What Does a Software Developer Do? [Job Description + Skills]

Want to become a software developer? Are you looking to know what type of work software developers do?

While learning how to become a software developer, parallelly knowing the roles and responsibilities of a software developer is also important. So, we decided to write a dedicated article on the topic, what does a software developer do?

By the end of this blog, you will learn about the following points.

  • What are the core responsibilities of a software developer?
  • What are the different types of software developers?
  • What are the skills needed to become a software developer?
  • What is the average salary of a software developer?

Let’s begin.

What Does a Software Developer Do?

A software developer is a broad term that covers a lot of duties and responsibilities. But what does a software developer do exactly? Well, a software developer builds, designs, deploys and maintains multiple aspects of software using various tools.

Here is the list of core work duties that a software engineer or developer performs. If you are confused between a software developer and a software engineer, read this detailed comparison guide on software developer vs software engineer.

  • Developing software applications for clients
  • Deciding a methodology from different software development methodologies
  • Testing the entire program during creation
  • Updating the software code for smooth execution of programs
  • Troubleshooting or bug fixing when any issues arise
  • Interaction and communication with team members to get updates regarding the timeline regarding specific features
  • Maintaining the software quality while creating software programs, testing and deploying

Furthermore, software developers become project managers and leaders as they gain experience. They have to meet the clients and stakeholders to discuss the details of the projects. Later, leaders communicate the same to their software development team members and create the outline and deadlines for the project.

Software developers’ work also depends on the job requirements. Sometimes, a fresher is more than enough to tackle a problem. Other times, it might be challenging to solve a complex problem even with ten senior software developers.

Based on different responsibilities, there are a few different types of software developers and software engineers.

Types Of Software Developers

Read the following table to know about the different types of software developers and their responsibilities.

Type of DevelopersBrief IntroductionResponsibilities
Desktop Software DevelopersA desktop developer creates software that primarily runs on desktop OS like Linux, Mac, and Windows. These computer applications operate without an internet connection.
  • Create prototype codes and test their viability
  • Maintain the code for future references and updates
  • Deciding the technology for product development
  • Considering data protection of products
  • Building a library of reusable codes
Embedded System Developers

These developers create embedded systems for the applications. Embedded systems developers rigorously test the systems before deploying them.

Due to business constraints, Embedded developers have restricted access to memory and CPU resources. Hence, they have to optimize their systems for the best results.

  • Observe and make changes to the systems in real-time
  • Create debug strategies to reboot the entire system in case of technical glitches
  • The debug strategy can be either hardware-based or software-based
Databases DevelopersDatabase developers are in charge of constructing, implementing, designing, and programming new databases.
  • Modifying existing databases according to the user’s needs
  • Ensuring that all the data is intelligently stored and processed with ease
  • Defines parameters, procedures, functions, and indexing techniques
  • Providing database access to authorized persons only
Security Developers

Security developers either code security software or integrate security measures into already developed software. Developers look at the software architecture to identify any loopholes or vulnerabilities. Now, the security search requires multiple phases.

A branch of security developers is known as ethical hackers. They deliberately attack the system to expose weaknesses before the official software release.

  • Detailed security analysis, countermeasures, and fixes in each phase
  • Running the test with advanced security techniques
  • Updating team members about security measures and software vulnerabilities
DevOps Software Developers

DevOps software developers are all-rounders who work with other developers, information technology staff responsible for software code releases, and system operators.

DevOps software development philosophy entails making quick and incremental changes to the original codes. Subsequently, they frequently run multiple testing regimes.

  • Remove the errors from the software development process
  • Perform testing, IT operations, and quality assurance of softwares
  • Selecting a proper deployment model of software application
  • Create a direction for testing protocols that need to be performed
  • Monitor the performance after each release
Operating System Developers

Operating systems software developers create and manage the software that operates the device.

Therefore, operating systems software developers will remain relevant as long as companies launch new hardware.

In the past few years, the demand for operating system developers have significantly increased due to the introduction of 5G and 6G capabilities.

