What Education Requirements are there to be a Software Developer?
A prevailing myth holds that to be a successful software developer, you should be some wild, unharnessed techno genius. Nothing could be further from the truth. While a handful of software prodigies have certainly made names for themselves, the fact is that most software developers are not born exceptionally gifted but rather are hard workers who prepare for their careers the same way anyone else does: through education.
Who Can Be a Software Developer?
No matter what you call a software professional -- engineer, developer, programming architect, or developer -- the majority are reasonably intelligent people who enjoy using their technological skills in creating strategies for problem solving. Most get into the profession by successfully completing a course of study in the field and then finding a job. With hard work, they may earn promotions and advance.
Once enrolled in a college program, the student will need to learn computer science and, of course, coding. There are a number of different computer languages that, when written out in code, tell the computer what to do on the screen. These codes require meticulous application to detail, so expect to work pretty hard to learn them.
If you're not familiar with coding, you may think it's only for those of superior intellect, but that's not the case. Like any language, it is learned over time by applying oneself to study and practice.
Earning a Degree in Software Development
Do you need a degree in software development? Certainly, there are some developers employed in the field who learn on the job or learn on their own. But enrolling in a college program is one of the best ways to ensure you're well prepared. In fact, many jobs will require a bachelor's degree in software engineering or computer science.
Getting Grounded in Software Programming
Once you enroll in a college program leading to a degree in software development or engineering, what courses should you expect to take? Depending on the field you go into, you may need concentrations in different disciplines. For instance, some jobs may have stiffer math requirements, including calculus, linear algebra, or differential equations. Physics might even be required.
Students should learn from course lectures and labs how to design, analyze, and maintain software. They may also study computer programming, networks, and operating systems. To conclude their studies, they might be required to participate in a design project demonstrating they know how to apply the principles they've learned.
Student coursework should enable the successful graduate to write and maintain source code, with facility in the planning required for software development. Skills should be developed in programs, web and mobile applications, and cloud-based software, assisted by technologies and languages such as these (and others):
- Google App Engine
The successful graduate should also develop skills in analyzing customer requirements, integrating with relational databases (Oracle and MySQL, for instance) and non-relational databases such as those used by Google (BigTable) and Foursquare (Mongo DB).
Other skills might also be developed in these areas:
- Developing desktop, web, mobile, and cloud applications
- Designing and applying RESTful web services
- Learning software development tools
- Learning source code management systems
- Deploying applications by means of thin clients (programs that depend on a server or another computer to fulfill computational tasks)
Additional skills your program should teach are in logic and decision making, professional and ethical practices, resolution of problems, customer service, and written and oral communications.
Working Toward a Career
Software engineers/developers generally are involved in the design, development, testing, and evaluation of computer software. And while they don't do any one particular thing, they do develop certain specialties. As a professional you may find work either in applications or systems-type development or engineering opportunities. Applications development involves constructing software, such as that which runs on a home computer. Systems engineers, by contrast, might construct, maintain, and expand the computer system of an organization.
Once you successfully complete your course of study, you might be involved with building software used in word processing or business applications, or even in computer games. You might also build compilers (a program designed to process statements in a programming language that turns them into code for a computer processor to use), operating systems, or networks.
What's the Next Step?
Are you interested in beginning a career in software development? Starting with a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Software Development could be the right choice for you. If you're curious about this exciting career field, contact an ECPI University admissions advisor today to discuss your future.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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Gainful Employment Information – Software Development - Bachelor’s