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Become A Software Engineer Lead

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Working As A Software Engineer Lead

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

  • $115,083

    Average Salary

What Does A Software 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 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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Software Engineer Lead Jobs

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Software Engineer Lead Career Paths

Software Engineer Lead
Senior Project Manager Contractor/Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Contractor/Consultant Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Program Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Subject Matter Expert Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Architect Senior Project Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Project Leader Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Product Management Director
Senior Director, Product Management
14 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Information Technology Specialist Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Director Of Software Development Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Project Manager Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Development Manager Manager Applications Development Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Engineering Director Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Engineering Director Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Software Engineer Lead?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.4 years
Software Designer 3.1 years
Software Architect 3.1 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 4.1%
Programmer 3.3%
Developer 1.5%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.9%

Do you work as a Software Engineer Lead?

Software Engineer Lead Demographics

Gender

Male

82.0%

Female

13.5%

Unknown

4.5%
Ethnicity

White

48.0%

Asian

25.8%

Hispanic or Latino

11.6%

Black or African American

9.1%

Unknown

5.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

15.1%

French

12.3%

German

11.0%

Mandarin

9.6%

Chinese

9.6%

Japanese

8.2%

Carrier

6.8%

Russian

4.1%

Portuguese

4.1%

Persian

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Hindi

2.7%

Swedish

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Gujarati

1.4%

Cheyenne

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Ukrainian

1.4%

Armenian

1.4%

Bengali

1.4%
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Software Engineer Lead Education

Schools

Illinois Institute of Technology

7.5%

San Jose State University

7.2%

University of Phoenix

6.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

6.1%

Johns Hopkins University

6.1%

George Mason University

5.8%

Carnegie Mellon University

5.5%

University of Washington

5.1%

Northeastern University

5.1%

George Washington University

4.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.4%

Purdue University

4.4%

University of California - San Diego

4.4%

Arizona State University

4.1%

University of the District of Columbia

4.1%

University of Central Florida

4.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.1%

Syracuse University

3.8%

National University

3.8%

University of Southern California

3.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

41.2%

Computer Engineering

13.4%

Electrical Engineering

9.6%

Business

7.5%

Computer Information Systems

3.7%

Information Technology

3.6%

Mathematics

2.7%

Engineering

2.2%

Information Systems

2.1%

Finance

2.0%

Project Management

1.7%

Computer Applications

1.7%

Physics

1.4%

Management Information Systems

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.2%

Management

1.2%

Mechanical Engineering

1.1%

Computer Networking

0.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

0.7%

Marketing

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.4%

Masters

40.7%

Other

8.9%

Doctorate

3.8%

Associate

1.9%

Certificate

1.5%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.1%
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Internship
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Real Software Engineer Lead Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Software Engineer, Quality-Capacity Cloud Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 23, 2015 $200,000
Lead Software Engineer (Machine Learning Developer) Mattermark, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 02, 2015 $200,000
Lead Client Software Engineer Polyera Corporation San Francisco, CA Jan 30, 2015 $200,000
Lead Client Software Engineer Polyera Corporation San Francisco, CA Jan 19, 2015 $200,000
Lead Software Engineer Factset Research Systems Inc. Norwalk, CT Apr 29, 2016 $191,000 -
$195,000
Lead Software Engineer-Distinguished Engineer EMC Corporation Santa Clara, CA Aug 23, 2016 $190,400 -
$257,600
Lead Software Engineer Grubhub Holdings, Inc. New York, NY Jan 13, 2015 $190,154
Lead Software Engineer-Infrastructure Delivery Salesforce.Com San Francisco, CA Jul 11, 2016 $190,000
Lead Software Engineer, IOS Auction.Com, LLC D.B.A.Auction.Com Belmont, CA Oct 02, 2016 $188,822
Lead SW Engineer Inovant LLC Foster City, CA Jan 26, 2016 $188,822 -
$208,000
Software Engineers-Applications (Lead Engineer, Force.Com) Salesforce.Com San Francisco, CA Sep 22, 2016 $187,000
Lead Software Engineer Integral Development Corporation Palo Alto, CA Sep 20, 2016 $187,000
Software Engineer (Technical Lead, Image Mastering) Pixar Emeryville, CA Jun 25, 2015 $186,493
Lead Software Engineer, Special Projects Persado, Inc. New York, NY Apr 09, 2016 $185,000
Lead Software Engineer Inovant, LLC Austin, TX Dec 11, 2016 $122,984 -
$180,500
Lead SW Engineer Inovant, LLC Austin, TX Sep 09, 2016 $122,984 -
$180,500
Lead SW Engineer Inovant, LLC Austin, TX Jun 09, 2016 $122,984 -
$180,500
Lead Software Engineer Hypertrends Global Inc. San Diego, CA Jul 15, 2016 $122,825
Lead Software Engineer Hypertrends Global Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 11, 2016 $122,825
Lead Software Engineer Lithium Technologies, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 22, 2016 $122,815
Lead Software Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 10, 2015 $106,517 -
$136,500
Software Engineer (Integration Lead) Expensify Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 09, 2016 $106,500
Lead Software Engineer Comcast Cable Communications, LLC Philadelphia, PA May 06, 2015 $106,288 -
$137,000
Lead Software Engineer West Services, Inc. Eagan, MN Feb 04, 2015 $106,205
Lead Software Engineer West Services, Inc. Eagan, MN Mar 20, 2015 $106,205
Software Engineering-Lead Engineer Fair Isaac Corporation Roseville, MN Mar 18, 2015 $106,205 -
$127,000
Lead Software Engineer Tabner Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 28, 2016 $106,000
Lead Software Engineer Tabner Inc. Charlotte, NC Dec 10, 2016 $106,000

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Top Skills for A Software Engineer Lead

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  1. Web
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented cross-browser frameworks to optimize web development and reduce browser specific incompatibilities.
  • Developed and maintained screens for a configuration tool used to maintain a Worker's Compensation Insurance systems, using Oracle PL/SQL.
  • Worked closely with database administrators and database security personnel on application and system scripts for secure database implementations.
  • Lead and mentor developers on various academic algorithms and methodologies for commercial software development.
  • Modified several existing Windows 9x games to run on Windows XP, for distribution in promotional agreements.

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Top Software Engineer Lead Employers

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