Top Videos

How to get a Job as a Software Developer

What is a Software Developer?

Software developers invent the technologies we sometimes take for granted. For instance, that app that rings, sings or buzzes you out of a deep sleep every morning? A software developer helped design that. And when you roll into the office and turn on your computer, clicking and scrolling through social media, music and your personal calendar – developers had a big hand in shaping those, too.

You might spend your lunch break shopping, and before you make that big purchase, you check your bank account balance using your phone. Later, you cook a new recipe from that great app your friend told you about. As you look over the course of your day, you come to see that software developers are the masterminds behind the technologies you can't imagine living without.

How Much Does a Software Developer Make?

Software Developers made a median salary of $127,260 in 2022. The best-paid 25% made $161,480 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $96,790.

Job Satisfaction

Average Americans work well into their 60s, so workers might as well have a job that's enjoyable and a career that's fulfilling. A job with a low stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary would make many employees happy. Here's how Software Developers job satisfaction is rated in terms of upward mobility, stress level and flexibility.

How to Become a Software Developer?

While several different paths can lead to a career in software development, here’s how many developers get started:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree. Software developers often pursue a degree in computer science, where they study computers and programming.
2. Gain hands-on experience. Employers are typically drawn to applicants with practical experience. Many students complete an internship or seek out experience beyond the classroom to prepare themselves for a career in software development. Even if you don't enroll in a formal internship program, familiarizing yourself with coding and learning programming languages like Python and SQL can show potential employers that you're equipped to do the job.
3. Pursue a master’s degree. Though not required, some employers prefer developers with an advanced degree.

"It's super important to understand CS fundamentals like big O notation, common algorithms, standard languages and technical approaches. You can learn this from school or from apprenticeship, but you need to learn it somehow," Sam Schillace writes in an email. Schillace is a former vice president of engineering for industry solutions at Google. Before that, he co-founded Writely, which he later sold to Google, where it was used to create Google Docs.

So while a bachelor's degree in computer science is a good idea, a degree alone won't help you snag that dream job in software development. "We look at track records as much as school – someone from a great school with no outside coding projects or interesting technical accomplishments is definitely less interesting, and someone who is a rock star coder with no degree but a huge list of achievements would be an easy hire," Schillace explains.

How to get a Job as a Software Developer

How to get a Job as a Software Developer

"Write code. Early and often. Good engineers are curious and want to learn how to build new things and are also constantly trying to find new and interesting things they haven't built yet," Schillace says. "If you don't feel passionate about trying out some new technology or language you've heard, or you aren't obsessed with solving that problem or building that app you've thought of, you probably shouldn't be a programmer."

Employers want to see a proficiency in computer science, but they also want to see that developers have practical experience and a passion for the field.

Even without an internship on their resume, developers can showcase their work in other ways. "These days, it's really easy to find places to write code and solve technical problems – things like Codecademy make it very easy to get started, and any computer (or even a tablet or phone) can have some kind of technical environment installed, even if it's something as basic at Python," Schillace writes. "Start with a small problem that you want to solve, or a simple course like intro to JavaScript, and go from there."

What is the Job Like?

Software developers may work from home or in offices, and they spend a lot of time at their computers. While in front of computers, developers work on any number of tasks. They could be updating code, adding functionality – even figuring out what that functionality should be – writing design documents, fixing bugs in software and more.

While software development is somewhat similar to software engineering, the two roles differ in that a developer typically focuses on working directly with software, while a software engineer has more of a big-picture role that may include planning, designing and managing software systems.

Schillace says software developers typically work in small teams of four to six people who set weekly or biweekly goals, and they'll "sprint" to reach them. Telecommuting is becoming more common as much of the work can be done remotely. While many jobs are 40 hours a week, 50-hour weeks are not unheard of.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a software developer’s salary per month?
A: Software developers earned an average of approximately $11,078 a month in 2022.

Q: What is a software developer’s salary in California?
A: On average, software developers made $182,570 in California in 2022, which is about $15,214 a month.

Post a Comment