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Become A Senior Software Development Engineer

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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

  • $103,551

    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 jobs

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Senior Software Development Engineer Career Paths

Senior Software Development Engineer
Principal Software Engineer Software Architect Chief Technology Officer
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Principal Engineer Program Manager
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Java Developer Lead Developer Senior Consultant
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager Product Manager
Product Manager, Mobile
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Subject Matter Expert Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer/Architect Director Of Software Development Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Principal Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Java Developer Senior Software Engineer
Senior Java Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Java Developer Lead Technician Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Java Developer Interactive Developer Senior Web Developer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Assurance Engineer Senior Quality Engineer Engineering Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Senior Manager
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer/Architect Senior Software Architect Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Software Leader 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Software Designer 3.0 years
Software Developer 2.7 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Web Architect 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Programmer 3.2%
Consultant 2.7%
Developer 2.5%
Top Employers After
Co-Founder 4.2%
Consultant 4.0%
Architect 2.7%

Senior Software Development Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

75.7%

Female

17.2%

Unknown

7.0%
Ethnicity

White

58.4%

Asian

28.8%

Hispanic or Latino

7.3%

Unknown

4.0%

Black or African American

1.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

18.2%

Portuguese

9.1%

French

9.1%

Russian

9.1%

Hungarian

4.5%

Vietnamese

4.5%

German

4.5%

Dutch

4.5%

Japanese

4.5%

Norwegian

4.5%

Carrier

4.5%

Yiddish

4.5%

Arabic

4.5%

Xiang

4.5%

Korean

4.5%

Italian

4.5%
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Senior Software Development Engineer Education

Schools

University of Washington

13.4%

University of Texas at Dallas

7.2%

New York University

7.2%

University of Colorado at Boulder

6.2%

University of Central Florida

5.2%

San Diego State University

5.2%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.2%

Purdue University

5.2%

San Jose State University

4.1%

Stanford University

4.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.1%

University of Southern California

4.1%

University of Utah

4.1%

University of Dayton

4.1%

Auburn University

4.1%

Colorado State University

4.1%

Texas A&M University

3.1%

Washington State University

3.1%

University of Houston

3.1%

Temple University

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

40.9%

Electrical Engineering

13.6%

Computer Engineering

11.8%

Business

5.9%

Computer Information Systems

3.9%

Computer Applications

3.4%

Information Technology

3.0%

Physics

2.5%

Mathematics

2.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Mechanical Engineering

1.6%

Engineering

1.6%

Management Information Systems

1.4%

Information Systems

1.1%

Project Management

0.9%

Finance

0.9%

Mathematics And Computer Science

0.9%

Computer Networking

0.9%

Computer Programming

0.9%

Education

0.9%
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Degrees

Masters

44.4%

Bachelors

38.9%

Other

7.1%

Doctorate

3.9%

Associate

2.6%

Certificate

2.0%

Diploma

1.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Software Development Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Software Development Engineer In Test Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Nov 01, 2015 $250,000
SR. Software Engineer, Frontend Web Development ROKU, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Aug 29, 2016 $235,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Aug 20, 2016 $204,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Jul 15, 2016 $204,000 -
$224,000
Core Engineering Senior Software Developer Tower Research Capital LLC New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $200,000
SR. Software Engineer-Web Development ROKU, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Dec 12, 2016 $190,000
Lead Senior Software Development Engineer Governmentjobs.Com, Inc. El Segundo, CA Jan 20, 2016 $185,000
Lead Senior Software Development Engineer Governmentjobs.Com, Inc. El Segundo, CA Jan 30, 2016 $185,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Nbcuniversal Media LLC Seattle, WA Apr 27, 2015 $184,000
Tech Yahoo, Software Development Engineer, SR. Yahoo! Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 11, 2015 $180,000 -
$200,000
Tech Yahoo, Software Development Engineer, SR. Yahoo! Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 13, 2015 $178,000 -
$198,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Rainnet Systems, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Mar 10, 2016 $175,000
SR. Staff Software Development Engineer Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 26, 2015 $175,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Mar 26, 2015 $172,400
Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 30, 2015 $131,968 -
$160,073
Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 02, 2016 $131,968 -
$160,073
Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA May 02, 2016 $131,968 -
$160,073
Software Development Engineer-Senior Technical Consultant PTC Inc. Needham, MA Nov 15, 2016 $131,747
Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA May 01, 2016 $131,610 -
$159,634
Senior Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Issaquah, WA Nov 25, 2015 $131,525
Senior Software Development Engineer Infinera Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Jul 11, 2016 $131,515 -
$140,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Infinera Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Nov 07, 2016 $131,515 -
$140,000
Senior Software Development Engineer Camp Systems International Inc. Merrimack, NH Apr 05, 2016 $108,000
SR. PD Engineer-Software Development (Software Engineer) MCI Communications Services San Jose, CA Sep 02, 2016 $108,000
SR. Software Engineer/Captiva Developer RCR Technology Corporation Indianapolis, IN Aug 25, 2016 $108,000
SR. Software Development Engineer Windlogics, Inc. Saint Paul, MN Dec 22, 2016 $108,000 -
$118,000
Senior Software Development Engineer McAfee, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 05, 2015 $107,983
Senior Software Development Engineer Inovalon, Inc. Bowie, MD Jun 07, 2015 $107,702 -
$117,702
Senior Software Development Engineer Inovalon, Inc. Bowie, MD Jul 06, 2015 $107,702 -
$117,702
Senior Software Development Engineer Inovalon, Inc. Herndon, VA Jun 07, 2015 $107,702 -
$117,702

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Top Skills for A Senior Software Development Engineer

Pl/SqlSeleniumWebdriverWindowsC #DatabaseUserInterfaceSoftwareDevelopmentAPIC/C++XMLTestCasesSQLServerAutomationScriptsHtmlTestPlansLinuxArchitectureWebServicesLifeCycleTestAutomation

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Top Senior Software Development Engineer Skills

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Selenium Webdriver
  3. Windows
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed PL/SQL packages, procedures and functions and written complex Joins.
  • Designed and developed Page Objects using Page Object Design Pattern and Selenium WebDriver.
  • Lead the effort of enabling Single-Sign-On feature in Aperio by leveraging Windows Identity Foundation.
  • Created and maintained databases of known test defects.
  • Design and Implement User Interface for maintenance tracking system (Blueprint).

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