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Become A Software Leader

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Working As A Software Leader

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

  • $104,008

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Leader 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 Leader

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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Average Length of Employment
Software Architect 3.1 years
Software Designer 3.1 years
Software Leader 3.0 years
Top Employers Before
Programmer 2.8%
Consultant 2.5%
Engineer 2.0%
Internship 1.8%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.8%
Manager 3.5%

Do you work as a Software Leader?

Software Leader Demographics

Gender

Male

79.0%

Female

17.7%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

52.0%

Asian

20.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

9.2%

Unknown

5.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.3%

Chinese

8.3%

Japanese

8.3%

French

8.3%

Russian

8.3%

Tamil

8.3%
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Software Leader Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.5%

University of Texas at Austin

8.6%

University of Central Florida

7.6%

University of Colorado at Boulder

7.6%

George Washington University

6.7%

Ohio State University

4.8%

Kennesaw State University

4.8%

More Tech Institute

4.8%

University of Florida

3.8%

University of Maryland - University College

3.8%

University of Houston

3.8%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

3.8%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.8%

University of California - San Diego

3.8%

Drexel University

3.8%

Johns Hopkins University

3.8%

University of Southern California

3.8%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.8%

Michigan State University

3.8%

University of Arizona

3.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

35.2%

Business

12.4%

Electrical Engineering

11.9%

Computer Engineering

10.9%

Computer Information Systems

3.0%

Information Technology

2.8%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Marketing

2.3%

Engineering

2.3%

Management

2.1%

Information Systems

2.1%

Project Management

2.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Mathematics

1.7%

Communication

1.7%

Computer Applications

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering

1.1%

Computer Networking

1.1%

Physics

1.1%

Political Science

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.8%

Masters

39.1%

Other

8.3%

Certificate

3.6%

Doctorate

2.9%

Associate

2.6%

Diploma

0.7%
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Internship
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Real Software Leader Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Systems Lead Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 31, 2015 $180,000
Senior Software Development Lead HULU, LLC Santa Monica, CA May 23, 2016 $165,000
Software Development Lead Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 11, 2016 $163,169 -
$168,200
Software Technical Leader Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 29, 2016 $160,000
Software Development Lead Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) Redlands, CA Feb 12, 2016 $156,066
Software Technical Leader Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 09, 2016 $152,000
Software Technical Leader Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 25, 2015 $150,000
Software Technical Leader Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 10, 2015 $150,000 -
$165,000
Reader Software Lead Molecular Devices, LLC Sunnyvale, CA Feb 24, 2015 $148,000 -
$165,000
Senior Software Lead Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 07, 2016 $146,000 -
$191,000
Software Technical Leader Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 04, 2016 $146,000
Software Technical Leader Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 01, 2015 $142,250
Software Technical Lead Fitbit, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 04, 2015 $140,000
Software Solution and Development Lead Smartek21, LLC Kirkland, WA Jan 01, 2016 $137,000
Software Development Lead Airwatch, LLC Atlanta, GA Nov 08, 2016 $115,000
Software Development Lead The Topps Company, Inc. New York, NY Aug 15, 2016 $115,000
OCT Acquisition Software Layer Lead Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. Dublin, CA Jan 26, 2015 $112,133 -
$113,133
Software Systems Lead Infobeans Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2015 $112,000
Software Development Lead Fiserv Global Services, Inc. Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Aug 28, 2015 $111,821 -
$132,953
Software Development Technical Lead-Battery Mgmt. Systems Lg Chem Power, Inc. Troy, MI May 31, 2016 $111,815
Software Delivery Lead General Motors Company Warren, MI Feb 11, 2015 $110,000
Software Lead Hamilton Sundstrand Rockford, IL Sep 30, 2016 $107,099 -
$122,700
Lead Software Synechron, Inc. Sterling, VA Jan 26, 2015 $89,669
Software Development Lead FNC, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Feb 08, 2016 $89,100
Software Development Lead-.Net/Web Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Jun 01, 2016 $89,000 -
$94,000
Manager-Software/Technical Lead Synechron, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Dec 02, 2016 $88,130
Lead-Software Synechron, Inc. Stamford, CT Sep 14, 2016 $87,630
Software Systems Development Lead Micro Focus (Us) Inc. Rockville, MD Jan 18, 2016 $86,986 -
$109,515

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Top Skills for A Software Leader

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  1. Software Development
  2. Web
  3. SQL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed procedures for adapting traditional CM software development processes to unique and rapidly changing customer requirements.
  • Designed and developed a Time and Attendance web application module for a web-based Employee Management application service provider.
  • Developed early proof-of-concept studies in C#/SQL for designing WEDM V2 features such as Collections, Inventory and Provisioning.
  • Streamlined the test plans for Windows Small Business Server / Windows Essential Business Server testing by over 50% without reducing quality
  • Developed and Maintained Microsoft Access relational database to manage change Request evaluation as they are related to hazard reports.

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Top Software Leader Employers

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