What Does A Software Developer Do?

"I want to work with computers for sure: I find them interesting in all respects, but I just don’t know what I want to do specifically yet. There seem to be plenty of different jobs to choose from in the field. Software programmers and developers seem to pull in the best salaries, though, and there seem to be more opportunities with software than with hardware. What exactly does a software developer do? The name is a bit vague, and doesn’t really indicate specifics. Do they build and implement programs from the ground up? Do they develop apps? Do they do actual programming, or do they just design programs conceptually, and delegate the rest?"

asked by Bobby from Tulsa, OK

The reason the title for this position is a bit vague is probably because the job itself really is quite broad, and the responsibilities can vary quite a bit depending on the skills of the programmer and what exactly your position entails. Some programmers do develop programs from scratch. You might be involved with the overall design process (the business logic of the program, the architecture of the system, and so on), the coding, or both.

You might build programs for desktop computers, or for servers, or for apps like iPad. You might do most of your work individually, building entire programs yourself, or you might work as part of a development team.

It depends on where you are employed and what kind of project you are working on.

Some of the software that software developers work in are:

Some software developers work for large or small companies, while others may work as freelancers, taking jobs as they become available. Still others may work for themselves, creating programs on their own and starting companies which may eventually employ others. The vast majority of software developers work full time.

You should find plenty of opportunities—though also a great deal of competition, since software development is a popular field to study.

You will want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, and you will also want to do a lot of studying and programming in your spare time. Get involved with as many projects as you can so that you can develop a portfolio showing off your programming and design skills. This can be just as vital when it comes to finding a job as your actual degree. Combined, they will place you in the best position for success in the future.

Career Spotlight: Software Developer

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