Software Developers may sound like the same thing as a computer programmer, however there is a difference. As a software developer, one is responsible for developing a piece of software from concept to final product. They are also responsible for maintenance and future updates to a piece of software or computer system. Developers often develop visuals for programmers on how a piece of software is supposed to works, so they can effectively code it. While programming is not a Software Developer’s primary responsibility, it’s still an important part of the job for them.

On average, Software developers make between $55,190 and $138,880 annually. The median pay for a Software Developer is $93,350
Average Starting Salary
The average starting salary for a software developer is approximately $57,898. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Analyze user software needs
  • Develop, design and test software solutions to meet customer needs
  • Design all facets of an application or system  and how they will work together
  • Create visual-aids such as models, diagrams and flowcharts to instruct programmers how to write code for the software.
  • Provide quality assurance for the software and perform regular maintenance
  • Testing software prior to release and responding to feedback from testing.
  • Develop documentation for all aspects of the software or system for future developers
  • Collaborate with others programmers and developers to optimize software or system

Necessary Skills:

  • Computer Programming
  • Time Management
  • Management
  • Organization
  • Writing
  • Team Work
  • Design
  • Communication
  • Troubleshooting

Degree and Experience Requirements:
Most software developers have a Bachelors of Science in Computer science, software development or another computer-related degree.  Higher level positions or other management-level positons may require a Master’s Degree or another higher level degree.

Getting Started:
While in school be sure to take classes focused on developing software as well as programming courses to be better prepared for their careers. Many software developers get their start by interning at a company and if they make a good impression, they may be hired after graduation.  As with many programming jobs, developers can be hired on a project basis, although is less likely in this position since they are responsible for the program’s overall direction.

Future Outlook: 
The demand for Software developers is expected to grow twenty-two percent in the next 10 years which is significantly higher than the average job growth rate. However, because Software Developers can work anywhere over the internet, one must be wary of positions being outsourced to more affordable locations such as India. That being said, software developers will be in a good position for the foreseeable future do to the rise of mobile and tablets. While some companies may outsource positions, many will want to have a local developer to best serve their needs.

Companies That Employ Software Developers:

  • Software Development Companies
  • Insurance and Finance Companies
  • Web Development Companies
  • Mobile Application Developers
  • Video game developer
  • Computer system development companies

Traits of A Good Computer Programmer:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Organization
  • Leadership
  • Goal Oriented
  • Detail Oriented
  • Interpersonal Skills

Bureau of Labor Statistics

About the Author

MikeMike Gdovin has been blogging about technology since 2006 on his blog, He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Kutztown University with a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Business. In addition to blogging about technology, Mike is a video producer, technology consultant and social media expert.