Trade Schools with Software Development Programs
Software developers, also known as software engineers, build computer programs and phone applications for a living. They study market research to pinpoint trends and find out what users want. These findings then influence the types of features in subsequent versions of the software.
What Is Computer Software?
The simple answer is that computer software is a set of digital instructions that tells a machine what to do and how to do it. When creating a new piece of software, developers must fully understand its intended function. For example, the software that runs a car is vastly different than the software that operates a 3D printer.
What Is Software Development?
Software developers oversee the software creation process from beginning to end. They consider the purpose of an application and envision how it will be put to use. Developers draw flow charts used by programmers that explain an application’s hierarchy. Workers must be diligent, as mistakes cost time and money.
These professionals create operating systems, which are pieces of code that tell computers how to function at a base level. They also make software that runs within those operating systems, such as word processors and music players. The development of computer programs, phone apps, and video games requires dedication and creative vision.
Associates also build network systems that control switches, routers, and firewalls. Developers must consider the security of their software to protect users from unwanted snooping or data sharing. Thanks to online updates, workers can make security or bug fixes to source code after a program has been released.
Those with software development manager jobs oversee projects to ensure they’re on track for release. They also monitor budgets to keep costs within reason, and supervise quality to verify standards are being met. Senior developers are sometimes referred to as information technology project managers.
What Are Software Development Job Duties?
Depending on the company they work for, software development jobs require a variety of functions to be performed. They are mostly responsible for planning and helping to program computer software. While some of these workers create applications, others perform the maintenance that keeps networks and hardware operational. In a nutshell, software developers make custom programs specific to company or client.
Associates are not only responsible for developing software, they must also run bug tests. Developers must ensure each piece of computer code works as intended within an overall program. Additionally, workers maintain their employer’s hardware and software for proper function.
Software developers design flow charts and hierarchies describing application structure. These diagrams are relied upon by coders during the programming phase. Developers provide coders with guidance and instruction. However, in smaller companies, software developers often do most of the coding themselves. Other duties for these workers include:
- Implement programming guidelines based on client requests and the nature of the software
- Create operating systems for specific purposes or organizations
- Work in teams alongside other software developers and computer programmers
- Gain an understanding of what needs to be done and then delegate tasks to programmers
- Develop cloud-based applications for use over private intranets and the public internet
- Collaborate with graphic artists to design user-friendly interfaces
- Assist programmers in writing code to build software
Are There Other Software Development Job Duties?
To keep up with security patches and new features, workers must upgrade software systems as needed. They consult employers and third parties on hardware upgrades that could deliver improved stability or faster performance. Most workers document all maintenance and upgrade records for future reference.
Designers may be commissioned to make custom software, such as inventory tracking tools. Other times they create commercial software intended for use amongst the general public, like spreadsheet software or video games. During the development of AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms or certain tracking software, developers may build databases of the following types of info:
- Purchase histories and habits
- Consumer information such as names and addresses
- Personal data scraped from social media sites
- Video game playing habits
- Internet browsing tendencies
What Types of Abilities Should Software Developers Possess?
Software developers need coding skills, and they often begin their careers as programmers. These workers create operating systems used in phones, cars, watches, and other devices. They perform a variety of tasks, but are mostly responsible for planning and programming computer software.
Those looking for entry level software development jobs should know at least one programming language. Common coding standards include the following:
- Python is used to make all types of programs, including games, web apps, and general software. It’s widely supported due to its large user base and relative ease of debugging.
- Ruby is great for those new to coding, as it features lots of tools and helpful instructional libraries. Friendly and forgiving design elements make it so users don’t need to know much about programming syntax, or the order of commands relative to one another. Ruby isn’t the best language to use for creating complex websites or intricate applications.
- Java has many uses across several types of hardware, including the operating systems seen in vehicles and video game systems. It is the foundation of the Android operating system. It’s often used in mobile development and is good for cross-platform collaboration.
- Used by many industry leaders, SQL has clearly stated standards to minimize confusion. The language is open source, meaning anyone can modify it as they see fit. The fact that there’s not much actual code writing involved makes it a great starting point for beginners.
- LISP is very customizable, featuring modifiable syntaxes that can adapt to many programming styles. The language is often used in AI development due to its flexibility and ease of testing and debugging.
