Become A Software Developer

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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

  • $87,000

    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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605 Software Developer jobs

Caci International Inc.
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 5

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 5

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Frontend Software Developer

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Software Developer 4

$87,000 Estimated

Caci International
Ashburn, VA
HW-SW Requirements Specialist

$68,286 Estimated

Global Channel Management, Inc.
Ashburn, VA
Teradata Developer

$74,887 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Infrastructure Developer

$74,887 Estimated

Zillion Technologies
Ashburn, VA
COBOL Developer

$74,887 Estimated

Zillion Technologies
Ashburn, VA
COBOL Developer

$74,887 Estimated

Oracle
Ashburn, VA
Senior Software Developer (JoinOCI-Edge)

$107,851 Estimated

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Real Software Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Consultant, Software Development Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Fairfax, VA Apr 30, 2015 $365,225
Consultant, Software Development Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Phoenix, AZ Mar 27, 2015 $365,225
Quantitative Software Developer Two Sigma Investments, LP New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $240,000
Software Developer Business360, Inc. New York, NY Jan 11, 2015 $208,700
Mobile Software Developer Facebook, Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 15, 2015 $205,000
Tech Manager Software Development AOL Inc. New York, NY Mar 24, 2016 $200,928
Manager, Software Development 3 EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 14, 2016 $196,086
Software Developer Oracle America, Inc. CA Jun 05, 2016 $195,000 -
$217,375
Mobile Software Developer Whatsapp, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Dec 19, 2016 $194,262
Manager, Software Development 3 EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 11, 2016 $194,005
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Top Skills for A Software Developer

Pl/SqlWebFormsDatabaseMicrosoftSQLServerC#.NETJavascriptASPWindowsXPHtmlXMLProceduresUserInterfaceC/C++WebApplicationSoftwareDevelopmentCSSJSPWebServicesAjaxJquery

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Top Software Developer Skills

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Web Forms
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed Data Model and Developed Stored Procedures using PL/SQL.
  • Developed Web forms for User Interfaces using ASP.NET and C#.NET using Server controls, HTML controls and User controls.
  • Created data interfaces and insured referential integrity of SQL Server databases.
  • Provided coding support using popular languages such as VB.NET, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Developed the presentation logic using JSP and HTML pages and validated form fields using javascript technologies.

Top Software Developer Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Software Developer

  1. Tata Consultancy Services
  2. Epic Systems Corporation
  3. Hewlett Packard
  4. IBM
  5. Accenture
  6. Microsoft
  7. Ansys, Inc.
  8. Northrop Grumman
  9. HCL Technologies
  10. Sabre Holdings
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