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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

  • $76,890

    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 Videos

Software Developer SALARY

How to Become a Software Developer

Lottie - career advice from an Associate Software Developer | Sky Academy

Software Developer Jobs

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Software Developer Career Paths

Software Developer
Systems Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Senior Consultant Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Java Developer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Director Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Leader Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
NET Developer Senior Software Engineer Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Product Management Director
Senior Director, Product Management
14 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Software Engineering Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Software Developer?

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
Software Developer 3.0 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Developer 2.2 years
Contract Developer 2.1 years
Junior Developer 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Software Developer
Programmer 6.3%
Developer 5.6%
Internship 5.6%
Consultant 4.3%
Top Careers After Software Developer
Consultant 5.0%
Developer 5.0%

Do you work as a Software Developer?

Software Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

72.3%

Female

22.2%

Unknown

5.5%
Ethnicity

White

44.5%

Asian

29.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.1%

Black or African American

8.4%

Unknown

5.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.3%

French

11.7%

Chinese

7.4%

German

7.4%

Japanese

5.9%

Russian

5.7%

Portuguese

5.4%

Mandarin

5.1%

Arabic

4.1%

Hindi

3.5%

Italian

2.6%

Korean

2.3%

Cantonese

2.0%

Turkish

1.7%

Carrier

1.7%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Telugu

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%

Persian

0.9%
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Software Developer Education

Schools

Rochester Institute of Technology

7.2%

University of Texas at Dallas

6.8%

University of Texas at Austin

6.8%

University of Phoenix

6.3%

Northeastern University

6.2%

University of Houston

5.6%

Arizona State University

5.0%

University of Florida

4.9%

Maharishi University of Management

4.9%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

Syracuse University

4.6%

More Tech Institute

4.5%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.4%

George Mason University

4.4%

San Jose State University

4.3%

New York University

4.3%

University of Washington

3.9%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.9%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.8%

University of Southern California

3.7%
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Majors

Computer Science

43.3%

Computer Engineering

11.7%

Electrical Engineering

6.9%

Information Technology

5.9%

Business

5.8%

Computer Information Systems

4.3%

Computer Applications

3.5%

Information Systems

3.1%

Mathematics

2.1%

Engineering

2.1%

Management Information Systems

1.7%

Finance

1.3%

Computer Programming

1.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.1%

Physics

1.1%

Computer Networking

1.1%

Mechanical Engineering

0.9%

Management

0.9%

Project Management

0.9%

Accounting

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.6%

Masters

37.9%

Other

9.4%

Associate

3.3%

Doctorate

3.2%

Certificate

1.8%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.0%
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Software Developer Videos

