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Become A Staff Software Engineer

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Working As A Staff Software Engineer

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

  • $87,422

    Average Salary

What Does A Staff Software Engineer 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 Staff Software Engineer

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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Staff Software Engineer jobs

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Staff Software Engineer Career Paths

Staff Software Engineer
Senior Staff Engineer Principal Engineer Program Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Principal Engineer Program Manager
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Consulting Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Director Of Software Development Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Senior Consultant Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Solutions Architect Product Manager
Product Manager, Mobile
10 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer Technical Consultant Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer Principal Consultant Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Senior Java Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Software Architect Chief Technology Officer
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Software Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Staff Engineer Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Director Of Product Development Creative Director
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Program Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Chief Technology Officer Senior Project Manager
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Knowledge Engineer 3.4 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Firmware Engineer 3.3 years
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
Software Analyst 2.6 years
Data Engineer 2.5 years
Embedded Engineer 1.9 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 3.2%
Programmer 2.4%
Internship 1.9%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.7%
Engineer 2.1%

Staff Software Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

74.3%

Female

16.6%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

57.1%

Asian

32.9%

Hispanic or Latino

6.8%

Unknown

2.7%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

20.0%

Portuguese

12.0%

Chinese

12.0%

German

12.0%

French

8.0%

Arabic

8.0%

Korean

8.0%

Turkish

4.0%

Hebrew

4.0%

Japanese

4.0%

Russian

4.0%

Mandarin

4.0%
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Staff Software Engineer Education

Schools

Santa Clara University

8.4%

University of Texas at Austin

7.0%

San Jose State University

6.6%

Illinois Institute of Technology

6.2%

Purdue University

5.7%

University of Florida

5.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.3%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.3%

Ohio State University

4.8%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.4%

Marist College

4.4%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.4%

Johns Hopkins University

4.4%

San Diego State University

4.4%

National University

4.0%

University of California - San Diego

4.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.0%

Florida Atlantic University

4.0%

Syracuse University

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

44.2%

Electrical Engineering

16.7%

Computer Engineering

13.6%

Business

4.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Mathematics

2.4%

Management

2.0%

Information Systems

1.8%

Project Management

1.5%

Finance

1.2%

Information Technology

1.2%

Engineering

1.1%

Physics

1.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.0%

Computer Networking

1.0%

Computer Applications

0.9%

Marketing

0.9%

Systems Engineering

0.8%

Management Information Systems

0.7%

Biomedical Engineering

0.6%
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Degrees

Masters

44.2%

Bachelors

40.1%

Other

6.1%

Doctorate

6.1%

Certificate

2.2%

Associate

1.0%

Diploma

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Staff Software Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Software Engineer Google Inc. Seattle, WA Dec 09, 2016 $275,000
Staff Software Engineer Google, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 10, 2015 $247,500
Staff Software Engineer Google, Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 01, 2015 $247,500
Staff Engineer-Software Engineering Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Jul 12, 2015 $240,000
Staff Engineer-Software Engineering Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 22, 2016 $225,000
Staff Software Engineer Linkedin Corporation Mountain View, CA Apr 05, 2016 $220,000 -
$237,000
Staff Software Engineer Google Inc. Cambridge, MA Apr 08, 2016 $217,400
Senior Staff Software Engineer Twitter, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 23, 2015 $212,500
Staff Software Engineer Twitter, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 25, 2016 $208,000
Staff Software Engineer, WMX Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 30, 2016 $200,000
Staff Software Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 02, 2016 $200,000
Staff Software Engineer Google, Inc. Cambridge, MA Jan 10, 2016 $200,000
Senior Staff Software Engineer-Backend General Electric Company San Ramon, CA Mar 28, 2016 $198,000
Software Engineer (Member of Technical Staff) Riverbed Technology, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 12, 2016 $142,938 -
$145,000
Software Engineer (Member of Technical Staff) Riverbed Technology, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 07, 2016 $142,938 -
$145,000
Staff/Manager Software Engineer Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. San Jose, CA May 12, 2016 $142,938 -
$176,600
Staff Software Engineer Intuit Mountain View, CA Nov 20, 2015 $142,800
Staff Software Engineer, Full Stack Web Development Invensense, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 28, 2016 $142,500 -
$150,000
Staff Software Engineer Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Sep 14, 2016 $142,403
Staff Software Engineer Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Jul 20, 2016 $142,403
Staff Engineer-Software Engineering Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Apr 18, 2016 $142,376 -
$177,000
Staff Software Engineer Inovant, LLC Foster City, CA Aug 03, 2015 $120,796 -
$150,514
Staff Software Engineer Inovant, LLC Foster City, CA Aug 10, 2015 $120,796 -
$170,466
Staff Software Engineer Fireeye, Inc. Milpitas, CA Feb 07, 2016 $120,700 -
$168,720
Staff Software Engineer Polycom, Inc. Torrance, CA May 08, 2016 $120,500 -
$140,500
Staff Software Engineer Polycom, Inc. Torrance, CA Aug 05, 2016 $120,500 -
$140,500
Staff Engineer 3, Mobile Software Engineering Directv LLC El Segundo, CA Oct 11, 2015 $120,453 -
$138,816
Staff SW Engineer Cybersource Corporation Foster City, CA Mar 30, 2015 $120,420 -
$142,521

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Top Skills for A Staff Software Engineer

WebServicesC/C++LinuxPlatformWindowsArchitectureAPISoftwareDevelopmentUserInterfaceSQLServerXMLDeviceDriverFirmwareUnixAndroidC #SoftwareEngineersI/OGUIDB2

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Top Staff Software Engineer Skills

  1. Web Services
  2. C/C++
  3. Linux
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed SOAP based web services that would allow interactivity between Control Center and B2B Integrator.
  • Replaced kernel mode Windows NT 4.0 printer drivers with user mode printer drivers written in C/C++ for Windows Vista.
  • Gained experience in driver development for NFC Controllers on Motorola P2K, Linux Platforms.
  • Manage and lead a team of 7 engineers for the implementation of the next generation infrastructure platform.
  • Develop java applications(J2ME) on Windows mobile platform.

Top Staff Software Engineer Employers

Staff Software Engineer Videos

Cathay Pacific A Day in The Life of an Engineer""

Apple's employee recruiting video

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