How Do You Become a Software Developer?

Software DeveloperTaking the steps to become a software developer will land you a high-paying, in-demand job in today’s digital age. Software developers are trained computer specialists who brainstorm creative solutions that help people accomplish tasks on certain devices. Typically, software developers will focus on creating new applications, games, word processors, or systems software. Developers work closely with programmers to design and code software programs that fit a client’s unique needs. When software fails, developers go back to the drawing board to fix problems, improve program design, and perform upgrades. Software developers are credited with building popular programs like Windows, Microsoft Outlook, and Adobe Photoshop. The following is a step-by-step guide you can use to follow in their footsteps and become a software developer, according to the US News and World Report.

Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree

Most employers and clients prefer hiring software developers with at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college with 120 or more credits. Aspiring developers generally major in computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, information technology, or a related field. Taking courses relevant to software development is important, especially software applications, operating systems, data management, network security, and web development. Although the job isn’t focused on writing code, software developers benefit from coursework on programming languages too. Become familiar with C++, C#, and Java. Heading back to graduate school isn’t required, but software developers who do can advance as IT project managers or computer systems managers.

Acquire Software Development Experience

Software development is a complex profession requiring excellent analytical, computer, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. Obtaining hands-on work experience is the best method for honing these important qualities. While completing your bachelor’s program, apply for internships at software companies, such as Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Symantec, or Intuit. Most accredited programs will also include a senior capstone project. After graduation, move onto full-time professional jobs. It’s not uncommon for software developers to begin as computer support specialists, computer systems analysts, or programmers. You’ll build a solid resume before being given more responsibility. Jobs can be found at software publishing firms, computer systems design companies, computer manufacturers, and private corporations.

Receive Professional Certification

Going the extra step to receive voluntary certification can communicate your expertise and determination to potential clients. Software developers are often certified through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society. You could become a Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) or Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP). Knowledge certificates are available in Software Design, Software Testing, Software Maintenance, and Software Construction. The IEEE requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, at least two years of experience, and passing PSD exam scores. Software developers could also earn the CompTIA A+ Certification or become certified through Oracle. More than 80 percent of certification holders in software development report promotions and/or salary increases.

Related Resource: Quality Control Management

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of software developers is predicted to grow 17 percent through 2024, thus producing around 186,600 new jobs. Software developers will especially be hired to design applications as smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices rise in popularity. On average, software developers earn a high yearly salary of $99,530 for creating and modifying various computer programs. If you decide to become a software developer, you’ll have the opportunity to use your creativity and tech savvy to create optimum software.