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Becoming a software developer, also known as a computer programmer, you'll be playing a key role in the design, installation, testing and maintenance of software systems.
The programs you create are likely to help businesses be more efficient and provide a better service.
Based on your companys particular requirements, you might be responsible for writing and coding individual programmes or providing an entirely new software resource.
The specifications youll work on will often come from IT analysts.
Software developers are employed across virtually all industry sectors, from finance and retail to engineering, transport and public organisations, so the projects you work on can be highly varied.
Sometimes you may also use off the shelf software. Requiring you to modify and integrate this into an existing network to meet the needs of the business.
As a software developer, your list of tasks can include :
Reviewing current systems
Presenting ideas for system improvements, including cost proposals
Working closely with analysts, designers and staff
Producing detailed specifications and writing the program codes
Testing the product in controlled, real situations before going live
Preparation of training manuals for users
Maintaining the systems once they are up and running
Currently, about a third of IT jobs are in development and programming and you can become a software developer across virtually all industry sectors.
So if you have a particular area of interest, there's a chance you can work in a suitable industry.
In a typical progression path, you could be promoted to senior or principal developer and from there to project manager. Alternatively, you could chose to move into a related field of technology, like systems design, IT architecture and business systems analysis.
If youre keen to work for yourself, there is a chance you could work as a freelancer or consultant, giving you increased working flexibility.
Overseas work is also available for those interested in seeing more of the world and working in a range of locations.
Knowledge of programming skills is a prerequisite. However, the particular language will depend on the requirements of the specific company.
Among the skills employers will look for are :
Knowledge of programming skills are a given if you want to get into software development. You'll need to be comfortable with web-
based programs, as well as traditional programs like Java and Visual Basic.
The key skills to play up when you're looking for a job as a software developer are as follows :
Expertise in current computer hardware and software
Ability to use one or more development language (C++, PHP, HTML, etc.)
Strong communication skills
Ability to work in a team
Eye for detail and identifying problems
An understanding of business
Analytical and commercial experience