Have you ever considered becoming a software developer? If you think you would enjoy creating games, computer programs, or operating systems, this may be the career for you! Software development is a good field for people who are creative, work well with others, and have knowledge about and a passion for computers and technology. The pay for this career is rather high, and the job prospects as well as the estimated growth of the profession are both very good. With a bachelor’s degree in a related field, you should be able to break into the field of software development without a problem. There is often room for advancement and promotion to management positions in the field. There are also opportunities for continuing education through master’s degree programs in computer science and other related programs of study. This post will cover the software develop job description and other aspects of this career.
Software Developer Job Description
The software developer job description can be summed up by stating that software developers create computer programs and/or applications, or they create computer systems. They oversee the development of and creation of computer software. They begin by determining the needs of their customers, then they design the program that will meet their customers’ needs. Computer programmers typically code and test the software. If there is a problem with it, software developers go back to the design phase and figure out another alternative.
Usually, a typical software developer job description contains the following items:
- Determine what the program users will need, and then develop and create programs that will meet users’ needs
- Work collaboratively with customers, computer programmers, and other software developers
- Determine what program upgrades will be beneficial for program users and encourage them to take advantage of upgrades
- Test and update software to ensure that it will continue to work effectively
- Take detailed notes about the product (the application or system) so that they can refer back to their notes in the event that product needs maintenance, to be updated, or modified
There are two different types of software developers. These include systems software developers and applications software developers. Systems software developers create systems that help computers run. Systems software developers often develop and create the actual interface that computer users have to help them interact with the computer. They may also the operating systems that control the basic functioning of the computer. Applications software developers create games, custom software for clients, and word processing applications. They may also create specific applications for companies to use. Many software developers work in offices with other software developers as well as computer programmers. Other software developers are able to telecommute for their jobs.
Software Developer Education and Software Developer Training
The typical software develop education consists of a 4 year degree from a college or university. Software developers typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer programming or computer science. Other related degrees are also acceptable educational backgrounds for people who want to become software developers. However, a bachelor’s degree in computer science may be considered most ideal for software developers. A master’s degree in computer science may be necessary for certain software development positions.
It can be helpful (and in some cases necessary) for computer science students to complete internships while they are in school. This helps prepare future software developers for careers in the field. It also gives them hands-on experience which can give them the upper hand in a competitive job market. It is not uncommon for software developers to gain experience as computer programmers before they advance to development. In fact, some computer programmers eventually become program developers after they have gained a good bit of experience in the field
Software developer training should continue even after software developers begin working in the field. They must stay current on new developments, programs, and tools that are relevant to software developers. Software developers may eventually have the opportunity to move up to managerial positions sometimes referred to as information technology managers. In that position, they would oversee the development of software programs.
There are certain personality traits and skill sets that are important for software developers to have. Software developers must have strong communication and interpersonal skills as they often work together in teams with other employees. They must also be very good at analyzing needs and determining what programs would be well suited to meet those needs. Software developers must be very knowledgeable about and familiar with computers. Creativity is also an important trait for software developers to have. The ability to trouble shoot and problem solve is essential to software developers. Finally, software developers should be able to pay close attention to details.
Software Developer Salary
The median annual salary for all software developers as of 2012 was $93,350 or $44.88 per hour. The median annual salary for application software developers in 2012, according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS)*, was $90,060 per year. The median value is not the same as the value of the average salary (although they can be close). The median value reflects the value situated in the middle of the registered salaries. This means that half of all application software developers have earned somewhat more than $90,060 per year, and the other half of application software developers earned somewhat less. The lowest earning 10 percent of application software developers earned an annual salary of less than $55,190. The top 10 percent of software developers earned an annual salary of more than $138,880.
For systems software developers, the median annual income was $99,000 as of 2012. The lowest 10 percent of systems software developers earned less than $62,800, whereas the top 10 percent of systems software developers earned more than $148,850.
As of May 2012, the median annual income for application software developers in the top four industries related to software development were: the manufacture of computers and electronic products $97,960, software publishers $96,920, insurance and financial $91,970, and systems design $88,500. As of May 2012, the median annual income for systems software developers in the top four industries related to software development were: the manufacture of computers and electronic products $105,030, insurance and financial $99,940, software publishers $99,750, and systems design $98,500.
Software Developer Outlook
The software developer outlook is projected a growth of 22% for software developers from 2012 until 2022 according to the BLS. This is noticeably faster than the average growth projected for all other occupations. Job growth for applications software developers is anticipated to grow by 23% between 2012 and 2022. Job growth for systems software developers is expected to grow by 20% between the years 2012 and 2022.
As the demand for computer technology increases, so will the need for software developers. As a result there should be many job opportunities out there for those qualified to work as software developers. Various industries that may not seem directly related to the technological industry are highly reliant upon the work of software developers. For example, medical practices and hospitals rely on computers and other advanced technologies. The reliance on computers in and of itself should lead to many job opportunities in the field. That reliance on computers also means that companies want secure technology. This need for cyber security will also ensure that job opportunities are prevalent in the field of software development. It is possible that some outsourcing will occur over time and some jobs may be given to companies in foreign countries. However, this is not expected to be a big problem for software developers.
*All numerical data in this report are provided by the BLS, www.bls.gov
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