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Software Developer

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.

Software Developer

Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team. May supervise computer programmers

Daily Tasks / Routine Activities

Software developers typically do the following:

1. Analyze users' needs, then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs

2. Recommend software upgrades for customers' existing programs and systems

3. Design each piece of the application or system and plan how the pieces will work together

4. Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write the software code

5. Ensure that the software continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing

6. Document every aspect of the application or system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades

7. Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. 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 people 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 computer 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 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 that are part of computers 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 in phones or cars.


Software developers usually have a bachelor's degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master's degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank's computing needs.

Key Knowledge Areas

Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.Developing softwares requires some solid foundation in mathematics

English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. Most programming Languages are written in English and so it is important to have some good English

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Important Qualities / Top Skills

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users' needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills . Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Customer-service skills. Some developers must be able to explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of the software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process


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