Becoming A Software Developer
A computer developer, sometimes referred to as a program developer, a computer technician or just a computer hacker, is someone who creates computer software designed for computer use. The word computer programmer is used to describe a specialist in a specific field of computers, usually one where the majority of the software written is used. Most programs created by computer programmers are proprietary programs that sell products and/or services on behalf of their publishers. A computer programmer can also be a specialized system administrator, an information systems manager or a system architect.
It is not uncommon to find both a software developer and a computer engineer on the same job. It is somewhat unusual to find one working at the same time, though. These two roles are generally separated by a company or division of the larger Microsoft corporation, although, in some specialized situations, a software engineer might perform both functions at the same time.
There are two different types of computer programmers. The first type is a hobbyist or self-employed individual that creates personal applications or games and does not create software for a living. Many hobbyist developers make money by selling their programs to companies that develop them and then publish them for a fee. The second type of developer is typically employed by a large, well known organization where he/she is hired to write large software packages designed to serve a wide variety of purposes. Large organizations will have many developers on staff, although smaller organizations may have just one or two.
In contrast to hobbyist programmers, web developers are professional coders whose primary focus is creating quality, client-oriented content using standard coding practices. They can work in a number of capacities for webmasters including designing websites, creating scripts for layout and navigation, and writing code to support multimedia or non-code elements such as images, videos and interactivity. The most common job for a web developer is to craft the user interface, or “ui” of a website. This includes the appearance of the site, the functionality of the pages and interactivity. Web developers must also understand how to write high-quality code that will run across many different operating systems and browser versions.
Many people think they have to be a master computer programmer to become a software developer. Although there are software developers who have spent years in formal education and schooling for computer programming, most software developers began their careers as hobbyists. Many software developers started as assistants to computer programmers or hired through job agencies. There is no formal education program for software developers but most colleges and universities offer computer engineering or computer science majors that will prepare students to take the exam to become certified as software developers.
Although there is no formal requirement for entering the software engineer field, most employers prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, specifically in mathematics, computer engineering or computer software engineering. Other employers prefer applicants with degrees in business, which may be a combination of mathematics and business administration. The most common bachelor’s degrees awarded are a bachelor of science in information technology or a bachelor of engineering in computer science. Most information technology and engineering schools also offer courses in computer software design.