Software Development

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
  • Flexibility
  • Self-motivated
  • Team player
  • Innovative
  • Meticulous
  • Excellent problem solver
  • Amicable
  • 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
  • Analyst
  • Developer

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.

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