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The Best Software Development Companies2023Expertise Laurels
2023Expertise Laurels

The Best Software Development Companies

Top 10 Metros Logomark = Featured Provider

Frequently Asked Questions


    Software developers are tasked with creating, testing, and refining programs, working to the specifications the project requires. The fundamental tasks include:

    • Creating clean and efficient code that's easily understandable and usable by programmers and developers
    • Testing and deployment of programs and systems
    • Gathering and evaluating user feedback
    • Generating and implementing suggested improvements
    • Troubleshooting and upgrading existing software
    A software developer needs to be familiar with programming languages, such as Python, Java, Scala, C++, and Ruby. The job is similar to several other IT roles, but with important differences.
    • Computer programmers carry out many similar tasks, but developers need to have a more creative, big-picture view of the process.
    • Web developers focus on websites and browser-based apps, while software developers focus on programs for desktops and mobile devices.
    • Software engineers work in teams to create the tools to build apps, whereas developers put those tools to work.

    Where can I hire software developers?

    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.

    What is the software development life cycle?

    A typical SDLC consists of seven phases:

    1. Planning (costs, timetable, team and leadership structures)
    2. Defining Requirements (needs the software can meet)
    3. Design and Prototyping (concept and modeling of look and function)
    4. Software Development (writing and documenting code)
    5. Testing (human and automated)
    6. Deployment (releasing to users)
    7. Operations and Maintenance (resolving bugs)

    How to manage a software development team

    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.

    Web Developer vs. Software Developer vs. Computer Programmer vs. Software Engineer: which one do I need?

    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.

    What is Agile Scrum methodology for software development?

    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.

    How do I know if I need an in-house software developer or a freelance software developer?

    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

    How do I test the skills of a software developer before I hire them?

    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.

    What are the education requirements to become a software developer?

    You generally need a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering. Vendor-specific certifications can validate your expertise with certain products or platforms. Potential employers often value Vendor-neutral certifications. It's possible to learn and practice coding on your own, develop the right networks and land a job. However, this requires hundreds of hours of work and study with little outside guidance.

    A four-year Computer Science degree can cost anywhere from just under $90,000 to almost $200,000 in tuition and fees. Online degrees average about $15,000 to $22,000 for a three- to six-year course of study. Coding boot camps cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 for three to 12 months of intensive study.

    How much do software developers make?

    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.

    What are the top skill-sets needed to become a software developer?

    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.

    When does a software developer become a senior software developer?

    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.

    Is software development really a dead-end job after a certain age?

    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.

    What is the road map for a senior software developer to become a software architect?

    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.

    What can a software developer do to earn a higher salary?

    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.

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