what is a software developer?

As a software developer, you are the creative mind behind computer programmes and software applications. You build the programmes from scratch or oversee the team in charge of creating the applications. Software programmes 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 have to test and install the software to ensure it works correctly.

job description of a software developer

As a software developer, you maintain and update software applications to fix bugs and improve their functionality. That means you need to 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, and the software application should be compatible with new operating systems.

If you want to become a successful developer, you need 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 in mind also assists in figuring out how the pieces of a system can work together.

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


average salary of a software developer

According to National Careers, a junior software developer with minimal experience earns £20,000 per year. A senior software developer with expertise in the field earns up to £70,000 annually. You can increase your salary by working extra hours. Some companies also offer bonuses for the successful completion of projects. Apart from the basic salary, you also receive allowances and medical insurance or contribution to your pension scheme.

factors that affect the salary of a software developer

Your earnings as a software developer vary based on your experience and skills. Senior software developers earn more than their junior counterparts since they have additional years of experience. Besides, senior software developers manage teams and undertake complex projects. Experience enhances your skills and competencies, making you eligible for better pay. Educational qualifications can also influence your earnings. A software developer with a degree or masters has a better compensation package than developers joining through apprenticeships.

Your salary also depends on the employer and project complexity. For instance, a large company handles complex projects and pays higher wages than small businesses. However, start-ups are great for entry-level developers who need to build their skills and experience.

Admin and clerical
Admin and clerical

types of software developer

A software developer can specialise 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 for clients. You also control the databases and code the back-end.
  • system developer: you are responsible for building operating system software for various programmes. 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.


working as a software developer

Software development is an exciting career that allows you to build applications and websites. Let's explore what the daily life of a software developer looks like and the duties involved.

For more information on the application process and interview tips, access the links below:


education and skills

As a software developer, you need educational qualifications to acquire relevant expertise in the field. Some of the academic requirements include:

  • university course: join the profession through a higher national diploma, foundation degree or undergraduate degree in software development. Other related fields include information technology, financial technology and computer science. You need 1 or 2 A Levels for your higher national diploma and foundation degree, while an undergraduate degree requires 3 A Levels.
  • college: a college course can land you a software developer trainee position, but you will need advanced qualifications to progress in your career. The best courses in software development are Level 3 certificates in programming courses and a higher national certificate in computing.
  • apprenticeship: complete an apprenticeship in software development or digital technology to become a trainee software developer. The apprenticeship requires 5 GCSEs, and you have to work at least 30 hours a week.

skills and competencies

Some of the skills of a software developer include:

  • analytical skills: as a software developer, you need to evaluate users' needs when determining the software requirements. Analytical skills help you separate useful features and analyse the software's functionality. Analytical 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 need to tackle various software components. If you are not detail-oriented, your application will have many errors, slowing down the development process. Attention to detail also helps you identify bugs and errors during maintenance or testing.



FAQs about working as a software developer

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