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Become A Senior Software Specialist

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Working As A Senior Software Specialist

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

  • $109,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Software Specialist 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 Specialist

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 Specialist Career Paths

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

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
Top Careers Before Senior Software Specialist
Engineer 5.0%
Consultant 4.8%
Programmer 3.9%
Developer 2.7%
Top Careers After Senior Software Specialist
Consultant 7.8%
Owner 3.2%

Do you work as a Senior Software Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$109,000
Show Salaries
$85,000
Min 10%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$141,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Intuit
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does a Senior Software Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Software Specialist in the United States is $110,072 per year or $53 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $85,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $141,000.

Real Senior Software Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Modem Protocol SW, Senior Staff 2 Samsung Information Systems America, Inc. San Diego, CA Nov 11, 2013 $190,000
Modem Protocol SW, Senior Staff 2 Samsung Information Systems America, Inc. San Diego, CA Nov 11, 2013 $177,000
Senior Staff Software Egnineer Blackhawk Network, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Jul 05, 2016 $164,594
SR. Software Systems Specialist IBM Corporation San Jose, CA Oct 01, 2013 $160,000
Senior Software Engineeer N3N, Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 01, 2014 $150,000
SR. Software Eningeer Etouch Systems Corporation Fremont, CA Apr 20, 2016 $142,064
Senior Software Engiener-Personalization Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Mar 25, 2016 $142,000
Senior Staff Software Egnineer Blackhawk Network, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Oct 16, 2015 $135,200
Senior Software Engineeer Linkedin Corporation Mountain View, CA Mar 03, 2015 $135,000 -
$147,500
Senior Software Engineeer Apttus Corporation San Mateo, CA Apr 17, 2013 $130,000
Senior Software Engineeer Aruba Networks, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 13, 2014 $127,150 -
$157,150
Senior Software Eingger ETSY, Inc. New York, NY Feb 05, 2016 $125,000 -
$182,000
Senior Software Engineeer EMC Corporation Seattle, WA Jun 03, 2013 $125,000
Senior Software Engineeer EMC Corporation Franklin Town, MA Apr 29, 2013 $100,000
Senior Software UI Diversant LLC Austin, TX Apr 20, 2015 $100,000 -
$120,000
Senior Software Engineeer EMC Corporation Hopkinton, MA May 12, 2014 $100,000
Senior Software Enigneer System Soft Technologies LLC Atlanta, GA Dec 10, 2015 $100,000 -
$120,000
Senior Software Engineeer Aruba Networks, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 06, 2014 $98,675 -
$134,534
Senior Software Develper One Call Care Management Jacksonville, FL Mar 30, 2016 $97,864 -
$99,285
Senior Software Egnineer Accel International Inc. Bellevue, WA Feb 22, 2015 $97,300
SR. Technical Professional-Software Development Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 20, 2013 $96,500
Senior Software Engineeer EMC Corporation Hopkinton, MA Sep 01, 2014 $92,000
Senior Software Developere Pacifica Consulting Services, LLC Saint Peters, MO Sep 01, 2015 $91,104
Senior Software Engineeer EMC Corporation Hopkinton, MA Feb 11, 2013 $91,000
Senior Software Specialist Serve Virtual Enterprises, Inc. Saint Petersburg, FL Aug 26, 2013 $90,000
Senior Software Devleoper System Soft Technologies LLC Addison, TX Jan 31, 2016 $90,000 -
$115,000
Senior Software Specialist Serve Virtual Enterprises, Inc. Saint Petersburg, FL Jul 29, 2013 $90,000
Senior Software Specialist Serve Virtual Enterprises, Inc. New York, NY Jul 29, 2013 $90,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Software Specialist

  1. Web Application
  2. Database
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed extensive system and data analysis for converting project from windows application to web application.
  • Joint responsibility for the construction of a computerized database and full responsibility for its running and the statistical analysis of data.
  • Design, develop, maintain and deploy automated PL/SQL processes to enable data flow interfaces between systems.
  • Provided engineering support and second level technical support for global electronic messaging systems.
  • Developed a messaging system using RPC over XML in Java.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Software Specialists

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Utah
  4. Colorado
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Virginia
  7. Oregon
  8. Texas
  9. Arizona
  10. Nevada
  • (3,734 jobs)
  • (11,388 jobs)
  • (709 jobs)
  • (1,818 jobs)
  • (546 jobs)
  • (3,725 jobs)
  • (821 jobs)
  • (4,354 jobs)
  • (970 jobs)
  • (243 jobs)

Senior Software Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

66.8%

Female

22.3%

Unknown

10.9%
Ethnicity

White

55.6%

Asian

17.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.0%

Black or African American

10.3%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.0%

Portuguese

10.0%

Filipino

10.0%

Vietnamese

10.0%

Carrier

10.0%

Tagalog

10.0%

Urdu

10.0%

Korean

10.0%
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Senior Software Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.3%

Boston University

8.0%

Northern Illinois University

6.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

6.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.3%

Arizona State University

5.3%

San Jose State University

5.3%

University of Houston

5.3%

University of Connecticut

4.0%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

4.0%

Saint Edward's University

4.0%

Community College of the Air Force

4.0%

Harvard University

4.0%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

DePaul University

4.0%

University of North Texas

4.0%

University of Texas at El Paso

4.0%

San Diego State University

4.0%
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Majors

Computer Science

29.9%

Business

16.0%

Electrical Engineering

9.5%

Computer Engineering

8.1%

Computer Information Systems

5.3%

Computer Applications

4.8%

Information Technology

3.3%

Engineering

2.9%

Project Management

2.4%

Mathematics

2.4%

Finance

2.2%

Management

2.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Accounting

1.8%

Management Information Systems

1.5%

Information Systems

1.3%

Computer Programming

1.3%

Psychology

1.3%

Management Science

1.1%

Education

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Masters

28.0%

Other

12.6%

Associate

6.7%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

1.9%

Doctorate

1.7%
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