The impact of technology on our world is hard to overestimate. What was even more incredible is that it happened so fast! All the apps, programs, and games have become an integral part of our lives, and we consider them a part of a daily routine now.
No wonder specialists contributing to technology development are so popular today. They are the driving force behind the apps on our phones, the computer systems we use, and the games we play.
We know them as software developers, and their knowledge and skills are in high demand lately.
Who are these people? What do they do? Why do so many people want to join the niche and learn software development?
Keep on reading to find out.
Who is a software developer?
A software developer is an expert in computer science and technology who creates apps and programs their organization needs. Here goes a basic definition you can find online:
A software developer sometimes called a programmer or, more recently, a coder is a person who creates computer programs. The term can refer to a generalist who writes programs or a specialist in one particular area of coding.
Software developers create programs to solve specific tech problems and customized software for each profession. Below you’ll find a detailed description of what software developers actually do, what education and skillset they need to become successful, and how much you can earn if decide to become a software developer.
There are two main types of software developers: those working with applications and those working with operating systems.
They usually develop user applications suitable for computers, mobile phones, and tablets. The type of applications depends on the demand that is being considered at the research stage. Application developers can work for individual users or companies.
Operating system developers:
They create and develop systems that help computers function properly. These specialists are also responsible for developing a system interface that helps consumers interact with it. Examples of operating systems such developers create are Android, Microsoft Windows GNU/Linux, and macOS.
What kind of work does a software developer actually do?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, software developers are responsible for designing and developing computer and network soft or utility programs. It involves:
- analyzing user needs
- applying principles of computer science, math analysis, and engineering
- enhancing existing soft capabilities
Software developers may work individually or as a part of development teams. Sometimes they also collaborate with hardware engineers to develop some specifications and update performance requirements.
In a nutshell, these specialists create computer programs. But it stands to reason that this is not a one-step process. Let’s take a closer look at the details of a software developer’s work.
1) Research work
Before you can call yourself a software developer, you need to know how to conduct extensive research. Programmers do this to see what people want and what problems exist. Identifying the problem may seem simple, but it’s a challenging and time-consuming process. As Albert Einstein once said,
“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about the solution.”
2) Systems development
Once you complete the research stage, it’s time to find a solution. Depending on it, the design, development, and testing of software take place.
Software developers start writing source code using a programming language. The code contains instructions created by the developer for the computer.
3) Support service
The work does not end after your software is ready. Nothing works well without proper support, so developers also need to ensure the systems they have created function without problems. They need to keep up with maintenance and software updates.
4) Keep records
It It is critical for software developers to keep records. They need to document the systems or applications they have installed to make sure they have the right database. This makes it easier for them to maintain and fix any problems that may arise.
Why you may want to become a software developer
Software development is one of the fastest-growing industries. We live in an era when technology has reached its peak, and there’ll always be companies or individuals looking for qualified developers and their services.
In 2020, developers held about 1.8 million jobs, working in fields like computer systems design, software publishing, finance, insurance, and company management. But even so, experts predicted a 1.4 million shortage of software developers for company hiring in 2021, with a 22% job increase expected by 2030 in the U.S. alone.
Long story short, the demand for software developers grows much faster than the average for all occupations. It’s a big plus for those willing to join the niche and start their career as software developers.
But beyond that, there are several other reasons why the job of a software developer looks so attractive.
- High salary
Software development is one of the highest-paid occupations in the iT niche: With an average salary of approximately $110,140 and growing, you won’t be afraid of funds storage.
The niche of software development is not as challenging to join as it was a decade ago. While your Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science is still preferable, you can now become a developer even if you have a diploma in related fields or a certificate from online courses or coding bootcamps.
- Job prospects
As already mentioned, the demand for jobs for software developers will grow by 22% by 2030. Even if you don’t become a software developer, you will at least learn something about programming, and nowadays coding is a vital factor for a successful career.
Skills you need to be a software developer
Get ready to master two types of skills if planning to become a professional software developer:
Computer literacy is a must in software development. In addition, it is highly desirable to learn several programming languages. As a developer, you need to know programming languages such as Java, Python, C, C++, Ruby, and others.
The best thing about hard skills is that they are easy to master. It’s especially true about learning programming languages since classes and courses are easy to find both online and through traditional face-to-face classes.
Soft skills are also critical for a software developer to master. While IT specialists often have a reputation as introverts who spend most of their time in front of a computer with little to no interaction with others, it’s not actually so.
Software developers will constantly keep in touch with users and customers to understand their requirements and needs. In addition, during maintenance, you will contact people who aren’t technically savvy. That’s why skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving are important.
Ready to start your career in software development?
Software developers are popular and demanded today. Their knowledge and skills allow them to work in different fields, not in IT companies only. And now that you have a closer look at this profession, you can better understand if that’s a role you would like to master.
Ready to take the first step toward this promising career?