- One of the most complex yet rewarding programming languages, C is closely related to C++ and C#. It is used widely, with knowledge of C providing a development foundation that helps programmers better understand other languages.
- Often used when building web apps, PEARL is open source and flexible. Its features are expandable with several add-ons and enhancements to meet various needs. This language is compatible with Java and C++ for further customization.
- MATLAB features easy to understand syntax with lots of functions and features. Its simple data analysis techniques help while debugging and analyzing large amounts of info.
What Are Useful Skills for People in This Field?
- The vision to foresee the needs of desktop and mobile users
- A passion for using software development tools such as SQL and C++
- Creativity to think of new features or alternate routes to resolve issues
- Multitasking skills when working on several aspects of a program
- Communication abilities for delegating tasks and answering questions
- Detail-oriented mindset for avoiding errors
- Analytical skills to crunch through large amounts of data to discover user trends
What Are Common Software Development Requirements?
Most companies ask that applicants possess bachelor’s degrees as a requirement for employment. Prospects should be comfortable in fast-moving workplaces. The ideal candidate has a software development resume that spans across a variety of genres.
Many prospects focus on studies such as computer science, mathematics, or software engineering. Software development degrees give prospects the credentials needed to find good-paying jobs quickly after graduation. In order to learn the basics, many software developers begin their careers as programmers.
The nature of a company dictates the required software development skills needed for employment. Job hopefuls must be familiar with the programming languages used by their potential employers. Most workers take additional software development training classes throughout their career to stay current on new tools and coding languages.
Hopefuls gain programming experience while enrolled in software development schools. In addition to coding knowledge, workers must also be familiar with the industry they’re writing software for. For example, it helps if someone working on a racing simulator has real-world racing experience. This allows them to provide insight on all the variables that may help or hinder the performance of a vehicle.
What Is the Outlook for
Software Development Jobs?
Job growth in this occupation is among the highest in the nation at 24 percent. There are over 1.2 million Americans employed as software developers, and the number keeps expanding. Over 300,000 jobs are expected to be created in the coming years as demand increases for new computer software and phone applications.
A software development degree almost guarantees the holder a handsome salary. Beginners and lower-end workers make around $60k per year, with median pay averaging around $105k per year. Job benefits are comprehensive, and generally include some of the following:
- Healthcare coverage
- 401(k) plan with employer contribution
- Tuition benefits
- HSA savings accounts
- Paid vacation
- Dental coverage
- Vision insurance
- Pension and retirement plans
- Maternity and paternity leave
- Work from home days
- Mobile phone discounts
- Company social events
What Should Workers Expect?
Prospects should understand that most of their time on the clock will be spent sitting at desks for long periods. Overtime work is common due to client deadlines. While the job is demanding, employees enjoy just compensation for their efforts.
Where Can Prospects Find Software Development Jobs?
Software developers are in great demand because their skills are needed in all industries. They are the ones who write the computer software that companies rely on to stay in business. Prospects often find work in the following areas:
- Computer systems design services
- Software developing or publishing companies
- Engineering outfits
- Financing and insurance groups
- Manufacturing firms
Can You Work Remotely?
This career is a great choice for busy parents or people who don’t like working in offices. There are thousands of remote software development jobs of all types available to qualified individuals. Remote workers collaborate with colleagues through instant messages, phone calls, and video chats.
While home-based employees enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, they may also have to work unusual hours. In order to achieve success, they should be self-motivated and independent. These workers need stable internet connections.
Do Software Developers Have Any Other Options?
Most software developers are qualified to enter the world of web development. This branch of programming deals with building and maintaining websites.
Front-end developers work in web design. They come up with content and lay it out on sites using HTML. Back-end developers handle unseen elements that make a site run, such as server maintenance and security duties. Associates who are fluent in both aspects of web design are known as full-stack developers.
What Are Alternate Careers for Software Developers?
Software developers looking for new careers should consider becoming computer and information research scientists. These workers create technologies for companies looking to solve complex or unique issues. On average, they bring home around $115k per year, but they work frequent overtime hours and need master’s degrees. Some of their responsibilities include:
- Giving presentations at conferences, developer meetings, or business expositions
- Coming up with new computing languages that address the specific needs of a company
- Discovering flaws or backdoor access points in existing computer systems
- Thinking of experiments to test their software and hardware for errors or security vulnerabilities
- Deciphering experiment results and making improvements where needed