What is a Software Developer?

by : Paul Howe

A software developer is an individual who lends expertise at some stage in the software development process. This individual could be a project manager orchestrating the entire project, a lead programmer, a user interface (UI) designer, a software programmer involved in writing the application code or a testing engineer who identifies bugs or problems with the product.

A software developer's technical expertise is usually limited to a certain set of coding languages. For example, a software developer working on the Microsoft platform will usually be an expert in .NET technologies, including SQL Server database and VB.Net or ASP.NET. This developer will tend to have little or no knowledge of PHP and Apache, which usually run on the Linux operating system. Often, a software engineer will have expertise only in configuring computer networks. The engineer might never write a single line of code but simply has knowledge of specific commands required for setting up secure, scalable and efficient networks.

Software developers also have specializations based on the nature of applications they develop. For example, software developers working on ERP or business applications will generally have expertise in developing software for specific vendors such as IBM, Microsoft or Sun Micro systems. Alternatively, developers working on hardware automation such as embedded code for smart cards will have expertise working on non-proprietary technologies such as C++, which is generally referred to as "low-level programming".