How to become a software developer

How to become a software developer

Job description: What does a software developer do?

What does a software developer do? The question is not that easy to answer. Because the range of tasks of the job profile is large. The main task of software developers is the conception, implementation, and maintenance of software systems. A broad spectrum – so the job description is not clearly defined.

The software developer’s job profile is more in demand than ever. IT specialists are wanted in practically every industry, sometimes desperately. Hardly any business process works today without supporting IT. Accordingly, employers like to see applicants who have already gained practical experience during their studies. To get the dream job, professional experience is at least as important as a university degree.

Speaking of getting your dream job – that is a factor that is important in the IT industry: The shortage of skilled workers is rampant, especially in the IT industry, and so more and more work is on fewer and fewer shoulders. It is all the more important to work in an environment in which you feel comfortable because a software developer spends a lot of time at his workplace.

Education: How do you become a software developer?

Mostly trained computer scientists, but also graduates from natural sciences or engineering courses, work in the profession of a software developer.

Cramming the vile theory is only one thing. The other is to get a taste of the business world during your studies – with internships, part-time jobs, or practical projects with a company focus at the university.

A little tip: On the specialist community Github, projects are repeatedly advertised that are also interesting for students to refine their job profile.

A university degree alone is currently not very convincing on the job market. This explains why, for example, a completed apprenticeship in an IT apprenticeship enables entry as a software developer. For a few years, for example, state-recognized training for mathematical-technical software developers has existed. There are pure computer science courses at practically every college and university.

The basic requirements for a job as a software developer are:

  • Permanent learning, because nothing changes as rapidly as IT permanent training,
  • Open-mindedness towards new things
  • Problem-solving skills

In-depth IT knowledge is also essential. The current standards are programming languages such as C, C ++, Java, Javascript, .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails or Python, SQL, HTML, and CSS. Relational databases like MySql or PostgreSQL as well as solutions like Redis shouldn’t be a book with seven seals.

It is less important to master all programming languages inside out – this is practically impossible. Instead, a software developer should have the ability to quickly become familiar with new issues and programming code.

Employer: Who is looking for software developers

Where do software developers work? This question would be easy to answer in Silicon Valley. This region is considered to be the engine of the software industry.

But of course, there are also lots of interesting jobs for software developers in many industries outside of the IT cluster. Software developers primarily find work at:

  • Information and telecommunications technology company
  • System and software houses
  • IT service providers
  • In engineering offices for technical specialist planning

As IT specialists will sooner or later become an indispensable part of any branch of the company due to increasing digitization, software developers across all sectors find jobs in IT departments of companies in different economic sectors or IT research and development facilities.

Salary: How much does a software developer make?

The salary structure is heavily dependent on the industry, region, and experience. The size of the company also plays a role. The average salary for a software developer $110,000 per year in the United States.

Map of software developer salaries

The darker areas on the map show where software developer earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Map of software developer salaries
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $66,740 ($32.09/hour)
  • Median Annual Salary: $110,000 ($52.88/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $166,960 ($80.27/hour)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In advertising and PR, educational and research institutions, and in the mail-order business, software developers have to be satisfied with comparatively low salaries. Banks, insurance companies, and medical technology companies open up the best remuneration prospects.

Entry opportunities: the prospects for software developers

Computer scientists are in great demand in the job market. According to a market study 68 percent of IT companies with vacancies is looking for software developers. What is most in demand is knowledge of:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Social media
  • Website and web application development
  • Business applications
  • Mobile websites

Due to the shortage of skilled workers, companies are also significantly more open to career changers and self-taught people than is currently the case in other industries.

Application: How do software developers score

In the meantime, the path to becoming a dream employer no longer necessarily leads through the classic application. Because in many areas companies are desperately looking for IT experts and go on their initiative.

  • At career fairs
  • Events at universities
  • On the Internet

In some cases, young specialists are even recruited directly in the lecture hall. In this respect, it is recommended that candidates who want to gain a foothold in the field visit a career fair. For those who find that too much of a hassle: Some trade fairs are also available in virtual form on the Internet, which should naturally benefit budding software developers.

Speaking of the Internet: It is advisable to create a profile in the relevant business networks such as LinkedIn and keep it up to date. Many employers are looking for new talent for their company here. After the initial contact, software developers usually cannot avoid creating a complete application portfolio.

After all, the new employer wants to get a complete picture of what to expect from the candidate. Here, job applicants should emphasize their strengths and practical experience precisely and in detail in the cover letter and resume. To create an effective resume, it is recommended to use a professional resume templates. In contrast to other industries, however, this is not about paper and certificates, but rather an overview of completed projects and the appropriate links – everything online, of course.

Career: The development opportunities as a software developer

Anyone who works as a software developer in a generic IT company has a good chance of making a career quickly. Due to the high demand for IT solutions, employers and companies are usually subject to rapid growth, so that young experts leave the junior level behind after one to two years.

Usually, they then rise to the position of team leader via a smaller group within a large department. After that, the way through the department management to the upper executive floor is open. Due to the great agility in the IT environment, career steps every two to three years are not unrealistic.

The problem with which the often still young bosses have to struggle is mostly in the area of personnel management: Those who quickly take on responsibility hardly have time to be properly trained in management. So if you want to climb the career ladder step by step, you should always keep an eye on your management skills.

How to become a software developer
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How to become a software developer
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