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What Does A Software Developer Do?

Last updated:
10th Jun, 2023
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What Does A Software Developer Do?

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.

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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.

What is a Software Developer?

A software developer is a skilled individual who creates software applications from beginning to end. Although some may focus solely on developing innovative desktop and smartphone applications, others might build the heart of an operating system. They additionally develop computer games and computational architectures.

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Their responsibility is to transform client requirements into effective software solutions. Software developers implement coding languages, strategies, and tools to write code and construct software programs. They utilize their skills in developing software that the corporation might sell on the marketplace or internal applications that help the company run more effectively. 

Software developers around the world can either work independently by freelancing for clients on a contract basis, or they can work as a part of a team of developers in an organization. 

Reasons to be a Software Developer

There are several reasons for one to explore what does a software developer do and join the amazing sector of software development:

Increased Demand 

There is a high demand for qualified individuals in the rapidly developing field of software development. Software developers are always in demand across various businesses, providing extensive job options and long-term career security.

Good Salary Potential

Software developers generally earn attractive salaries. Software developers benefit from appealing compensation packages and the opportunity for income to increase over time because there is an increasing need for their expertise and skills.

Higher Prospects for Learning and Growth

Since innovation is constantly developing, software developers are always learning emerging technologies, structures, and programming languages. Developers should try to keep up with the most recent developments and broaden their skill set, opening up an assortment of options for personal and professional development.


Software development allows for the expression of innovative thinking and problem-solving skills. Developers have the chance to solve complicated problems with novel approaches. They can use problem-solving and analytical skills to construct, design, and execute software programs fulfilling particular demands.


The ability to design software is extremely valuable for ambitious business owners. Many software developers decide to launch independently owned tech businesses, create their own software, or work for startups where they can directly influence the growth and path of the company.

Versatile Field of Work

The field of software development offers a variety of specialities and career opportunities. Developers can specialize in designing websites, developing mobile applications, data science, artificial intelligence, games development, cybersecurity, and other areas. This adaptability enables developers to explore many fields and discover their speciality.

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.

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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.
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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.

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.
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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

In-Demand Software Development Skills

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.

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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.

Difference Between Software Developer and Software Engineer 

People often confuse and interchange the terms software developer and software engineer. Still, there are significant differences between them in terms of what does a software engineer do and what does a software developer do also in other terms such as their skill set, etc. Here are certain differences between them:


The term “software developer” often refers to a more intensive concentration on the coding and programming components of software creation. Typically, developers focus on writing code, adding functionality, and creating software programs based on predetermined specifications.

The term “software engineer” might indicate a larger definition covering the complete software development process and just coding. Software engineers participate in planning, developing, testing, upkeep, and general managing software systems. When creating software solutions, they consider scaling, performance, security, and maintenance elements.

Systems Thinking 

Software developers usually put a greater focus on systems analytical and problem-solving capabilities. They concentrate on developing robust and scalable software products rather than just writing functional code. They also analyze complicated challenges and comprehend system requirements.

Software developers are in charge of thinking strategically and figuring out how their products fit into greater systems or infrastructure.

Job Roles and Managerial Level

Software engineers could be linked to more senior or leadership positions within the development team or the company. They generally have more responsibilities, such as supervising every stage of software development, managing collaborative efforts, and making strategic choices. 

On the contrary, software engineers might concentrate on specialized coding jobs and execution specifics.


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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.
Why Companies are Looking to Hire Full Stack Developers

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!

If you’re interested to learn more about full stack software development, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s Executive PG Programme in Software Development – Specialization in Full Stack Development which is designed for working professionals and offers 500+ hours of rigorous training, 9+ projects and assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.


Arjun Mathur

Blog Author
Arjun is Program marketing manager at UpGrad for the Software development program. Prior to UpGrad, he was a part of the French ride-sharing unicorn "BlaBlaCar" in India. He is a B.Tech in Computers Science from IIT Delhi and loves writing about technology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What have been some of the newest technological advances?

The following are some of the most recent technological advancements: Artificial intelligence (AI) is a most basic form that can perform tasks but lacks memories. IT pros can use cloud computing to store data and access resources through the Internet. Any firm can be severely harmed by software and technological failures. Another technology that automates the employment of technology to automate corporate operations such as reading applications is Robotic Process Automation. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the next big technological trends. AR enriches the user's environment while VR immerses them in it. Despite the fact that this technology trend has mostly been used for gaming.

2Are data scientists like software developers?

Data scientists look into the questions that need to be answered and where the relevant data may be found. A data scientist, in general, is someone who knows how to derive insights from and interpret information, which necessitates both statistical as well as machine learning techniques and approaches to being human as well. They spend a lot of effort gathering, filtering, and munging data science data that is never completely clean, unlike developers who only code to solve for solutions. Data scientists have a high level of education even though they help businesses find, organize, and analyze massive amounts of raw data.

3What are the specifications to become an analyst?

An analyst is someone who collects data, analyses it, and draws conclusions based on their findings. They hunt for patterns in data and use what they discover to make important decisions and improvements. Analysts work in a variety of businesses, assisting with efficiency and strategic decision-making. While most analysts gather and analyze data, the techniques and motivation for doing so vary from industry to industry.