Are you interested in a career in software development? In this section you can find out what occupations in this sector involve along with advice on how to gain access to a career in software development.
What does a career in software development entail?
Software developers, also known as programmers, design and create computer programs to help organisations, machines and equipment function more effectively. A software developer's main responsibility is to produce applications using various languages through design, development, testing and implementation. ASP, PHP, Java, C, C++, .NET and COBOL are just a few of the languages used in software development. Working independently or as a part of a team, software developers must produce quality codes, be able to upgrade and integrate their applications and keep up with technological advances.
A software developer's main responsibilities include:
- Developing application documentation
- Researching and using different programming languages
- Implementing applications
- Debugging code
- Understanding numeric data
- In-depth knowledge of current and new technologies
- Networking with potential clients
- Administrative duties
Skills needed to become a software developer include:
- Excellent technical knowledge
- Ability to keep up to date with the latest technological developments
- Team player
- Excellent problem solver
- Ability to understand and follow technical direction and instructions
- Strong Microsoft Office skills
- Good communication skills: sometimes necessary to discuss requirements with clients and teams
What qualifications are needed for a career in software development?
For a career in software development you will usually need a Higher National Diploma (HND), foundation degree or degree in computing or a related subject. If you don't have an IT-related degree, a graduate training scheme is offered by most companies.
The top UK Universities for Computer Science degrees include: Cambridge, Imperial College London, St Andrew's, Durham, Bristol, Southampton, Warwick, University College London, Manchester, Glasgow, Exeter and Sheffield.
Top employers for software developers
Top employers for software developers and engineers include: Hewlett-Packard, Expedia, Intel, Yahoo, Cisco Systems, Intuit, Amazon, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Oracle, VMware, PayPal, Zynga, eBay, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Juniper Networks.
Opportunities exist for software developers within a variety of sectors including: financial services, health, retail and travel and tourism. IT companies have large IT departments and employers can be large, multinational corporations, medium-sized companies or smaller consultancies.
Occupations similar to software developer include:
- Web developer
- Web designer
- Database administrator
- Games developer
- Geographical information systems operator
- Technical author
- Software engineer
- Technical consultant
- Technical support
- Test analyst
- Test manager
- Network engineer
Average salary for graduates working in software development
The average salary for graduates working in software development in the UK is £25,000, but can reach as high as £32,500.
You can find job, internship and work placement opportunities in software development by creating a profile on Wizbii.