A software developer is somebody who designs and develops software for computer-based systems. They do so by using knowledge of computer science and mathematics. This knowledge is used to create, analyze, test, and improve computer software. The skills and tasks performed by people who work in this field are in constant motion as a result of the fact that computer technology is currently a field where rapid development is taking place. Specialization is often necessary in the job, with new fields of specialization appearing quite rapidly. Software developers may work on various different types of programs such as games, operating systems, business applications, and network software. During the job, they will analyze how software is used, determine what needs need to be met by the software, use flowcharts and diagrams to describe how the software works, and create algorithms for resolving issues. They might transform these algorithms into computer language, but this is typically the work of computer programmers.
For those interested in becoming a software developer, a great deal of education will be necessary. Most employers will prefer somebody who has obtained a minimum of a bachelor's degree. They look for individuals who have a great deal of general knowledge and hands on experience with computer related systems. Most people who become software developers have a degree in computer science, mathematics, or software engineering. For the most complicated jobs, a Graduate degree is often preferred. A firm understanding of information theory and computer science is necessary in order to perform the job.
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According to the BLS, the number of people expected to be employed as software engineers is expected to grow by 32% between 2008 and 2018. This is a much higher growth rate than is expected from most professions. As computer networking becomes increasingly important, software developers will as well. This will be especially true of those with an understanding of how to incorporate networked systems with one another. New areas of specialization can also be expected to arise within the field as well.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), as of May of 2017, half of the people who were employed as a software developer earned an income of more than $85,000. The majority of people who worked in the industry earned between $67,000 and $105,000. The lowest ten percent of software developers earned less than $54,000, and the highest ten percent earned over $128,000.