How to become a software developer

Job description: What does a software developer do?

The area of ​​software development can be divided into two professions. In addition to the well-known profession of “IT specialist for application development,” there is also the not so widespread mathematical-technical software developer. The former is essentially used by software and database providers, IT service providers, and the telecommunications industry—the latter in large computer centers at universities, research institutions, banks, insurance companies.

The job of an IT specialist for application development involves much more than just developing new software. He plans, develops, tests, and analyzes programs or applications for computers and other Internet-enabled devices. He also implements installation programs, designs user-friendly user interfaces, and defines interfaces to other computer components.

A software developer’s tasks include advising users, presenting the new software to a client, and training their employees. He/she is also involved in creating user manuals, installation instructions, tutorials, and training materials.

IT specialists develop existing programs further for application development to adapt them to current specifications. They fix program or software errors, the so-called bugs, with the help of unique diagnostic systems. In technical jargon, this is called a bug fix.

Contrary to what many believe, software development is not a dream job for nerds because you don’t work in isolation. You deal with the customer’s wishes and ideas and check them for their technical and financial feasibility. The development of new software is often teamwork. The professional exchange with collaborators from your team makes up a large part of the working day. Cooperation with other IT departments is just as important in IT system planning.

The profession of a software developer is mainly carried out in the office on the computer. To implement a new program, he/she works at the client’s site and trains her employees if necessary.

Average salary: How much does a software developer make in the United States?

The average salary for a software developer is $108,000 per year ($44.60 per hour) in the United States. Wages typically start from $55,200 and go up to $156,000.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Software developer responsibilities and requirements

There are several ways to become a software developer. Most of the software developers have previously completed training as IT specialists or studied IT at a university. Engineers, mathematicians, natural scientists, and graduates of a degree in electrical engineering and information technology can also work as software developers, provided they are very familiar with programming languages. Numerous educational institutes offer one to further two-year training to become an IT specialist for application development.

An essential basic requirement for the profession of a software developer is a pronounced technical and mathematical knowledge. They also have to be familiar with the common programming languages, databases, and operating systems. Strong ability to abstract is also one of the requirements of this activity.
Commercial knowledge is fundamental when it comes to the financial feasibility of an order.

Because of frequent contact with customers and colleagues, software developers should have good language skills. Dealing with a broad kind of people, colleagues, and laypeople requires a high degree of flexibility. The training of users requires pedagogical skills.

A software developer’s other characteristics are a conscientious and independent way of working and a willingness to learn and work. A strong analytical ability to think and a high tolerance for frustration can be seen in the often very complicated and time-consuming troubleshooting of software errors.

The working times of a software developer are often irregular, and overtime is not uncommon. Anyone who is in the process of fixing a bug cannot merely leave everything where it is just because the end of the day is calling.