How To Become a Software Developer
Whether you’re just starting out in the software development field or you’ve been working with the industry for years, there are a few things you need to know about software development. Here are some of the most important things to consider when starting out:
1. You need to be familiar with coding languages and frameworks.
2. You need to have experience with coding and design patterns.
3. You need to be comfortable working in a team environment and be able to communicate effectively.
4. You need to be able to work on multiple projects at once and handle deadlines.
5. You need to be familiar with computer security best practices and have a strong understanding of code reviews and code inspections
What is Software Developer
Software Developer is a title that is typically used to describe someone who is skilled in coding, designing and creating systems from scratch. Software Developer can also be used as an occupational title for someone who has a background in computer programming and electronic engineering. In some cases, the term may also refer to individuals who are skilled in tasks such as data entry or accounting.
Software Developer is a technical position in the software industry. It refers to someone who has strong programming skills and knowledge, who is responsible for developing and maintaining software applications. A Software Developer typically spends their time developing software applications and implementing business solutions. They may also be responsible for taking care of various technical aspects of the application, such as coding, design, testing, and architecture.
What does a software developer do?
A software developer designs software or applications that allow users to perform specific tasks, such as building a spreadsheet, watching a movie or playing a game, on computers and mobile devices. While some software developers focus on creating specific software or applications, others focus on creating large networks or systems that manage the devices or control networks.
If you’re like most people, you probably think of software developers as those who design and build software. But that’s not always the case. Software developers can also be involved in a variety of other activities, such as developing websites, developing apps, or working on data analysis and predictive modeling. In fact, there are many different types of software development jobs that can be fun and fulfilling. So what does a software developer do? Here are a few examples! Other duties and responsibilities of a software developer include:
Assessing new and existing software systems
Improving existing computer systems
Performing maintenance to existing systems by identifying and correcting errors or defects
Creating code for new software and updates
Creating operational manuals and systems specifications
Consulting with project managers or clients on the progress of developing software to review possible suggestions, improvements or requirements
Submitting reports on the project’s progress
Software developer salaries vary depending on years of experience, the complexity of the job and the size of the company. Developers who work in systems software earn more than those who work in applications.
Common salary in the U.S.: $92,609 per year
Some salaries range from $31,000 to $214,000 per year.
Software developer requirements
The career path for software developers involves a combination of the following:
Most software developers hold bachelor’s degrees in software engineering, computer science or a related field. Software developers who want to work in a specific industry usually have a minor relevant to the field. Many colleges and universities offer online degree programs in computer science, as well as traditional on-campus programs.
While companies usually prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree (a two-year degree program) can help individuals find entry-level jobs in the industry. Students in software development associate programs can learn skills in software design, cost-benefit analysis, product documentation and testing, integration and data migration, and core programming implementations.
Some software developers choose to complete boot camps to learn about specific coding languages, databases, design and frameworks. Boot camps typically last from one to six months and offer intensive training.
To qualify for leadership positions and specialize in a specific field, software developers can earn a master’s degree. With a master’s degree, developers can obtain management roles immediately following graduation and increase their earning potential.
Technology companies usually require software developers to undergo training in various programming languages used in the industry. While software developers encounter many of these languages during their degree programs, attending training courses, seminars or online classes allows them to stay current with new developments. Companies may also perform on-the-job training that involves learning more about the specific product or service they offer and any procedures the developer should follow.
While software developers do not have professional licensing requirements, they can get a certification to show their competence and commitment to their profession. Here are some of the most common certifications for this profession:
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society certifications
The IEEE CS offers three levels of software development certifications—Associate Software Developer, Professional Software Developer and Professional Software Engineering Master.
To earn the Associate Software Develop certification, you should understand basic software principles and must pass an exam.
For the Professional Software Developer certification, you need at least two years each of college education and professional experience in software development. You also need to pass an exam.
For the Professional Software Engineering Master certification, you need four years each of college education and experience, and you must pass an exam.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer certification
This certification demonstrates your ability to develop a variety of applications. To earn an MCSD, you must first have a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certification and pass an online exam. The exam will test your knowledge of various technologies, such as C#, HTML5, .Net and Visual Studio.
MongoDB Certified Developer Associate
This certification shows your ability to build applications using MongoDB. To earn a MongoDB Certified Developer Associate certification, you’ll need to pass an online exam that evaluates your knowledge of fundamental database concepts and techniques specific to MongoDB.
Software developers need several skills and qualities to be successful, including:
Problem-solving: Because software developers create software, they must be able to solve problems that occur during the development process.
Interpersonal skills: While software developers spend most of their time working on code independently, they need to collaborate with other developers or programmers to effectively release a product to market. Strong interpersonal skills are necessary to work well with others.
Detail-oriented: Because developers usually work on many parts of an application at the same time, they must pay attention to minute details to prevent an error from damaging the whole system.
Communication: Developers must be good at providing clear instructions to team members. They must also be able to explain to clients how the software works and answer questions that arise.
Analytical skills: This skill refers to the ability to gather and analyze information, solve problems and make effective decisions. It can help software developers design computer programs based on users’ needs.
Software developer work environment
Software developers usually work in an office setting, though many can work in a remote setting since they perform most duties on a computer. Most of them work at least 40 hours per week during regular business hours with some nights and weekends to meet deadlines or resolve unexpected technical issues. Because software development is a team endeavor, software developers work and interact with others regularly. They often sit for extended periods while working on a computer.
Many industries seek software developers, including:
Business and corporations
How to become a software developer
Here are the most common steps to follow in becoming a qualified software developer for a company:
1. Get a degree
Obtaining a formal education is the first step toward becoming a software developer. Students can choose from traditional and nontraditional training programs to get the education necessary to pursue entry-level positions. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is typically the minimum degree that most companies prefer, but an associate degree could be an entry-level requirement. Some developers choose to undergo boot camps to learn software development in a short period.
2. Gain relevant work experience
Completing an internship is the best way for students to gain real-world experience. Technology companies may offer internship programs for students who want to improve their skills in specific areas, such as SQL, XML or Java. Internships usually last for six months and allow students to work on specific products or projects related to their skills.
3. Pursue a specialization
Software developers often specialize either in application development or systems development. Application software developers design computer applications and modify existing applications to perform specific tasks. Systems software developers create operating systems for computers. Each specialization requires software developers to be knowledgeable in development software such as Java, C and C++.
4. Pursue entry-level positions
After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related degree, the next step is to apply for entry-level positions. It can be helpful to review job descriptions for each position you apply for and tailor your resume to the requirements. Creating a customized resume and cover letter for each role may increase the chances of the recruiter reviewing all of your application materials and invites you to interview.
5. Get certified.
Since software development is precise and technical, getting certifications demonstrates an applicant’s knowledge and skills. Along with experience, certification can improve a developer’s marketability in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Developers can earn certifications from technology companies such as Oracle, Cisco and Microsoft as well as professional organizations such as the IEEE.
6. Attend conferences
Conferences help software developers stay current with the latest developments in their specialty and the general profession. Attending conferences is a great way to network with other developers and learn about new technologies, business practices and products.
Software developer job description example