Modern technology wouldn’t even be close to where it is today without software developers—the brilliant minds behind apps and computer programs. The music app you listen to when you wake up to in the morning? That word processing program you use for work? Those were made by software developers.

Software developers aren’t just incredibly important to the technology industry, they’re also some of the best jobs to have—period. In 2021, software developers were ranked as the No. 2 best job in the U.S. according to U.S. News and World Report

Specializations in Software Development

There are two main types of software developers: applications software developers and systems software developers. 

Applications software developers focus on design. This area of software development requires creativity and innovation. If you’re interested in designing a game, creating a database, or making a program, then application software is perfect for you. 

Systems software developers focus on computer maintenance. They’re the ones who create the systems allowing your computers to function correctly. There is especially a lot of job growth in this area since quality assurance has become increasingly important with how much technology is used in everyday life. 

How Do You Become a Software Developer?

Most software developers obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or computer engineering. During their time in college, it is helpful if they complete an internship at a technology company to gain more experience. It can also serve as an opportunity to see what a potential work environment is like. 

It may also be helpful if they have a certification from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Computer Society to help show their competency in software development.

Software developers should also be familiar with several programming languages. While some programming languages may be similar, each one has its own unique features. Furthermore, programs focusing on web applications, such as JavaScript, may not be the right programming language to use to code a certain app. Generally, it is ideal for software developers to be able to code with Java, Python, C++, JavaScript, and Scala. 

What is the Typical Work Environment for a Software Developer?

Software developers often work in teams or cross-functionally (with other parts of their company). Technology companies foster a collaborative work environment. Many major technology companies have an open layout office with a relaxed work atmosphere. Some companies may even offer unique perks such as communal cafeterias or napping pods. 

Most software developers work full time and may be asked to work additional hours if they’re a part of an extensive project or have a looming deadline. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, technology companies such as Microsoft and Google have also implemented more flexible working conditions by allowing their employees to work from home. 

What is the Job Outlook for a Software Developer?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in software development are expected to increase 22 percent from 2019 to 2029. This is much faster than the average growth for all occupations, which is predicted to only be about 4 percent. 

As technology continues to become a dominant force in society, more software developers are needed to offset the demand. 

Software developers also earn a high salary which can be very enticing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that software developers nationally earned a median annual wage of $107,510 in 2019.

Software developers have the luxury of being able to work almost anywhere. From Dallas to Boston to New York to San Francisco, many major cities are hiring people in the technology sector. 

Glassdoor also created a list of the top companies to work for as a software engineer in 2019. The list showed that Facebook, HubSpot, and Procore Technologies were some of the top employers. 

Software Developers are Leading Figures During COVID-19

Due to the impact of COVID-19, software developers have been crucial in the workplace. Amanda Silver, Corporate Vice President of Product, Developer Division for Microsoft writes many have become “digital first responders.” 

Since more workplaces have had to work from home, software developers are the people who create ways to make the work environment digital. Whether it’s uploading projects to the cloud or developing programs to allow for collaboration.

Software developers have one of the most notable positions in the tech industry. Not only are you at the forefront of creating brand new apps and programs, but as a software developer, you’re also in a job that pays very well and provides a unique work environment. 

If you’re a brilliant tech-savvy person who loves to have the creative freedom of developing brand new technology that’s widely used, then look no further. Becoming a software developer is just the right thing for you. Learn more about the Powered by WOZ Software Development program.

Sophia Acevedo

Sophia Acevedo is a journalist based in Southern California. She is a 2020 graduate from California State University, Fullerton, and a proud Daily Titan alum.