As the world continues to embrace technological advancements at a pace that’s growing exponentially, the demand for software developers is on the rise. It is software developers who collaborate with data scientists and analysts to build software and applications that are transforming the entire canvas of the global society on a massive scale. Today we have an app for addressing all our needs – Uber, Airbnb, Zomato, PayPal, Amazon, and so much more. Then again, we now have smart personal assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant that can perform a range of impressive tasks for us, from controlling our IoT devices to doing shopping for us!
Behind all of this magic lie the wizards – Software Developers.
Over the years, the rapid growth of technology and data has boosted the demand for software developers to a great extent. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains that software development jobs will grow at a rate of 24% between 2016-26. Going by these stats, software development career seems to be a very lucrative one.
The Role of a Software Developer
To put it in simple words, a software developer is someone who brings the computer to life, that is, he/she designs and builds the foundations of operating systems based on which computer programmers create programs and applications that are useful to the end user. Software development job requires one to take charge of the entire process of creating functional and versatile software for different kinds of operating systems – right from initial planning to writing the code, encrypting it and testing it.
Now, let’s look at the primary responsibilities in a software development job:
Designing and Creating Software
As we mentioned above, the main responsibility in a software development job is to develop functional software after performing extensive research on the specific requirements of the user.
Evaluating Both New and Existing Software
Once the coding and encrypting part of a software is completed, software developers then run tests on it to ensure it is completely functional and free from bugs. They have to perform quality assurance (QA) tests and diagnostic programs on newly designed software prior to their launch as well as the existing projects so as to test their efficacy and reliability quotient.
Enhancing Existing Software Systems
A software developer’s job does not stop at just software creation – he/she is also required to monitor user feedback and suggestions and incorporate those suggestions into the existing software infrastructure to continually improve it. Software developers must be able to identify the core functionality of software programs, that is they need to understand what the users are looking for from the software. Apart from the functionality, software developers also need to enhance other aspects of a software like its performance and security level.
Maintenance Of Existing Systems
Software developers have to continually monitor and maintain the efficacy of both the new and existing software systems. In case there crops up any issue on the existing software platforms, software developers have to find solutions to those problems and eliminate them in due time. This again includes running QA tests from time to time and rewriting the code to debug it – the process has to continue until the code is completely error-free.
Collaborating With Other Teams
A large part of a software developer’s work involves working in close collaboration with other developers in his/her team, project managers, computer programmers, graphic designers, and database administrators. Software developers have to regularly consult with clients and project managers to learn about the progress of their software projects.
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Apart from these primary responsibilities, software developers also have to:
- Write reports on the project progress.
- Implement software updates as and when necessary.
- Write documentation (operational manuals and systems specifications) for the new as well as updated software.
What Are The Skills Required To Be A Software Developer?
To be a great software developer, you need to be passionate about solving problems and leverage creative ways to solve complex issues. Every software developer should be well-versed in the following core knowledge areas:
- Coding and programming
- Computer science fundamentals
- Architecture and design
- Data structures and algorithms
- Information analysis
- Software debugging
- Software testing
Extensive Knowledge Of Computer Systems and Technology –
A software developer must be proficient in both understanding and working with at least more than one programming languages such as C, C++, Java, Ruby, Python, Perl, and SQL, to name a few. Also, it is essential that a software developer be able to work on different operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Linux).
To gain an edge over your competitors, you must also try to stay updated with the latest technological trends in the industry.
Attention To Detail –
Since software developers have to design and build the various parts of an application or a website, they must possess a knack for attention to detail. One small error could hamper the productivity and functionality of the entire application and hence, developers must pay attention to every little detail while working on a project.
Excellent Analytical and Problem Solving Skills –
Software developers are entrusted with the responsibility of the entire process of software creation and hence, they must be quick to identify and analyze bugs and errors in their code and fix it asap. Developers must also be able to analyze and understand the specific requirements of the users with respect to a particular project to build a software that meets those demands. Customer satisfaction is highly important.
Excellent Communication Skills –
As pointed before, software developers have to work closely with other professionals in an organization. To be able to work well with other teams in the company, it is important to be a team player. Also, having good communication skills allows developers to get their POV across to the other teams so that they can carry the project forward while maintaining the same frequency.
The job of software development is quite intricate and complex. Individuals who are passionate about technology and Computer Science are the ones who generally excel in this job profile. The competition is very high in the market right now and hence, it is necessary that you constantly upskill your knowledge and talent base as companies always like a little’ extra something’ when hiring software developers. Usually, companies look for candidates who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering, with around 2-3 years of experience in the IT sector. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hold a bachelor’s degree in CS or Software Engineering, because today, there are many online platforms that provide exceptional courses in Software Development.
As long as technology continues to progress (which it definitely will!) the demand for software developers is only going to increase. So, if you aspire to build a software development career, there has never been a better time to begin!