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Become A Software Director

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Working As A Software Director

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

  • $132,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Director 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 Director

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 Director 4.0 years
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Top Careers Before Software Director
Director 7.3%
Consultant 5.8%
Manager 3.5%
Top Careers After Software Director
Consultant 9.1%
Director 6.1%
Principal 5.6%
Manager 5.1%
Owner 4.1%

Do you work as a Software Director?

Average Yearly Salary
$132,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$102,000
Min 10%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$173,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Nvidia
Highest Paying City
Sunnyvale, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Software Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Director in the United States is $133,073 per year or $64 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $102,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $173,000.

Real Software Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software, Director Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 11, 2016 $230,000
Director, Software Engnieering Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 28, 2015 $215,000
Director Systems Software Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Mar 03, 2015 $204,240
Director-Client Software Systems/Desktop Gracenote, Inc. Emeryville, CA Apr 02, 2014 $201,960
Software Director, APM & Platform General Electric International, Inc. San Ramon, CA Sep 17, 2016 $198,400
Software Director General Electric Company San Ramon, CA Sep 17, 2016 $198,400
Director of Systems Software Ruckus Wireless, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 26, 2013 $180,000
Director, Software User Interface EMC Corporation Hopkinton, MA Jul 01, 2012 $180,000
Director, Software Architecture Securityscorecard, Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2016 $165,000
Director Systems Software Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Oct 30, 2009 $163,750
Director of Software, Cloud Computing & Architecture Mc10 Inc. Lexington, MA May 08, 2016 $160,000
Director, Software Architecture Edmunds.com Santa Monica, CA Mar 03, 2014 $159,043
Director, Smart Software Solutions Flextronics International USA, Inc. Plano, TX Sep 25, 2015 $155,000
Director of Platform Software Headspin, Inc. Emeryville, CA Aug 19, 2015 $150,000
Director, Software Solutions Prometrics, Inc. King of Prussia, PA Aug 02, 2016 $150,000
Director of Software, Cloud Computing & Architecture Mc10 Inc. Cambridge, MA Aug 19, 2015 $145,000
Director Class II & VLT Software Wms Gaming Inc. Chicago, IL Jan 12, 2014 $145,000 -
$160,000
Director Class II & VLT Software Wms Gaming Inc. Chicago, IL Dec 01, 2011 $145,000 -
$155,000
Director-Client Software Systems/Desktop Gracenote, Inc. Emeryville, CA Apr 01, 2011 $140,000
Director of Software Zipcar, Inc. San Mateo, CA Jul 20, 2015 $138,362
Software Test Director Electronic Arts, Inc. Redwood City, CA Jun 03, 2011 $137,000
Director of Software Zipcar, Inc. San Mateo, CA Jul 06, 2015 $134,638

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Top Skills for A Software Director

  1. Software Development
  2. Architecture
  3. Platform
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Restored customer confidence in Boeing's ability to perform Software development by working directly with the customer program executives.
  • Developed technical vision, plus design and implementation of next-generation software solutions from systems architecture to user experience.
  • Managed and set corporate direction for software solutions for mobile platform Designed and demonstrated technical solutions to investors and potential customers
  • Managed data center operations of 100s database and application servers.
  • Managed a staff of ten software developers for two product lines, two graphic artists and the QA Department of five.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Software Directors

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. Texas
  4. Virginia
  5. New York
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Colorado
  9. Delaware
  10. District of Columbia
  • (9,925 jobs)
  • (3,665 jobs)
  • (3,071 jobs)
  • (2,595 jobs)
  • (2,022 jobs)
  • (196 jobs)
  • (2,236 jobs)
  • (1,386 jobs)
  • (140 jobs)
  • (303 jobs)

Software Director Demographics

Gender

Male

80.2%

Female

11.7%

Unknown

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Asian

12.7%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Software Director Education

Schools

Northeastern University

9.7%

University of Texas at Austin

9.7%

University of Phoenix

8.3%

University of California - Berkeley

6.9%

University of Southern California

6.9%

Brigham Young University

5.6%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5.6%

University of Florida

4.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.2%

DePaul University

4.2%

Regis University

4.2%

Stanford University

4.2%

Colorado Technical University

4.2%

Purdue University

4.2%

Colorado State University

4.2%

University of Nebraska at Omaha

2.8%

Arizona State University

2.8%

Western Michigan University

2.8%

San Jose State University

2.8%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

2.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

30.4%

Business

19.8%

Electrical Engineering

10.1%

Computer Engineering

5.5%

Management

3.4%

Engineering

3.4%

Finance

3.0%

Computer Information Systems

2.5%

Mathematics

2.5%

Marketing

2.5%

Information Technology

2.5%

Accounting

2.5%

Management Information Systems

2.1%

Information Systems

2.1%

Economics

1.7%

Counseling Psychology

1.3%

Elementary Education

1.3%

Computer Applications

1.3%

Education

1.3%

Psychology

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.0%

Masters

29.3%

Other

13.3%

Doctorate

4.8%

Associate

2.7%

Certificate

1.7%

Diploma

0.3%
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