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Become A Senior Systems Software Engineer

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Working As A Senior Systems Software Engineer

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

  • $113,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Systems Software 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 Systems Software 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 Systems Software Engineer Career Paths

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

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Senior Systems Software Engineer
Consultant 3.4%
Programmer 2.4%
Top Careers After Senior Systems Software Engineer
Consultant 5.0%

Do you work as a Senior Systems Software Engineer?

Senior Systems Software Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

76.5%

Female

13.4%

Unknown

10.1%
Ethnicity

White

54.0%

Asian

19.0%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Black or African American

10.0%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.5%

Chinese

10.0%

Carrier

10.0%

Japanese

7.5%

French

7.5%

German

7.5%

Portuguese

2.5%

Turkish

2.5%

Czech

2.5%

Korean

2.5%

Persian

2.5%

Kannada

2.5%

Slovak

2.5%

Hindi

2.5%

Mandarin

2.5%

Thai

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Russian

2.5%
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Senior Systems Software Engineer Education

Schools

Arizona State University

7.2%

University of Phoenix

7.2%

Johns Hopkins University

6.4%

George Washington University

6.0%

University of Texas at Austin

6.0%

Northeastern University

5.6%

Florida State University

5.2%

National University

4.8%

George Mason University

4.8%

San Jose State University

4.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.4%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.4%

Texas A&M University

4.4%

San Diego State University

4.4%

Brigham Young University

4.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.0%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.0%

University of California - San Diego

4.0%

Colorado Technical University

4.0%
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Majors

Computer Science

35.3%

Electrical Engineering

14.4%

Computer Engineering

11.1%

Business

8.3%

Computer Information Systems

3.9%

Mathematics

2.9%

Information Technology

2.8%

Information Systems

2.5%

Engineering

2.3%

Management Information Systems

2.2%

Physics

2.1%

Management

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Project Management

1.5%

Computer Applications

1.5%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.5%

Systems Engineering

1.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.0%

Education

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.7%

Masters

37.1%

Other

11.5%

Doctorate

3.3%

Associate

3.2%

Certificate

2.2%

Diploma

1.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$113,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$89,000
Min 10%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$142,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Barclays Global Investors
Highest Paying City
San Mateo, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does a Senior Systems Software Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Systems Software Engineer in the United States is $113,237 per year or $54 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $89,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $143,000.

Real Senior Systems Software Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Software Engineer-Video Systems Netflix Los Gatos, CA Nov 19, 2015 $300,000
Senior Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Nov 21, 2016 $195,000
Engineer, SR. Principal-Software Systems Broadcom Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Feb 08, 2016 $192,000
SR. Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Nov 19, 2015 $187,800 -
$205,478
Senior Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Oct 05, 2016 $180,300
Senior System Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Oct 21, 2016 $180,000
SR. Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 14, 2016 $178,500
Senior Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 19, 2016 $177,000
Engineer, SR. Principal-Software Systems Broadcom Corporation Sunnyvale, CA May 14, 2016 $174,161
SR. Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jan 12, 2015 $170,000 -
$185,307
Senior Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 12, 2016 $169,000
SR. Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Nov 19, 2015 $165,000 -
$186,216
Senior Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 12, 2016 $165,000
Senior Systems Software Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Nov 14, 2016 $165,000
Senior Software Systems Engineer ELO Touch Solutions, Inc. Milpitas, CA Jan 08, 2015 $134,534
Tech Yahoo, Software Systems DEV Engineer, Senior Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 15, 2015 $132,642 -
$205,500
Engineer Senior Systems Software Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jun 06, 2015 $132,642 -
$189,897
Engineer Senior Systems Software Nvidia Corporation Redmond, WA Mar 08, 2016 $132,142 -
$138,000
Engineer Senior Systems Software Nvidia Corporation Redmond, WA May 31, 2016 $132,142 -
$132,840
Engineer Senior Systems Software Nvidia Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 08, 2016 $132,142 -
$135,800
Engineer, SR. Staff-Software Systems Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Sep 23, 2015 $132,140
Senior Software Engineer/Embedded Systems Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. San Jose, CA May 20, 2015 $111,698 -
$132,100
Senior Software Systems Engineer Pyramid Consulting Inc. Alpharetta, GA Mar 05, 2016 $111,400
Senior Software/System Test Engineer/SW Testing Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 10, 2015 $111,342 -
$132,600
Engineer, SR. Staff-Software Systems Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Apr 27, 2016 $110,434
Senior Software Engineer/System Integration & Test Qualcomm Technologies Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jan 09, 2015 $110,094 -
$136,400
Senior Systems and Software Engineer Sensus Healthcare LLC Boca Raton, FL Aug 10, 2015 $110,000
Senior System Software Engineer Akamai Technologies, Inc. San Mateo, CA Jun 04, 2015 $110,000 -
$140,000
Senior Software Systems Engineer Byteware Inc. Alpharetta, GA May 04, 2015 $110,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Systems Software Engineer

  1. Test Cases
  2. Software Development
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design and execute functional and non-functional test cases to validate business and engineering requirements using HPQC.
  • Developed, analyzed and improved software development and maintenance Processes and Procedures including metrics analysis and documentation.
  • Designed/designed/implemented ALIS 2.0.1.0 performance test scenarios using SILK, PL/SQL and R for overall performance test in Windows 2012 server domain.
  • Reviewed Maintenance Operational Program software algorithms implemented in C++.
  • Developed a web application (Catalog Administrator) using MS Framework 2.0 and MS MVC 2.0 (Razor) and Ajax.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Systems Software Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Virginia
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Texas
  6. Illinois
  7. District of Columbia
  8. North Carolina
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Nevada
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