Software Developer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Software Developers, or Software Designers, design computer software and applications that allow users to complete a wide variety of tasks, such as streaming music, playing games, and even creating spreadsheets. Their duties include improving existing computer systems, creating code for programs, submitting project reports, and working with project managers to meet a client’s needs. 

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What does a Software Developer do?

A Software Developer uses their knowledge to design, create, implement, and maintain software, applications, and other computer systems. They typically collaborate with Project Managers and other Software Developers to develop software based on clients’ needs. Someone in this role has strong problem-solving skills, allowing them to perform maintenance updates on current systems, and find solutions for systems that may not be working properly. A Software Developer may also create operational manuals and systems specifications for the software they design. 

Software Developer duties and responsibilities

In order for a Software Developer to excel in the role, they must be able to meet their clients’ needs by assessing current software systems and determining what updates they might need to make. They may also work on developing entirely new systems based on what their client is looking for. Other duties and responsibilities candidates should excel at include:

  • Developing, troubleshooting, analyzing, and testing software programs
  • Assisting in the documentation of client requirements
  • Managing primary web development vendors 
  • Providing training to new hires
  • Create operational manuals for users, clients, and team members
  • Presenting ideas for development and improvement of the company’s product
  • Assisting in the development of software applications
  • Collaborating with the IT department to determine the scope and expectation of software development projects

Software Developer skills and qualifications

Software Developers must often be able to explain complex terms to non-technical team members. They also need excellent research and problem analysis skills. Some other prerequisite skills and qualifications include:

  • Knowledge of Agile development methodologies, databases, and object-relational mapping (ORM) framework
  • Strong organization and time-management skills
  • Familiarity with programming languages (e.g. C, Python, Javascript, and C#)
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of cross-browser compatibility, general web functions, and standards
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Ability to analyze problems and find solutions

Software Developer experience requirements

As there are many levels of Software Developers, the necessary level of experience for this role may depend on a specific position’s needs. An entry-level Software Developer typically needs between one to three years of relevant work experience. When looking for a mid-level candidate, consider Software Developers with three to five years of relevant work experience, as these roles might involve more hands-on software projects and client collaboration. Senior-level Software Developers tend to have more than five years of professional experience. 

Software Developer education and training requirements

Many Software Developers have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related area of study, though an entry-level Software Developer could have an associate degree or have completed a nontraditional training program. For instance, some Software Developers choose to enroll in a software boot camp where they learn the skills they need for this position in a short period of time. Along with gaining relevant work experience, such as internships, a Software Developer may hold a specialization or certification to be qualified for niche roles.

Software Developer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Software Developer is $77,081 per year. Rates may vary depending on the location, experience, and company.

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Software Developer job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Software Developer?

A quality Software Developer has strong computer, organizational, and teamwork skills. They need to be quick learners, often teaching themselves new processes and programs. Those who excel in this role tend to be curious and open-minded. Software Developers must also have a positive mindset and excellent problem-solving skills.

Who does a Software Developer report to?

Who a Software Developer reports to can vary based on the size of the company they work for or the structure of their department. For large enterprises, they can report to the Team Manager or Department Director. In smaller companies, Software Developers can report directly to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or other senior executives like the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the Chief Operations Officer (COO).

How can you make your Software Developer job description stand out?

Including details about the company’s welcoming culture and innovative way of thinking can help you find candidates who are eager to develop exciting new software. Showcasing your employee benefits, such as unlimited paid time off, can also attract more candidates. A quality job description has a personable tone, inviting candidates to send in their applications and learn more about the company. 

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