Picking your dream job is no easy feat. It can take a lot of soul searching and questions, allowing you to come to a conclusion that you think makes sense for you, your passions, and your skills. If you’ve decided that a job as a software developer is right for you, it’s important to dig deeper. Just because the job sounds great and sounds like something you’d enjoy, doesn’t mean you’re ready for it and have what it takes to succeed.
Here we’ll take an in-depth look at what it takes to become a successful software developer breaking down all the essential tips and insight into the field.
What Does a Software Developer Do?
It’s important to start with an overview of what software developers do so you can get a sense of whether or not this is a career that speaks to you. As a software developer, your job will include such tasks as:
- Recommending and then developing application/software upgrades
- Developing new software
- Testing the software
- Monitoring software and doing maintenance checks
- Identify potential risks and find solutions
- Document and report a wide array of information
It’s quite common for software developers to also work with programmers, as the two go hand-in-hand in the design process.
How to Become a Software Developer?
So how does one become a software developer? Schooling will prove to be the most essential step you take. This will arm you with the foundation and basics to step into the job with confidence and meet the needs of your employer.
In terms of what schooling is necessary, a Master’s degree in computer science from a school such as Worcester Polytechnic Institute will enable you to get the skills, knowledge, and, of course, qualifications you need for pursuing your dream of becoming a software developer. Keep in mind you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree to apply for this program, as well as some other admission requirements.
Through the Master’s, you’ll learn such core skills as computer science foundations; algorithms, software and database design; an excellent grasp of mathematical foundations of computing; how to apply big data management; software languages, and so much more.
Once you complete your Master’s, start networking at every opportunity you get and brush up on all the latest industry trends and news, and put yourself out there.
What Does the Job Market Look Like for Software Developers?
Looking into the job outlook for software developers, it’s very favorable, which should be music to your ears. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is growing at a much faster pace than the national job growth average. From 2020 to 2030, it is expected to grow by 22%, adding roughly 409,500 jobs.
So what’s pushing this increase in jobs? Much of it can be tied to the sheer number of people who now own tablets, Chromebooks, and smartphones, and thereby need the most up-to-date software options. This is a trend that will continue, as people aren’t suddenly going to stop relying on their digital devices. If anything, they will look for more ways to integrate their digital and smart devices into their life.
As for the median pay, software developers made $110,140 per year as of 2020 – a very healthy and impressive salary. Under the umbrella of software developers, software publishers were the highest paying industry with a median salary of $124,050.
What Personality Traits and Skills Can Help You Succeed?
In the world of successful software developers, there is an emphasis on creative thinking. Because you are identifying weaknesses in processes and systems and then coming up with solutions, you often need to think outside the box. The answer may not even exist at that moment; you need to be the one to figure out the problem.
Other traits and skills that can help you to succeed in this field include:
- Excellent analytical skills
- The ability to adapt and innovate
- The ability to focus and concentrate on complicated tasks
- The ability to prioritize
- The ability to multi-task
- Strong communication skills
- The ability to work well with others
The Job of Software Developer Could be Calling Your Name
Now that you know more about what a software developer does and how to become one, you may decide this is the exact career path that makes sense for you. With so much growth and promise in the next decade, there are plenty of positives to point out.