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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Assessing a Career in Business: Senior Software Developer

Software developers spend most of their work day at their computers writing code. They also spend some time writing diagrams and thinking about the general structure of the problem. Like any work, there’re also occasional meetings with bosses, clients, etc. First thing in the morning, they read emails. Then they have their usual morning meeting with their team. After that, they start doing their daily tasks. This could be any of the followings:
  • Writing software specification document.
  • Coding.
  • Testing.
  • Fixing bugs and issues

Sometimes in order to complete those tasks they are required to do more talking with their colleagues. Software developers’ main responsibilities are: writing code, solving problems with the code, seeing an issue through to successful completion. 

According to HackerNoon Software developers go through several stages in their careers. They start from a Junior role, then they move to a mid level role. Then they become senior.

Junior/Entry-level engineers are assumed to know not much beyond how to write code proficiently. Their scope is small features. They are believed to need oversight.

Mid-level engineers are language-fluent. Their scope is medium to larger features and they impact/influence probably a subset of people on the team, usually by being able to answer questions, talk intelligently through design ideas, etc. They don’t need oversight.

Senior-level engineers have a scope that impacts the entire team. There are a lot of ways this can happen. Someone may be Senior because they are a leader of people and have a huge impact on mentoring and personal development of the other engineers on the team, or because they are owning large and critical components of a product that all others on the team will rely on.

Principal/Staff engineers have a scope that impacts the entire business.

Most computer software development jobs require bachelor’s or master’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering. These programs have significant math requirements that include a sequence in calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra. A sequence in physics is also required. Students typically complete these requirements in the first two years of a program. Software developers and engineers do not have professional licensing requirements but may need certifications. However, if one chose to certify, one possible option is certification from the Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which offers software development credentials for beginning and experienced software engineers. They have to continue their education and training even after they graduate. Since technology is constantly changing, the job tasks performed by computer software developers change often as well. Employers, colleges and universities, private training institutions, software vendors, and professional computing societies offer continuing education and professional development seminars to help computer software engineers learn the skills necessary to keep up with changing technology.

According to Glassdoor.com salary range for a Senior Software Engineer in Salt Lake City is from $80,820 to $108,442 annually. The average salary for a Senior Software Developer is $125,986 in San Francisco, CA. The acceptance of a senior: somebody with at least 5-7 years of experience in this field.

According to alextamoykin.com blog software developers have the bright future. They are in high demand on the job market. Their salary grows proportionally with their experience. It’s a rapidly growing and a relatively new field. Every day of a software developer is a challenge. A challenge of changing people’s lives. As a software developer, you would be capable of using your skill set to not only continue this technological progress but to concretely change the world. So much relies on technology, and so much can be accomplished through innovation, that with the right background, it is very possible to truly make a difference.

To learn more about this career I interviewed my aunt Saida Tripp who works as a Senior Software Developer in Salesforce company for more than 10 years. I asked her the questions below:

Question: Why did you decide to become a Software Developer and what kind of education do you have?

Answer: I decided to become a software developer because I love math, problem solving, and most of all: typing. It also makes me feel good when I see what I have been spending an hour a day on finally work! Whenever I see code, it just thrills me because I instantly want to see how it works. I received my bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from Westminster College.

Question: How long did it take you to get to Senior Software developer position?

Answer: After I graduated, I worked in several tech companies. I started from junior position then I found another job that paid better and I was promoted there to mid level developer. I became senior after 5 years working professionally as a developer in that same company.

Question: Is your job stressful?

Answer: I think it depends on the size of the company. When I interned at a larger company, my coworkers and I didn’t feel very stressed. There was definitely crunch time, but that happened very infrequently. Work got done at a leisurely pace. In a smaller environment, you are more responsible for your work and people expect progress. It’s definitely more challenging, but I wouldn’t say it’s that stressful unless you have deadlines coming up. There’s always people around if you need to ask for help. In both cases, my managers never breathed down my neck and weren’t overbearing. Daily stand-ups/scrums require progress reports, but team members understand that people get stuck and if there’s no progress or not much, they’ll understand (just don’t make it a habit). I find it much more challenging and a bit more stressful in the beginning when you start because I always feel overwhelmed with information. However, after a couple weeks/months, you’re all ramped up and it isn’t that bad.

Question: What do you like the most about your job?

Answer: I get to work on software which will affect millions of people, in one way or another. I really like the idea of being useful. The job requires constant learning. There’s always something new to do, and new techniques to apply to solve problems better. Invent, invent, invent!

Question: Where do you work now and are you satisfied with your current salary?

Answer: A year ago our small company here in Salt Lake City was bought by Salesforce. So now I technically work for Salesforce. It is very exciting because Salesforce is the world’s #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. It’s cloud-based applications for sales, service, marketing, and more. It offers a dynamic and exciting workplace culture. I am satisfied with my current salary and the benefits given by this company.

Every job has some advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of Software Developer career according to thenest.com.

Pros:

Work from Home Option: Software Developers can start their own business or work from home. Many people, especially women with kids or dependents have chosen to work from the convenience of their own home. It saves them travel time and babysitting expense.

Specialization Option: Software Developers can choose to focus on Application Software Development or Systems Software Development.

High Demand: The jobs for Software Developers is expected to increase up to 22 percent from 2012-2022.

Extremely High Job Satisfaction: According to Payscale, the existing Software Developers have given a job satisfaction rating of five out five stars.

Excellent Wages – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wages for Applications Software Developers were $99,530; the annual mean wages for Systems Software Developers were $106,050 in 2014.

Cons:

Difficult Work: Being a Software Developer is not easy; the job/assignment is highly complicated and complex.

Relatively High Education Time: Some companies expect Software Developers to possess a master’s degree, although many prefer at least a bachelor’s degree.

Stress : Software engineering can be very stressful, especially when tight deadlines are involved, which is often. Engineers also meet with demanding users and must be able to communicate reasonably and personably with these difficult customers. Debugging programs brings its own level of stress when problems are difficult to find and fix, which can delay the timely implementation of software.

According to the characteristics list published on Rasmussen College website I should consider becoming a software developer because I like working with people, I have a knack for problem solving, trying new things gives me a thrill, I love the world of technology and I stay intrinsically motivated.

WORKS CITED

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Software Developers(2017,October24)Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm 

Elrick, Lauren (2016, May 10) .8 Signs You Should Consider Becoming a Software Developer. Retrieved from http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/signs-you-should-consider-becoming-software-developer/

Glassdoor.com (2017, November 6). Senior Software Developer Salaries in Salt Lake City, UT. Retrieved from https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/salt-lake-city-senior-software-developer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,14_IM755_KO15,40.htm

Hughes, Alan (2016, March 3). Pros & Cons of a Computer Software Engineer. Retrieved from https://woman.thenest.com/pros-cons-computer-software-engineer-7523.html

Neagoie, Andrei (2017, March 4). The Developer’s Edge: How To Become A Senior Developer. Retrieved from https://hackernoon.com/developers-edge-how-to-become-a-senior-developer-f1ec1738cf45

Tamoykin, Alex (2014, December 22). 10 Steps to become a Senior Software Engineer. Retrieved from https://alextamoykin.com/10-steps-to-become-a-senior-software-engineer/

Keywords: business, software developer

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