As a software developer, you'll spend a lot of time analyzing what exactly customers need. In fact, you might put those needs ahead of other aspects of your job. After all, a happy customer means a happy business.

On top of assessing needs, you'll be responsible for making sure those needs are met through developing special software. You might even recommend certain upgrades for customers, if you feel that will help them along the way.

Most employers will expect you to have a bachelor's degree. So it looks like you might need to put some time and resources into your education. Just to make sure potential employers are impressed. If nothing else, the extra education may put you ahead of your colleagues.

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.

Learn more about what a Software Developer does

How To Become a Software Developer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Learn More About How To Become a Software Developer

Software Developer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Software Developer

Software Developers in America make an average salary of $87,521 per year or $42 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $113,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $67,000 per year.
Average Software Developer Salary
$87,521 Yearly
$42.08 hourly
$67,000
10 %
$87,000
Median
$113,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Software Developer
How To Become a Software Developer Career Overview

States With The Most Software Developer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active software developer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where software developers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Software Developer Jobs By State

Software Developer Education

Software Developer Majors

Software Developer Degrees

Bachelors

71.6 %

Masters

19.5 %

Associate

5.4 %

Top Colleges for Software Developers

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

8. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030

9. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

10. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

Top Skills For a Software Developer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.0% of software developers listed java on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Software Developer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Software Developer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Software Developer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Software Developer Resume
Software Developer Resume
Software Developer Resume
Software Developer Resume
Software Developer Resume
Software Developer Resume
Software Developer Resume
Software Developer Resume
Software Developer Resume
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Software Developer Resume
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Software Developer Demographics

Software Developer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
79%
Female
Female
21%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among software developers, 20.7% of them are women, while 79.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among software developers is White, which makes up 56.3% of all software developers.

  • The most common foreign language among software developers is Spanish at 31.5%.

Work Experience Programs For Software Developers

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Developer and Technology Program

Company: Accenture UK

Cost: Free

Duration: 5.75-8 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-4.5 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Blackbird Australia

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-10 hours

Token Service Technology Program

Company: Visa

Cost: Free

Duration: 2-3 hours

Advanced Software Engineering Program

Company: Walmart India

Cost: Free

Duration: 3.5-4 hours

Software Development Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4.5-5.5 hours

Developer Program

Company: Accenture Nordics

Cost: Free

Duration: 2-3 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: J.P. Morgan

Cost: Free

Duration: 5 hours

Law and Professional Development Program

Company: Clyde & Co

Cost: Free

Duration: 4.5 hours

Coding: Development & Advanced Engineering Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Online Courses For Software Developer That You May Like

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Best States For a Software Developer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a software developer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Oregon, and New York. Software developers make the most in California with an average salary of $105,486. Whereas in Washington and Oregon, they would average $105,203 and $91,925, respectively. While software developers would only make an average of $91,105 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Software Developer Jobs:
3,717
Highest 10% Earn:
$140,000
Location Quotient:
1.66

2. California

Total Software Developer Jobs:
12,886
Highest 10% Earn:
$142,000
Location Quotient:
1.44

3. Oregon

Total Software Developer Jobs:
1,790
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
Full List Of Best States For Software Developers

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Top Software Developer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ software developers and discovered their number of software developer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Compunnel Software Group was the best, especially with an average salary of $90,805. Oracle follows up with an average salary of $113,293, and then comes Mastech Digital with an average of $87,467. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a software developer. The employers include Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, and SAS Institute

Most Common Employers For Software Developer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Bloomberg$120,818$58.091,333
2Oracle$113,293$54.473,854
3Kforce$103,539$49.781,438
4Iris Software$96,274$46.29698
5Data$93,216$44.82688
6Orion Systems Integrators$92,155$44.31492
7Compunnel$90,805$43.666,803
8Diaspark$90,445$43.48962
9IBM$90,354$43.442,047
10Everest Holdings LLC$89,138$42.85528

Software Developer Videos

Becoming a Software Developer FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Software Developer?

It takes 2 years of professional experience to become a software developer. That is the time it takes to learn specific software developer skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 5 to 7 years years to become a software developer.

