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Become A Senior Software Engineer/Architect

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Working As A Senior Software Engineer/Architect

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

  • $122,869

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Software Engineer/Architect 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 Engineer/Architect

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 Engineer/Architect Jobs

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Senior Software Engineer/Architect Career Paths

Senior Software Engineer/Architect
Director Of Software Development Chief Technology Officer Enterprise Architect
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Architect Principal Consultant Principal Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Architect Senior Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Owner Estimator Project Engineering Manager
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Architect Director Of Software Development Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development Program Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Software Architect Lead Architect Software Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Program Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Architect Senior Manager Product Management Director
Senior Director, Product Management
14 Yearsyrs
Lead Architect Project Manager Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer Solutions Architect Senior Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Owner Information Technology Specialist Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Software Architect Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Architect Chief Technology Officer Senior Project Manager
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Software Engineer/Architect?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Architect 3.1 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 5.0%
Programmer 1.9%
Top Employers After
Consultant 6.3%
Architect 4.8%
Owner 2.3%

Do you work as a Senior Software Engineer/Architect?

Senior Software Engineer/Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

86.8%

Female

8.6%

Unknown

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

50.0%

Asian

22.1%

Hispanic or Latino

12.2%

Black or African American

8.9%

Unknown

6.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.8%

Carrier

22.2%

French

16.7%

German

11.1%

Portuguese

5.6%

Japanese

5.6%

Norwegian

5.6%

Russian

5.6%
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Senior Software Engineer/Architect Education

Schools

George Mason University

8.9%

University of Phoenix

7.8%

Boston University

5.6%

Wayne State University

5.6%

Pennsylvania State University

5.6%

Northeastern University

5.6%

University of Texas at Austin

5.6%

Southern Methodist University

4.4%

Jacksonville State University

4.4%

Drexel University

4.4%

University of Louisville

4.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.4%

University of Houston

4.4%

Texas A&M University

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.4%

University of Utah

4.4%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.4%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.4%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.3%

California State University - Chico

3.3%
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Majors

Computer Science

40.6%

Computer Engineering

14.1%

Electrical Engineering

9.6%

Business

5.5%

Computer Information Systems

3.5%

Information Technology

2.9%

Information Systems

2.9%

Computer Applications

2.7%

Engineering

2.5%

Physics

2.1%

Management Information Systems

2.0%

Mathematics

2.0%

Mechanical Engineering

2.0%

Project Management

1.8%

Finance

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.2%

Computer Networking

1.0%

Marketing

0.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.8%

Mathematics And Computer Science

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.8%

Masters

36.0%

Other

10.2%

Doctorate

5.9%

Certificate

2.0%

Associate

1.9%

Diploma

0.2%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Software Engineer/Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Software Engineer/Architect-Big Data PLA Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Apr 28, 2014 $250,000
Senior Software Engineer/Architect Seismic Software, Inc. Solana Beach, CA Mar 25, 2016 $220,000
Senior Software Developer/Architect Seismic Software, Inc. Solana Beach, CA Mar 25, 2016 $220,000
SR. Software Engineer Architect Randstad Technologies, LP San Jose, CA Sep 04, 2012 $204,526
SR. Software Engineer Architect Randstad Technologies, LP San Jose, CA May 09, 2012 $204,526
Architect & Senior Software Developer Trueex Group LLC New York, NY Jan 15, 2015 $165,000
SR. Software Developer/System Architect Reliance First Capital, LLC Melville, NY Oct 01, 2013 $160,000
Senior Software Developer/Architect Galaxe.Solutions, Inc. Somerset, NJ Jul 04, 2016 $159,671
Senior Software Developer/Architect Galaxe.Solutions, Inc. Richardson, TX Jul 04, 2016 $159,671
Senior Software Architect/Engineer Futurewei Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Dec 22, 2012 $159,000
Senior Software Developer/Architect PCC Technology, Inc. Windsor, CT Sep 18, 2016 $150,000
Senior Software Engineer/Architect Techlink Systems Inc. San Francisco, CA May 18, 2012 $149,760
Senior Software Engineer and Architect Graphdive Inc. Palo Alto, CA Apr 02, 2012 $145,000
Senior Software Engineer/Architect Web2Web Marketing, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 17, 2012 $125,000
SR Software Engineer/Architect Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 27, 2011 $125,000
Senior Software Engineer/Architect Newlinenoosh, Inc. Mountain View, CA Nov 07, 2011 $125,000
Software Architect and Senior Developer Lead Hirepower Personnel, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 30, 2012 $121,900
Senior Software Engineer-Architect Expert System USA, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Nov 04, 2014 $120,000
SR. Software Developer/Architect Dataart Solutions, Inc. New York, NY Feb 09, 2016 $120,000
Senior Software Engineer/Architect, IT Technical Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Miramar, FL Apr 23, 2014 $118,845
SR. Software Engineer .02 Comp SYS Engs/Architects Egain Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Mar 17, 2016 $118,830
Senior Software Engineer/Architect Verisurf Software, Inc. Anaheim, CA Jul 16, 2012 $100,000 -
$130,000
Senior Software Architect In Research and Development Interlink Network Systems Coralville, IA Sep 11, 2015 $100,000
Senior Software Developer/Architect Runbeck Election Services, Inc. Tempe, AZ May 19, 2011 $99,237
Senior Software Engineer and Architect 5 Examples, Inc. Cary, NC Oct 01, 2012 $98,500
Senior Software Engineer and Architect 5 Examples, Inc. Cary, NC Sep 01, 2013 $98,500
Senior Software Developer & Architect August Ninth Analyses, Inc. Scarsdale, NY Sep 28, 2015 $98,400
Senior Software Engineer and Architect John Mezzalingua Associates LLC Deerfield, IL Jan 03, 2016 $98,000 -
$128,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Software Engineer/Architect

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  1. Web
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Architecture
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Burst AdConductor Admin Management - Lead developer/architect: Responsible for architectural design and development of the web portal framework.
  • Lead Developer supporting the NTOC mission developing Database applications/tools (Oracle 9i and 10g) using Oracle's PL/SQL.
  • Provide counsel and advice on technical documentation on JLLIS system architecture and how it operates and integrates within existing network infrastructures.
  • Acted as a data modeling/database design consultant to other software engineers on multiple application development projects.
  • Provided SQL 2008, 2008 R2 and 2012 database support for the Marketing data warehouse.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Software Engineers/Architect

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Virginia
  4. Texas
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New York
  7. Massachusetts
  8. North Carolina
  9. Colorado
  10. District of Columbia
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  • (19,170 jobs)
  • (5,580 jobs)
  • (6,633 jobs)
  • (518 jobs)
  • (5,211 jobs)
  • (4,417 jobs)
  • (2,840 jobs)
  • (2,816 jobs)
  • (942 jobs)

Top Senior Software Engineer/Architect Employers

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