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Working As a Software Developer

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

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Developer 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 Software Developer

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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Software Developer Career Paths

Software Developer
Software Engineer Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Product Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Developer Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Manager Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Technical Analyst Systems Administrator Senior Technologist
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Developer Project Leader Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Developer Project Leader Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Consultant Senior Technical Consultant
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer User Interaction Designer User Experience Designer
Product Lead
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Software Designer 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Software Developer 3.0 years
Developer 2.2 years
Junior Developer 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Software Developer
Programmer 6.2%
Internship 6.0%
Developer 6.0%
Consultant 3.6%
Top Careers After Software Developer
Developer 5.4%
Consultant 4.5%

Do you work as a Software Developer?

Average Yearly Salary
$84,000
Show Salaries
$67,000
Min 10%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Barclays Capital
Highest Paying City
Redmond, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Software Developer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Developer in the United States is $84,632 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $67,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $105,000.

Real Software Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 29, 2019 $136,053
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 13, 2019 $136,053
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 03, 2019 $136,053
Software Developer Ciber, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 05, 2015 $130,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 21, 2016 $127,379
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 08, 2016 $127,379
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 08, 2016 $127,379
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 08, 2016 $127,379
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 26, 2016 $127,379
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 27, 2016 $127,379
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 20, 2015 $125,757
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 25, 2015 $125,757
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 12, 2015 $125,757
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 12, 2015 $125,757
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 19, 2015 $125,757
Enterprise Software Developer Mprsoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 10, 2019 $124,218
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 12, 2014 $122,886
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 28, 2014 $122,886
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 16, 2014 $122,886
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 17, 2014 $122,886
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 07, 2014 $122,886
Software Developer Sysintelli Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 24, 2019 $120,000
Software Developer Sysintelli Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 23, 2019 $120,000
Software Developer Ameritech Global Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 25, 2019 $114,982
Advanced Software Developer Kforce Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 03, 2018 $114,785 -
$187,830
Software Developer Blue Canopy Group, LLC Ashburn, VA Apr 30, 2018 $114,500
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA May 17, 2018 $114,000
Software Developer Ritham Inc. Ashburn, VA May 18, 2018 $113,778
Software Developer Shreekara Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 21, 2018 $113,755
Software Developer Shreekara Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 13, 2018 $113,755
Software Developer Qualsoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 03, 2017 $109,500
Software Developer ICSA Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 01, 2016 $108,000
Software Developer Enliven Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 14, 2019 $105,000
Consultant, ERP Software Developer Avanade Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2018 $105,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 22, 2019 $104,000
Software Developer Syscom Services Web Technology, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 01, 2018 $103,094
Software Developer Amiti Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 12, 2018 $102,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 10, 2018 $101,000
Software Developer Idol Soft, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 17, 2017 $100,000
Software Developer (Java/Jive) System Soft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 02, 2015 $100,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 22, 2019 $100,000 -
$105,000
Software Developer Computer Global Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 15, 2019 $97,000 -
$115,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 26, 2019 $97,000
Software Developer Imetris Corporation Ashburn, VA Jul 18, 2019 $97,000
Software Developer Computer Global Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 18, 2019 $97,000 -
$115,000
Software Developer System Soft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Jul 29, 2019 $97,000 -
$115,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 14, 2019 $97,000
Software Developer Data Glove Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2019 $97,000
Software Developer Keshav Consulting Solutions LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 27, 2019 $97,000
Software Developer Erp Cloud Technologies, LLC Ashburn, VA Jul 15, 2019 $97,000 -
$115,000
Software Developer Software Bots Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 08, 2019 $96,920
Software Developer Zillion Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 16, 2019 $96,595
Software Developer It Pandits Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 26, 2019 $96,595
Software Developer DPR Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 07, 2019 $96,595
Software Developer Aita Consulting Services, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 13, 2019 $96,595
Software Developer (Salesforce) TEK Ninjas Solutions LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2019 $96,595
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 25, 2019 $96,000
Software Developer Itiyam, LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 14, 2019 $95,000
Software Developer Altek Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 22, 2019 $95,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 22, 2019 $95,000 -
$100,000
Software Developer Altek Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 25, 2019 $95,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 25, 2019 $95,000
Software Developer Client Software Services LLC Ashburn, VA Apr 18, 2019 $95,000
Software Developer System Soft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 19, 2019 $95,000 -
$110,000
Software Developer Erp Cloud Technologies, LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 19, 2019 $95,000 -
$110,000
Software Developer Erp Cloud Technologies, LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 27, 2019 $95,000 -
$110,000
Software Developer I Client Software Services LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 14, 2018 $95,000
Software Developer Howard Hughes Medical Institute Ashburn, VA Oct 10, 2012 $95,000 -
$105,000
Software Developer Howard Hughes Medical Institute Ashburn, VA May 21, 2010 $95,000 -
$100,000
Software Developer Experis Us, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 07, 2019 $94,249 -
$146,090
Software Developer Itiyam, LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 14, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Lead It Corporation Ashburn, VA Mar 12, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 20, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer System Soft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 20, 2019 $94,000 -
$110,000
Software Developer System Soft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 21, 2019 $94,000 -
$110,000
Software Developer Bodhtree Consulting LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 21, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 21, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Insigma Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 21, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Sena Info Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 22, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Bodhtree Consulting LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 22, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 25, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 25, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Swartek Corporation Ashburn, VA Mar 27, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Bodhtree Consulting LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 28, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 29, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 29, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 07, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Nexus It Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 03, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 02, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 10, 2018 $94,000
Software Developer Federal Soft Systems Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 03, 2019 $93,934 -
$94,000
Software Developer Invincible Tech Systems Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 03, 2019 $93,934 -
$94,000
Software Developer Altek, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 01, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer Ipolarity LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 03, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer V3Tech Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 26, 2019 $93,933 -
$94,000
Software Developer Secureapp Technologies, LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 27, 2019 $93,933 -
$94,000
Software Developer/Program Analyst Vs-Soft, LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 29, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer V3Tech Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 18, 2019 $93,933 -
$94,000
Software Developer Compunnel Software Group, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 01, 2019 $93,933 -
$114,982
Software Developer Slashsupport Inc. Ashburn, VA May 15, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer Sritek Inc. Ashburn, VA May 29, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer Zillion Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 06, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer Delviom LLC Ashburn, VA May 01, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer Advancesoft Inc. Ashburn, VA May 15, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer Delviom LLC Ashburn, VA May 20, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer Aventerprise, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 27, 2018 $93,933
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2017 $93,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer Opulentsoft LLC. Ashburn, VA Nov 02, 2017 $93,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 04, 2017 $93,000
Software Developer Innovtech Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 15, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer ARKA Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 08, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer Sforce Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer Amiti Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 12, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 08, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 02, 2017 $93,000

