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Become A System Software Developer

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Working As A System Software Developer

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

  • $104,690

    Average Salary

What Does A System Software Developer 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 System Software Developer

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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System Software Developer Jobs

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System Software Developer Career Paths

System Software Developer
Information Technology Consultant Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Consultant Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Lead Software Developer Software Development Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Director Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Solutions Architect Implementation Manager
Integration Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Director Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Consultant Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Software Developer Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Director Architect Information Architect
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Release Manager Manager Applications Development
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer Engineering Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Engineering Director Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Business Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a System Software Developer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Developer 3.1 years
Software Designer 3.1 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Software Analyst 2.6 years
Software Developer 2.6 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Developer 2.2 years
Junior Developer 1.4 years
Top Employers Before
Programmer 4.7%
Internship 3.9%
Consultant 3.1%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.5%
Developer 2.9%

Do you work as a System Software Developer?

System Software Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.0%

Female

15.4%

Unknown

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

52.3%

Asian

18.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

5.2%
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Languages Spoken

Japanese

29.4%

Chinese

17.6%

Spanish

11.8%

French

11.8%

Gujarati

5.9%

Hindi

5.9%

Cantonese

5.9%

Arabic

5.9%

Korean

5.9%
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System Software Developer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.5%

Arizona State University

7.3%

University of Texas at Dallas

7.3%

San Jose State University

6.1%

Oklahoma State University

6.1%

University of Texas at Austin

6.1%

University of Central Florida

4.9%

Texas State University

4.9%

Strayer University

4.9%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.9%

Texas A&M University

4.9%

George Washington University

4.9%

University of Florida

3.7%

University of Maryland - University College

3.7%

California State University - Los Angeles

3.7%

State University of New York Albany

3.7%

Texas Tech University

3.7%

New Mexico State University

3.7%

Northeastern University

3.7%

Northwestern University

3.7%
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Majors

Computer Science

34.2%

Computer Engineering

13.4%

Computer Information Systems

9.8%

Business

8.8%

Electrical Engineering

7.5%

Information Technology

3.6%

Information Systems

3.3%

Mathematics

2.9%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Project Management

2.0%

Computer Programming

1.6%

Finance

1.3%

Computer Applications

1.3%

Accounting

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering

1.3%

Communication

1.3%

Industrial Engineering

1.3%

Management

1.0%

Information Sciences

1.0%

Management Science

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.5%

Masters

35.1%

Other

10.3%

Associate

5.0%

Certificate

3.7%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

1.1%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real System Software Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Systems Software Developer Blackberry Corporation Redwood City, CA Apr 20, 2016 $171,360
Software Developer, Systems Software Silicon & Software Systems U.S., Inc. New York, NY Jan 07, 2015 $160,000
Software Developer, Systems Software Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 09, 2016 $157,477
Software Developer, Systems Software Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 12, 2016 $157,477
Software Developer, Systems Software Hitachi Global Storage Technologies San Jose, CA Aug 17, 2016 $157,477
Software Developer, Systems Software Hitachi Global Storage Technologies San Jose, CA Jun 28, 2016 $157,477
Software Developer, Systems Software Computer Task Group, Inc. Hickory, NC Mar 19, 2016 $147,697
Software Developer/Systems Computer Task Group, Inc. Hickory, NC Mar 04, 2015 $147,697
Software Developer, Systems Computer Task Group, Inc. ('CTG') Hickory, NC Jan 02, 2015 $147,202
System Architect and Software Developer for IOT Devices Cratus Technology, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 25, 2016 $139,829
System Architect and Software Developer for IOT Devices Cratus Technology, Inc. San Jose, CA Jan 04, 2016 $139,829
Software Developers, Systems Software Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 12, 2015 $139,263 -
$148,400
Software Developer, Systems Software Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 12, 2016 $138,403
Software Developer, Systems Software Integrated Management Systems, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Nov 17, 2015 $101,483
Software Developer, Systems Software Integrated Management Systems, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Mar 11, 2015 $101,483
Software Developer, Systems Software Integrated Management Systems, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Jun 11, 2015 $101,483
Software Developer, Systems Software Harvey Nash, Inc. Seattle, WA Aug 18, 2016 $101,282 -
$125,220
Software Developer, Systems Flairsoft Ltd Columbus, OH Nov 02, 2016 $101,275
Software Developer, Systems Software Iconosoft Consulting Group, Inc. Old Bridge, NJ Apr 08, 2016 $100,755
Software Developer, Systems Software Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Glendale, CA Dec 09, 2016 $100,672
Software Developer, Systems Software Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Richardson, TX Nov 29, 2016 $87,651
Software Developer, Systems Software Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Richardson, TX Aug 15, 2016 $87,651
Software Developer-Systems Software Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. Irving, TX Jan 08, 2016 $87,651
Software Developer, Systems Software Integrated Management Systems, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Mar 16, 2015 $87,568
Software Developer, Systems Software Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Littleton, CO Aug 24, 2016 $87,214
Software Developer Systems Software Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. Littleton, CO Apr 15, 2016 $87,214
Software Developer, Systems Software Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Littleton, CO Aug 26, 2016 $87,214
Software Developer, Systems Software Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Englewood, CO Dec 09, 2016 $87,214

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Top Skills for A System Software Developer

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  1. Web
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Data Warehouse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented a web application that enables administrators and users to submit security scans and display statistics.
  • Involved in the Database design like creating tables with constraints and writing SQL queries using PL/SQL on Oracle database.
  • Developed Oracle data warehouse solutions to support intelligent analysis of massive product-quality data.
  • Maintained Linux servers and package updates* Performed daily backups of databases.
  • Assisted in documenting the transport process and procedures and setting up transport routes to correspond to the SAP system landscape.

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Top System Software Developer Employers

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System Software Developer Videos

Day in the Life: Software Engineer

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