what is a software developer?

Would working as a software developer suit your skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a software developer role.

As a software developer, you are the creative mind behind computer programs and software applications. You build the programs from scratch or oversee the team in charge of creating the applications. Software programs help users perform specific tasks on various devices like computers and smartphones.

As a software developer, you can create applications or operating systems used in computers and electronic devices. You collaborate with computer engineers and programmers to develop complex and functional systems that meet customers' needs or help a company improve efficiency. Your job doesn't end in development; you have to test and install the software to ensure it works correctly.

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average software developer salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a software developer earns just over $120,000 per year. As a software developer, there are several possible roles depending on the job you apply for, one of which is a software quality assurance analyst. The salary for this position is over $98,000. You can increase your salary by working extra hours. Some companies also offer bonuses for the successful completion of projects. Apart from the basic salary, you also receive allowances and medical insurance or contribution to your retirement account.

Wondering what you can earn as a software developer? Find out immediately with the Randstad salary checker! You can quickly and easily see what the average salary of a software developer is.

factors affecting software developer salary

Your earnings as a software developer vary based on your experience and skills. Senior or lead developers typically earn more than junior developers. Besides, senior software developers manage teams and undertake complex projects. Experience enhances your skills and competencies, making you eligible for better pay. Educational qualifications can also influence your earnings. A software developer with a degree has a better compensation package than developers joining through apprenticeships.

Your salary also depends on the employer and project complexity. For instance, a large company handles complex projects and pays higher wages than small businesses. However, startups are great for entry-level developers who need to build their skills and experience.

Two males talking. Both have beards. One wears glasses. One male in the background. Informal setting. Inside. Checkered shirt. Supporting color blue.
Two males talking. Both have beards. One wears glasses. One male in the background. Informal setting. Inside. Checkered shirt. Supporting color blue.

types of software developer

A software developer can specialize in the following roles:

  • web developer: Your job involves building websites and applications based on clients' needs. You work on the sites' visual elements, like the layouts and themes, to make them appealing for clients. You also control the databases and code the back-end.
  • system developer: You are responsible for building operating system software for various programs. You also create systems for regulating and operating computer infrastructure. Embedded system software developers create programming codes on hardware devices like washing machines, fridges and televisions.
  • app developers: Your job is to write code for video games or mobile applications. You build the user interface and perform various functions on mobile devices. Video game and mobile developers are app software developers.

working as a software developer

Software development is an exciting career that allows you to build applications and websites. Here is some insight to the daily life of a software developer and the duties involved.


software developer skills and education

As a software developer, it's recommended that you earn a bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, or software development. These degree programs help you learn all of the topics you'll need to know when you land a software developer job.

Certifications are also a way to acknowledge your proficiency. For instance, you can earn the Professional Software Developer Certification from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, among other software developer programming certifications.

While you're still in college, you could complete an internship for a tech company. Having a master's degree in software development is sometimes required by employers. You'll need to have a comprehensive understanding of computer programming, which you should gain during college or a certification program. To advance your career, remain up-to-date on the latest computer languages and tools.

skills and competencies

The primary skills that a software developer requires include:

  • database knowledge: When working as a software developer, you'll need to structure and organize information on databases. During these tasks, you input lines of data, search for specific information, and update the system. Knowing how to backup data is also essential.
  • coding languages: Writing a software program means using various types of source code or coding languages. Having an in-depth understanding of one or more coding languages increases the job opportunities you gain access to. To select the right coding language to learn, look for one that aligns with your skills and interests. For instance, some languages are better served for mobile app development.
  • testing procedures: All software programs require complex testing processes before the consumer can use them. It's important to know how to check a program's functionality on numerous hardware devices.
  • software frameworks: A software framework is a type of application that developers use to make programs with information that's already established. For instance, you can implement lines of code you've written into a framework. You need to know how to use software frameworks to streamline development.
  • cloud platforms: A cloud platform is the software and hardware necessary to maintain a company's remote database. To build this kind of platform, you should have knowledge of server management and coding languages. An increasing number of companies use cloud platforms to store their information. Enhancing your skill-set by focusing on cloud-based technology improves your chances of landing a software development job.
male working at the office
male working at the office

FAQs about working as a software developer

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about software developers.

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