How to Become a Software Developer: Types of jobs available and how to ace a Software Developer Interview

How to Become a Software Developer

The software developer is the one who identifies, designs, installs, and tests a software system built for a company from ground level. The following job profile is the most in-demand role that comes under the top five highest-paid job profiles. Here, let us look at the various roles and responsibilities one must fulfill in an organization as a Software Developer:

Technical Designing
It includes identifying, designing, installing and testing a software system they have built for a company from scratch, requiring the knowledge of technical designing. It involves producing efficient codes and storing them for reference and reporting. One integrates various software components and third-party programs into the main architecture, as well as creates internal programs that can help businesses be more efficient. He/ She also develops the underlying systems that control the networks, thereby producing systems or packaged solutions that can be sold on the open market.

Testing and Deployment
It involves testing the software and fixing defects/ bugs, before deploying the system. It also requires one to troubleshoot, debug and upgrade existing software based on the evaluation of user feedback gathered. One must focus on the development of quality assurance procedures, and recommend and execute improvements. Later, the software tools, processes, and metrics are all deployed. Also, check for the security problems while it operates with new databases.

Managing & Reporting
Interact with clients to foster a long-term relationship with their clients and to cater to their business requirements effectively. He/ She is required to work closely with developers, product managers, graphic designers, and business analysts to find out what clients want and the most efficient way to achieve them. Also, create technical documentation for reference and reporting.

Most software developers hold a bachelor’s degree as they are able to learn all aspects of the role, have access to all the information and tools they need, and it makes them a stronger candidate to employers. However, a degree is no way a necessity, having experience and knowledge of the specified skills is more important. There are a variety of skills you are required to have as a software developer, but these skills can vary across jobs. Here are some of the skills that the majority of employers look for in a software developer:

Soft skills:

  • Critical reasoning and analytical thinking
  • Ability to learn new development languages and technologies
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Resourcefulness and troubleshooting aptitude
  • Attention to detail and patience
  • Strong problem solving
  • A team player with a keen eye for detail and leadership skills

Technical skills:

  • Familiarity in Agile frameworks like Waterflow, Scrum, Crystal
  • Experience on Agile tools like JIRA
  • Understanding of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)
  • Few of these popular coding languages like C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, R
  • Knowledge of frameworks/systems like AngularJS, Git
  • Experience with databases and Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) frameworks (e.g. Hibernate)
  • Ability to document application process for future maintenance and upgrades

Educational background required:

  • BSc/BA in Computer Science, Computer Software Engineering, Software Programming and Development
  • B.Tech/ Engineering in Computer Science, IT, Electronics & Communication
  • BA in Mathematics, Electronics, Physics

The past experience with software design and development in a test-driven environment and proven experience as a Software Developer, Software Engineer or similar role in any organization is an added advantage for a candidate to be hired.

Opportunities for a software developer
About a third of IT jobs are in development and programming so there is plenty of opportunity for aspiring software developers. It is vital to keep up to date with the trends in technology as a software developer because this will enable one to update their technical skills and training needs. As a software developer, there is a lot of competition to create new applications for mobile devices and enhance products to incorporate software into them. There are various job descriptions offered to a software developer, listed below as:

Front-end Developer (Client-Side Developer)
This is a developer who specializes in the programming of visual user interfaces, including aesthetics and layouts. A front-end developer code runs on a web browser, on the computer of the user of the site. It is very high-level work, normally far removed from the hardware. It requires an understanding of human-machine interaction and design principles more than computer science theory. Much of a front-end developer’s role is dealing with cross-browser compatibility issues and tweaking details of the visual presentation of a UI.
Skills: User interface (UI) and User experience (UX), CSS, JavaScript, HTML

Backend Developer (Server-Side Developer)
This is a developer who specializes in the design, implementation, functional core logic, performance and scalability of a piece of software or system running on machines that are remote from the end-user. Back-end systems can grow to be very complex, but their complexity is often not visible to the users. It involves the ability to crawl the web, index it, and find what you are looking for with a growing array of sophisticated mechanisms. Back-end developers often need to integrate with a vast array of services such as databases, data storage systems, caching systems, logging systems, email systems, etc.
Skills: Java, C, C++, Ruby, Perl, Python, Scala, Go

Full-stack Developer
This is a developer that does both front-end and back-end work. He or she has the skills required to create a fully functional web application.

Web Developer
Web developers are software engineers who specialize in creating websites. Web-Development became a very common way to enter the software engineering world. It has a low entry-point, requiring as little as basic HTML and CSS knowledge. With only a few months of experience, an entry-level web developer can start producing code that ships to production systems.

Desktop Developer
This is a developer who works on software applications that run natively on desktop operating systems (such as Mac OS, Windows, and Linux). This was one of the most common types of engineers, popularized by inexpensive development environments such as Turbo Pascal, Turbo C, Visual Basic, Quick C, Visual Studio, and Delphi.
Skills: GUI Toolkits such as Cocoa, XAML, WinForms, Gtk

Mobile Developer
This is a developer who writes code for applications that run natively on consumer mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Before then mobile development was considered a subset of embedded development. A mobile developer understands the intricacies of mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android, and the development environment and frameworks used to write software on those operating systems.
Skills: Java, Swift, and Objective-C

Embedded Developer
These developers work with hardware that isn’t commonly classified as computers. For example, microcontrollers, real-time systems, electronic interfaces, set-top boxes, consumer devices, IoT devices, hardware drivers, and serial data transmission fall into this category.

