What Is an Application Developer?
An application developer creates or writes programs for a particular operating system (i.e, Windows, Mac OS X or UNIX), the Web or a device. These professionals usually possess a bachelor's degree and knowledge of programming languages. Read on to learn more about application developer job duties, education requirements and career prospects. Schools offering Application Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
An application developer goes by many names, such as computer programmer, systems analyst, software engineer, software developer or web developer. Regardless of the title, this type of computer professional writes programs for the Web, an operating system or a device. An application developer starts a project by outlining the specifications (defining what the program does, input and what the output will be along with any interfaces). The developer then creates a program or system taking into consideration all the specifications.
The application developer then codes the application, runs tests and adds finishing touches. Along with creating applications, these professionals also work at maintaining and troubleshooting programs, which can include making updates and modifications to existing programs. These professionals can also work on usability testing, create documentation and make databases.
An application developer works with many other individuals (other programmers, management personnel, users) in the course of his or her day. Interaction may take the form of face-to-face or electronic meetings, phone conversations or email. Therefore, an application developer needs good interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills along with their computer skills in order to be successful in their job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that common industries of employment as of 2012 included computer systems design, computer and electronic product manufacturing, finance and insurance and software publishers.
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a field, such as software engineering or computer science, is generally recommended to find a position as an application developer. These professionals need a computer programming background and might also need knowledge related to the industry in which they plan to work, such as banking or healthcare. Other knowledge and skills are needed to be a good application developer, such as mathematical ability, problem solving skills, a fundamental comprehension of business and an artistic flair.
Job Outlook and Salary
The BLS estimates that application developer employment will increase 23% over the 2012-2022 decade, which is a much faster than average growth. These professionals will be needed to make computer software for mobile devices, security and healthcare systems. The BLS expects that outsourcing will only have a limited effect on employment.
As of May 2012, application developers earned $93,280 on average, according to the BLS. The lowest 10% of wages were $55,190 or less annually, while the top 10% of wages were $138,880 or more. Industry-specific average wages included $93,340 for computer systems design, $99,140 for software publishers, $90,600 for management of companies and enterprises and $87,850 for insurance carriers.
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