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Become A Software Engineer/Architect

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Working As A Software Engineer/Architect

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

  • $110,460

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Engineer/Architect 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 Engineer/Architect

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 Engineer/Architect jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Software Leader 3.2 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Systems Architect 3.2 years
Software Designer 3.0 years
Architect 3.0 years
Senior Architect 2.8 years
Software Developer 2.7 years
Lead Architect 2.5 years
Solution Developer 2.4 years
Web Architect 2.4 years
Contract Developer 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 4.6%
Engineer 1.8%
Top Employers After
Consultant 2.8%

Software Engineer/Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

88.6%

Female

8.9%

Unknown

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

69.2%

Asian

18.0%

Unknown

6.0%

Hispanic or Latino

5.8%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

German

18.2%

Carrier

18.2%

Japanese

9.1%

French

9.1%

Dutch

9.1%

Urdu

9.1%

Arabic

9.1%

Korean

9.1%

Italian

9.1%
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Software Engineer/Architect Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.5%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

7.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

7.1%

University of South Florida

5.4%

University of Central Florida

5.4%

Drexel University

5.4%

Iowa State University

5.4%

Regis University

5.4%

Columbia University

5.4%

University of Arizona

5.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.6%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3.6%

Boston University

3.6%

Ohio State University

3.6%

Wayne State University

3.6%

California State University - Chico

3.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.6%

Naval Postgraduate School

3.6%

Western Washington University

3.6%

Stanford University

3.6%
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Majors

Computer Science

42.6%

Computer Engineering

10.8%

Electrical Engineering

9.8%

Business

8.3%

Information Technology

4.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.9%

Mathematics

2.9%

Mechanical Engineering

2.9%

Physics

2.5%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.5%

Biomedical Engineering

1.5%

Information Systems

1.5%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.5%

Project Management

1.0%

Management Information Systems

1.0%

Computer Applications

1.0%

Supply Chain Management

1.0%

Accounting

1.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.0%

Engineering

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.4%

Masters

36.9%

Other

7.6%

Doctorate

7.2%

Certificate

3.4%

Associate

1.7%

Diploma

0.8%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Software Engineer/Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Architect, Engineer Violin Memory, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 07, 2016 $189,000
Software Architect, Engineer Violin Memory, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jul 08, 2016 $189,000
Software Engineer/Data Architect Creative Information Technology, Inc. Washington, DC Oct 05, 2014 $175,308
Business Leader, Software Engineering Architect Mastercard International Incorporated San Carlos, CA Jan 10, 2016 $170,200
Architect, Software Engineering Sears Holdings Management Corporation Seattle, WA Aug 31, 2015 $165,000
Software Engineering Architect In Test Move, Inc. Santa Clara, CA May 12, 2016 $155,000
Software Engineer-Solutions Architect Good Data Corporation San Francisco, CA Sep 16, 2015 $155,000
Architect Software Engineer Staples, Inc. Austin, TX May 10, 2015 $150,000
Software & Engineering Architect-Realtime Web A Medium Corporation San Francisco, CA Sep 29, 2016 $150,000 -
$225,000
Software & Engineering Architect-Realtime Web A Medium Corporation San Francisco, CA Sep 13, 2016 $150,000 -
$225,000
Software Engineering Architect Deloitte Analytics LLC New York, NY Sep 08, 2013 $148,000
Software Engineer-Siebel Architect Intellect It, LLC Costa Mesa, CA Sep 10, 2013 $146,090
Software Engineer-Siebel Architect Intellect It, LLC Fountain Valley, CA Feb 04, 2014 $144,000
Architect, Software Engineer Sears Holdings Management Corporation Chicago, IL Aug 04, 2015 $121,540
Architect, Software Engineer Sears Holdings Management Corporation Hoffman Estates, IL Dec 14, 2016 $120,000
Software Engineer, Solution Architect Slalom, LLC Boston, MA Feb 18, 2013 $120,000 -
$140,000
Architect, Software Engineer Sears Holdings Management Corporation Hoffman Estates, IL Aug 17, 2016 $120,000
Software Engineer IV: Hardware Architect NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 09, 2016 $119,400 -
$166,300
Lead Software Engineer/Architect Microsan Consultancy Services, LLC Rocklin, CA Aug 29, 2016 $118,000 -
$124,000
Software Engineer/Architect Pariveda Solutions, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 01, 2013 $116,000
Software Engineer Architect Contract Staffing Specialists Omaha, NE Nov 30, 2014 $104,000
Software Engineer Architect Contract Staffing Specialists Omaha, NE Jan 06, 2016 $104,000
Architect, Software Engineer Sears Holdings Management Corporation Hoffman Estates, IL Oct 27, 2015 $100,000
Software Architect Engineer II Mphasis Corporation San Francisco, CA Jul 09, 2016 $98,987
Software Engineer/Technical Architect AVCO Consulting Inc. Worcester, MA May 12, 2016 $97,500
Software Architect and Engineer Curebit, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 09, 2016 $96,866 -
$110,000
SW Engineer/Architect-Systems Software Podtek, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Jan 11, 2016 $96,461

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Top Skills for A Software Engineer/Architect

WebApplicationMicrosoftSQLServerSoftwareArchitectureDataWarehouseC #WindowsFormsC/C++XMLUserInterfaceJavascriptLinuxSoftwareDevelopmentHtmlWebServicesAPIAsp.NetMVCJqueryUMLJ2EeCloud

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Top Software Engineer/Architect Skills

  1. Web Application
  2. Microsoft SQL Server
  3. Software Architecture
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Address Standardization & Geo Locator Developed a Component that provides address standardization services to InsWeb applications.
  • Designed and developed Microsoft SQL Server database to maintain customer records.
  • Performed reverse engineering on existing products and wrote software architecture specifications.
  • Coordinate and manage requirements of various team projects for data warehouse through team meetings.
  • Developed 2 web services for the site and consumed those web services from Windows Forms applications,.

Top Software Engineer/Architect Employers