If you like working with computers, and new technology and applications excite you, a career in Information Technology, especially int software development might be your number one choice. You might already have played around with some coding to see if you could build something of your own. However, it is important to know what does a software developer do.

Software Development Career; an Overview for Beginners

Well, software engineering is no doubt one of the highly rewarding jobs, and no matter how saturated the job market can be, you can always create new opportunities for yourself. Moreover, with the ever changing business landscape, there will always be good paying jobs for software developers, both full time and part time.

Employment in computer jobs may grow 11 percent by the year 2029! Many of those jobs will be in programming. If you like the software side of technology and eager to choose a career in software development, you better review the industry trends and scope prior to pursuing software engineering education.

This article will present a quick overview of software engineering career, i.e. the scope, average salary, career path, opportunities and challenges associated with the field etc., to help you make better career decisions.

What Does a Software Developer Do?

Computer Software is Ever Evolving & So the Career in Software Development

Computer software is not just limited to the computer itself; rather it is on every electronic device you own, i.e. mobile phones, smart watches, smart TVs, audio & video equipment etc. We all use several websites and applications on daily basis, but that’s not just it. Different programs are used by professionals in almost all industries. Every modern machine uses some sort of software to operate and this widespread use of software makes software development a much needed job in almost every industry.

Let it be the aviation industry, or manufacturing, film making or space travel, finance or government operations, everyone uses computers to improve their products and services and a computer software must get loaded onto their computer before it can work.

Since the technology is changing faster and new and improved technologies replace the older ones, the field of software engineering requires you to be learning new stuff constantly.

What Do Software Developers Do?

A software developer uses a specific programming language to create the software programs. Software developers often get referred to as coding specialists, programmers, web developers, mobile app developers, software architects, software engineers and so on.

There can be tens of job titles for software developers, depending on the organizational policies, but one thing that is common among all these professionals is that t hey build and design the software.

Some software programmers may also work as data scientists and retrieve data and manipulate it when analyzing a system’s abilities These kind of software professionals are in higher demand and responsible for the process of bringing the software program to life.

In simple words software developers analyze thee requirements, write and test the code, and refine and rewrite it as necessary. The most common type of software developers in high demand are as follows:

  • Frontend Developer
  • Backend Developer
  • Full stack Developer
  • Mobile Developer
  • Game Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • DevOps Developer

In a nutshell, coding is where the creation takes place. It gets used to create the software program and test it to make sure it works as designed. A software developer gets involved in every step of building from start to finish.

Software Developer Salary

When it comes to computer careers, many people look at how much money they can make. There are all kinds of coding languages and platforms, so the salary could depend on what you choose to do.Money in software careers also depends on where you live. Some states like California, New York etc. pay more because the cost of living is high.

The software developer salary trend has continued to rise over the years. In 2019, the average software developer salary amounted to over $107,000 per year.

If you intend to work as a freelance software developer, you may charge per project or per hour. According to salary comparison sites like Salary.com, Payscale.com, Glassdoor etc., average hourly rate of software developers is $31 to $80/hour.

Software Engineering Career Path

If you are an aspiring software engineer, you should know that high paying jobs require you to have excellent skills, expertise and substantial experience, which is generally gained over time following a career path. The job titles and roles may vary organization to organization, however, following is the most common career path for a software engineer.

Junior Software Engineer

This is an entry level position, generally with no prior job experience.

Senior Software Engineer

This is the first thrust from the junior level when you master the software development lifecycle.

Lead Software Engineer

As a tech lead, you are responsible for the entire software development process and have a large team of software design and development professionals to manage.

Software Development Manager

This position requires strong leadership skills, and ability to solve all the problems that your team cannot.

Software Architect

The software architect is a highly paying job that requires you to overlook the entire architecture and technical design, building the processes and scaling of support systems.

Chief Technology Officer

A CTO is the technical head of an organization and oversees R&D to improve products and services.

Key Skills a Software Developer Should Have

If you want to be a software developer, coding is an essential skill to have. If you didn’t go to college, that doesn’t mean you won’t get a job. There are tens of coding courses available online to get started. You can also attend programming boot camps, where you get immersed in learning how to code.But you learn mostly by doing coding, so practice practice and practice to polish your coding skills.

You can do some of your own projects to test your skills or do it for friends and family to build your portfolio. Once you are confident about your coding skills, you can create a Fiverr gig to get professionally started and from there onwards you can find your own way.

Other than coding skills you will need the following skills to grow your software development career:

Hard Skills

  • Hands of experience and knowledge of Front-end and back-end technologies
  • Understanding of agile development methodology
  • Testing and debugging your own code
  • Writing clean code

Soft Skills

  • Communication skills to communicate technical information
  • Time management
  • Team collaboration

The Bottom Line

If you want to be a software developer and enjoy programming, the jobs are out there. With some research and training, you can get the skills needed to start coding. As you work hard and learn more, there are paths for career advancement.