Kristen, a senior vice president of user experience and engineering for several job search websites, describes the challenges of her job, what she likes most, her key decisions, how to get into the industry, and work-life balance. She tells us that she loves that the field is always changing because there is nothing that is the same from one day to the next, but at the same time, your tool set is always changing as well so you can never be comfortable.
Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. Many software developers work for computer systems design and related services firms or software publishers. Others work in computer and electronic product manufacturing industries.
Software developers typically do the following:
- Analyze users’ needs, then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
- Recommend software upgrades for customers' existing programs and systems
- Design each piece of the application or system and plan how the pieces will work together
- Create flowcharts and other models that instruct programmers how to write the software’s code
- Ensure that the software continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
- Document every aspect of the application or system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
- Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software
Variable, depending on whether or not you get a degree. It's possible to learn development skills by building applications using a range of free resources on the internet.
Many software developers work for computer systems design and related services firms or software publishers. Some work in computer and electronic product manufacturing industries. Some developers telecommute (work away from the office).
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