Career Development

What Does a Software Developer Do?

Find out what a software developer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a software developer.

Software developers are the people who build the software and applications that we all use every day. They’re responsible for creating new features, maintaining existing ones, and ensuring that everything works properly.

There is a lot of variety in this field—some developers work on large-scale projects with teams of other developers, while others may work alone on smaller projects. Regardless of their role or project size, they all have one thing in common: they need to be highly skilled in computer programming and software development techniques.

Software Developer Job Duties

Software developers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Implementing new software features or changes to existing software based on client requests or internal needs
  • Developing new applications or updating existing applications based on client needs or company objectives
  • Maintaining existing computer programs or developing new programs as needed for clients or employers
  • Testing and debugging programs for errors to ensure they function properly
  • Participating in meetings with clients, managers, and other team members to discuss project status and identify problems or issues that may arise during the course of the project
  • Analyzing business needs and creating technical specifications for computer software applications
  • Developing, designing, testing, and debugging computer software programs or applications designed to meet business needs such as accounting or inventory management
  • Developing new computer programs or applications using existing programming languages such as Java or C++
  • Evaluating new technology to determine its potential application within an organization

Software Developer Salary & Outlook

Software developer salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company they work for. They may also earn additional income through bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $112,575 ($54.12/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $165,000 ($79.33/hour)

The employment of software developers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by demand for software in a variety of industries, including healthcare and retail trade. Software developers will be needed to design and implement new features for mobile applications and websites.

Software Developer Job Requirements

A software developer typically needs to have the following skills:

Education: Software developers typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering or a related field. These programs typically include courses in computer programming, software design, mathematics, business and communication.

Training & Experience: Software developers typically receive on-the-job training once they are hired. This training may last for a few months and may include learning the company’s specific software and computer systems. It may also include learning about the company’s workflow and processes.

Some software developers may receive additional training before entering the workforce. For example, a computer science student may complete an internship where they learn more about the software development process. An internship can help students gain practical experience and learn more about the different aspects of software development.

Certifications & Licenses: While software developers do not have professional licensing requirements, they can get a certification to show their competence and commitment to their profession.

Software Developer Skills

Software developers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Coding: Coding is the process by which software developers create programs. They use coding languages like Java, Python or C# to create software. Coding is a necessary skill for software developers, and it’s one that they should continue to learn throughout their careers.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow software developers to identify and resolve issues with their programs. They may use their problem-solving skills to identify bugs, find solutions to technical issues or troubleshoot issues with a program’s user interface.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and find the best solution. Software developers use critical thinking when they’re designing a new program or system. They may need to find the best way to create the program, how to make it user-friendly and how to make it compatible with other programs.

Communication: Software developers often work with other individuals and teams to create software. Effective communication is necessary to collaborate with others and convey ideas and information. Communication skills can also help you to work with clients to understand their needs and create software that meets their expectations.

Time management: Time management is the ability to meet deadlines and goals. Software developers often work on multiple projects at once, so it’s important for them to prioritize their tasks and manage their time accordingly. This ensures they complete their work on time and produce high-quality work.

Software Developer Work Environment

Most software developers work in clean, well-lit offices and spend much of their time in front of a computer. They may also spend time talking with clients or colleagues about the design of the software, testing the software to ensure that it meets the client’s needs, and writing code for the software. Some software developers work on teams with other developers, while others work alone. In some cases, developers may work from home. Developers typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends, when they are working on a project.

Software Developer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how software developers work. Software developers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The need for more technical talent is a trend that is being driven by the increasing demand for software products and services. As businesses move towards a more digital-based model, they are increasingly relying on software to run their operations. This means that they will need to hire professionals who can develop and maintain these products.

Software developers are in high demand because they have the skills necessary to create and maintain these products. By learning new technologies and developing their skills, software developers can be prepared for the future and find success in this ever-changing industry.

AI Will Become More Important

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more important, software developers will need to learn how to work with it.

AI is already being used in many different industries, from healthcare to finance. In order to take advantage of its potential, software developers will need to understand how to work with AI and make it an integral part of their products.

More Focus on Security

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for security professionals will continue to grow. Software developers are in a unique position to help address this need, as they are often responsible for creating the code that keeps data safe.

By becoming experts in security, software developers can help to protect businesses from cyberattacks and ensure that customer data is kept safe.

How to Become a Software Developer

A software developer career can be a great choice for people who want to work in the technology field. There are many different types of software developers, so it’s important to find one that matches your interests and skills. Some common types of software developers include web developers, mobile developers, and game developers.

No matter what type of software developer you become, it’s important to have strong coding skills. You should also be able to think creatively and come up with new ideas for software products. It’s also important to be able to work well with other people and collaborate on projects.

Related: How to Write a Software Developer Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many different paths that a software developer can take in order to advance their career. One option is to move into a management position, such as a software development manager or a project manager. These roles typically require additional experience and education, but they offer the opportunity to lead a team of developers and oversee the development process from start to finish.

Another option for software developers is to move into a specialized area of development, such as security, performance, or user experience. These roles typically require a deep understanding of the software development process and a willingness to learn new technologies.

Finally, some software developers choose to become independent consultants or freelancers. This option allows developers to work on a variety of projects and to set their own hours, but it can be less stable than working for a single employer.

Software Developer Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe that great software developers are passionate about their craft and are always looking to improve their skills. We’re looking for a software developer to join our team who is excited about working on a variety of projects and is always looking to learn new technologies. As a software developer at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for developing software applications, working with a team of developers to create high-quality and scalable software. You will also be responsible for conducting unit testing and code reviews to ensure the quality of the codebase.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Engage with the development team in active problem solving to identify technical roadblocks and recommend solutions that can improve the direction of our products
  • Help define product features from a technical perspective, and work with cross-functional teams to see those features through to launch
  • Write clean, maintainable, and well-tested code that meets both the functional and non-functional requirements of our products
  • Take technical responsibility for assigned features or subsystems of our products, including participating in design and code reviews
  • Handle short-term and long-term projects concurrently and adjust on-the-fly as priorities change
  • Understand the existing codebase and be able to effectively make changes to it when necessary
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices, and share your knowledge with the team
  • Help troubleshoot and debug production issues as they arise
  • Assist with the creation and maintenance of internal documentation
  • Participate in customer facing meetings and demos as needed
  • Provide input on project timelines and milestones
  • Contribute to a positive and collaborative working environment

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or related field
  • 3+ years professional experience as a software developer
  • Proficient in Java, with knowledge of at least one other programming language
  • Experience with databases (e.g., MySQL, MongoDB), web applications, and cloud computing
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in computer science, engineering, or related field
  • 5+ years professional experience as a software developer
  • Proficient in multiple programming languages
  • Experience with big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
  • Leadership experience in a software development team

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