What can a software developer do

Career & Salary

In software engineering, software systems are developed and manufactured. In order to put these into operation, data structures have to be organized and modeled.

Software development - definition

Software developers create the software in a defined development process. This includes the phases:

  • Planning,

  • Analysis,

  • Design,

  • Programming,

  • Validation and verification,

  • Requirements management,

  • Quality management,

  • Configuration management,

  • Software introduction and

  • Documentation.

Depending on how the development process is organized, many professions find their tasks here. In addition to programmers and developers, data scientists, software architects, mobile developers, DevOps developers or Scrum masters can also be involved. Mobile developers develop applications that run on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets).

Software developer - job profiles

There is no such thing as one software developer - behind this job title are the professions of programmer, front-end developer, back-end developer or full-stack web developer. Web developers design and maintain websites for their customers - you can read more about this here.

Front-end developer

Frontend developers mainly design the web interface using HTML, CSS or JavaScript. You program what the user can see in the end, the user interface. In addition to development, her area of ​​responsibility also includes the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Popular frameworks are React, Vue, Angular or Svelte. Her repertoire also includes the design of web applications with social features, system applications or apps. Since the layout was usually specified by the web designer, front-end developers mainly implement the technical functions. In smaller companies, the development in the front end can also include the aesthetic design.

Starting a career is usually easier in the front end than in the back end. The advantage of this job is that you can see the result of the programming work immediately. Studying computer science is the direct route to this job description, but lateral entry is not uncommon in the industry.

Backend developer

Backend developers program applications in their functional logic. The so-called backend are all applications behind the surface. The software communicates the data with the clients, for which the developer provides an interface, the API. These are the visible front-end applications. The developers therefore integrate data sources and external services or provide them. If the servers are not located in the company but are outsourced in a cloud, one speaks of a serverless concept.

Backend developers usually have a command of several programming languages ​​such as Java, Python, Ruby or C ++ and must also be familiar with databases. They should also be familiar with various Internet protocols and how they work. Due to the high requirement profile, backend developers are in great demand and therefore better paid than frontend developers, for example. A completed degree and experience with programming languages ​​are prerequisites for a job in the backend.

Full stack developer

Fullstack developers combine the skills of backend and frontend developers, but are also able to take on the tasks of system administrators, data scientists and machine learning developers. They often mediate between the backend and the frontend. Your frameworks include Express.js, Django, Ruby on Rails or Spring. Since they have know-how in many fields of activity, they do not have as in-depth knowledge as pure backend or frontend developers. In addition, the individual activities are constantly changing.

Her tasks include building databases, developing APIs and microservices, implementing and testing software, developing applications and checking codes. They should also have a good knowledge of data security.

A degree in computer science or training as an IT specialist are ideal prerequisites in the job market. Full stack developers can work in all areas of software development and are accordingly in demand on the job market. Especially in smaller companies, backend and frontend development are often done by the same person.

Mobile developer

Mobile developers develop apps for smartphones and other mobile devices. The applications should be written with lean codes and require as little data volume as possible. Ease of use is particularly important with this type of programming. In terms of user interface, frameworks and languages, iOS and Android operating systems differ greatly, which is why developers usually specialize in one system. The Java language is used more on Android and Swift on iOS.

This professional field is relatively young and growing rapidly, which is why we are always looking for young talents.

Software development - salary prospects

As a full stack developer, you can earn 57,000 euros a year on behalf of COMPUTERWOCHE, according to the current salary analysis by gehalt.de.

According to a current salary analysis by Honeypot, the average salary for developers in Germany rose by 26 percent between 2016 and 2020, from around 50,000 to 63,000 euros. Developers (zero to six years of experience) also receive an average of six percent higher salary than they requested.

Also read:German software developers are top earners - developer salaries in a European comparison