoo! Inc. May 02, 2016 $131,968 -
$160,073
Software Development Engineer-Senior Technical Consultant PTC Inc. Nov 15, 2016 $131,747
Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Yahoo! Inc. May 01, 2016 $131,610 -
$159,634
Senior Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Nov 25, 2015 $131,525
Senior Software Development Engineer Infinera Corporation Jul 11, 2016 $131,515 -
$140,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Infinera Corporation Nov 07, 2016 $131,515 -
$140,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Camp Systems International Inc. Apr 05, 2016 $108,000
SR. Software Development Engineer Windlogics, Inc. Dec 22, 2016 $108,000 -
$118,000
SR. PD Engineer-Software Development (Software Engineer) MCI Communications Services Sep 02, 2016 $108,000
SR. Software Engineer/Captiva Developer RCR Technology Corporation Aug 25, 2016 $108,000
Senior Software Development Engineer McAfee, Inc. Aug 05, 2015 $107,983
Senior Software Development Engineer Inovalon, Inc. Jul 20, 2015 $107,702
Senior Software Development Engineer Inovalon, Inc. Jul 14, 2015 $107,702
Senior Software Development Engineer Inovalon, Inc. Jul 06, 2015 $107,702 -
$117,702

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Top Skills for A Senior Software Development Engineer

  1. Test Cases
  2. Selenium Webdriver
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and executed test cases and automation regression testing using Selenium Web Driver.
  • Developed automated scripts using Selenium WebDriver and Implemented Frame work using Java Script.
  • Developed Unix shell scripts and Pro*C. Developed numerous PL/SQL based Packages facilitating code reuse and software maintenance.
  • Implemented synchronizing processes between the pension account system database and SMS/email platform databases to send pension account information to external customers.
  • Performed object-oriented Web application development, designed and coded new programs and resolved numerous technical issues and managed ongoing system support.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Software Development Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. New York
  4. Virginia
  5. Oregon
  6. Texas
  7. Colorado
  8. New Hampshire
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Massachusetts
  • (7,628 jobs)
  • (20,281 jobs)
  • (4,997 jobs)
  • (5,845 jobs)
  • (1,363 jobs)
  • (7,069 jobs)
  • (2,809 jobs)
  • (518 jobs)
  • (879 jobs)
  • (4,595 jobs)

Senior Software Development Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,021 Senior Software Development Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Senior Software Development Engineer Resume

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Senior Software Development Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

75.1%

Female

17.6%

Unknown

7.3%
Ethnicity

White

46.9%

Asian

27.8%

Hispanic or Latino

11.7%

Black or African American

7.9%

Unknown

5.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

19.4%

German

11.1%

French

11.1%

Portuguese

5.6%

Japanese

5.6%

Russian

5.6%

Korean

5.6%

Hindi

2.8%

Hungarian

2.8%

Mandarin

2.8%

Vietnamese

2.8%

Romanian

2.8%

Dutch

2.8%

Assamese

2.8%

Carrier

2.8%

Yiddish

2.8%

Bengali

2.8%

Xiang

2.8%

Norwegian

2.8%

Arabic

2.8%
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Senior Software Development Engineer Education

Schools

University of Washington

13.7%

University of Texas at Dallas

7.7%

More Tech Institute

6.0%

San Jose State University

5.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.1%

University of Illinois University Administration

5.1%

Bellevue College

4.3%

University of Central Florida

4.3%

Indiana Institute of Technology

4.3%

Santa Clara University

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

University of Southern California

4.3%

University of Texas at Austin

4.3%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.3%

George Mason University

4.3%

University of Connecticut

3.4%

New York University

3.4%

University of California - Davis

3.4%

Stanford University

3.4%
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Majors

Computer Science

40.0%

Electrical Engineering

14.3%

Computer Engineering

10.9%

Business

5.6%

Information Technology

3.3%

Computer Applications

3.0%

Computer Systems Security

2.6%

Mathematics

2.3%

Engineering

1.9%

Management Information Systems

1.8%

Computer Networking

1.8%

Computer Information Systems

1.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.6%

Physics

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%

Management

1.4%

Finance

1.4%

Information Sciences

1.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.2%

Marketing

0.9%
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Degrees

Masters

45.8%

Bachelors

41.3%

Doctorate

4.0%

Certificate

3.9%

Associate

2.5%

Diploma

2.0%

High School Diploma

0.3%

License

0.2%
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Updated May 18, 2020