A software developer manages the creation of code, the facets of software or an application, and its deployment and updates. They are not only able to write code alongside programmers but are also responsible for working on the larger software development process. Software developers must work with multiple parts of the software, planning how users will interact with it, how other apps will interface with it, and what it will need to run smoothly.
Differences between software developers, software engineers, and programmers
A software developer differs from a programmer mainly in scope of responsibility; a “programmer” typically refers to someone whose primary responsibility is writing code, while a developer must work with the entire software, the project scope. A software engineer is also slightly different; they must be certified by their state and are officially designated as an engineer.
Software engineers are often considered to have the greatest responsibility and experience of the three, and engineers also tend to oversee and manage a software’s creation and development at the highest level. However, many developers play a role in managing software development and may be completely in charge of a system or application deployment depending on their workplace or industry. It varies, as do the widely accepted terms and definitions.
What do software developers do?
Developers need multiple skills. They need to know how to write code in multiple languages. But software development and deployment, for web applications, mobile apps, and system software, can require knowledge of the following as well:
- Fitting different components of a program together
- Testing software code before it is deployed or released
- Collaborating with other members of the team, especially if they are working on different parts of the same software at once
- Connecting other platforms to the software. For example, monday.com is project management software, but it interacts with many other applications.
- Debugging and updating software regularly
- Considering and implementing user experience (perhaps meeting with other teams in the company to get feedback from users about the software)
- Adding security features to the software, being aware of data privacy and protection regulations, and designing the features so that the software complies with those laws
Software developers have a variety of responsibilities and must communicate with other members of the dev team as well as other teams in the organization so they know exactly what features the software will need.
What training do software developers need, and how much money do they make?
Software developers typically have a bachelor’s degree or some certification, training sessions, or bootcamp experience. Some may also be self-taught. Though most organizations look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, software developers without one can certainly also get a dev job. They need to know a few different programming languages, since different software will use different languages (perhaps multiple ones).
Compensation varies significantly depending on region and research, but low-end salaries for software developers range from $50,000-70,000 a year. The median can range from $75K-100K. High-end salaries start around $100K.
In a world that continues to rely more on technology, software developers are necessary. More smooth, efficient, and secure software is always in demand, and designing those solutions require well-trained people who can pull a successful program together.