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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Software Leader
Top Careers After Software Leader
Hispanic or Latino8.0%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix9.9%
University of Central Florida8.6%
University of Texas at Austin7.4%
Kennesaw State University6.2%
University of Florida4.9%
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor4.9%
Johns Hopkins University4.9%
University of Southern California4.9%
Texas A&M University4.9%
George Washington University4.9%
More Tech Institute4.9%
University of Colorado at Boulder3.7%
University of Houston3.7%
University of Arizona3.7%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology3.7%
Santa Clara University3.7%
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo3.7%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Software Systems Lead||Google Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Jul 31, 2015||$180,000|
|SR PD Engr-Sw Devlpmt (Lead Systems Consultant)||MCI Communications Services||San Jose, CA||Dec 17, 2016||$171,671|
|Reader Software Lead||Molecular Devices, LLC||Sunnyvale, CA||Feb 24, 2015||$148,000 -
|Senior Software Lead||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||May 07, 2016||$146,000 -
|Server Side Software Lead||Foursquare Labs, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Mar 30, 2015||$135,000|
|Commercial Software Leader||General Electric International Inc.||Schenectady, NY||Oct 15, 2015||$134,290|
|Software Lead||Technicon Design Corporation||Milpitas, CA||Apr 20, 2016||$130,000|
|HMI Modeling & Prototyping Software Lead||General Motors Company||Warren, MI||Mar 16, 2015||$127,000|
|Software Integration Lead||Covidien LP||Carlsbad, CA||Nov 20, 2016||$126,875|
|OCT Acquisition Software Layer Lead||Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc.||Dublin, CA||Sep 30, 2015||$126,231|
|Software Delivery Lead||Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company||Philadelphia, PA||Apr 01, 2015||$125,000|
|Software Lead||Infostretch Corporation||San Francisco, CA||Mar 28, 2016||$125,000|
|Software Leads||Altimetrik Corp||Woonsocket, RI||Sep 22, 2015||$120,000|
|Software Lead||Hamilton Sundstrand||Rockford, IL||Jan 10, 2015||$103,792 -
|Lead Software Support||Magnitude Software, Inc.||Redmond, WA||Nov 22, 2016||$96,500|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||San Mateo, CA||Jan 12, 2015||$94,162|
|Lead-Software (Software Developer)||Synechron, Inc.||New York, NY||Apr 02, 2015||$91,104|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 04, 2015||$91,104|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||San Mateo, CA||Feb 09, 2016||$90,355|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||Windsor, CT||Sep 16, 2016||$81,120|
|Lead Software Enginerr||Bally Gaming, Inc.||Egg Harbor, NJ||Sep 07, 2015||$81,020|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||New York, NY||Jan 10, 2015||$80,995|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||Kansas City, MO||Aug 29, 2016||$80,557|
|Lead-Software (Software Developer)||Synechron, Inc.||Irving, TX||Feb 24, 2015||$79,747|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||Irving, TX||Apr 10, 2015||$79,747|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||Dallas, TX||Jan 30, 2015||$79,747|
|Lead-Software||Synechron, Inc.||Irving, TX||Jun 09, 2015||$79,747|
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