Software Developer

What do they do?

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.


Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Software Ninja, Michael Quandt

imaging technology that goes into creating films and improving our experiences in 3D. Michael loves being a software developer at Animal Logic – an animation and visual effects studio based at Fox Studios in Sydney. He’s working on animation software for upcoming films LEGO Batman and Ninjago, including the systems used for character faces and 3D viewing.' “You get to see the movies go from concept to completion,” he says. After studying Information and Communication Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney, Michael worked as a consultant for Microsoft, helping developers understand and take advantage of Xbox and Windows platforms. He’s also worked on mobile games for Disney and Sony. Michael says computer-generated graphics are used everywhere from action films to advertising, enhancing viewing experiences or showing action that’s difficult or dangerous to film. They’re also used in education, giving students a way to view and virtually interact with anything from atoms to stars and planets. If you want to pursue a career in software development, Michael says it’s crucial to keep up with the tech world, where new innovations are being made all the time. “The more you learn, the easier it is to find ways to solve problems,” he says. “Every time a new technique comes out, something old gets pushed aside. If you aren’t up todate, you get left behind.”