What Careers are in Software Development?

Software DevelopmentSoftware development efforts incorporate a host of activities like planning, designing, building and testing of software products, and the numerous careers in software development often reflect these efforts. Software is at the heart of today’s information technology (IT) advancements. Business activities would slow, supply chain operations would become inefficient and smartphones would no longer be smart without software. Although some people who work in software development careers are self taught and have varied academic backgrounds, most people in this career category have at least undergraduate degrees in computer science. Here are some of the software development jobs that these people fill as they support numerous industries like education, defense, aerospace, financial services and healthcare.

Systems Development

Many programmers build software components for systems engineering efforts. While some get to work on cutting edge systems, most of these programmers are tasked with keeping legacy systems working optimally through periodic software updates. They master mature programming languages like Ada, C and C++ which they use regularly for permanent software upgrades and temporary patches. Examples of these embedded systems development efforts are found in both military and commercial aircraft programs. The software developers for these activities work closely with systems engineers to make sure that their new programs and modifications capture all the functionality that the designers envisioned for their end product. The software developers who work on these projects also must interact with other developers to make sure that their software components integrate properly. The financial services sector also uses the services of system development programmers who are proficient in C++, C#, Java and to a lesser extent COBOL .

Web Development

Software developers who work on web development efforts are often responsible for designing as well as coding the web pages that are found on the internet. These software developers must marry creative layouts with efficient code to produce websites that capture and retain the attention of website visitors. Web developers stay abreast of the latest techniques, new computer languages and industry trends so that their work can continue to provide great user experiences. For example, web developers modify traditional websites so that users who access the websites’ pages with mobile computing devices can interact on those sites just as well as conventional computer users. These IT professionals are usually proficient in programming languages like HTML, Javascript, CSS and PHP.

Software Project Management

After software developers gain extensive experience on challenging projects, they are often tapped to lead the development efforts of more junior programmers. In addition to technical knowledge, these software development project managers must be proficient in foundational business principles like financial management, accounting and general management, according to Developer. They also must have leadership and interpersonal skills to manage user expectations and convey user needs to their development teams. They usually manage teams that consist of business requirements analysts, system architects, system software developers and testers who often write automated test software scripts for projects. Software project managers often have industry recognized certifications in traditional project management or agile project management.

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Most of the professional tools and personal gadgets that most of the developed world has grown accustomed to using regularly require software. Software developers build new applications, or they modify software so that their clients’ systems can keep up with the growing expectations of their customers. The knowledge and skills that these IT professionals gain through continuous education, training and experience also allow them to understand how all types of off the shelf software work which expands their options for careers in software development.