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Become A Software Engineer/Technical Lead

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Working As A Software Engineer/Technical Lead

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

  • $108,468

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Engineer/Technical 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/Technical 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/Technical Lead Jobs

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Software Engineer/Technical Lead Career Paths

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

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Designer 3.1 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Software Engineer/Technical Lead
Consultant 4.0%
Programmer 3.1%
Top Careers After Software Engineer/Technical Lead
Consultant 3.7%

Do you work as a Software Engineer/Technical Lead?

Software Engineer/Technical Lead Demographics

Gender

Male

79.7%

Female

15.9%

Unknown

4.4%
Ethnicity

White

45.1%

Asian

27.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.0%

Black or African American

8.7%

Unknown

5.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

15.8%

Portuguese

10.5%

Chinese

10.5%

Japanese

10.5%

French

10.5%

Carrier

10.5%

Mandarin

10.5%

Romanian

5.3%

Cantonese

5.3%

Korean

5.3%

Italian

5.3%
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Software Engineer/Technical Lead Education

Schools

Johns Hopkins University

8.2%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

7.1%

Boston University

6.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

6.1%

Purdue University

6.1%

George Mason University

6.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.1%

Arizona State University

5.1%

Santa Clara University

5.1%

New York University

5.1%

University of Phoenix

5.1%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.1%

Villanova University

4.1%

Utah State University

4.1%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.1%

More Tech Institute

4.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.1%

University of San Francisco

3.1%

University of California - Santa Cruz

3.1%

University of California - San Diego

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

37.4%

Computer Engineering

13.2%

Electrical Engineering

11.2%

Business

6.7%

Information Technology

4.3%

Computer Applications

4.3%

Computer Information Systems

3.4%

Management

2.5%

Engineering

2.5%

Finance

2.0%

Mathematics

1.8%

Information Systems

1.6%

Management Information Systems

1.3%

Chemistry

1.3%

Project Management

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering

1.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.1%

Physics

1.1%

Criminal Justice

1.1%

Management Science

0.9%
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Degrees

Masters

47.6%

Bachelors

36.8%

Other

9.5%

Certificate

2.1%

Doctorate

1.9%

Associate

1.7%

License

0.2%

Diploma

0.2%
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Software Engineer/Technical Lead Videos

The role of leadership in software development

Airbnb Software Engineer | Inside Jobs

Career Advice on becoming a Junior Software Engineer by Malcolm B (Full Version)

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Real Software Engineer/Technical Lead Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Lead, Software Engineer Synack, Inc. Redwood City, CA Oct 19, 2016 $193,800
Technical Lead, Software Engineer Synack, Inc. Redwood City, CA Jul 15, 2015 $190,000
Software Engineer/Tech Lead Learnvest Inc. New York, NY Jun 27, 2016 $170,000
Software Engineering, Lead Member of Technical Services Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2015 $167,216
Software Engineer-Lead Member of Technical Staff Salesforce.Com, Inc. Painesville, OH Jul 27, 2015 $165,000
Software Engineer, Technical Lead Advent Software, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 27, 2012 $155,000
Technical Lead Software Engineer Crowdstar, Inc. Burlingame, CA Dec 28, 2015 $155,000
Technical Lead Software Engineer Zynga Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 30, 2016 $154,500
Software Engineering Technical Lead MacHine Zone, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Mar 24, 2015 $152,776 -
$170,000
Wlan Software Engineer Technical Lead Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jun 24, 2015 $147,742 -
$162,400
Software Engineer/Technical Lead Rose International, Inc. Charlotte, NC May 16, 2011 $145,600
Tech Lead, IP Camera Software and 3D Graphics Hooked Wireless, Inc. Los Altos Hills, CA Jun 03, 2015 $144,206
Lead Software Engineer, Technical Playdom, Inc., Part of The Walt Disney Company Family of Companies Palo Alto, CA Aug 19, 2015 $144,200
Senior Software Engineer, Technical Lead National Oilwell Varco L.P. Houston, TX Sep 01, 2014 $120,000
Senior Software Engineer, Technical Lead National Oilwell Varco L.P. Houston, TX Aug 27, 2014 $120,000
Software Engineer Tech Lead Ospyn Technologies Inc. Walpole, MA Jan 09, 2016 $120,000
Senior Software Engineer-Technical Lead Capital One Services II LLC Wilmington, DE Aug 03, 2015 $118,000 -
$158,200
Software Engineer, GTS Tech Team Lead Cornerstone Ondemand, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jul 21, 2014 $117,000 -
$150,000
Authorized Officer, Software Engineer-IT Development Lead UBS AG Stamford, CT Mar 02, 2015 $115,500 -
$130,000
Technical Lead Software Engineer Savvis Communications Corporation Weehawken, NJ Oct 01, 2012 $115,000
Software Engineer, Technical Lead EF Institute for Cultural Exchange, Inc. Cambridge, MA Oct 21, 2013 $115,000
Senior Software Engineer-Technical Lead Earthlink Shared Services, LLC Rochester, NY Jun 05, 2016 $96,096 -
$107,859
Software Engineer 4, Technical Lead CCC Information Services Inc. Chicago, IL May 07, 2013 $96,013 -
$114,013
Tech Lead I-Web Software Alsac/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Memphis, TN Jan 01, 2016 $95,326
Software Engineering Technical Lead Barclays Bank Delaware Wilmington, DE Oct 27, 2014 $95,000 -
$135,000
Software Engineer/Technical Lead SLK America, Inc. Cincinnati, OH Jan 10, 2011 $95,000
SR. Software Engineer/Tech Lead Netiq Corp. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2012 $94,896
Technology Lead-Individual Software Morningstar, Inc. Chicago, IL Mar 21, 2011 $93,600 -
$113,600

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Top Skills for A Software Engineer/Technical Lead

  1. Web
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design and development of a web application for automated report generation and delivery.
  • Developed software in Oracle PL/SQL for web services for IVR and Statements processing by a third party vendor.
  • Performed extensive data analysis to redesign client staging database to incorporate new data set entities using proprietary software Implementation Analyst.
  • Developed prototype Windows XP Embedded system using network boot, network automated updates, and remote debugging.
  • Developed formal design documentation including Implementation Plan, Architecture Document, coding standards, and detail design specifications.

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Top 10 Best States for Software Engineers/Technical Lead

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Virginia
  4. Texas
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New York
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Colorado
  9. North Carolina
  10. District of Columbia
  • (7,466 jobs)
  • (19,674 jobs)
  • (5,095 jobs)
  • (7,056 jobs)
  • (543 jobs)
  • (4,859 jobs)
  • (4,421 jobs)
  • (2,793 jobs)
  • (2,669 jobs)
  • (859 jobs)

Top Software Engineer/Technical Lead Employers

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