What is the Career Path of a Software Developer?

November 17,2020 - 5 min read
What is the career path of a software developer?

A software developer basically creates software. They are the brains behind the most complex computer software that we use in our daily lives. A lot of times, there exist some confusion between the roles and responsibilities of software engineer and a software developer and hence we have tried to clear the confusion between these two prominent profiles in the IT industry.

In today's day age and time, the IT industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds and hence opportunities in the software development field are scaling right along with it. If you are a skilled programmer or on a journey to become one and have a yearning to develop computer software that are going to be used by millions of people then you have a plethora of opportunities open for you.

However, the picture is not as clear as it looks. The career path of software developer is complex and diverse and continues to change on a daily basis. Be it several promotions or varied options, the software development career path is a complicated one. In this blog we are going to discuss the different career paths and options available for a software developer.

In this blog we are going to discuss the career path of a software developer and also the varied career opportunities available for someone looking to make a career as a software developer. Let's get started and hope that this blog would help you get a better perspective about the journey and career path of a software developer and make an informed decision. We would begin by understanding some of the career choice s that a software developer have and then graduate to the career path of a software developer.

Career Opportunities for a Software Developer

There are enormous career opportunities available in software development or as a programmer simply because every day a new technology is coming or something new is introducing to make our life much better and easier. Let’s discuss some of the most popular career options for a software developer.

Front-End Developers:

Front end developers specialise in creating a user interface of the website. They basically work on the front- end part using languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript or other front- end technologies and frameworks like React. You create a responsive website along with UX/UI designers. There are a lot of options are available for designers as a freelancer or working for some companies.

Back-end Developers:

While front end developers work on the user interface, the development which is done behind the scenes are categorized under back-end development. They are also known as server-side developers because they work on the server. They manipulate database, different kind of APIs, the architecture of a system, scripting, etc. The work of a back- end developer gives powers to the web page or mobile applications.

Full Stack Developers:

Full Stack Developers work on both front-end and back-end technology or web frameworks and hence it involves both of the skill set of front-end and back-end. MERN stack, LAMP stack, MEAN stack are some of the most common frameworks that full stack developers use.

Game Developers:

Different gaming frameworks enables you to create different games on different platforms and if you love to play games then this might be the best field for you to grow as a software developer.

Linux Kernel and OS Developers:

Operating system is essential to run any type of program on our computers. Linux Kernel and OS developers work on the operating software that are the backbone of our computing systems. The common tasks of these developers are to schedule the different processes, switch between two processes, how to manage the file in the operating system etc.

Cloud Developers:

Cloud is one of the most trending technologies and hence cloud developers are also much in demand. The main responsibilities of a cloud developer involve planning, designing, managing and implementing applications on the cloud. Some of the most popular cloud platforms are AWS (Amazon Web Service), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba among others.

Software Developer Career Path

A software developer has to go through several steps in order to reach the highest management position in an organisation. In this blog we discuss about each one of them, beginning from an entry level post i.e. junior developer.

Junior Developer

A junior developer can be considered as an entry level job or the most basic profile that any programmer would get as a fresher. Your work as a junior developer involves basic coding, database management, and even construction of simple software and bench they are expected to understand application lifecycle, databases and application services, such as queues and caching. The work of a junior and a senior developer is almost same as they both have the responsibility to make software. However, the one thing that differentiates the two profiles is experience.

Senior Software Developer

The next evident step in the career path is that of a software developer, or senior software developer. At this stage, the developer has become proficient at creating entire applications. A software developer at this stage has several years of professional programming experience and is proficient in writing complex code but apart from it, a senior developer should also have thorough understanding of databases, application services and application lifecycle development. A senior software developer is the stepping stone to a high- level management position in the organisation. However, if you like dealing with codes more than with people than you are probably going to enjoy the most as a senior software developer.

Technical Architect

The role of a technical architect expects more responsibility and is more challenging in nature but technical architects do not specifically manage a team. Apart from writing codes, technical architects are responsible for designing complex systems that will be implemented by other developers. A technical architect possesses several years of professional programming experience and also has subject matter expertise. Technical architects have the excellent ability to conceptualize, plan and build complex software to address the demands of the clients. Technical architects are often considered to be the highest position on a pure technical career ladder, not influenced by managerial positions.

Development Team Lead, Software Development Manager

Management is the next step in the software developer career path. This is a mid-level managerial position in the organisation. If you have climbed this step of the ladder, you would no longer spend hours and days, coding and solving bugs. This position has new roles and responsibilities. A development team lead or a software development manager manages large-scale projects and several teams of developers. Also, at this position you are authorised enough to hire and fire developers and constitute the workforce of the organisation. A development team lead or the software development manager keeps track of workflow and productivity and reports to a senior leader or manager. He coordinates the needs of the application and project leader with the development team and ensure a smooth delivery of the software. Another responsibility is to eliminate and add new members to the team whenever necessary and hence this role requires good interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively mediate conflicts. However, this can be a downside too as terminating people can be a psychological and emotional challenge for many. However, it can be a powerful leadership skill if you have mastered the art of dealing with people and bringing out the best in them.

Director, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer

The main difference between a senior and mid-level manager is the responsibility for setting high- level strategy and deliver corporate direction. The senior management level includes a variety of roles like director, vice president, chief technology officer. Their job includes make executive-level decisions for example long-term strategy, setting goals and initiatives, they are also accountable for almost all departments. They motivate the managers under them to execute and hold the department accountable for specific measurable objectives. The managers at this level hire, supervise and fire mid-level managers. The only people above them are other senior-level executives, such as the CEO or maybe only the company’s board of directors.

With this, we come to an end of the career path of a software developer. We began our journey right from a junior developer and ended at the highest level of management position. However, if you don’t like dealing with people or just don’t want to take over the managerial positions. Not everyone may not be a fit for management roles or some may just abhor the idea of becoming a manager. you would be happy to know that you can continue as an individual contributor and still have a rewarding technical career.

Opportunities for programmers and developers in today’s technology-driven world are growing. The software developer career path ladder, leading to senior management and executive-level positions is quite progressive and exciting!

It doesn’t matter if you want to take on the managerial position or be a successful software developer, the best bet for long-term success is to be open to continuous learning and development. You should understand the roles and responsibilities of all roles in an organization including managers, executives and senior technical personnel and work hard for wherever you want to reach.

Any field in the IT industry requires good professional training. The industry is quite competitive and you need to have a good edge over others to make a mark. The career opportunities are immense and if you wish to enter the industry as web developers, we might have something for you.

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