what is a developer?

As a developer, you build or create software programmes and applications to run various devices. For instance, you develop the software used to control systems in a company. You also create the operating systems for various devices on the market. As a developer, you are well-versed in programming languages and proficient in structuring or developing code for a programme or software.

Depending on the software you develop or applications, you can become a software developer, web developer, mobile developer or application developer. Although the primary role of a developer is to write code, you gather requirements for developing the software programme to run on computers or mobile phones.

The roles you perform as a developer will depend on the company you work for. In a large company, a developer delegates computer instruction writing and coding to computer programmers and other junior developers. However, when you work in a small start-up, your role starts with conceptualising a software or mobile application and writing the code for the programme.

As a developer, you steer the software development process throughout the project cycle. That means you learn user requirements and devise plans to meet those needs. You delegate tasks to the team and verify that the programme or computer system works. You require exceptional technical skills and coding ability to understand computer programs and test their functionality.

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

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average developer salary

According to ONS, the average salary of a developer is £45,000 per year. Entry-level developers earn as low as £20-£28,000 annually, while experienced workers take home as high as £65,000 yearly. The compensation package also varies based on the computer programmes or applications you develop. For instance, a software developer may earn lower or higher depending on the complexity of the software programmes they create.

how to increase the salary of a developer

As a developer, your compensation package depends on various factors. The main determinant is the area of specialisation. When you are a java or mobile developer, you earn a different salary than a web developer and software developer. Hence, changing your specialisation to high-demand areas improves your salary prospects.

The company you work for also influences your earnings. When you work for a large technology firm, the complexity of the tasks improves your earning prospects. A small start-up is likely to pay less but offers great opportunities for learning and improving your skills.

The location also affects your earnings. For instance, working in large cities like London improves earning prospects since the profession is in high demand. Working in smaller towns reduces your earning prospects.

female sitting at desk while working on a website
female sitting at desk while working on a website

types of developers

Some of the specialisations for developers include:

  • mobile developer: as a mobile developer, your job is to create software for phones. Your role revolves around building apps for Android and iOS phones. You continuously improve applications and check for bugs.
  • software developer: as a software developer, you are responsible for developing computer programmes and creating operating systems. You help your employer identify issues and challenges in the new programmes and resolve the issues.
  • web developer: as a web developer, you design and create websites. You ensure the websites run smoothly by checking for bugs. The role requires programming languages like HTML and Javascript to develop a website's front and back ends.
  • DevOps developer: as a DevOps developer, you come up with software development strategies to test and deploy technologies. The role requires a full understanding of the software development life cycle.

working as a developer

If you enjoy working with computers and are intrigued by software development processes and coding, check out the duties of a developer.


education and skills

While educational qualifications aren’t compulsory for developers, having the following credentials prepares you for the role:

  • education: pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering and other related fields. The undergraduate course prepares you for the role, and you can learn programming and software design. Alternatively, learn programming languages to improve your knowledge in the role. A boot camp improves your coding skills since it offers intensive training in programming.
  • work experience: you require extensive work experience to excel in the role. You can improve your skills through internships and entry-level jobs. With work experience, you will gain the necessary knowledge to work on complex projects.

developer skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a developer include:

  • problem-solving skills: as a developer, you create programmes and applications that may experience technical issues. You require problem-solving skills to identify bugs and other issues in the code. Your skills also help you resolve problems and fix any technical issues.
  • detail-oriented skills: as a developer, you work on various parts of software systems or computer applications. If you are not keen, you are likely to miss the fine details. When you are attentive to details, you will identify every detail and prevent errors that could damage the entire system.
  • analytical skills: as a developer, your job involves gathering and analysing information before creating applications that solve users’ problems. Your analytical skills help you design computer programmes that match users’ needs.
  • communication skills: as a developer, you work with a team of programmers and other IT professionals. You require great communication skills to provide clear instructions. You should also explain to clients how the software solves their customers’ problems.
smiling male sitting next to his computer
smiling male sitting next to his computer

FAQs about working as a developer

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

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