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How To Become A Software Developer

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By: Cami Ragano

May 21, 2021

Software development is an exciting and in-demand career in the IT industry. Many developer roles are available for qualified professionals, and opportunities continue to grow as technology advances. Students will learn to develop, create, maintain, and write or code new (or modify existing) software, applications, or specialized utility programs on this career path. With Cybrary's subject matter expert instructors, virtual lab environment, and convenient online curriculums, students can access hands-on practice in real-world environments with the latest tools and technologies.

What is a Software Developer?

Software developers are the masterminds behind all kinds of computer programs. Some developers create specific applications or programs that allow users to perform tasks on a computer or device, while others develop huge networks or underlying systems that run other programs. These two categories of developers are applications software developers and systems software developers.

What Does a Software Developer Do?

Software developers are usually responsible for the following duties:

  • Analyzing end users' needs to design, test, and develop software.
  • Recommending software upgrades for existing systems and programs.
  • Ensuring programs continue to run normally through maintenance and testing.
  • Designing each part of an app or system and planning how those parts will work together.
  • Creating diagrams and models to show programmers the code that is needed for applications.
  • Documenting all aspects of an app or system as a reference for future upgrades and maintenance.
  • Work with other IT professionals to create excellent software.

Software developers are basically responsible for the whole development process of a software program, from beginning to end. The process may start with the developer talking with the customer to learn how the software will be used. The software developer has to identify the core functionality that the users need from the program and any user requirements unrelated to the functionality (for example, the performance needs and security levels). Then, they design the program and give instructions to the programmers who write the code and test the program.

If there are issues with the program (e.g., it doesn't work properly or testers find it too hard to use), the developer will go back through the design process to resolve those issues.

Software developers often work collaboratively with programmers. However, in some organizations, their developers write code themselves rather than handing them off to programmers.

Are Software Developers In Demand?

The overall employment of software developers is growing, so they are definitely in demand. It's expected that this profession will grow by 22 percent by 2030. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is much higher than the average for all job roles.

There will be new software developers' opportunities due to the need for new applications on tablets and smartphones. Additionally, the growth in the number and types of products that utilize software (e.g., IoT in consumer electronics, appliances, etc.) will continue to create even more jobs for software developers.

Software developers are also in demand in the cybersecurity industry as concerns about cyber threats and attacks continue to increase. Organizations are investing more money in security software to protect computer networks and infrastructure.

How Much Does a Software Developer Make?

The average annual salary for a software developer in the US is $71,979, and the range of salaries is $50,000 to $132,000. The exact salary depends on the specific organization's industry, location, company size, and the candidate's experience, education, and other factors.

Some industries pay more than others. The median annual salaries for software developers in the most common industries in which they work are:

  • Insurance carriers $100,980
  • Computer systems design and related services $103,670
  • Management of companies and enterprises $107,640
  • Manufacturing $116,080
  • Software publishing $122,110

What Are the Qualities of a Good Software Developer?

Successful software developers have a balance of soft and hard skills. They are responsible for outlining and creating code and designs for programs and have to be comfortable collaborating with various stakeholders.

Some of the important soft skills that make a good software developer include:

  • Creativity – Software developers are the creative minds that are responsible for creating new software.
  • Communication skills – Developers have to work with collaborators, team members, and end-users, which requires good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Detail-oriented – Developers often have to work on multiple parts of a system or application simultaneously and therefore must be able to pay close attention to detail.
  • Interpersonal skills – Developers have to work well with others in various roles, including designing, developing, and programming.
  • Analytical skills – Software developers have to analyze users' needs and design software to meet their needs.
  • Problem-solving ability – Developers are responsible for software from start to finish. As a result, they have to solve problems that come up throughout the whole design process.

Would you like to become a software developer? Create an account at Cybrary and start on that path today!

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