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Software developers are tasked with creating, testing, and refining programs, working to the specifications the project requires. The fundamental tasks include:
Large-scale talent-matching websites provide tools for customizing your company profile, posting positions, searching for active candidates with the right specialties, and setting up interviews. The best sites vet their candidates and make it easy to focus on experienced tech talent. Toptal, Hired, Stack Overflow, GitHub Jobs, RemoteOK, and Arc are all good options.
A typical SDLC consists of seven phases:
Set clear team and individual goals and distill management expectations so the team and the company's priorities align. Have an open-door policy and frequent one-on-one meetings with team members. Keep stakeholders abreast of needs and issues. Empower the team to make decisions and avoid micromanaging whenever possible.
Websites and browser apps need web developers. People who can engage with every phase of the software development life cycle are software developers. Computer programmers focus on the third through fifth phases of the SDLC. Designing tools for producing code requires software engineers.
You can use a sprint-based Agile Scrum methodology for fast results. "Agile" refers to a user-focused mindset of embracing change, motivating individuals, and early and continuous delivery. "Scrum" refers to short two-week sprints that allow teams to focus on pieces of a complex project.
Freelancers provide the flexibility to hire people with distinct skills for different projects, and you can save money by hiring only for specific times. Communication with an in-house team is often faster, and they're more likely to understand your business needs. The better solution will depend on your situation
Where safe and feasible, it's better to conduct tests in person to assess how a candidate handles pressure. If you have an existing developer team, they can help create evaluation challenges. At least part of testing should focus on general problem-solving and logical thinking skills.
There are two major types of software developers: applications developers, who work on programs and apps, and systems developers who work on the operating system environments in which those programs run. The median annual salary for an applications software developer is $103,620, while systems software developers average $111,000 per year.
The core skill is programming — everything from data structures and source control to cross-platform coding, testing, and the use of text editors and Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). You also need networking, database, and operating system expertise and a strong grasp of SDLCs, logical thinking, and problem-solving.
Becoming a senior developer takes multiple years during which you'll need to build a strong reputation and a professional network. Senior positions typically require five to ten years of experience. They often involve specializing in a certain chosen "tech stack" and mastery of at least one programming language, text editor, and IDE.
An old piece of folk wisdom in IT is that software development is a dead-end job past the age of 40. In truth, like any STEM field, software development requires constant adaptation and lifelong learning. If you commit to these things, it can be satisfying work at any age.
There are various types of software architects, but you generally need sharp fundamental skills, basics of test-driven design, and experience with open-source software and project leadership. Learning several architecture and communication patterns will flesh out your skill-set.
Building a strong reputation is the most important step — freelancing and working on open-source projects are good methods. Stay on top of new technologies, promote your work, and take on new challenges and positions whenever you have the opportunity.