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Become A Software Engineering Specialist

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Working As A Software Engineering Specialist

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

  • $89,954

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Engineering Specialist 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 Engineering Specialist

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 Engineering Specialist jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Software Architect 3.2 years
Software Leader 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Software Designer 3.0 years
Software Developer 2.7 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 7.7%
Programmer 3.5%
Instructor 2.1%
Top Employers After
Consultant 6.2%

Software Engineering Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

71.5%

Female

24.4%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

66.1%

Asian

20.7%

Hispanic or Latino

8.5%

Unknown

3.6%

Black or African American

1.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Software Engineering Specialist Education

Schools

San Jose State University

7.5%

George Washington University

7.5%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.7%

Southern Methodist University

5.7%

University of California - San Diego

5.7%

University of Central Florida

5.7%

Northern Kentucky University

5.7%

Loyola Marymount University

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

Texas A&M University

5.7%

George Mason University

5.7%

University of Washington

3.8%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.8%

California State University - Fullerton

3.8%

National University

3.8%

Boise State University

3.8%

Drexel University

3.8%

New Mexico State University

3.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.8%

Palomar College

3.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

32.6%

Computer Engineering

12.1%

Business

11.3%

Computer Information Systems

7.8%

Electrical Engineering

7.1%

Information Technology

5.7%

Systems Engineering

2.1%

Mathematics

2.1%

Engineering

2.1%

Information Systems

2.1%

Computer Programming

2.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%

Project Management

1.4%

Management Information Systems

1.4%

Engineering Science

1.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.4%

Mechanical Engineering

1.4%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.8%

Masters

35.5%

Other

10.1%

Associate

4.7%

Doctorate

4.7%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

0.6%
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Internship
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Real Software Engineering Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Engineer Specialist Client Network Services, Inc. Rockville, MD May 16, 2016 $150,000
Software Engineer Technical Specialist Vencore, Inc. Reston, VA Jun 12, 2016 $130,500
Software Engineer Technical Specialist Vencore, Inc. Reston, VA Nov 30, 2016 $130,500
Software Engineering Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Wood Dale, IL Aug 26, 2015 $125,000
Software Engineer, Specialist Seven Networks, Inc. San Carlos, CA Sep 15, 2014 $125,000 -
$141,086
Specialist, Engine SW Nokia Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 29, 2014 $123,390
Specialist, Engine Software Microsoft Corporation San Diego, CA Nov 17, 2014 $123,390
Specialist, Engine Software Microsoft Corporation San Diego, CA Jan 01, 2015 $123,390
Specialist, Engine Software Nokia Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 01, 2013 $120,000
Software Engineer Specialist Client Network Services, Inc. Rockville, MD Mar 15, 2016 $119,016
Specialist, Engine SW Nokia Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 14, 2014 $118,290
Specialist Software Engineer Client Network Services, Inc. Lansing, MI Jul 10, 2015 $105,000
Software Engineering Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Buffalo Grove, IL Aug 28, 2015 $104,200
Software Engineering Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Bensenville, IL Aug 28, 2015 $104,200
Software Engineering Specialist Amdocs Inc. Bensenville, IL May 27, 2016 $103,500
Software Engineering Specialist Amdocs Inc. Madison, WI Sep 30, 2015 $103,300
Software Engineering Specialist Amdocs Inc. Madison, WI Jan 06, 2016 $103,300
Software Engineer Specialist Client Network Services, Inc. Lansing, MI Jan 09, 2016 $100,854
Software Engineering Specialist Rose International, Inc. Bothell, WA May 24, 2016 $100,176
Software Engineering Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Herndon, VA Jul 24, 2015 $98,999
Software Engineer-C++ Specialist Tektronix Texas, LLC Plano, TX Sep 04, 2015 $98,330
Software Engineer-C++ Specialist Tektronix Texas, LLC Plano, TX Sep 14, 2015 $98,330
Software Engineering Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 02, 2015 $98,069
Software Engineer Specialist Client Network Services, Inc. Rockville, MD Mar 06, 2016 $97,652
Software Engineer Specialist Client Network Services, Inc. Lansing, MI Jan 05, 2016 $95,591
Software Engineer Specialist Client Network Services, Inc. Lansing, MI May 01, 2016 $95,591
Software Engineer Specialist Client Network Services, Inc. Lansing, MI Aug 16, 2015 $95,000

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Top Skills for A Software Engineering Specialist

Pl/SqlDatabaseSoftwareDevelopmentUnixProceduresC/C++WindowsSoftwareEngineeringWebLanguageSimulationSoftwareLabC #PCSoftwareRequirementsManagementSystemConfigurationManagementGUIUMLSetup

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Top Software Engineering Specialist Skills

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Database
  3. Software Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created ORACLE tables, indexes, stored procedures in PL/SQL to load data into Staging and Final tables in the database.
  • Conduct kick off meetings explaining the database upgrade process to the System Administrator and colleagues.
  • Performed services including software development process consulting, architecture/design consulting, tool integration, and product and technology training.
  • Designed and developed a new network capability in C on a Sun Unix platform.
  • Documented system operations including Owner's Manual, test procedures and white papers.

Top Software Engineering Specialist Employers

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