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What Does A Staff Software Engineer Do?

A Staff Software Engineer is responsible for developing, maintaining, and repairing company software for maximum efficiency and usability. They instruct and mentor their team members in software development techniques and cloud development.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real staff software engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage source code and integration for team with git, svn and Jenkins.
  • Utilize JavaScript, AJAX and HTML markup to create, edit and manage filters.
  • Lead the functional verification test team for the security component of IBM z/OS WebSphere.
  • Work with QA for different eBay modules to review and automate tests for testing new functionality on site.
  • Lead the effort to migrate AOL client connectivity from proprietary protocol (P3) to open standards base on TCP/IP.
  • Learned how to manage and mediate between large, remotely locate teams of project management, development, and QA personnel.
  • Develop sound knowledge of USB protocol, SPI and I2C technology.
  • Assist team in developing the required XML file for automate tests using python base test framework.
  • Utilize XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and XML in transforming remote presence features into new products.
  • Design a relational database and create an API to facilitate automation of network performance analysis.
Staff Software Engineer Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Creativity involves thinking about a task or problem in an entirely new or different light.

Staff Software Engineer Overview

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a staff software engineer is "should I become a staff software engineer?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, staff software engineer careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 21% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a staff software engineer by 2028 is 284,100.

Staff software engineers average about $61.55 an hour, which makes the staff software engineer annual salary $128,023. Additionally, staff software engineers are known to earn anywhere from $100,000 to $163,000 a year. This means that the top-earning staff software engineers make $63,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

It's hard work to become a staff software engineer, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a software analyst, test engineer, lead engineer, and software developer.

Staff Software Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Staff Software Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 14% of Staff Software Engineers are proficient in Software Development, Python, and Java. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Communication skills, and Creativity.

We break down the percentage of Staff Software Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Software Development, 14%

    Developed Real-Time IP network monitoring and visualization software to compute and display network-wide topology map in full software development left cycle.

  • Python, 9%

    Delivered server-and-client based application framework using Python to enable designers to create user interface using markup languages.

  • Java, 9%

    Developed and maintained java web and batch application software critical to operation of Microelectronics manufacturing lines in Burlington, Vermont.

  • Architecture, 7%

    Designed architecture, framework and developed tools for system level end-to-end testing for all communication related software.

  • Linux, 4%

    Enhanced communications between test teams and developers by providing test reports to external Linux developers and internal development teams.

  • GIT, 4%

    Improved Git synchronization time performance 97% from 30 minutes per build to be under 1 minute.

Most staff software engineers list "software development," "python," and "java" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important staff software engineer responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a staff software engineer to have happens to be analytical skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that staff software engineers can use analytical skills to "maintained the system performance analysis tool to ensure the system performance meet the requirements by optimizing the tool with java/j2ee features. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling staff software engineer duties is communication skills. According to a staff software engineer resume, "developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project." Here's an example of how staff software engineers are able to utilize communication skills: "implemented command and control communication between mobile app and sage unit via the servers using json. "
  • Staff software engineers are also known for creativity, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a staff software engineer resume: "developers are the creative minds behind new computer software." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "maintained inventory data model and acted as development database administrator. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "detail oriented" is important to completing staff software engineer responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way staff software engineers use this skill: "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." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical staff software engineer tasks: "designed and implemented network protocol oriented code for in-house http stack based on rfc 2616 and 2617. "
  • Another common skill for a staff software engineer to be able to utilize is "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. A staff software engineer demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "worked in r&d; developing new java based client for an enterprise monitoring solution. "
  • See the full list of staff software engineer skills.

    We've found that 63.9% of staff software engineers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 25.3% earned their master's degrees before becoming a staff software engineer. While it's true that most staff software engineers have a college degree, it's generally impossible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine staff software engineers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The staff software engineers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied computer science and electrical engineering, while a small population of staff software engineers studied computer engineering and mathematics.

    When you're ready to become a staff software engineer, you might wonder which companies hire staff software engineers. According to our research through staff software engineer resumes, staff software engineers are mostly hired by Zendesk, General Electric, and Walmart. Now is a good time to apply as Zendesk has 265 staff software engineers job openings, and there are 197 at General Electric and 156 at Walmart.

    If you're interested in companies where staff software engineers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Twitter, Jet-i Leasing, and Course Hero. We found that at Twitter, the average staff software engineer salary is $184,946. Whereas at Jet-i Leasing, staff software engineers earn roughly $182,668. And at Course Hero, they make an average salary of $181,743.