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Top Skills for A Software Developer

  1. Web Application
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked across different large scale distributed system and web application for different products with varying technology stack using agile methodology.
  • Produced detailed program specifications and wrote complex PL/SQL queries for analyzing customer information and pulling reports at various levels.
  • Assisted in writing the specification documentation, designed the database schema, defined business objects and security practices.
  • Implemented various Validation Controls for form validation and implemented custom validation controls with JavaScript validation controls.
  • Developed an Inventory Reconciliation application that automatically reconciles and updates an Item table in SQL Server.

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Top 10 Best States for Software Developers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. District of Columbia
  4. New York
  5. Virginia
  6. Massachusetts
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Delaware
  9. North Carolina
  10. Texas
  • (5,404 jobs)
  • (12,403 jobs)
  • (1,053 jobs)
  • (4,508 jobs)
  • (4,893 jobs)
  • (2,872 jobs)
  • (380 jobs)
  • (363 jobs)
  • (2,769 jobs)
  • (7,186 jobs)

Software Developer 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 49,913 Software Developer 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 Software Developer Resume

View Resume Examples

Software Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

63.7%

Female

22.6%

Unknown

13.6%
Ethnicity

White

47.1%

Asian

26.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.3%

Black or African American

9.0%

Unknown

5.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.5%

French

11.4%

Chinese

7.6%

German

7.1%

Russian

5.4%

Japanese

5.4%

Portuguese

5.2%

Mandarin

5.1%

Arabic

4.3%

Hindi

3.0%

Italian

2.5%

Korean

2.2%

Cantonese

1.9%

Turkish

1.6%

Carrier

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Polish

0.9%

Telugu

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%
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Software Developer Education

Schools

University of Texas at Dallas

6.6%

Northeastern University

6.1%

University of Texas at Austin

6.0%

University of Houston

5.8%

Maharishi University of Management

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

Arizona State University

5.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.4%

San Jose State University

5.1%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.1%

Texas A&M University

5.1%

New York University

5.0%

More Tech Institute

4.9%

University of Washington

4.8%

University of Florida

4.7%

University of Southern California

4.4%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.1%

George Mason University

3.5%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.2%
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Majors

Computer Science

44.9%

Computer Engineering

12.0%

Electrical Engineering

6.6%

Information Technology

6.0%

Business

5.0%

Computer Information Systems

4.0%

Computer Applications

3.7%

Information Systems

3.2%

Engineering

2.3%

Mathematics

2.1%

Management Information Systems

1.7%

Finance

1.2%

Computer Programming

1.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.1%

Physics

1.1%

Computer Networking

1.0%

Mechanical Engineering

0.9%

Accounting

0.8%

Management

0.8%

Education

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.2%

Masters

37.8%

Other

8.7%

Associate

3.1%

Doctorate

2.6%

Certificate

1.7%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.0%
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