Software Developers often work for computer firms and manufacturers. Their main role is to create the foundations for operative systems on which Computer Programmers work. They design, write, and test code for new systems and software to ensure efficiency. Software Developers also run diagnostic programs and quality assurance (QA) testing on existing projects before launching them to certify effectiveness.
A Software Developer is involved in all the process related to creating and designing new systems; from initial planning, to establishing parameters, designing, writing, coding, encrypting, and testing. This process is usually undertaken by a team of Software Developers, with each member carrying out a particular step of the process and a supervisor overseeing the entire project.
The work of a Software Developer may sometimes overlap with that of a Database Administrator. Many systems have to interact in one way or another with data management systems, so it is the responsibility of the Software Developer to ensure that both systems are compatible. Some Software Developers can do this by themselves if they possess enough knowledge on data management systems and software.
Software Developers often use several programming languages, their job is often very complex and it involves advanced knowledge in computer science and mathematics. Their field is constantly evolving and new technologies and advancements are made every day, so they must be in a constant state of learning and self-improvement.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Software Developers are expected to complete.
- Creating and developing new software:
- Researching users’ requirements;
- designing and writing new software; and
- testing newly designed software.
- Evaluating new and existing software systems:
- Designing testing plans for newly developed software;
- performing QA testing on software systems;
- finding faults in software systems; and
- correcting faults found in software systems.
- Improving existing software systems:
- Analysing users’ requirements and suggestions;
- creating solutions for existing issues; and
- implementing these solutions.
- Performing maintenance to existing systems by monitoring and correcting defects. Writing code (e.g. HTML, PHP, XML) for new software and updates:
- Running code to test efficiency;
- rewriting code to correct errors; and
- running tests again until code is error free.
- Writing operational manuals and systems specifications.
- Working in tandem with other staff members such as Project Managers, Graphic Designers, other Developers, Database Administrators, and Sales and Marketing employees:
- Consulting with clients or Project Managers on the progress of developing software to check for possible improvements, suggestions, or requirements.
- Writing reports on project progress.
- Meeting with clients and Project Managers to design and develop new software.
- Establishing parameters and designing the architecture of new software.
- Designing, writing, reading, testing, and correcting code for new software.
- Running QA testing and searching for bugs in developing software.
- Reporting to clients and Project Managers on the development of new software.
- Testing and implementing software updates and improvements when necessary.
- Writing documentation for new and updated software.
The average Software Developer salary is $78,824 per year or $40 per hour. This is around 2.4 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $55,000 while most experienced workers make up to $110,000. These results are based on 478 salaries extracted from job descriptions.