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Become A Software Development Engineer Lead

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Working As A Software Development Engineer Lead

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

  • $115,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Development Engineer Lead 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 Development Engineer Lead

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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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Top Careers Before Software Development Engineer Lead
Programmer 2.8%
Developer 2.5%
Consultant 1.8%
Top Careers After Software Development Engineer Lead
Consultant 2.5%
Architect 2.1%

Do you work as a Software Development Engineer Lead?

Average Yearly Salary
$115,000
Show Salaries
$89,000
Min 10%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$150,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Bruno, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Software Development Engineer Lead make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Development Engineer Lead in the United States is $116,048 per year or $56 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $89,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $150,000.

Real Software Development Engineer Lead Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead, Software Development Engineering Chef Software, Inc. Portland, OR Apr 17, 2015 $151,600
Lead Software Development Engineer Intellisist, Inc. Seattle, WA Apr 01, 2016 $150,000
Lead Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 10, 2014 $146,267
Lead Software Development Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 01, 2014 $146,267
Senior Software Development Engineer In Test, Lead-Applications and Services Engineering Group Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 28, 2014 $145,891 -
$165,891
Lead Software Development Engineer Demand Media, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Sep 20, 2015 $145,000
Lead Software Development Engineer Demand Media, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Apr 17, 2015 $145,000
Lead Software Development Engineer Demand Media, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Apr 10, 2015 $145,000
Lead Software Development Engineer Demand Media, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Apr 08, 2015 $145,000
Lead Software Development Engineer Demand Media, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Sep 10, 2015 $145,000
Lead Software Development Engineer The Bureau of National Affairs Arlington, VA Oct 24, 2016 $140,000
Lead Software Development Engineer The Rubicon Project, Inc. Visalia, CA Feb 20, 2015 $140,000 -
$180,000
Lead Software Development Engineer In Test Tubemogul Inc. Emeryville, CA Dec 06, 2016 $137,500
Software Engineer Lead Developer Mocana Corporation San Francisco, CA Jan 06, 2015 $136,786
Software Development Engineer In Test Lead Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 14, 2014 $127,000
Lead SW Development Engineer GC Pivotal, LLC San Jose, CA Jan 01, 2015 $126,370 -
$143,000
Lead Software Development Engineer The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. Arlington, VA May 04, 2015 $125,757 -
$177,000
Lead/Advisory Software Development Engineer Quaero3, LLC Charlotte, NC Sep 19, 2015 $125,040
Lead Software Development Engineer Livingsocial, Inc. Portland, OR Aug 20, 2014 $125,000
Lead SW Development Engineer Megapath Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 25, 2014 $124,929 -
$143,000
Software Development Engineer Lead Schakra, Inc. Redmond, WA Jan 03, 2015 $113,000 -
$163,000
Lead Software Development Engineer The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 19, 2014 $112,674 -
$147,000
Lead Software Development Engineer The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 14, 2014 $112,674 -
$131,000
Lead Software Development Engineer Flexport Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2014 $110,000
Lead Software Development Engineer CSG Systems, Inc. Chicago, IL Nov 16, 2013 $109,584
Lead Software Development Engineer The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 01, 2013 $108,888 -
$115,000

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Top Skills for A Software Development Engineer Lead

  1. Test Cases
  2. Web Application
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Involved in fixing the test cases and debugging the failures which were breaking because of the changes in the processing flow.
  • Developed a 3- tier web application following Agile development methodology.
  • Implemented complex stored procedure in PL/SQL which propagates contract templates from the product catalog database to the SFA database.
  • Implemented Page Object Model with Cucumber automation framework with Selenium WebDriver.
  • Applied file layout and coding changes for producing new data warehouse interface files.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Software Development Engineers Lead

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Colorado
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Utah
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Virginia
  9. New York
  10. Arizona
  • (6,982 jobs)
  • (16,833 jobs)
  • (5,220 jobs)
  • (2,242 jobs)
  • (677 jobs)
  • (939 jobs)
  • (470 jobs)
  • (4,490 jobs)
  • (3,755 jobs)
  • (1,140 jobs)

Software Development Engineer Lead Demographics

Gender

Male

68.4%

Unknown

17.4%

Female

14.2%
Ethnicity

White

52.4%

Asian

22.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Black or African American

6.8%

Unknown

6.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

50.0%

Mandarin

25.0%

Cantonese

25.0%

Software Development Engineer Lead Education

Schools

University of Washington

28.2%

University of Phoenix

7.0%

University of Florida

5.6%

Colorado Heights University

5.6%

Georgia State University

4.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.2%

Montana State University - Bozeman

4.2%

Colorado Technical University

4.2%

Capella University

4.2%

George Washington University

4.2%

Central Washington University

2.8%

Washington State University

2.8%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2.8%

Bellevue College

2.8%

San Diego State University

2.8%

Oregon State University

2.8%

Seattle University

2.8%

Boise State University

2.8%

California State University - Chico

2.8%

Vanderbilt University

2.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

39.5%

Computer Engineering

12.5%

Business

7.2%

Computer Applications

5.7%

Information Technology

5.3%

Electrical Engineering

4.9%

Computer Information Systems

4.2%

Mathematics

4.2%

Physics

2.3%

Finance

1.9%

Information Systems

1.9%

Project Management

1.5%

Mechanical Engineering

1.5%

Civil Engineering

1.5%

Engineering

1.1%

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, And Research

1.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.1%

Information Sciences

0.8%

Graphic Design

0.8%

Engineering And Industrial Management

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.3%

Masters

39.7%

Other

9.3%

Certificate

2.7%

Associate

2.7%

Doctorate

2.0%

Diploma

0.3%
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