Software Developer SALARY

How to Become a Software Developer

Lottie - career advice from an Associate Software Developer | Sky Academy

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Real Software Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
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 Jun 27, 2016 $127,379
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 08, 2016 $127,379
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 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 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
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 07, 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 12, 2014 $122,886
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 28, 2014 $122,886
Software Developer Ameritech Global Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 26, 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 Mar 13, 2018 $113,755
Software Developer Shreekara Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 21, 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
Consultant, ERP Software Developer Avanade Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2018 $105,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 17, 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 (Java/Jive) System Soft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 02, 2015 $100,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 17, 2019 $100,000 -
$105,000
Software Developer Idol Soft, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 17, 2017 $100,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2019 $97,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 18, 2019 $96,000
Software Developer Altek Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 12, 2019 $95,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 17, 2019 $95,000 -
$100,000
Software Developer Altek Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 15, 2019 $95,000
Software Developer Itiyam, LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 14, 2019 $95,000
Software Developer International Cloud Business Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 18, 2019 $95,000
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 Aug 30, 2019 $94,249 -
$146,090
Software Developer Itiyam, LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 16, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 11, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Lead It Corporation Ashburn, VA Mar 11, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer System Soft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 13, 2019 $94,000 -
$110,000
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 13, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Bodhtree Consulting LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 13, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 02, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Insigma Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 06, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Sena Info Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Bodhtree Consulting LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 17, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Swartek Corporation Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer Bodhtree Consulting LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 21, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 30, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2019 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 10, 2018 $94,000
Software Developer Compunnel Software Group, Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 25, 2019 $93,933 -
$114,982
Software Developer V3Tech Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2019 $93,933 -
$94,000
Software Developer Secureapp Technologies, LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 06, 2019 $93,933 -
$94,000
Software Developer/Program Analyst Vs-Soft, LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 02, 2019 $93,933
Software Developer Aventerprise, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 19, 2018 $93,933
Software Developer Ipolarity LLC Ashburn, VA Dec 27, 2018 $93,933
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 02, 2017 $93,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 04, 2017 $93,000
Software Developer Opulentsoft LLC. Ashburn, VA Nov 02, 2017 $93,000
Software Developer ARKA Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 08, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer Innovtech Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 15, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts 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 16, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer Amiti Consulting Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 13, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA May 17, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer II EGEN Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 25, 2018 $93,000 -
$130,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2017 $93,000
Software Developer Datalinx Corporation Ashburn, VA Apr 05, 2010 $93,000
Software Developer Attainica LLC Ashburn, VA Nov 20, 2017 $92,500
Software Developer Qualsoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 20, 2017 $92,500
Software Developer Kalsun Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 23, 2018 $92,500
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 10, 2018 $92,400
Software Developer Indotronix International Corporation Ashburn, VA Jun 04, 2018 $92,329
Software Developer (IT Analyst) Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 01, 2018 $92,329
Software Developer Care It Services Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2018 $92,100
Software Developer Amiti Consulting Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2018 $92,100
Software Developer Amiti Consulting Corporation Ashburn, VA Sep 27, 2018 $92,100
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 01, 2017 $92,100
Software Developer Bytefield Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 28, 2018 $92,050
Software Developer Vista Applied Solutions Group Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 30, 2018 $92,050
Software Developer Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 08, 2019 $92,019
Software Developer Mastech Digital Technologies, Inc., A Mastech Digital, Inc. Company Ashburn, VA Oct 12, 2017 $92,019 -
$107,019
Software Developer Mastech Digital Technologies, Inc., A Mastech Digital, Inc. Company Ashburn, VA Oct 10, 2017 $92,019 -
$107,019
Software Developer Hadiamondstar Software Solutions, LLC. Ashburn, VA Dec 27, 2017 $92,019
Software Developer Nexus It Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2018 $92,019
Software Developer Mastech Digital Technologies, Inc., A Mastech Digital, Inc. Company Ashburn, VA May 21, 2018 $92,019 -
$107,109
Software Developer Techpillars, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 16, 2018 $92,019 -
$100,000
Software Developer (Java UI) Appridat Solutions, LLC Ashburn, VA Aug 29, 2018 $92,019
Software Developer Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 16, 2018 $92,019
Software Developer Aureus Techsystems LLC Ashburn, VA Aug 15, 2017 $92,019
Software Developer Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 08, 2017 $90,646
Software Developer Nexus It Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2015 $90,000

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Top Skills for A Software Developer

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Web Forms
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed the database design and have written plain SQL queries and PL/SQL stored procedures, functions, packages, and triggers.
  • Served on a team that redesigned an older web forms based application into a modern, MVC 3 based application.
  • Indexed database for better performance, including analysis of various execution plans to identify eligible columns for indexing.
  • Developed internally used web applications for support and development.
  • Provided the user validations utilizing JavaScript.

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Top 10 Best States for Software Developers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. New York
  5. North Carolina
  6. Delaware
  7. Massachusetts
  8. New Jersey
  9. Virginia
  10. Colorado
  • (5,404 jobs)
  • (12,403 jobs)
  • (7,186 jobs)
  • (4,508 jobs)
  • (2,769 jobs)
  • (363 jobs)
  • (2,872 jobs)
  • (3,127 jobs)
  • (4,893 jobs)
  • (2,401 jobs)

Top Software Developer Employers

Jobs From Top Software Developer Employers

Software Developer Videos

Software Developer SALARY

How to Become a Software Developer

Lottie - career advice from an Associate Software Developer | Sky Academy

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