what is a software developer?

Software developers create computer programs and applications. Your job is to build the programs from scratch or oversee the team creating the apps. Software programs help users perform specific tasks on various gadgets like computers and mobile phones.

As a software developer, you can create applications or operating systems used in computers and electronic gadgets. You collaborate with computer engineers and programmers to develop complex and functional systems that meet customers' needs or help a company improve efficiency. Your job doesn't end in development; you test and install the software to ensure it works correctly.

what does a software developer do?

As a software developer, you maintain and update software applications to fix bugs and improve their functionality. That means you monitor the performance and find creative ways to add new features. For instance, the security systems should be up-to-date and have the latest security features. The software application should also be compatible with new operating systems.

Becoming a successful software developer requires strong coding skills and creativity. Skills in design help you translate user needs into an interactive application with an appealing layout and theme. Your technical lead aptitude also assists in figuring out how the components of a system can work together.

Would working as a software developer suit your creativity? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a software developer role.

software developer roles

average software developer salary

According to Job Bank, a software developer earns an average salary of $105,461 per year. Entry-level positions begin with a salary of $77,538 annually, while experienced software developers earn over $156,747 yearly.

how to increase your salary as a software developer

The salary of a software developer varies based on experience and educational qualifications. When you are new to the role, the salary is lower but increases gradually with experience and skills. The salaries vary by location. For example, regions like British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba have lower salaries for software developers, whereas working in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario improves your salary expectations due to the high demand for quality software developers.

The industry you work in also influences your earnings. Working in technology companies increases your salary, but some industries also pay favourable salaries. For instance, software developers working in manufacturing industries earn more due to the additional expertise required to work in the technical field. Your area of specialization also influences your earnings. A system developer earns more than a web and app developer.

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types of software developer

Software developers can specialize in the following roles:

  • web developer: your job involves building websites and applications based on clients' needs. You work on the sites' visual elements, like the layouts and themes, to make them appealing to clients. You also control the databases and code the back end.
  • system developer: you are responsible for building operating system software for various programs. You also create systems for regulating and operating computer infrastructure. Embedded system software developers create programming codes on hardware devices like washing machines, fridges and televisions.
  • app developers: your job is to write codes for video games or mobile applications. You build the user interface and perform various functions on mobile devices. Video game and mobile developers are app software developers.
man smiling while sitting in front of desktop computer
man smiling while sitting in front of desktop computer

working as a software developer

Software developers build applications and software programs for companies. If this sounds exciting, discover the duties and responsibilities of software developers.


software developer skills and education

Some of the educational requirements for becoming a software developer include:

  • education: to work as a software developer, complete a college program in computer science or a related field. Alternatively, pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering to acquire the necessary technical skills.
  • work experience: you require extensive experience, especially in programming, to work as a software developer. Gain experience through internships and entry-level positions.

competencies and characteristics of software developers

Some of the skills of a software developer include:

  • analytical skills: as a software developer, you evaluate users' needs when determining the software requirements. Analytical skills help you separate useful features and analyze the software's functionality. The skills also come in handy during testing.
  • communication skills: as a software developer, communication skills are crucial for giving clear instructions to the development team and explaining problems that arise. Communication skills also help you explain complex features to clients and investors without using technical terms.
  • creativity: a software developer should be innovative to design visually appealing platforms. Creative skills help you find unique ways to design software or improve the functions of an application.
  • detail-oriented: as a software developer, you handle various software components. If you are not detail-oriented, your application will have many errors, slowing the development process. Attention to detail also helps you identify bugs and errors during maintenance or testing.

FAQs about software developer jobs

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a software developer.


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