Can Software Engineers Work From Home?

Yes, software engineers can work from home. The normal requirements for a software engineer to work are an internet connection, a sufficiently fast computer, and a quiet area to focus. This means that working from home is an option for most software engineers. However, some people find it hard to focus at home due to family, insufficient space to work, or the lack of feeling of oversight. So, while working from home is an option, it might not be the best option for every engineer.



Before the pandemic, software engineers were one of the few professionals that were already working from home. For the above mentioned reasons, software engineers can have flexible work schedules where they work for part of the day at home and part of the day at the office. In fact, surveys have shown that over 30% of software engineers were already working from home part time.


Firmware Vs Software

Firmware is a form of low-level software that stands between the hardware and operating system, while the software is an application or program that runs on top of the operating system and has no direct interaction with hardware.

How Can I Become A Software Engineer At 30?

To become a software engineer at 30, sign up for an introductory coding course. There are free coding courses, or paid introduction courses through popular sites like Udemy, Codecademy, Skillshare and Linkedin Learning.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Software Developer?

It takes less than one year to become a software developer. You may be able to become a software developer in a matter of weeks depending on your capability. The fastest way to become a software developer is through a coding boot camp which can take between 17-36 weeks.

How To Prepare For A Coding Interview

You must be ready to display your skills in communication, problem-solving, technical competency, and testing in order to prepare for a coding interview.

Coding interviews are technical interviews used to determine a software engineer candidate's competencies by asking them to solve programming problems. Generally, coding interviews have a focus on data structures and algorithms, while other technical rounds may encompass system design, especially for mid to senior-level prospects.

Is Being A Software Developer A Fun Job?

Yes, being a software developer is a fun job. This is because the job allows for variety, both for your projects and your schedule.

Software engineering can be creative and cutting edge. For example, you can work on projects in anything from mobile development to web applications, or even make video games all day.

Is Being A Software Developer A Good Job?

Yes, being a software developer is a good job. Software developers are rewarded with various projects, a flexible work schedule, plenty of opportunities to grow, and good pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports software developers are projected to grow 22% through 2029.

Is Being A Software Developer Hard?

No, being a software developer is not hard. The job requires knowledge of programming, learning coding language, attention to detail, and being a team player. Software developers are responsible for designing computer applications and programs.

Web Developer Vs Software Developer

A web developer is a professional that works on websites and web applications, while a software developer is someone that focuses on computer programs for desktops and mobile devices.

A web developer's job focuses on making a website or web application visually appealing and easy to navigate. They also may be responsible for a website's performance and capacity. There are three different types of web developers, these include back-end web developers, front-end web developers, and full-stack web developers.

What Are The Qualifications To Be A Software Developer?

The qualifications to be a software developer vary depending on the job. It's helpful to have a Bachelor's of Information Technology or Computer Science to qualify for jobs as a software developer.

What Do You Need To Become A Software Developer?

To become a software developer, you will need ongoing training, self-motivation, and keeping up-to-date on technological advancements.

An important part of becoming a software developer is being able to have both good communication and be part of a team. Another important aspect is looking at screens and writing programming code.

What Is The Difference Between A Software Developer And A Software Engineer?

The difference between software developers and software engineers is that software engineers generally work on projects larger in scale and are able to handle the complete architecture of a project.

Computer Programmer Vs. Software Developer

A computer programmer is a tech professional that writes code and creates apps, while a software developer is the designer behind the app.

A computer programmer spends most of their time creating and testing new code, fixing glitches, and streamlining code to simplify the writing and reduce the chance of errors. They will use a variety of programming languages and test for errors to make sure that the code functions properly and the apps or software are running as expected.

Software Developer Vs. Programmer

A software developer uses code to modify, write, or debug software for end-customer use, while a programmer is a technician who specializes in code.

A software developer is a professional who writes, manages, and debugs the code in computer programs. They typically specialize in a specific type of coding language and manage other tasks related to software creation, modification, and management. They have a more holistic view of software and are involved in the full cycle of development.

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