software developer working

What does a Software Developer do?

Software developers retrieve, store, and manipulate data to analyze a system’s capability and requirements. They maintain the design and maintenance of a software system. At times they also oversee the work of computer technologists, programmers, and technicians. They are responsible for the whole process of developing software. They meet with clients, determine needs, help develop, ensure usability, and complete quality assurance.

Watch a video to learn what a software developer does:

How to Become a Software Developer

software developer working

Surprisingly, a software developer only needs a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related technology field. They must have strong computer programming applications and skills. Coursework can be broad-based, but knowledge of math, chips, circuit boards, computer hardware, and software is necessary. Though it is not required computer programming coursework is also becoming more common for those wanting to enter the field.

Most of the colleges or universities offering these degrees include internships where one can gain some hands-on experience prior to entering the workforce. Once you are working in this industry, it’s vital to keep up with the latest technology since it changes so quickly.

Job Description of a Software Developer

Software developers identify and correct existing errors in the software and modify it to a higher functionality. They assist a company or customer in determining the practicality of cost constraints and a realistic time frame for their request. A software developer designs, develops, and modifies software systems using mathematical models or scientific analysis.

A software developer processes information by categorizing, coding, calculating and tabulating as well as verifying data. They do this by breaking down information into separate parts and identifying the underlying principles affecting the software to better serve the customer.

Software Developer Career Video Transcript

Tools have always opened new horizons for human civilization, from the sharpened stones of hunter-gatherers, to today’s computers and software. Software developers are the creative minds designing tools for the new millennium whether they design new apps like web browsers, databases, or games or create an operating system that runs a phone, computer, or an entire network.

These IT professionals lead the process for the entire team it takes to create new software. Developers start by learning what users needs are, then they design and test software to meet those needs. They design based on functionality or what the software needs to do, how it will be used, and security needs. Programmers then rely on the models and diagrams made by software developers to guide their coding of designs. If testing reveals that a software design is too difficult to use, the developers redesign it until it works.

Many software developers work for software publishers and computer system design companies manufacturing firms, and in finance and insurance businesses. Most work full-time and long hours are common. Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, math, or a related field. Software developers need a background in programming and should plan to continue learning new developments in computer languages and tools throughout their careers.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Software Developers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 15-1133.00. O*NET OnLine.