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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

  • $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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Software Developer jobs

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Software Developer Career Paths

Software Developer
Systems Analyst Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Interactive Developer Senior Web Developer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer
Lead Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Lead Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Java Developer Senior Software Engineer
Principal Software Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Business Analyst Product Manager
Product Manager, Mobile
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Senior .NET Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer
Senior Java Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Developer Analyst Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Software Engineer
Senior Programmer Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Quality Assurance Analyst
Senior Quality Assurance Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Java Developer Interactive Developer
Senior Web Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
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Software Developer Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    72.6%
  • Female

    21.9%
  • Unknown

    5.4%

Ethnicity

  • White

    58.3%
  • Asian

    28.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    8.3%
  • Unknown

    4.2%
  • Black or African American

    1.1%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    27.6%
  • French

    11.9%
  • Chinese

    8.2%
  • German

    7.9%
  • Japanese

    6.3%
  • Russian

    5.4%
  • Mandarin

    5.3%
  • Portuguese

    5.0%
  • Arabic

    3.8%
  • Hindi

    3.3%
  • Italian

    3.1%
  • Korean

    2.4%
  • Cantonese

    1.9%
  • Carrier

    1.9%
  • Turkish

    1.5%
  • Hebrew

    1.0%
  • Vietnamese

    1.0%
  • Urdu

    0.8%
  • Persian

    0.8%
  • Polish

    0.8%
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Software Developer

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Software Developer Education

Software Developer

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Real Software Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Developers, Systems Software Inovant LLC Ashburn, VA Aug 13, 2014 $140,000 -
$160,000
Manager of Software Development DF Property Management, LLC Ashburn, VA Aug 29, 2016 $135,000
Software Developers, Applications Mprsoft Inc. Ashburn, VA May 31, 2017 $131,000
Software Developers, Applications Istream Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 16, 2017 $130,333
Software Developers, Applications Vivsoft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 21, 2017 $130,333
Software Developers, Applications SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2017 $130,333
Software Developers, Systems Software Dimension Data Cloud Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 07, 2017 $130,229
Software Developers, Applications Advancesoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 21, 2017 $130,000
Software Developer Ciber, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 05, 2015 $130,000
Software Developers, Systems Software Inovant LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 21, 2012 $127,754 -
$147,754
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 21, 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 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 Nov 20, 2015 $125,757
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 12, 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 Nov 19, 2015 $125,757
Software Developers, Applications Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 19, 2014 $122,886
Software Developer SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 07, 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 Developers, Applications Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 26, 2014 $122,886
Software Developers, Applications Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA May 21, 2014 $122,886
Software Developers, Applications Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 04, 2014 $122,886
Software Developers, Applications Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 19, 2014 $122,886
Software Developers, Applications Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 24, 2014 $122,886
Software Developers, Applications Southport Services Group, LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 02, 2014 $122,886
Software Developers, Applications Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 10, 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 Developers, Applications Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 17, 2014 $120,050
Software Developers, Applications Realty Direct, Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 21, 2013 $120,020 -
$130,000
Software Developers, Applications Dfuse Technologies Ashburn, VA Apr 03, 2014 $120,016
Software Developers, Applications IBTS Ashburn, VA Jul 17, 2017 $118,600
Software Developers, Systems Software Istream Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA May 03, 2017 $116,875
Software Developers, Applications Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 14, 2014 $116,397
Software Developers, Applications Pioneer Corporate Services Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 28, 2013 $116,397 -
$116,397
Software Developers, Systems Software Inovant LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 01, 2013 $115,000 -
$135,000
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 Developers, Applications ICSA Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 20, 2017 $110,500
Software Developers, Applications Beyondsoa Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 05, 2017 $110,490 -
$120,000
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 Developers, Applications Arustek Consulting Inc. Ashburn, VA May 20, 2014 $104,000
Software Developers, Applications Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Ashburn, VA May 23, 2017 $103,734
Software Developers, Applications Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 15, 2013 $103,501
Software Developers, Applications Dimension Consulting Ashburn, VA Apr 02, 2013 $103,501
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 Developers, Applications Reverb Networks Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 20, 2012 $100,090
Software Developers, Applications Sun Global Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 08, 2013 $100,090
Software Developers, Applications Med-Strategies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 07, 2012 $100,090
Software Developer (Java/Jive) System Soft Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 02, 2015 $100,000
Software Developer Idol Soft, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 17, 2017 $100,000
Software Developer I Client Software Services LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 14, 2018 $95,000
Software Developer Howard Hughes Medical Institute Ashburn, VA May 21, 2010 $95,000 -
$100,000
Software Developer Howard Hughes Medical Institute Ashburn, VA Oct 10, 2012 $95,000 -
$105,000
Software Developers, Applications Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Ashburn, VA Jul 17, 2014 $95,000
Software Developers, Applications Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Ashburn, VA Jun 04, 2014 $94,500
Software Developers, Applications) Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Ashburn, VA Jun 26, 2012 $94,000 -
$100,000
Software Developers, Applications Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Ashburn, VA Mar 25, 2013 $94,000
Software Developers, Applications Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Ashburn, VA Jun 23, 2014 $94,000
Software Developer SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 02, 2017 $93,000
Software Developer Datalinx Corporation Ashburn, VA Apr 05, 2010 $93,000
Software Developers, Applications Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Ashburn, VA May 02, 2014 $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 SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 08, 2018 $93,000
Software Developer Sforce Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2018 $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 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 Qualsoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 20, 2017 $92,500
Software Developer Kalsun Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 23, 2018 $92,500
Software Developer Attainica LLC Ashburn, VA Nov 20, 2017 $92,500
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 10, 2018 $92,400
Software Developer (IT Analyst) Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 01, 2018 $92,329
Software Developer Indotronix International Corporation Ashburn, VA Jun 04, 2018 $92,329
Software Developer Amiti Consulting Corporation Ashburn, VA Sep 27, 2018 $92,100
Software Developer Amiti Consulting Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2018 $92,100
Software Developer Moxie It Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 01, 2017 $92,100
Software Developer Care It Services Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2018 $92,100
Software Developer Vista Applied Solutions Group Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 30, 2018 $92,050
Software Developer Bytefield Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 28, 2018 $92,050
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 Developers, Applications Pioneer Corporate Services Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 23, 2014 $91,500
Software Developers, Applications Pioneer Corporate Services Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2014 $91,500
Software Developers, Applications Advancesoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 28, 2017 $90,646
Software Developers, Applications Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 21, 2017 $90,646
Software Developers, Applications Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 24, 2017 $90,646
Software Developer Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 08, 2017 $90,646
Software Developers, Applications Viewsoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 05, 2017 $90,646
Software Developers, Applications Viewsoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 27, 2017 $90,646
Software Developers, Applications Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 21, 2017 $90,646
Software Developers, Applications Viewsoft Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2017 $90,646

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Top Skills for A Software Developer

Pl/SqlWebFormsDatabaseC#.NETJavascriptMicrosoftSQLServerHtmlWindowsXPUserInterfaceProceduresXMLCSSWebApplicationC/C++SoftwareDevelopmentJSPWebServicesJqueryAjaxAsp.NetMVC

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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.
  • Designed and Coded Windows Forms and Web Forms in VB.NET using Visual Studio.
  • Developed applications and programs that interact with the databases and store various reports associated with students and faculty.
  • Developed the presentation logic using JSP and HTML pages and validated form fields using javascript technologies.
  • Provided coding support using popular languages such as VB.NET, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.

Top Software Developer Employers

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How to Become a Software Developer

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

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