A software developer is someone who creates and tests software applications. They work in a variety of industries, including banking, health care, retail, and manufacturing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for software developers will grow 17 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. If you are interested in becoming a software developer, there are a few things you need to know about the career path.
1. What Is a Software Developer?
Software developers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing software, which is computer programming that fixes or improves existing programs and develops new ones. This involves everything from small-scale tasks like fixing bugs to large-scale projects such as creating a new system used by hundreds of thousands of users every day.
Developers often work with business teams to determine what software needs improvement or creation, then develop it based on their specifications. They must consider the user experience and make sure the program runs smoothly once implemented. Developers also perform tests to ensure the software works as intended.
2. What Are the Responsibilities of a Software Developer?
Once you become a software developer, your responsibilities will vary depending on the industry and company you work for. However, they often include:
● Analyzing user needs and technical specifications to determine what functions should be included in the software
● Designing, writing, and testing computer programs
● Working with other programmers and business teams to ensure smooth implementation of software
● Creating and testing the software until it works as intended
● Compiling and documenting your findings so others can understand how and why the program operates as it does
3. What Is the Projected Job Growth for Software Developers?
The BLS predicts 18 percent employment growth from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average. This is largely due to the increasing demand for mobile and cloud-based applications and services as organizations look to improve their efficiency with technology. Organizations also need web-based applications that will keep customers engaged and ensure they keep coming back.
4. What Skills Are Needed to Become a Software Developer?
As with any job, you’ll need some important qualities to be successful as a software developer:
● Attention to detail – A successful coder pays close attention to all aspects of the application before, during, and after it is written, tested, and implemented
● Analytical skills – Successful coders pay attention to trends, research, and industry developments and apply this information to their work
● Creativity – Software developers must be able to think outside the box when it comes to solving problems or implementing new ideas. They are also responsible for coming up with solutions that are easy for customers to use
● Communication skills – A software developer’s work is never done. They must explain their work, solve issues, and communicate with team members, project stakeholders, and others throughout the development process
● Mathematical ability – Coders should have some basic understanding of mathematics, especially algebra and geometry, in order to understand algorithms. Most applications use algorithms when performing calculations
● Problem-solving skills – A successful coder needs to be able to identify an issue, research the problem, and come up with a solution. They must also troubleshoot applications when they do not work properly
● Time management – Since it can take several weeks or months for new software to go from the initial design to the final product, a software developer must be able to multi-task and prioritize tasks
● Computer programming skills – A successful coder needs strong programming skills in order to implement their ideas into working applications. They should also know relevant coding languages for the specific project.
5. Why Should I Become a Software Developer?
There are many reasons to become a software developer. First, the demand for software continues to grow as organizations look to improve operational efficiency and productivity with technology. Second, there will always be a need for new and innovative applications: This gives developers an opportunity to create something that has never been built before. Third, you’ll use cutting-edge technologies and tools that can help you build software not only for work but also for personal projects. Fourth, a software developer can work from almost anywhere in the world. Finally, there are many programming languages beyond the more popular C++ or Java that software developers can learn, which gives you even more opportunities to build something unique.
6. How Do You Become a Developer?
The education requirements for software developers vary depending on their specialty, but they all need at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers require that applicants have an associate’s or master’s degree, and some high-level positions may require a doctorate. Common degrees include computer science, information systems, and software engineering.
7. What Career Opportunities Are There for a Software Developer?
The range of jobs for software developers is vast and continues to grow, especially in industries like healthcare, transportation, e-commerce, and defense. Many companies create their own in-house job titles for their software developers, but some common job titles for this career include computer scientist, app developer, and applications engineer.
Software developers may work on one specific project or in an “agile” environment where they can work on multiple projects at once. They might also manage a team of other coders when creating large-scale applications like e-commerce sites, social media platforms, or mobile applications. Some coders choose to work on the user interface side, which means they are responsible for the look and feel of a site, but not creating the actual coding behind it.
As a software developer, you might also have opportunities to specialize in certain areas like security or testing. You can even learn new coding languages when necessary since they can help you in a variety of career paths.
