Career Profile: Software Developer
Every time you use a computer, you use software. Each game and program for writing or doing budgets has software that allows the computer to work and to respond to what people tell it to do. If you like to work with small details and to see how your work translates into something that everyone can use, becoming a software developer might be a good choice.
Working as a software developer might sound like a very exciting job. You could imagine that you could spend the day playing games and learning new things, and it might include some of those kinds of activities. However, working as a software developer is mostly about working at the coding behind what people see. It takes creativity but also the ability to focus on small details and to see how different elements fit together.
You might know a bit about the mechanics behind computer programs. Have you ever done any programming yourself? The end result can be very interesting, but getting to that point usually takes a lot of work that can sometimes be somewhat dull and time-consuming. Many software developers have degrees in computer science, but formal training is not always necessary. If you have talent as a software developer, you have a good chance of getting work in this area even if you have only a high school education.
Software developers use many of the same skills as computer programmers. The know how to use the coding behind the programs to produce certain effects on the computer, such as a special sound or colour. If you want to be a software developer, you can already start to learn the technology behind what you see. Learn the codes that tell the computer what to do and become familiar with what happens when there are mistakes in the coding.
Software developers have to know all of the technical aspects of how computers work, including computer languages. However, they also need to be creative. Most computer programs, such as word processing software, are designed to solve a problem or to fill a need, even if the need is only for entertainment. Some of the main areas where people in this field work are new technologies, healthcare, and security. However, software developers can work in almost any place where computers are important.
Research is an important part of being a software developer. People in this field might spend a lot of time reading about what other people have done and thinking about how they can improve on old technology. Learning from other people and from books, magazines, and other sources of information can help to keep a software developer’s skills current.
Depending on where they work, software developers can earn between $44,000 and $81,000, but the average is about $59,000. Experience can sometimes help people to earn the higher salaries, but most software developers move into other fields within about twenty years.
Do you love computers and enjoy finding out how they work? You might want to consider becoming a software developer.