  • Optimizing the computer functions to work seamlessly in the network spectrums
  • Core focus is to develop computer functions
  • Writing and testing code to develop the solutions
  • Writing documentation and operating manuals

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What are the Responsibilities of a Software Developer?

While there are multiple roles, the responsibilities are somewhat similar for software developers. Here is a software developer job description.

  • Meet the client’s needs—company stakeholders or the consumers.
  • Creating models and plans for a new software application.
  • Monitor the quality of work before approving it for the upcoming stages.
  • Document and save all the code in the library for future reference.
  • Brainstorm updates and upgrades for existing applications.

However, to successfully fulfill these responsibilities, software developers need a range of skills. Moving further, you will learn about the skills a software developer possesses.

What are the Skills a Software Developer Needs?

The best software developers possess two kinds of skills—hard and soft skills. Soft skills enable the developer to get along well with the existing team and increase productivity, while experience in technical skills increases the efficiency of the ongoing projects. Below, we have covered both software development skills in detail.

Technical Skills

  1. ASP.NET

  2. ASP.NET is an open-source framework that helps developers in building software and services with the .NET package. The developers get access to CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript. And since it is open-source, developers get more cross-platform functionality.

    ASP.NET is most suitable for creating cloud-based applications for the following operating systems.

    • Linux
    • Mac
    • Windows

    Microsoft ASP.NET created Stack Overflow, the Quora of the coding world, where you can find solutions to all your programming problems. This version of the .NET framework is one of the most durable digital infrastructures and makes the website scalable.

  3. C#

  4. Along with .NET, C# is enterprise-level software. Developers use C# to create large multi-purpose software and web applications. To give you a sense of its utility, C# created the entire Microsoft operating system. In addition to that, C# is functional, object-oriented, and follows the everyday computer programming discipline.

    C# is also somewhat component-oriented. So, opposite to what some Python enthusiasts might say, C# is not obsolete, and some back-end developers prefer it.

  5. Java

  6. Java is another multi-purpose programming language that features concurrent, based, and object-oriented functions. The language reduces implementation dependencies and provides more modularity to the developers. Currently, Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world.

    Most software developers use this language to create software applications that mostly have a client-server relationship. Game studios also use Java to create highly interactive video games. Spotify and Twitter are the two leading platforms written in Java.

  7. JavaScript

  8. JavaScript, a high-level programming language, works according to the ECMAScript specification. Initially, JavaScript was created for DOM manipulation. JavaScript introduction started the trend of building dynamic websites.

    It can do form validation for forms created using HTML. And was one of the three programming languages used to establish the World Wide Web. Javascript even created Google’s front-end and back-end.

  9. Python

  10. Python is one of the most well-developed and popular programming languages. The design philosophy prioritizes readability by utilizing more whitespace. Python accomplishes many tasks, from machine learning to software development.

    It also hosts a massive library to help the developers with multiple functions. Most organizations worldwide have started using Python for most of their programming needs.

    With programming languages, developers also need to learn methodologies like Agile software development. Because following such methodologies allows developers to create applications in a structured way.

    This was all about technical skills. In addition, developers also need some soft skills. Discover the different types of soft skills required by a software developer.

Soft Skills

  1. Problem-solving Skills

  2. Remember how our math teachers hated us for using short-cut formulas? Well, in the professional world, businesses prefer developers who can solve complex problems with easy-to-understand codes. You should look for developers with a knack for solving such problems with out-of-the-box thinking. They should be able to look at complicated algorithms as simple codes with multiple branches of improvement.

    Developers should be able to solve problems even before they are noticeable to users. For example, during the initial days of TurboTax, users did not trust their tax calculations because of the lightning-fast computation, which gradually decreased the app’s popularity. To “solve” this problem, the developers intentionally increased the load time to regain their user’s trust.

  3. Communication

  4. Irrespective of the profession, communication is a critical skill as it allows proper knowledge sharing. Even more so during the work-from-home revolution. Great communicators ensure that everyone is on the same page and aware of their duties. This comes in handy during complex projects. However, it can be challenging to gauge the communication skills of the developers due to the nature of the job. Therefore, you should use the personal interview round to ascertain the communication skill level. Lastly, a good communicator should also have good listening skills.

