Career, Salary and Education Information
What They Do: Software developers create the applications or systems that run on a computer or another device.
Work Environment: Many software developers work for firms that deal in computer systems design and related services, manufacturing, or for software publishers.
How to Become One: Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.
Salary: The median annual wage for software developers, applications is $103,620. The median annual wage for software developers, systems software is $110,000.
Job Outlook: Employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of software developers with similar occupations.
Following is everything you need to know about a career as a software developer with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:
Top 3 Software Developer Jobs
- Software Engineer - Modesto, CA - Hired - Modesto, CA
Software Engineers continue to be one ... of the most exciting and in-demand developer jobs available. Engineers code websites or ...
- Entry Level Software Engineer - C/C++ - Volt - Irvine, CA
Communicate with the software developer group, with users, and with management as well as with the wider community. * Maintain the strict confidentiality of sensitive information. * Perform other ...
- Associate Software Engineer - BOEING - Pleasanton, CA
As a Software Engineer you will be part of the Pleasanton, California based Integrated Product Team developing ARM-based embedded processor solutions for commercial and aerospace applications. As ...
See all Software Developer jobs
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 of Software Developers
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 system and plan how the pieces will work together
- Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that show programmers the software code needed for an application
- Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
- Document every aspect of an application or 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 functions of the 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 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 create the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including those used by cell phones and cars.
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.