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Become A Software Project Leader

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Working As A Software Project Leader

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

  • $114,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Project 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 Project 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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Software Project Leader Career Paths

Software Project Leader
Project Manager Program Manager
Lead Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Leader Software Engineering Manager Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Leader Software Engineering Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Software Leader Software Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Research And Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager Engineering Manager
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Owner Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Director Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Software Project Manager Program/Project Manager Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Project Manager Program/Project Manager Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Software Project Manager Service Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Manager Production Manager Technical Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Solutions Architect Technical Project Manager
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Enterprise Architect Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Software Project Leader?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Leader 3.8 years
Software Leader 3.3 years
Software Designer 3.2 years
Project Leader 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Software Project Leader
Consultant 4.2%
Programmer 2.6%
Developer 2.1%
Internship 1.9%
Manager 1.6%
Top Careers After Software Project Leader
Consultant 4.5%
Owner 2.9%
Manager 2.9%
Developer 2.4%

Do you work as a Software Project Leader?

Software Project Leader Demographics

Gender

Male

65.0%

Female

21.8%

Unknown

13.2%
Ethnicity

White

54.3%

Asian

19.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Black or African American

8.2%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.9%

Portuguese

7.1%

Indonesian

7.1%

Hungarian

7.1%

Chinese

7.1%

German

7.1%

Russian

7.1%

Mandarin

7.1%

Italian

7.1%
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Software Project Leader Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.5%

San Jose State University

8.1%

Northeastern University

8.1%

Arizona State University

5.8%

Georgia State University

5.8%

University of Washington

4.7%

University of California - San Diego

4.7%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.7%

Villanova University

4.7%

University of Southern California

4.7%

Columbia University

4.7%

George Washington University

4.7%

Cornell University

4.7%

Syracuse University

3.5%

Boston University

3.5%

University of Michigan - Dearborn

3.5%

New York University

3.5%

Santa Clara University

3.5%

University of Pennsylvania

3.5%

Vanderbilt University

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

34.0%

Business

11.0%

Electrical Engineering

10.1%

Computer Engineering

8.4%

Computer Information Systems

6.2%

Information Technology

3.9%

Project Management

3.4%

Mathematics

3.4%

Finance

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Management

2.0%

Engineering

2.0%

Accounting

2.0%

Information Systems

1.7%

Biomedical Engineering

1.4%

Management Information Systems

1.1%

Marketing

1.1%

Computer Systems Security

1.1%

Mathematics And Computer Science

1.1%

Computer Applications

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Masters

35.6%

Other

7.6%

Doctorate

4.3%

Associate

3.6%

Certificate

2.0%

Diploma

1.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$114,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$86,000
Min 10%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$150,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
KBR
Highest Paying City
Mountain View, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Software Project Leader make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Project Leader in the United States is $114,149 per year or $55 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $86,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $150,000.

Real Software Project Leader Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Lead, SW DEV 5 Adobe Systems Incorporated San Jose, CA Jun 19, 2015 $174,181
Software Manager-Software Project Lead Thales Avionics, Inc. Irvine, CA Mar 19, 2016 $152,250
Software Development Management/Project Leader Thomson Reuters (Markets) LLC New York, NY Jan 20, 2012 $132,990
Software Project Leader/Engineer Model N, Inc. CA Sep 19, 2014 $132,500
Software Project Lead Thales Avionics, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 05, 2015 $126,547
Software Development and Project Lead The Advisory Board Company Washington, DC Jul 14, 2014 $126,500
Software Development Project Leader Bruker Daltonics Inc. Fremont, CA Jan 17, 2014 $123,952
Principal Software Project Lead (SOC .09 IT Prjt MNG) Thales Avioncs, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 24, 2015 $121,133
Software Project Leader Jetbrains, Inc. Cambridge, MA Sep 08, 2013 $120,000
Software Project Leader Ericsson Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 05, 2012 $117,166 -
$156,200
Software Project Lead GE Healthcare IITS USA Corp. Park Ridge, NJ Oct 01, 2015 $115,000 -
$125,000
North America Software Project Lead Engineer Visteon Corporation Van Buren, MI Oct 01, 2015 $114,737
Software Project Leader (SOC .09 IT Project Manager) Harman Becker Automotive Systems, Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Dec 01, 2014 $112,000
Software Project Leader Magneti Marelli Holding USA, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Apr 18, 2016 $103,750
Embedded Software Project Lead Fleetilla, LLC Ann Arbor, MI Sep 12, 2016 $103,251 -
$110,000
Software Project Lead Engineer Visteon Corporation Van Buren, MI Oct 30, 2015 $103,230
Software Development Project Leader Bruker Daltonics Inc. Fremont, CA Jan 16, 2012 $101,000 -
$125,000
Software Development Project Leader Bruker Daltonics Inc. Fremont, CA Jan 09, 2012 $101,000 -
$125,000
Software Project Leader-NAV OEC Medical Systems, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT Jan 22, 2013 $101,000 -
$105,000
Software Development Project Lead Merkle Inc. Marlborough, MA Jul 15, 2016 $100,650 -
$120,000
Project Leader-Software Solutions Computech Corporation Detroit, MI Jun 14, 2013 $100,000
Project Leader-Software Solutions Computech Corporation Detroit, MI Nov 01, 2011 $90,000
Project Leader-Software Solutions Computech Corporation Detroit, MI Nov 01, 2012 $90,000
Software Project Leader Majescomastek Boston, MA Oct 23, 2012 $86,520
Software Project Leader DST Worldwide Services, LLC Birmingham, AL Sep 11, 2014 $85,280
Software Project Leader GE Medical Systems, LLC Waukesha, WI Apr 04, 2010 $85,000 -
$95,000
Project Leader-Software Solutions Computech Corporation Detroit, MI Jun 13, 2016 $85,000
Software Project Leader, Installed Base GE Medical Systems, LLC Waukesha, WI May 25, 2013 $85,000 -
$95,000
Software Project Lead DST Brokerage Solutions, LLC Kansas City, MO Jan 16, 2012 $84,000

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Top Skills for A Software Project Leader

  1. Software Development
  2. Project Management
  3. Data Analysis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supported project managers and Director of technology in day-to-day operation of the software development projects.
  • Involved in several important project management activities helping the client project management team.
  • Developed data analysis tools for Windows and UNIX using MSVC++, Cygwin, MatLab, & Perl.
  • Developed algorithms using MATLAB & VC++ integrating magnetic position tracking with electronic palpation data to generate tactile breast exams.
  • Implemented (Coding & Design) new data processing feature between upstream and data mart (PL/SQL and Shell scripts).

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Top 10 Best States for Software Project Leaders

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Virginia
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New York
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Colorado
  9. North Carolina
  10. District of Columbia
  • (6,366 jobs)
  • (12,140 jobs)
  • (4,156 jobs)
  • (3,460 jobs)
  • (294 jobs)
  • (2,775 jobs)
  • (2,917 jobs)
  • (1,819 jobs)
  • (1,495 jobs)
  • (472 jobs)

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