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Become A Software Development Specialist

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Working As A Software Development Specialist

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

  • $100,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Development Specialist 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 Specialist

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 Development Specialist Career Paths

Software Development Specialist
Programmer Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Information Technology Manager Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Consultant Product Manager
Vice President, Product Management
13 Yearsyrs
Programmer Program Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Programmer Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Programmer Systems Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Consultant Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Owner Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Developer Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Developer Senior Project Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Developer Project Leader Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Designer 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Software Developer 2.6 years
Software Analyst 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Software Development Specialist
Programmer 9.4%
Internship 4.1%
Consultant 2.9%
Developer 2.3%
Top Careers After Software Development Specialist
Consultant 9.9%
Developer 4.9%

Do you work as a Software Development Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$100,000
Show Salaries
$80,000
Min 10%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$126,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Netflix
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Software Development Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Development Specialist in the United States is $100,866 per year or $48 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $80,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $126,000.

Real Software Development Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Developer, Security Master Specialist AQR Capital Management Greenwich, CT Oct 05, 2016 $135,000
Specialist-Technology/Software Developer Synechron, Inc. New York, NY Sep 28, 2016 $133,340
Software Development Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Herndon, VA Jan 31, 2016 $130,175
Specialist-Technology/Software Developer Synechron, Inc. New York, NY Sep 28, 2015 $130,000
Specialist-Technology/Software Developer Synechron, Inc. San Mateo, CA Nov 04, 2015 $129,999
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. Herndon, VA Apr 21, 2016 $125,000
Software Developer, Middleware Infrastructure Specialist Barclays Services Corp. Wilmington, DE Feb 17, 2016 $125,000
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. Herndon, VA Sep 12, 2015 $125,000
Software Developer Senior Specialist The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC Shelton, CT Jan 04, 2016 $123,552 -
$145,000
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. Seattle, WA Dec 09, 2016 $123,270
Software Development Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Herndon, VA Jul 08, 2015 $123,000
Software Development Specialist Analysis & Design Application Co., Ltd. Austin, TX Feb 17, 2016 $122,000
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 22, 2015 $120,295
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. Bensenville, IL Oct 13, 2016 $108,000
Software Developer Specialist Nasdaq Inc. Rockville, MD Jun 30, 2016 $107,100
Specialist-Technology/Software Developer Synechron, Inc. Sterling, VA Aug 26, 2016 $106,178
Software Developer Specialist Nasdaq Inc. Rockville, MD Aug 26, 2016 $105,000
Specialist-Technology/Software Developer Synechron, Inc. New York, NY Jul 03, 2016 $105,000
Project Lead/Principal Software Development Specialist Uchicago Argonne, LLC Lemont, IL Mar 19, 2015 $104,880 -
$209,760
Software Developer Senior Specialist The Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. Boston, MA Apr 13, 2015 $104,800 -
$115,029
Software Development Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Bensenville, IL Sep 02, 2015 $104,800
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. Hoffman Estates, IL Jul 08, 2015 $94,988
Software Development Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Richardson, TX Dec 09, 2016 $94,926
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. Mount Laurel, NJ Aug 17, 2016 $94,464
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. NJ Aug 15, 2016 $94,464
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. Chesterfield, MO Sep 20, 2016 $93,700
Software Development Specialist Uchicago Argonne, LLC Lemont, IL Jul 15, 2016 $93,636
Software Development Specialist Uchicago Argonne, LLC Lemont, IL Jun 16, 2016 $93,636
Software Development Specialist Amdocs Inc. Richardson, TX Sep 19, 2016 $93,388

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Top Skills for A Software Development Specialist

  1. Web Application
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed web application compatible with all browsers.
  • Lead PL/SQL architect for agency designing and implementing solutions to meet legislative, administrative and financial requirements.
  • Worked with Entity Framework 5.0 to develop both code first and database first approaches and to create Object Relational Mapping.
  • Designed and developed an ASP.NET web application to collect client responses to quality survey questions about the company consultants.
  • Updated widgets on the internal order management website utilizing javascript and METAL macros.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Software Development Specialists

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Virginia
  5. Texas
  6. New York
  7. Arizona
  8. New Jersey
  9. Nevada
  10. Massachusetts
  • (14,262 jobs)
  • (6,598 jobs)
  • (771 jobs)
  • (4,584 jobs)
  • (5,749 jobs)
  • (3,719 jobs)
  • (1,247 jobs)
  • (2,312 jobs)
  • (298 jobs)
  • (3,498 jobs)

Software Development Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

61.1%

Female

27.6%

Unknown

11.4%
Ethnicity

White

55.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Asian

12.6%

Black or African American

11.5%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0%

Mandarin

20.0%

German

20.0%

Chinese

20.0%
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Software Development Specialist Education

Schools

Ohio State University

9.1%

Kennesaw State University

6.8%

Michigan State University

6.8%

University of the District of Columbia

4.5%

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

4.5%

Boston University

4.5%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.5%

New York University

4.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.5%

Oral Roberts University

4.5%

University of Phoenix

4.5%

Oklahoma State University

4.5%

University of Maryland - Baltimore

4.5%

Florida International University

4.5%

More Tech Institute

4.5%

Community College of Rhode Island

4.5%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

4.5%

Northeastern University

4.5%

Tennessee Technological University

4.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

38.1%

Computer Information Systems

11.0%

Business

8.4%

Information Systems

5.8%

Information Technology

4.5%

Computer Engineering

4.5%

Management Information Systems

3.9%

Project Management

2.6%

Mathematics

2.6%

Psychology

2.6%

Political Science

1.9%

Engineering

1.9%

Drafting And Design

1.9%

Computer Programming

1.9%

Sociology

1.9%

Management

1.3%

Data Processing

1.3%

Information Sciences

1.3%

Computer Networking

1.3%

Graphic Design

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.2%

Masters

22.8%

Other

13.5%

Associate

7.8%

Doctorate

3.6%

Certificate

2.1%

Diploma

1.0%
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