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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

  • $110,756

    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 Videos

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

Apple's employee recruiting video

A Day in the Life of Inside Sales at SAP

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Staff Software Engineer Career Paths

Staff Software Engineer
Principal Software Engineer Software Development Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Technical Manager Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Director Of Software Development Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Management Consultant Senior Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Staff Engineer Principal Engineer Senior Project Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Principal Engineer Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Consultant Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Software Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Lead Project Manager Product Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Software Architect Software Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Director Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Staff Engineer Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Staff Software Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Staff Software Engineer
Consultant 3.6%
Programmer 2.5%
Internship 1.8%
Top Careers After Staff Software Engineer
Consultant 5.2%
Engineer 2.5%

Do you work as a Staff Software Engineer?

Staff Software Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

74.1%

Female

17.6%

Unknown

8.3%
Ethnicity

White

43.6%

Asian

32.6%

Hispanic or Latino

12.0%

Black or African American

7.2%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

German

13.9%

Spanish

13.9%

French

11.1%

Arabic

11.1%

Portuguese

8.3%

Chinese

8.3%

Japanese

5.6%

Korean

5.6%

Russian

2.8%

Vietnamese

2.8%

Hebrew

2.8%

Mandarin

2.8%

Turkish

2.8%

Dutch

2.8%

Urdu

2.8%

Italian

2.8%
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Staff Software Engineer Education

Schools

Santa Clara University

7.8%

Illinois Institute of Technology

6.9%

University of Texas at Austin

6.9%

San Jose State University

6.5%

Johns Hopkins University

6.1%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.7%

Purdue University

5.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.9%

University of Florida

4.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.9%

Ohio State University

4.5%

National University

4.1%

Marist College

4.1%

San Diego State University

4.1%

University of California - San Diego

4.1%

Colorado State University

4.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.7%

North Carolina State University

3.7%

Texas A&M University

3.7%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.7%
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Majors

Computer Science

42.5%

Electrical Engineering

17.4%

Computer Engineering

13.4%

Business

4.8%

Mathematics

2.9%

Computer Information Systems

2.7%

Management

1.7%

Information Technology

1.7%

Information Systems

1.6%

Project Management

1.5%

Engineering

1.4%

Physics

1.3%

Finance

1.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.0%

Computer Applications

1.0%

Systems Engineering

0.9%

Marketing

0.8%

Computer Networking

0.8%

Management Information Systems

0.7%

Mechanical Engineering

0.6%
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Degrees

Masters

44.6%

Bachelors

40.1%

Doctorate

6.0%

Other

5.9%

Certificate

2.1%

Associate

0.9%

Diploma

0.4%
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Staff Software Engineer Videos

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

Apple's employee recruiting video

A Day in the Life of Inside Sales at SAP

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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 Google, Inc. Cambridge, MA Jan 10, 2016 $200,000
Staff Software Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 02, 2016 $200,000
Staff Software Engineer, WMX Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 30, 2016 $200,000
Senior Staff Software Engineer-Backend General Electric Company San Ramon, CA Mar 28, 2016 $198,000
Software Engineer, Staff Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 20, 2016 $143,000
Staff Software Engineer Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 07, 2016 $143,000
Software Engineer, Staff Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 19, 2016 $143,000
Staff Software Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Jun 22, 2015 $143,000
Staff Software Engineer Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 09, 2015 $143,000
SR. Staff Software Engineer Visa USA Foster City, CA Dec 22, 2016 $143,000 -
$163,000
Staff Software Engineer Adaptive Planning, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Oct 01, 2015 $120,840
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 Aug 05, 2016 $120,500 -
$140,500
Staff Software Engineer Polycom, Inc. Torrance, CA May 08, 2016 $120,500 -
$140,500
Staff Engineer 3, Mobile Software Engineering Directv LLC El Segundo, CA Oct 11, 2015 $120,453 -
$138,816

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Top Skills for A Staff Software Engineer

  1. C++
  2. Web
  3. C
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Replaced kernel mode Windows NT 4.0 printer drivers with user mode printer drivers written in C/C++ for Windows Vista.
  • Maintained, enhanced a security access request Web application, ensuring security standards compliance.
  • Improved customer relations, presenting product enhancements at technical conferences, showcasing new functions, obtaining customer feedback.
  • Streamlined the configuration process and procedures for the Linux-based operating system.
  • Developed software for a fetal cell detection instrument utilizing a custom robotic imaging platform.

How Would You Rate Working As a Staff Software Engineer?

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Top 10 Best States for Staff Software Engineers

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Colorado
  5. Texas
  6. New York
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Delaware
  9. Georgia
  10. Florida
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  • (6,913 jobs)
  • (4,837 jobs)
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  • (263 jobs)
  • (2,286 jobs)
  • (3,229 jobs)

Top Staff Software Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Staff Software Engineer Employers

Staff Software Engineer Videos

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

Apple's employee recruiting video

A Day in the Life of Inside Sales at SAP

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