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What is a software developer, exactly?

Do you know that smartphone app you rely on? That computer game that kept you transfixed for hours as a kid? That program that helps you budget and track expenditures? Software developers created all of them.

Software developers are the creative, brainstorming masterminds behind computer programs of all sorts. While some software developers may focus on a specific program or app, others create giant networks or underlying systems that help trigger and power other programs. This is why there are two main classifications of developers: applications software developers and systems software developers.

What do applications software developers do?

According to the Malaysia Department of Labor (DOL), developers in this sector are responsible for designing computer or mobile applications. The nature of their work is largely focused on creating for consumers. This involves understanding user needs, developing software solutions, monitoring performance, and modifying programs as needed.

What do systems software developers do?

These professionals are focused on operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software. This role is geared more toward designing solutions for enterprise organizations. This includes developing software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications.

What are some common software developer job duties?

Much of the actual creation of software programs happens through the writing of code, and software developers oversee that. Depending on the company where they work, a software developer will analyze the needs of the user and then create, test, and develop software that will solve a problem, provide entertainment or simply make life easier for its intended audience.

After mapping out the design, creating flowcharts, and drafting out each step of the process, developers will build diagrams and models to instruct programmers on how to write the code for the program.

Other job duties include mapping out the software to have on record for future upgrades and enhancements, testing the software, and collaborating with other computer specialists to make sure the software is top-notch and functioning properly.

What are some important software developer skills?

Software developers must have a healthy balance of hard and soft skills. Not only are software developers in charge of outlining and creating the code and design for a program, but these types of careers generally involve a lot of collaboration between various stakeholders.

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