    View more details on staff software engineer salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a staff software engineer include IBM, Lockheed Martin, and Motorola Solutions. These three companies were found to hire the most staff software engineers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    For the most part, staff software engineers make their living in the technology and telecommunication industries. Staff software engineers tend to make the most in the retail industry with an average salary of $157,836. The staff software engineer annual salary in the manufacturing and telecommunication industries generally make $135,570 and $134,974 respectively. Additionally, staff software engineers who work in the retail industry make 24.7% more than staff software engineers in the technology Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious staff software engineers are:

      What Software Analysts Do

      A software analyst is responsible for creating and designing software programs and applications, as well as modifying existing ones for optimization according to business requirements. Software analysts work with the technical team to draw system codes, analyze programming languages, and ensure the stability and efficiency of software navigation by running multiple quality checks to the system. They inspect the application's performance, configure servers, and improve software infrastructure according to quality findings. A software analyst records resolution reports and provides progress updates, ensuring that the project adheres to budget limitations and set timetables.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take software analyst for example. On average, the software analysts annual salary is $53,917 lower than what staff software engineers make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both staff software engineers and software analysts positions are skilled in software development, java, and linux.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a staff software engineer responsibilities require skills like "python," "c #," "architecture," and "git." Meanwhile a typical software analyst has skills in areas such as "business process," "troubleshoot," "software applications," and "data analysis." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Software analysts receive the highest salaries in the health care industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $80,944. But staff software engineers are paid more in the retail industry with an average salary of $157,836.

      Software analysts tend to reach lower levels of education than staff software engineers. In fact, software analysts are 17.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 4.6% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Test Engineer?

      Test engineers are professionals who observe and record the quality of products, which includes functionality, durability, speed, and safety. They are responsible for checking the materials and procedures thoroughly throughout the production cycle. It is their duty to run tests on different criteria to identify and fix technical issues. They analyze reactions to determine the causes of malfunctions and recommend potential improvements. Moreover, they test products before they are launched to ensure customers get high-quality and functional products.

      Next up, we have the test engineer profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a staff software engineer annual salary. In fact, test engineers salary difference is $52,119 lower than the salary of staff software engineers per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of staff software engineers and test engineers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "python," "java," and "c #. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, staff software engineer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "software development," "architecture," "git," and "api." Meanwhile, a test engineer might be skilled in areas such as "test equipment," "test results," "test procedures," and "business process." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      It's been discovered that test engineers earn lower salaries compared to staff software engineers, but we wanted to find out where test engineers earned the most pay. The answer? The technology industry. The average salary in the industry is $89,554. Additionally, staff software engineers earn the highest paychecks in the retail with an average salary of $157,836.

      On the topic of education, test engineers earn lower levels of education than staff software engineers. In general, they're 17.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 4.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Lead Engineer Compares

      A lead engineer's duties vary on their line of work or industry of employment. Typically, their responsibilities will revolve around overseeing the progress of operations and performance of the workforce, ensuring that everything is running smoothly. They are also responsible for addressing issues and concerns, assessing risks, monitoring the budget, coordinating with clients and architects, and even training workers. Furthermore, as a lead engineer, it is crucial to conduct regular inspections to ensure the quality of work and maintain a safe environment for all workers.

      Let's now take a look at the lead engineer profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than staff software engineers with a $55,450 difference per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several staff software engineers and lead engineers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "python," "java," and "c #," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from staff software engineers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "software development," "scrum," "http," and "code reviews." But a lead engineer might have skills like "javascript," "project management," "facility," and "troubleshoot."

      Lead engineers make a very good living in the automotive industry with an average annual salary of $104,607. Whereas staff software engineers are paid the highest salary in the retail industry with the average being $157,836.

      Lead engineers typically study at lower levels compared with staff software engineers. For example, they're 13.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 2.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Software Developer

      A software developer is responsible for designing application systems to support the user and business' needs. Duties of a software developer include testing software codes, performing diagnostic programs and troubleshooting, interpreting system data and establishing efficient parameters, and ensuring the compatibility of the systems. A software developer must have an excellent knowledge of computer programs and programming languages to understand its complexities, especially on detecting system defects and malfunctions. A software developer must have strong attention to detail, communication, and decision-making skills to coordinate with the team and also work independently under minimal supervision.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than staff software engineers. On average, software developers earn a difference of $43,221 lower per year.

      While their salaries may vary, staff software engineers and software developers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "software development," "python," and "java. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "c #," "architecture," "hardware," and "http" are skills that have shown up on staff software engineers resumes. Additionally, software developer uses skills like procedures, javascript, c # .net, and version control on their resumes.

      In general, software developers make a higher salary in the finance industry with an average of $98,049. The highest staff software engineer annual salary stems from the retail industry.

      In general, software developers reach lower levels of education when compared to staff software engineers resumes. Software developers are 9.0% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 4.5% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.