What is a software developer and what do they do? In a nutshell, a software developer is tasked with creating the computer programs that we see and use daily. This ranges from programs like your word processing software to your computer’s operating system, photo editing software, mobile applications, and even some types of websites.
Careers in software development require a certain problem-solving mindset. Commonly, these experts are focused on not just developing usable programs, but also with ensuring a seamless user experience, working alongside of other developers to create and integrate code, testing and fixing the completed product, and providing updates to it during its lifespan to keep it running at optimal performance.
Software Developer Jobs Are in Demand
There’s never been more demand for software developer jobs. Technology is part of everyday life, and there simply are not enough of these experts to meet current demands. According to Computer World, the demand for software developers is skyrocketing and is expected to increase by 32% by the year 2020.
An increasing demand for software developers will come with competitive salary increases, too. As companies struggle to find the right people for the job, they’ll have to entice them further by offering better salaries, more perks and improved bonus structures.
Certain industries already have large vacancies for this field. One of them is the financial services industry—which is already struggling to keep up with demands for cyber security experts and data scientists. The backbone of this industry is software. As banks compete to build the most usable apps, the need for more developers to build and maintain them will exponentially increase.
Plenty of other industries have software developer vacancies as well. These range from tech startups to online services providers, e-commerce applications, social media services, and many more. The truth is that software developer jobs are in high demand in countless industries, making it a smart career move for those who have these skillsets.
What Does a Software Developer Do?
What is a software developer responsible for doing each day? The answer is complex and depends on the specific role in the software development life-cycle. Most software developers tend to numerous tasks throughout their day. Before building a new software solution, they need to determine key features, create a flow map, conceptualize, think strategically and plan accordingly. Once the software solution has a starting point, concept and use, the building begins. Typically, groups of software developers work side-by-side to accomplish their goals. But it is not uncommon for software developers to work cohesively in teams from locations around the world.
During the development process, software developers also are in communication with creative departments, interface design experts, content writers, graphic designers and more; these teams work together to create the finished product that ultimately is sold to end users.
Once a project is near to completion, it enters a test or a “beta” phase. During this crucial segment, developers gain feedback from testers and beta users to create a laundry list of necessary fixes that need to go into place before the final product is launched.
What Challenges Do Developers Face?
A career in software development won’t be without its challenges. The best developers have honed several of the following skills, which serve to complement their job performance.
- Communication is one of the foremost skills. Developers need to be in touch and on the same level as their team members are to accomplish their group goals.
- Technical proficiency is an asset. Coding from scratch is challenging and languages used in code are always changing. Newer, often more streamlined, methods of creating software are part of this ever-evolving industry.
- Operationally adept. A good software developer also has a plan-of-action and relies on project management tools and scheduling applications to ensure that the development of each project is smooth and timely.
- Ongoing education. The leading software developers are always improving their understanding of code while taking various software development courses to keep them ahead of the curve.
Tips for Would-Be Developers
If you are looking to enter the exciting world of software development, there are some helpful tips that can be passed your way.
Ensure that you have the necessary communication and project management skills you’ll need for the job. If you feel like you could use some help in this area, you can explore your options with fast-track programs that help you improve these skills by attending online and or local workshops that are short in duration.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that your coding skills are up to par with today’s leading platforms and languages, and you’ll need to make sure you understand the programming foundations necessary to tackle a variety of challenges. The Software Developer Course at Woz U can help you hone your skills with a fast-track program and a growing Employer Network that can help you break into this high-paying career faster than you may think.