A career as a Software Developer is perfect for you if you enjoy design, computing and if you like working both logically and creatively.
Qualifications and Requirements
A degree, or BTEC HNC/HND qualification is usually required to become a software developer. If your degree is not in IT, you can find graduate trainee schemes in larger companies who often hire graduates with alternative degrees.
You will need to have an excellent knowledge of hardware and software languages and Computer Assisted Software Engineering tools (CASE).
In terms of personal skills, you will need to be a problem-solver, using creativity and initiative to tackle tasks. You will be dealing with customers too, so great communication and customer service skills are necessary too. You must have good time-management skills, and be able to meet deadlines.
Desirable skills for being a software developer include sound understanding of programming languages and operating systems e.g. SQL, Linux, Oracle, Java, ASP.NET, C# and .NET.
Software developers are employed by companies to design and build programmes that will optimise their business.
The systems they build will be for a number of things such as financial databases, computer control systems for manufacturing machines, embedded controls for entertainment equipment.
Each project would require programming software, testing installation and compatibility, fixing bugs, installing the systems and maintaining them once they are running.
Careers and Prospects
Once you have gained a software developer job, you can progress by completing other qualifications such as The Institution of Analysts and Programmers (IAP) programmes or The Chartered Institute for IT Certificate, Diploma and Professional Graduate Diploma.
Most software developers maintain and build on their career for around 20 years before moving onto other positions.
On average, Software Developers earn a salary of £29,985 per year. Those who earn a higher salary as a Software Developer often have a skill in UNIX and further qualifications. The average starting salary is £20,730; the average top salary is £49,296 (in 2014).
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