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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

  • $110,000

    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 Career Paths

Software Engineer Lead
Software Engineering Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Manager Product Manager
Vice President, Product Management
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Leader Senior Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Solutions Architect Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Owner Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Project Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Solutions Architect Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Lead Developer Manager Applications Development
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Architect Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Top Careers Before Software Engineer Lead
Consultant 3.8%
Programmer 3.2%
Developer 1.7%
Top Careers After Software Engineer Lead
Consultant 4.8%
Architect 2.2%

Do you work as a Software Engineer Lead?

Average Yearly Salary
$110,000
Show Salaries
$85,000
Min 10%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$142,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Mountain View, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Software Engineer Lead make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Engineer Lead in the United States is $110,500 per year or $53 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $85,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $142,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Software Engineer Lead Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Client Software Engineer Polyera Corporation Jan 19, 2015 $200,000
Lead Software Engineer, Quality-Capacity Cloud Salesforce.com, Inc. Feb 23, 2015 $200,000
Lead Client Software Engineer Polyera Corporation Jan 30, 2015 $200,000
Lead Software Engineer (Machine Learning Developer) Mattermark, Inc. Feb 02, 2015 $200,000
Lead Software Engineer Factset Research Systems Inc. Apr 29, 2016 $191,000 -
$195,000
Lead Software Engineer-Distinguished Engineer EMC Corporation Aug 23, 2016 $190,400 -
$257,600
Lead Software Engineer Grubhub Holdings, Inc. Jan 13, 2015 $190,154
Lead Software Engineer-Infrastructure Delivery Salesforce.com Jul 11, 2016 $190,000
Lead SW Engineer Inovant LLC Jan 26, 2016 $188,822 -
$208,000
Lead Software Engineer, IOS Auction.com, LLC D.B.A.Auction.com Oct 02, 2016 $188,822
Lead Software Engineer Integral Development Corporation Sep 20, 2016 $187,000
Software Engineers-Applications (Lead Engineer, Force.com) Salesforce.com Sep 22, 2016 $187,000
Software Engineer (Technical Lead, Image Mastering) Pixar Jun 25, 2015 $186,493
Lead Software Engineer Salesforce.com Inc. Aug 24, 2015 $185,000
Lead Software Engineer MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Jul 27, 2015 $123,000
Lead Software Engineer Alere Analytics Jan 27, 2015 $123,000
Lead Software Engineer Xperttech, Inc. Aug 01, 2016 $123,000
Lead Software Engineer Alere Analytics, Inc. Feb 18, 2015 $123,000
Lead Software Engineer Xperttech, Inc. Apr 02, 2016 $123,000
Lead Software Engineer Xperttech, Inc. Mar 24, 2016 $123,000
Lead SW Engineer Inovant, LLC Jun 09, 2016 $122,984 -
$180,500
Lead SW Engineer Inovant, LLC Sep 09, 2016 $122,984 -
$180,500
Lead Software Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. May 10, 2015 $106,517 -
$136,500
Software Engineer (Integration Lead) Expensify Inc. Jul 09, 2016 $106,500
Lead Software Engineer Comcast Cable Communications, LLC May 06, 2015 $106,288 -
$137,000
Lead Software Engineer West Services, Inc. Feb 04, 2015 $106,205
Software Engineering-Lead Engineer Fair Isaac Corporation Mar 18, 2015 $106,205 -
$127,000
Lead Software Engineer West Services, Inc. Mar 20, 2015 $106,205
Lead Software Engineer (Document Review Team) Vistaprint USA Inc. Apr 24, 2015 $106,000 -
$116,000
Lead Software Engineer Tabner Inc. Dec 10, 2016 $106,000

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Top Skills for A Software Engineer Lead

  1. Web Application
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Introduced and piloted an agile development effort for web application development to demonstrate the potential cost savings of this development methodology.
  • Developed and maintained screens for a configuration tool used to maintain a Worker's Compensation Insurance systems, using Oracle PL/SQL.
  • Managed technical investigations of software and database problems; coordinating between users and developers, and developing fixes or recommending workarounds.
  • Managed in Microsoft Test ManagerMentoring/growing junior Software Development Engineers in TestXbox console Telemetry/BI reporting and analysis
  • Developed a software architecture for parallel execution of Space-Time Adaptive Processing (STAP) algorithms on a VxWorks-based multiprocessor PowerPC system.

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Top 10 Best States for Software Engineers Lead

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Virginia
  6. New York
  7. Oregon
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Texas
  10. Utah
  • (8,100 jobs)
  • (23,447 jobs)
  • (5,200 jobs)
  • (700 jobs)
  • (6,822 jobs)
  • (5,719 jobs)
  • (1,572 jobs)
  • (1,152 jobs)
  • (7,566 jobs)
  • (1,309 jobs)

Software Engineer Lead Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,954 Software Engineer Lead resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Software Engineer Lead Resume

View Resume Examples

Software Engineer Lead Demographics

Gender

Male

79.7%

Female

14.4%

Unknown

5.9%
Ethnicity

White

50.0%

Asian

23.0%

Hispanic or Latino

12.2%

Black or African American

9.3%

Unknown

5.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

17.1%

French

11.8%

German

11.8%

Mandarin

9.2%

Chinese

9.2%

Japanese

9.2%

Carrier

5.3%

Russian

3.9%

Portuguese

3.9%

Persian

2.6%

Arabic

2.6%

Hindi

2.6%

Swedish

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Gujarati

1.3%

Cheyenne

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Zulu

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Armenian

1.3%
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Software Engineer Lead Education

Schools

National University

7.2%

George Washington University

7.2%

University of Washington

6.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.5%

University of Texas at Austin

5.5%

San Jose State University

5.5%

University of Southern California

5.5%

University of Illinois at Chicago

5.1%

Pennsylvania State University

5.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.1%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.7%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.3%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.3%

George Mason University

4.3%

University of Houston

4.3%

Purdue University

4.3%

University of Wisconsin Extension

4.3%

Washington University in Saint Louis

3.4%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%
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Majors

Computer Science

41.3%

Computer Engineering

12.3%

Electrical Engineering

10.1%

Business

7.9%

Information Technology

3.7%

Management Information Systems

3.0%

Computer Systems Security

2.8%

Engineering

2.5%

Mathematics

2.5%

Computer Applications

2.5%

Finance

1.5%

Computer Networking

1.5%

Project Management

1.3%

Information Systems

1.2%

Management

1.2%

Systems Engineering

1.1%

Physics

1.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

0.8%

Mechanical Engineering

0.8%

Computer Information Systems

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.1%

Masters

42.1%

Doctorate

3.4%

Associate

3.3%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

1.3%

High School Diploma

0.4%
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Updated May 18, 2020