STEM job of the week: Software Developer

 In S.T.E.M Careers

Let’s develop some software! Well how would we do that? Hmm, since we don’t know how, who can we get to do it for us? I know! How about we find a software developer! Ok but what exactly does a software developer do? Let’s see!

Software developers are the creators of computer programs. They are the brains behind many of the apps we use on our computers or smart phones. Others develop the systems that help control companies’ networks. Many of the things we use to make our lives easier are often created by software developers. Whether it’s the banking app we use, the online store we love to shop at, or the zombie filled game that we can’t seem to put down, their all created by a developer. They also create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These systems include the operating systems in our computers, mobile devices, and our cars.

Software developers are concerned with the facets of the software development process. The development process can include some tedious tasks such as research, design, testing, and programming computer software.  To ensure that they software performs how it is expected, developers work close with testers and programmers. If either reports difficulty in use or errors in functionality with the software, developers then go back and perform the necessary updates and maintenance.

Being a software developer is a demanding and important job, there are many duties to fulfill as a developer.

Typical responsibilities of a software developer do the:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software
  • Adhere to coding standards and coding guidelines

Two types of software developers:

  • Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.
  • Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

Due to the continuous evolution of technology, software developers are in very high demand. The need allows developers to be employed in a range of industries such as computer systems design, electronic product manufacturing, and finance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that within a ten-year frame that spans from 2014 to 2024, the growth for software developers will increase by 19-percent. That growth will produce approximately 135,300 new software development jobs.

Software developer is #3 on the US News Top 25 STEM jobs list.


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