Skills: Languages such as C, C++, Assembly, Java or proprietary technologies, frameworks, and toolkits.

Graphics Developer
This is a type of developer specialized in writing software for rendering, lighting, shadowing, shading, culling, and management of scenes. These developers are often responsible for integrating technologies in the gaming and video production industry. Graphic development used to be a form of low-level development, requiring advanced math and computer science training. It is becoming more accessible with the introduction of commercial and open-source frameworks and systems.
Skills: Frameworks include DirectX, OpenGL, Unity 3D, WebGL. For more advanced graphics developers, low-level development requires C, C++, and Assembly

Game Developer
This is a generic term to identify a developer specialized in writing games. Game developers can fall into one of the other categories of developers, but they often have specific knowledge and skills in designing and implementing engaging and interactive gaming experiences.
Skills: Frameworks used by game developers include DirectX, OpenGL, Unity 3D, WebGL, and languages such as C, C++, and Java. Adobe Flash used to be the standard gaming platform for web games. Since Flash is being abandoned, JavaScript and HTML5 became the new standard. On mobile devices, Swift and Java are now the technologies of choice for iOS and Android games.

Data Scientist
This type of developer writes software programs to analyze data sets. They are often in charge of statistical analysis, machine learning, data visualization, and predictive modeling.
Skills: SQL, R, and Python

Big Data Developer
This type of developer writes software programs to store and retrieve vast amounts of data in systems such as data warehouses, ETL (Extract Transform Load) systems, relational databases, data lakes management systems, etc. A big data developer is often familiar with frameworks and systems for distributed storage and processing of vast amounts of data such as MapReduce, Hadoop, and Spark.
Skills: SQL, Java, Python, and R

DevOps Developer
This is a type of developer familiar with technologies required for the development of systems to build, deploy, integrate and administer back-end software and distributed systems.
Skills: Kubernetes, Docker, Apache Mesos, the HashiCorp stack (Terraform, Vagrant, Packer, Vault, Consul, Nomad), Jenkins

CRM Developer
This type of developer specializes in the field of systems that collect user and consumer data. These developers are tasked with improving customer satisfaction and sales by improving the tooling used by customer support representatives, account managers, and sales representatives.
Skills: SAP, Salesforce, Sharepoint, and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

WordPress Developer
I include WordPress developers in this list because they are a hefty group of specialized web developers. They create and customize themes and plugins for WordPress and administer WordPress sites.
Skills: WordPress system, PHP, JavaScript, and HTML

Application Analyst
Application Analyst is someone whose job is to support a given application or applications, which may entail some computer programming, system administration skills, and the ability to analyze a given problem, diagnose it and find its root cause, and then either solve it or pass the problem on to the relevant people if it does not lie within the application analyst’s area of responsibility. Typically an application analyst will be responsible for supporting custom applications programmed with a variety of programming languages and using a variety of database systems, middleware systems and the like.

IT Consultant
IT Consultants are external analysts who evaluate a company’s IT systems to help them meet their business objectives. Their primary duties include analyzing and diagnosing a company’s IT infrastructure, understanding a client’s business needs and designing and implementing a technology solution, planning a timeline, determining security threats, incorporating best-practices in team, training staff to use the new IT system, monitoring the success of IT solution, and producing detailed reports on the efficacy of the technology.

To ace, the interviews for the profile of a software developer, be prepared with a few basic questions as:

What kind of development are you currently doing?
Employers are looking for a candidate who can clearly outline the set of applications and technology stack they have worked with and be able to explain the business reasoning behind those applications.

Tell me about a tough software development problem and how you solved it.
This is a good opportunity for a developer candidate to dig deep into a software development problem they have faced, and how they solved it.

Describe the development methodology that you are familiar with?
Hiring managers are looking to understand how a job candidate would fit into their organization’s work environment and process.

Tell me about a time you had a conflict with another employee.
Software development positions could be team-based or individual, depending on the organization. If it is a team-based work environment, the interviewer will likely want to understand how the candidate works with others and their interpersonal skills.

How is/was the QA process handled at your company?
Developers at one organization may have a broader scope of responsibilities than those at another. The firm will be seeking a candidate with a thorough understanding of the QA process to fix the bugs simultaneously.

What obstacles have you run into in a software development project, and how did you deal with them?
It’s okay for a developer candidate to admit that they have faced obstacles and experienced failures in development projects, Circelli said. “What is most important is to stress what you learned from failures,” he added.

What are your career aspirations/ long-term career plans?
This is a question that gives the interviewer assurance that you will stay associated with their firm for a longer duration, hence enabling them to reap the benefits of the training provided and resources spent on you.