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Typical day activities for a software engineer include developing new software, testing new software, analyzing customer data, and making prototypes for new software applications.

What Does a Software Developer Do? An Overview of a Career in Computer Programming

IT professionals usually need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or an equivalent field. They often work on open source code that the software companies distribute. Some work in search engine optimization (SEO) communities as well. A bachelor’s degree also indicates that the professional has taken courses on management, scheduling, time management, and problem solving.

Most people have seen commercials on television that show what a software developer does. It seems that every time there is a new piece of software available, someone is trying to get their job open by applying at a variety of different companies. However, not every job available is suitable for every type of person. In some cases, people are hired only to do basic tasks like writing code, while others are hired to work on complex computer systems. A bachelor’s degree will be required for those who are hired on a full-time basis to work on computer systems.

A typical salary for a position as a software developer will vary from company to company. Some companies prefer experienced developers who can write cleanly and efficiently. Other companies pay higher salaries to developers with higher levels of technical skill and ability. The majority of companies are in the process of actively seeking candidates, so the starting salary for many positions may already be established as a starting point for IT professionals looking to start a career in IT. Salaries are also typically affected by location, experience, industry, location, and other factors.

If a person wants to know how to become a software developer, there are several different career paths that are open to them. The most common path is to pursue a programming career, though there are also careers in accounting, insurance, investment, business management, customer service, and more. There are also classes specifically designed for those wanting to help businesses develop software. Classes that focus on how to become developers are usually offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities. These classes teach not only how to develop programs, but also how to write programs as well as how to operate computers. Some community colleges offer certification programs in which students can demonstrate their knowledge of computer science to employers or to demonstrate their abilities as coders.

Training for IT professionals who want to know how to become developers usually starts at vocational schools or community colleges. Students learn the basics of information technology, including computer science and design. After that, they learn how to analyze problems, how to develop solutions, and how to communicate their ideas and solutions to multiple parties. After this, students take a series of classes in programming. Classes that focus on how to design and create user-friendly software usually begin with AS courses (American Systems Testing and Certification), which last about two years.

Once students have earned their associate’s degree, they can pursue higher degrees in computer programming. The choices they make in the coursework will depend on whether they are looking to be full-time professionals or part-time students, though most choose to continue to study hard skills in order to achieve their future goals. Many professionals continue to keep their certifications after obtaining a bachelor’s degree, so they have additional credentials when they switch jobs or when they open their own firms. In addition, having a certification in hand can impress future employers when interviewing.

Many individuals interested in making applications begin as beginners who develop programs for fun or for personal pleasure. However, most soon realize that a career in the computer world is much more than they first thought. For most workers, a bachelor’s degree is not enough to get them started in a career as a full-time developer, as the necessary programming knowledge and experience are needed to create successful and lucrative programs. This is why specialists have began to offer the bachelor’s degree in computer programs alongside the regular bachelor’s degree for developers interested in moving their careers to the next level.

With an associate’s degree, many graduates will pursue careers in academia, museums, government agencies, the tech industry, and software development. Those with a bachelor’s will typically find work as designers or writers, while those with an MBA will consider it a great challenge to earn an income in a competitive field. There is no doubt that a good education and experience will help those aspiring to become software developers, but the real test comes once they begin working for the first time. Graduates can look forward to a challenging career as a full-time, independent developer, or they can pursue an Associate’s in Computer Science and begin to carve out their own niches in the industry.


Typical day activities for a software engineer include developing new software, testing new software, analyzing customer data, and making prototypes for new software applications.

Next Steps

If you're interested in learning more about the basics of programming, coding, and software development, check out our Coding Essentials Guidebook for Developers, where we cover the essential languages, concepts, and tools that you'll need to become a professional developer.

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