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How To Become A Software Developer

What exactly is a software developer? Well, a software developer will use their knowledge of programming and design in order to build certain software that is required by whoever will be using the software.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
May 13, 2024

What exactly is a software developer? Well, a software developer will use their knowledge of programming and design in order to build certain software that is required by whoever will be using the software. Based on the specifications that they have been instructed with, the developer will build, test and then put in place or install the software. They write code using programming languages, build different designs and then have the ability to extensively test the software that they have developed, addressing any errors or issues that arise in the process. They will then maintain the software, address any security issues and apply any upgrades if necessary.

To become a software developer, it is usual to study certain subjects at degree or higher national diploma level. For example, information technology, computer science, mathematics, software engineering or software development are all popular choices and there are numerous similar courses depending on the college or university that you choose to attend.

Depending on the route you choose, you will usually need 4-5 GCSEs which include maths, English and computing and you will usually need a minimum of two A levels in similar subjects although there are opportunities for getting into this type of role either through an apprenticeship or trainee roles within established companies. Whatever pathway you decide on, you will need a solid foundation of education behind you.

Most software developers will hold a degree which gives them all the information and tools they need but is not always necessary. Having the correct knowledge and the specified expert skills are equally as important.

You will need to be a certain type of individual to become a software developer. You must be a competent problem solver, a critical thinker, have keen attention to detail, the ability to use a variety of development languages, be resourceful and resilient, be able to create complex databases, write and maintain software, produce codes, design systems as well as document application processes!

You may be initiating, modifying or replacing systems or even integrating some into existing networks. The role is varied and diverse depending upon what projects you work on and which industry you work in so you must also be highly adaptable. Your working environment may also be varied and you will have the option to work in an office setting, from your own home or even at clients’ locations, depending upon the nature of your work.

Salaries vary depending on experience, your role and who you are working for - of course, you may even decide to work for yourself so you can set your own fees. With relevant experience and continuous learning, you may decide to progress and specialise in certain areas or to hold a managerial role.

Because of today’s digital world, prospects for web developers are promising as most businesses need an online presence. This drives a high global demand for skilled web developers who can work remotely on a project, offering flexibility in both work location and hours.

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