Whether building services for business or a fun app for consumers, a software developer is the backbone of many organizations. Depending on the role, their responsibilities and projects can vary widely, requiring a mix of technical and “soft” skills. Given this complexity, what is the typical salary of a software developer? And how can software developers maximize that salary?
Are software developers in demand?
According to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings across the country, software developers are in very high demand: organizations have posted more than one million open source software developer jobs worldwide. past 12 months, and the average time to fill a position is 43 days.
Over the next 10 years, according to the Emsi Burning Glass projects, the number of software developer jobs will increase by 17.3%, suggesting that software development is a very sustainable career. Meanwhile, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there are nearly two million software developer jobs in the US (in 2020), with a projected growth rate of 22% until ‘in 2030.
What is the average salary of a software developer?
Emsi Burning Glass estimates the median salary for software developers at $98,728 per year, increasing even more with the right combination of experience and skills. Those who have been in the software development field for a few years can expect to earn six-figure salaries; depending on their company, they may also earn other types of compensation such as stock bonuses.
According to the BLS, the median salary for software developers is $110,140, making it one of the highest paying roles in technology. (For comparison, Dice Tech’s latest salary report placed the average salary for technologists at $104,566, up 6.9% from 2020 to 2021.)
What are the most valuable skills for a software developer?
Based on an analysis of software development skills that appear most frequently in job postings, it is important for any software developer to learn the basics of building software; beyond that, mastering some key programming languages can expand your job opportunities. Here are some of the top specialist skills that appear in the posts:
- Software engineering
- Software development
Soft skills also play a key role; software developers typically need to communicate with their team members and often need to persuade their managers and other stakeholders of a particular course of action. Some of these top “soft skills” that appear in job postings include:
- communication skills
- Problem solving
- In writing
Mastering both hard and soft skills can unlock all sorts of opportunities, as well as position you for exciting raises and projects throughout your career.
How long does it take to learn software development?
Despite the demand, the job market for software developers is very competitive and landing the right job can take months. We spoke to hiring managers and industry insiders to understand what they expect from software developers; If you’re just starting out, keep these points in mind as you chart your learning path.
Yuriy Federenko, senior software engineer at Ukraine-based MacPaw, tells Dice, “Software developers often lack the ability to think about product and business while only focusing on development. But the developers still have an advantage. They stay closer to the product than the rest of the team, and certain aspects of the product may be more visible from their perspective. The engineer’s ability to highlight things that are not so obvious to other team members is invaluable. »
In other words, understanding the holistic vision of a project can help you get results. It also positions you for success in your next role. Federenko also stresses the need for collaboration between teams: “An engineer’s work often depends on related elements or other specialists in the team. If an engineer is aware of the state of things in other departments, it is easier to communicate with people from other teams and come up with new solutions.
As you learn, keep in mind that concepts can migrate from one technology to another. “For example, in 2019 Apple introduced SwiftUI, a new framework for app development,” says Federenko. “In SwiftUI, quite different programming approaches and paradigms replaced the previous ones. But in the world of front-end development, these types of approaches and paradigms were quite common at that time. For many years, front-end developers worked with ReactJS, which became an inspiration for SwiftUI makers (at least we front-end developers believe in it).
Software developers who were already familiar with front-end development could master SwiftUI in a relatively short time. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience in a particular tech stack, your transferable skills could still make you a great candidate (and position you for raises and other types of pay increases).
What other skills are essential to learn? “Creativity,” says Christiaan Huynen, CEO and Founder of DesignBro. “A lot of people confuse software development with work for logical people. While logic certainly helps with algorithms and the program itself, creativity is what sets software apart from its many competitors. panel that interviews candidates for our company’s software developers/engineers and we almost always hire the most creative.Technical ability can be easily learned, but creativity cannot.
Steven Walker, CEO of Spylix, says that logical thinking is always important: “Software is designed to solve problems, which can be done by logic. Problem solving is a skill in itself. Logical thinking assures you to know what you are doing; creativity and critical thinking will work.
Do software developers need certifications?
Most of the experts we spoke with note that certification(s) can help you, but they’re usually only relevant if a certification is widely accepted and highly relevant to the job. A development role focused on Salesforce or AWS, for example, may require you to have the relevant certifications.
Beyond certifications, having an in-depth knowledge of software development principles, as well as the particular regulations and issues of your target industry, is always valuable. “Companies appreciate developers looking beyond their standard area of work,” adds Fedorenko. “If engineers are building applications for banks, knowing how banks and the banking industry work will give those specialists extra points. Understanding business processes is not essential for developers, but it will allow the company to build tasks in general terms for these developers.As a result, companies can expect more quality work delivered with results in mind.