How To Get a Job as a Software Developer? : A Comprehensive Guide
In the information age, software developers play a vital role in the development of the technology industry. These professionals create, develop, implement, and manage the software responsible for running the programs across all types of technological devices, from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones.
Software developers employ analytical thinking and creativity to meet the demands of a world driven by technology.
Given that technology has become so vital in society – and is used on a daily basis – the need for new programs and devices is ever-increasing. As such, the demand for software developers is high. Whether you’re just starting out in the workforce or you’re looking to make a career change, there are some beneficial skills that may help you on the way.
Having a creative mind, being an analytical thinker, having good communication skills, being interested in tech, and wanting a career with positive progression and income opportunities, are all signs that a career as a software developer may suit you.
What exactly does a software developer do? How do you go about getting a job as a software developer? To find the answers to these questions and more, keep on reading.
Table of Contents
What Is a Software Developer?
Software developers are professionals who create, implement, maintain, and update computer software. These professionals work on various kinds of digital architecture, such as website platforms, computer games, and network control systems.
Usually, they work in collaboration with others and in order to complete the tasks that they are responsible for and meet the needs of their clients, they must communicate with their colleagues on a regular basis.
What Does a Software Developer Do?
Software developers build out, apply, and maintain online environments and structures using code. As such, fluency in programming languages and engineering principles is essential.
Powerful communication and problem-solving skills are also essential for this role, as these professionals have to collaborate with their peers to complete projects, and they must employ creative solutions to answer challenging tech issues.
Conducting exploratory research, running tests, and detecting and correcting bugs in new software that has been implemented are just some of the roles that a software developer may be responsible for. Duties can and do vary widely.
What Skills and Characteristics Do Software Developers Require?
Typically, software developers are tasked with specific projects that are geared toward the development of information technology, such as writing code for computer programs. These professionals work in conjunction with teams, and the members of those teams work on a specific project.
Since collaboration is so crucial in this profession, software developers must be self-driven individuals. They should also be punctual, as they will need to deliver projects in a timely manner.
Individuals who achieve success in this field should have both hard and soft skills that enable them to work as efficiently as possible. They should be easily able to adapt to any type of situation.
The hard skills that software developers require vary and depend on the specific requirements of their job. However, all software developers should be proficient in the basics of coding when they first enter the field. The following is an overview of soft and hard skills that successful software engineers have in common:
- Creative thinking
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to collaborate and work well with others
- Keen attention to detail
- Strong organizational skills
- Powerful communication skills
- Excellent time management skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Strong knowledge of and the ability to maintain and develop IT databases
- Keen knowledge of data structures and algorithms
- Proficiency in mathematics and data analysis
- Experience with embedded development, as well as debugging
- Experience in Object-Relational Mapping frameworks
- Experience with Agile and Scrum development methods
- Exceptional understanding of the software development life cycle
It is important to note that professionals who are working in the field of software development will be more likely to achieve success if they are able to exhibit a blend of the aforementioned soft and hard skills.
To illustrate, if you are someone who enjoys mathematics, working with code and computers, and can work creatively and collaboratively, you would be well-suited for this industry.
How To Get a Job as a Software Developer?
Now that you have an understanding of what a software developer does and what skills these professionals should possess, let’s explore how to go about getting a job in this field. Below are some tips from hiring managers on how to get a job in the field of software development.
Acquire Hard and Soft Skills
First, you will need to attain the hard and soft skills that software developers require. These skills are not only essential for achieving success in this field, but they are also essential for landing a job in this industry.
In regard to hard skills, you can attend college and earn a degree in a computer- or technology-related field, such as computer science, or you can take specific classes that focus on specific hard skills like programming languages.
In regard to soft skills, you can work on honing the soft skills that have been discussed above, such as interpersonal skills and communication. You can attend classes and workshops that pertain to the development of such skills.
Familiarize Yourself with the Hiring Process
Once you have acquired and honed the necessary skills and you feel confident in your abilities, you should familiarize yourself with the hiring process for software developers.
Typically, the hiring process involves the following:
- Resume assessment
- Informal interview with human resources to determine if you would be a good fit for the job. This interview is usually conducted over the phone.
- A technical phone interview with HR, which usually consists of questions that are asked in a quiz-like format, as well as questions about your past work experience and processes.
- The completion of a timed test (which you may or may not be compensated for), such as a coding task that is completed over the phone or the completion of a coding challenge. To practice for your Software Developer assessment, check out the resources at Job Test Prep.
- An onsite interview with the prospective employer
Determine and highlight what sets you apart from other candidates who may be applying for the job; in other words, determine and highlight what makes you the best choice for the position. Examples might include:
- Self-motivated. As discussed, self-motivation is essential for a career as a software developer. Highlight the traits that illustrate you are self-motivated and that you have a strong desire to not only immerse yourself in your job, but that you are eager to improve yourself.
- Critical thinking. Strong critical thinking skills are also vital for software development. Highlight your critical thinking skills and how you go about detecting and correcting issues or finding the answers to questions that may arise.
- Illustrate your most unique skills. Place the skills that make you unique and set you apart from other candidates at the top of your resume; for instance, the programming languages that you are proficient in.
Create a Portfolio
If you’re new to the field of software development, a portfolio is a great asset, and it can help you stand out from the crowd. It’s not only an easy way for prospective employers to view your qualifications in one convenient, easy-to-access, centralized location, but it also shows your eagerness and drive.
Projects that you’ve worked on, contributions you have made, and awards and accolades you have received are just some of the things that you might include in your portfolio.
Connect with other software developers, either online or in-person. There are lots of communities out there that work together to locate resources and job listings. Consider taking part in tech development classes and events, such as coding workshops.
These can both hone your skills and facilitate meeting and developing relationships with fellow software developers. As discussed, communication is a vital soft skill for software developers, and networking is a highly effective way to develop this skill.
What Is The Career Outlook for Software Developers?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the career outlook for software engineers is bright. The field is expected to see a 25 percent increase in growth in the decade between 2021 and 2031, or a projected growth rate of 25 percent, which is much faster than average.
In 2021, the BLS reported that there were a total of 1,622,200 software developer jobs, and that the average pay amounted to roughly $109,020 per year or $52.41 per hour.
Given the information presented by the BLS, it is safe to say that the field of software development is growing and that a career in this field would be promising, as opportunities for employment abound and the pay can be quite lucrative.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.