Our world is moving more towards a digital, computer-dependent world with each passing day and a computer is only as good as the software that is available to use on it.  Unlike a hardware developer, who builds and creates the main components of a computer, a software developer designs and implements the programs that run on a computer.  These programs can range from games to business applications and even those highly advanced software systems that control the technical hardware and equipment components. Afterward, software developers will then train staff to maintain, test, and if needed debug those very systems. The job duties of a software developer are very technical and extremely complex.  It requires a fundamental application of mathematics as well as computer science.  This is a constantly changing environment so software developers are definitely in demand because as technology advances so will the need for persons who are highly skilled in those areas.

Software developers can alternately be called, Software Engineer, Software Designer, Software Programmer, Principal Engineer, Quality Assurance Engineer,  Application Engineer, Application Developer, Java Engineer, Java Developer, C++ Developer, or Web Services Developer, reference: ComputerCareers.

Becoming a software developer is fast becoming one of the more popular information technology (IT) focused careers and it is projected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow the fastest within the next ten years.  Job prospects are excellent because again, there is such a big demand. In addition to the present demand for this job, a number of jobs will also be created as computer technologies continue to evolve. Few people could argue that computer/IT jobs are static; they are constantly in flux and as a result, new jobs will have to be created in order to meet the demands of this field. This means that relevant employment opportunities will eventually appear in other fields as well. Technical and traditional schools will need to hire educators in order to teach new skills to students in order to meet this demand.

Regarding the education of a software developer, many employers require Bachelor of Science degrees; however, with many other employers, a two-year degree or programming certificate may be sufficient. Those software developers who have four year degrees have generally majored in information systems, computer science or sometimes mathematics.

What Does a Software Developer Do?

The job description for a software developer includes but is not limited to: the creation and/or integration of software with already existing systems, software modeling and simulation, designing, debugging, and coding programs and applications in different software languages, object-oriented design and analysis, quality assurance and software testing, just to name a few.

In essence a software developer will help businesses achieve their goals with software-based solutions. In order to become competitive, businesses and organizations rely on these professionals to update the existing software used or develop new software programs that are designed to solve particular problems or meet certain needs.

Again, because the world that we know is increasingly becoming dependent on computers in order to drive business, software developers help to contribute to the growth of a business. In order to accomplish this, these IT professionals may create new ideas that will streamline product delivery, whether it is internal programs used by employees or external programs that customers are using. In doing so the customer experience is strengthened.

Software developers must have great interpersonal skills and be able to communicate effectively with co-workers, management, and staff. Their job may require the interaction with certain groups in order to convey an idea or help integrate certain programs with existing ones. In addition if a developer has noticed that certain platforms are not being optimized for growth or if there are some impediments that need to be corrected, this information has to be brought to the attention of the appropriate members of management. In addition, software developers will have to coordinate the installation of these new systems and train the staff on how to use the new or updated software.

The median salary for software developers in June 2019 was $102,731, and this number can be significantly higher depending on experience and what field you choose to work in (for example scientific research, software publishers, computer systems design, insurance carriers, or computer equipment manufacturing).