  5. Teamwork

  6. A developer with excellent communication skills will have great collaboration skills. The software development process requires intensive teamwork. So, developers must collaborate and stay updated with the progress of multiple departments and people. They rely on designers to approve the visuals of the software applications. Developers constantly send updates to the project manager, who then notifies the top executives. The developers must also consider customer feedback to improve their software. As you can see, teamwork extends beyond the realm of the workplace.

  7. Empathy

  8. Empathy should be an indispensable part of the developer’s personality. The ability to understand the needs of their team plays a huge role in high-stake software development environments. If the need arises, they have to rise and motivate the team to keep moving forward. And, sometimes, they might have put down a fellow teammate’s idea with care and supporting words. Unlike a high IQ, Emotional Intelligence/quotient (EQ) is not something you are born with. You need to interact with people and listen intently for developing software. You can check the developer’s EQ during the personal interview rounds.

  9. Time Management

  10. Time management is another crucial skill that working professionals should have regardless of job profiles. Software developers are responsible for reporting their progress to their business managers, project managers, and colleagues. They also have to update their project stakeholders about the software regularly. Good time management skills can be developed by understanding your strengths and weaknesses. If you have a good understanding of the world ethics of your team, you can provide better deadline estimates to the stakeholders and upper management.

As you understand the skills of software developers, let now check how much money developers earn.

What is the Average Salary of a Software Developer?

The average salary of a software developer in Canada is around $61,000.

However, the salary figure changes depending on the following factors.

  • Software developer positions
  • Type of software developer
  • Experience
  • Skill level
  • Location

Check the following image to know a software developer’s salary in different countries.


Source: CodeSubmit.io

Let’s take an example to understand the salary of developers in different profiles in detail.

DevOps software developers make around $130000, which is $60000 more than ERP solution developers.

But, an ERP solution developer with 3-4 years of experience makes the same as a DevOps engineer. The salary also changes depending on the location—software developers in the US would undoubtedly be more expensive.

Therefore, building and setting up a team of in-house software developers is costly. You can instead hire software developers from reputed software development companies to reduce your financial burden.

If you don’t know what to look for when hiring a software developer, no worries we have written a detailed guide on how to hire software developers.

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Let’s connect. Get a free consultation. Discuss your requirements with our software professionals.

Do you have more questions about software engineer work? Check the following section of the FAQ to clear your doubts.

FAQ About Software Developer Work

  1. What career options are available for a software developer?

  2. Honestly, the career options for software developers are limitless. A beginner can become any type of developer from the following positions.

    • Embedded software developers
    • Security software developers
    • Operating system developers
    • Desktop software developers
    • Database developers
    • DevOps software developers
  3. What are the challenges a software developer face?

  4. Here is the list of challenges a software developer faces.

    • Unrealistic expectations of clients
    • Poor infrastructure
    • Unspecified quality standards
    • Miscommunication
    • Test environment duplication
  5. What makes a good software developer?

  6. A good software developer should be a master of computer programs. Being adept at software programs, they should be able to build complex software from scratch. Also, good software developers possess essential soft skills like good communication skills, problem-solving capability, empathy, patience, self-awareness, time management, critical thinking, and adaptability.

  7. How long does it take to land a software developer job?

  8. To land a software developer position, it can take anywhere from three months to four years. If you do self-study in computer science, you can become a software developer quickly. However, the starting pay might be low. But, with computer science degree programs—a bachelor’s degree plus a master’s degree in computer science, you can become a software developer and land a well-paying software development/ web development job.


There is no doubt that software development is a lucrative career path. Software developers make a company more scalable, advanced, and well-equipped with technology. However, the steep salaries might deter startups from reconsidering their benefits.

In such cases, you can hire software developers from a reputed software development company. By doing this, your company will save resources, time, and money by avoiding hiring an in-house software development team. So, if you are looking to hire dedicated software developers for your project, contact us.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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