Information Technology

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What Does a Software Developer Do?

The next time you’re posting something to social media or working on your computer, consider the creative people who helped build those programs. Software developers conceive and design computer programs. Some develop applications for mobile or desktop use, while others work on the operating systems that keep computers functioning properly. They may work on backend and frontend web applications, embedded software, computer networking software, software infrastructure or domain-specific software.

To do that work, software developers identify user needs, build programs, test new software, ensure security of the software and continually make improvements to the program. Depending on the size of the team, software developers may also use various programming languages to write code the drives the software. They may also help with testing.

The need for software developers is expected to grow 22% by 2029.

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Median Salary $
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A software developer sits at a computer writing code
Strong analytical skills and a knack for innovation drive the software development process. (Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Understand users’ needs
  • Design and develop software to meet those needs
  • Understand how the software will interact with other elements of the system and solve problems accordingly
  • Create models and diagrams that help programmers translate the concept into code
  • Test and maintain the application
  • Document every aspect of creating the application or system
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers
Education + Training

Many, but not all, employers look for a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering. That trend is changing, and many employers will accept candidates who have earned certificates or learned through bootcamps, internships or other on-the-job training. Either pathway requires a focus on learning how to build software and how to write computer code, which is the foundation of the occupation, even if it's not the focus of what some software developers do in a day.

There are several paths to advance or branch out, including IT project management and various aspects of the software development process.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Are a quick learner and are eager to understand new technologies
  • Are creative
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Have an analytical mind
  • Can explain complex procedures
  • Have strong communication skills
  • Have excellent problem-solving skills
  • Are collaborative

Software Developer training in your area


Computer Programming, A.A.S

Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta (0.0 Miles)
Central Community College logo

Information Technology and Systems - Developer Specialization, A.A.S.

Central Community College
Grand Island (0.0 Miles)

Computer Network Specialist Certificate

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College
Orangeburg (0.0 Miles)

Computer Information Systems Unix, C and C++ Specialist Certificate of Achievement (Online)

Joliet Junior College
Joliet (0.0 Miles)

Programming Job Training Program

Montcalm Community College
Sidney (0.0 Miles)

Web and Multimedia Technology, A.A.S.

Hagerstown Community College
Hagerstown (0.0 Miles)

Computer Programming- Java Track Level 1 Certificate

Austin Community College District
Austin (0.0 Miles)

Computer Information Systems, Web Programming, C. A. S.

Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque (0.0 Miles)

Website Designer Certificate

Moraine Valley Community College
Palos Hills (0.0 Miles)

IOS App Development Certificate

Estrella Mountain Community College
Avondale (0.0 Miles)

Intermediate C++ Certificate of Performance

San Diego City College
San Diego (0.0 Miles)

Software Development, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (MO)
Independence (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador Rachel Metzer
Since technology is constantly changing, software developers like Rachel Meltzer are always learning and expanding their skillsets.
Meet Ambassador Rachel Metzer

Rachel Meltzer says it's time to put aside stereotypes about software developers, including what it takes to get the job or any hint of nerdiness. It all boils down to an eagerness to learn.
“Regardless of having a degree or what your degree is in, technology is a rapidly changing industry that requires continuous on-the-job learning,” says Rachel.

It's also a rewarding career that involves a wider variety of skills than you might think. 

"In-demand software developers are valued more for their problem-solving skills and their ability to work with a team through the research process than for their detailed knowledge of every code language in existence."

In other words, there's a lot more to this job than writing code — and that's what makes it fun.

Find Software Developer Jobs in Your Area


Software Tools Infrastructure Architecture Intern - Hardware

Madison ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

Lead Software Engineer - Cloud Computing and DevOps

The MITRE Corporation
Bedford ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 weeks 3 days ago

SDE2 - Alexa Shopping, Inc.
Seattle ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 1 week ago

AVP, Technology

Lpl Financial Services
Fort Mill ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Federal - DevOps Engineer

Solekai Systems Corp
San Jose ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 9 months ago

Front End Software Engineer

Trideum Corporation
Nashville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

Senior iOS Engineer (f/m/d)

Berlin ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 days 12 hours ago

FPGA Development Engineer - Test and Measurement, Inc.
Glendale ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 days 12 hours ago
Ask the Expert: Daniel Leiberman
'Communication and collaboration are extremely important parts of our job,' said software developer Daniel Lieberman.
Ask the Expert: Daniel Leiberman

Daniel Lieberman learned early that he loved being able to harness the power of a computer to do what he wanted it to do. Now’s he’s a 30-year-old software developer, and he’s using his skills to make a difference. 

He also thinks it’s exciting that the degree pathway he took isn’t as necessary as it once was. “Many people are breaking into the industry nowadays by self-teaching and coding bootcamps.” Learn more about why Daniel thinks it’s such a great job.