8. How Much Do Software Developers Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers earned a median salary of $100,080 in 2014 – which is just slightly lower than other computer-related careers. According to Indeed’s salary data, entry-level software developers earn an average salary range of $33,607 to $55,863 per year. To become a more experienced coder, you can earn an average salary range of $58,879 to $98,568 per year.
9. What Kinds of Companies Hire Software Developers?
A software developer can work from anywhere, but most companies hire developers to work in their corporate headquarters. Developers may also travel from company to company to help them develop applications for a specific project. They may even be self-employed and work from home.
Most typically, large organizations that offer web services or software products hire software developers. However, smaller companies may also need help building applications, so you can find jobs at all kinds of organizations.
Top recruiting companies for a software developer
Some of the top recruiting companies for a software developer:
● Orbitz Worldwide, Inc.
● Electronic Arts Inc.
● IBM Corp.
● WebMD Health Corp.
● Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.
10. What Are the Latest Technologies That a Software Developer Should Know?
The technological landscape is always changing and evolving, so you’ll need to learn new skills if you want to stay relevant in the field of software development. New languages will be created, and existing ones may shift in popularity. Here are some current popular programming languages :
● Python – This language can handle everything from web services to automation scripts. The syntax is relatively easy to read for other programmers also, which makes it great for collaborating on projects with others.
● Swift – This language is a more modern choice for iOS and OS X developers.
● Ruby on Rails – This framework makes it easier to build backend web applications. It’s been around since 2005, but it’s still very relevant today.
11. How Long Does It Take to Become a Developer?
If you’re attending school full-time and studying computer science or another relevant degree program, you could graduate in four years with the right credits and GPA. Otherwise, it can take anywhere from four months to several years to develop the necessary skills and experience to land a job as a software developer.
12. How Do You Advance As a Software Developer?
Just like any other job, advancement largely depends on your previous work performance and the type of company you’re working for. There are also certification programs that can help you advance in your career if you don’t have much experience yet – but they will not guarantee you a position.
13. Best Colleges to Study Software Development
Some of the top colleges to study software development:
● Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
● Stanford University
● New York University (NYU)
● California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
● Carnegie Mellon University
14. What Are Some Common Job Titles Someone Can Achieve Working As a Software Developer?
Some common job titles include:
● Mobile apps developer
● Web Developer/Designer
● Quality Assurance Engineer/Manual Tester
● Application Developer/Programmer Analyst
● Applications Systems Developer
15. Online Courses for Software Developers
There are several online courses that can be taken to learn how to develop software, but these are the most popular ones:
B.Sc. Software Development by International university of applied sciences- You can follow this full degree (180 ECTS) course completely online. The university offers distance learning options like exams, assignments, and projects to be done by the students at home. They also conduct webinars every month that cover topics relevant to software engineering.
Software Development From A to ZOOP, UML, Agile, Python by Udemy- This is a beginner to the advanced course which touches upon all the important topics of software development, starting from fundamentals and going deeper into other topics. This 100-hour long course covers a lot of content, including object-oriented programming, web services, databases, etc.
Software Development: Better Requirements Gathering Skills by Udemy- This course offers a lot of actionable strategies for software developers to understand better their customers and users. It also covers different techniques for gathering requirements from the customers.
MicroMasters® Program in Software Development by Edx- This is a nine-course program, including one foundational and six specialization courses. The foundational course will give you an introduction to the whole program, while the other specialty courses will equip you with skills in software development like cloud computing, data science, etc.
Software Development Fundamentals by Edx- The fundamentals course has three specialization courses- Software Design, Agile and Lean Software Development, and DevOps. This will give you a wide range of knowledge in software development.
As a Software Developer, you will be responsible for designing and developing software programs that are used by individuals or other companies to complete their tasks. You may also need to work with the Designers of these systems in order to make sure they are functional according to company standards. Writing code can sometimes take hours at a time because it is complex logic mixed with creativity. If you’re looking for an exciting career opportunity where your efforts have tangible results, this might just be the perfect job for you!