What does a Software Developer do?

A Software Developer writes and tests code that allows computer applications and systems to function. They combine creativity with logic to create software that is user friendly, meets an organisation's needs, performs well, and doesn't crash.

Software Developer job responsibilities may include:

  • Design and test programs in high-level programming language 
  • Create and implement the algorithms at the core of software and systems 
  • Write and review computer code 
  • Document and explain the implementation of programs or related projects to other programmers, non-technical staff, users, and customers 
  • Troubleshoot problems with software as needed 
  • Analyse user data to identify trends and requirements for future updates 
  • Keep up with technological changes in the field, particularly within their organisation or industry 

Typically, Software Developers work in an office during regular business hours, but additional work may be required after-hours or on weekends. When hiring new developers, employers tend to look for computer science graduates with a bachelor's degree in software engineering, information systems, or a related field. ​​​​​​

Experience with one or more of the following may be beneficial:

  • Computer programming languages (C++, Java, Python)
  • Web programming languages (JavaScript, HTML5) 
  • Extensive knowledge of a particular type of technology (such as iOS or Android) 
  • Basic knowledge of computer hardware, including processors, memory storage devices, networking protocols, and operating systems 
  • Knowledge of the latest trends in software development processes

What technology does a Software Developer use?

Software Developers usually have access to powerful computers that run the latest programs to test new features as they write the code for them. They use various operating systems, programming languages, and other tools depending on the nature of the work assigned to them. 

Software Developers typically use a private workspace suited to their specific needs. Some have access to shared spaces with colleagues, while others work from home or on-site at customer locations. 

Standard tools used by Software Developers include: 

  • Laptop or desktop computer 
  • Office suite (Microsoft Office, OpenOffice) 
  • Source code management system 
  • Version control system 
  • Project management software such as Jira, Basecamp, or Asana 
  • Web browser and email client 

Software Developers need to remain up-to-date with changes in programming languages and operating systems. They should also be able to adapt quickly to new technologies and ways of doing things. For example, a developer could transition from developing for an iOS platform to developing for Android with minimal difficulty. 

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What's in a Software Developer's job description?

Mainly, a Software Developer job description requires candidates to have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. However, those with a strong portfolio may be able to find employment in software development. 

In the average Software Developer job description, you may be required to: 

  • Design, develop, implement and test software solutions for an organisation's requirements 
  • Analyse user needs to determine feasibility of design within time and cost constraints 
  • Document design and coding procedures 
  • Provide support during the implementation phase 
  • Recommend changes in policies or procedures as needed
  • Participate in creating proposals that are submitted for funding requests 
The specifics of what the role demands will vary based on the organisation, what tools they use, and what stage of development they're at. You may get to work on a project from start to finish, or you may come in halfway and need to learn fast.

Hard and soft skills required in a Software Developer job description include:

  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity Good communication skills 
  • Ability to multitask and prioritise 
  • Strong knowledge of operating systems, programming languages, and databases
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Analytical skills 
  • Self-management skills (such as time management) 
  • Ability to work in a team environment 

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