How to Become A Software Developer

Software developers are professionals who apply scientific and mathematic principles to the development and design of different software applications and systems. Some of them develop mobile apps while others work on developing operating systems. They identify the needs of their users, test new software, build programs and improve the existing ones. This article will help you know the basic requirements along with an overview of how to become a Software Developer.

Should I Become a Software Developer?                                                                           

Education Required

Bachelor’s Degree

Major Requirement

Computer Science


Certificates may be needed


Not mandatory

Key Skills

Analytical skills, Communication skills, Creativity, Detail orientation skills, Interpersonal skills, Problem-solving skills, Computer programming skills

Annual Mean Salary (2018)

$108,080 (Software Developer, Applications)

$114,000 (Software Developer, Systems Software)

Job Outlook (2018 – 28)

21% (faster than the average of all occupations)

 Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Requirements

To become a Software Developer, one should have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and related work experience. Developers also require strong programming knowledge and skills. Knowledge of different programming software and language include Java, C++, Visual Basic and SQL Server. Developers also needs to have strong analytical and communication skills so they can understand the requirement of their customers and can perform accordingly. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Software Developer earned an annual mean salary of $108,080 in 2018.

Steps to Become a Software Developer

1.      Get Your Undergraduate Degree

Students who want to pursue a career as a Software Developer usually opt for a Computer Science degree. Even though this is the most common discipline, some also opt for mathematics and software engineering. Students who get their degree in computer science are well instructed about different essential applications. During this program, they practice building computer hardware along with writing, reading and designing software programs. It also includes operating systems, computer architecture, programming languages, data structure and computer networks.

Aspiring software developers are also recommended to get relevant work experience during their student life. This will help them enhance their knowledge and technical skills.

2.      Consider Certification

Software developers do not need to be licensed. However, they can get voluntary certificates. These certificates help graduates to verify their knowledge of software development and also provide them the opportunity to practice it. Institutes like Certified Software Development Association (CSDA) and Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) provide these certificates.

3.      Maintaining Your Certificates

People who receive certificates from CSDA do not require re-certification but those who get it from CSDP have to undergo it thrice every year. The process of re-certification includes earning 30 professional units or retaking the exam.

4.      Post Graduate Program

Post Graduate program is available for students who want to get advanced knowledge on this subject. This program allows students to study subjects like engineering management, embedded software and systems engineering. Only those who have their bachelor’s degree can enroll in this program. Once these professionals get their master’s degree, they can become IT Managers or Computer and Information System Managers. 

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