What do Software Developers, Systems Software Do?
Representing a fast-growing industry segment, systems software developers are those who create many of the backbone applications utilized in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, communications, medical, and military. The work typically involves researching, designing, and testing of programs in order to meet necessary requirements and specifications.In the 10-year period between 2012 and 2022, a 20% increase in the availability of new jobs in this field is forecasted. This translates to an expectation of about 13,470 new openings annually within the United States.
Software Developers, Systems Software Skills and Abilities
The particular talents one should possess in order to be successful in this field are similar to those required in many technology-based sectors. Written and oral comprehension and communication skills are vital to fully grasp all stated requirements of the software being developed. Other general attributes which are beneficial to systems software developers include strong reasoning capabilities, critical thinking skills and a talent for recognizing and solving complex problems.
Software Developers, Systems Software Duties
Typical job duties for developers are quite varied but all revolve around the core goal of creating specialized industry software solutions. You will need to be able to confer with clients and peers alike in order to determine and plan the particular needs of a system. In addition to the actual hands-on programming and development process, you should expect many of the following types of job duties:
- Testing of software and associated validation procedures
- Development of all necessary end user documentation
- Following up with customers and modifying software based on user feedback
- Training users in the proper use of new or updated technologies
Software Developers, Systems Software Tools and Technology
Technology is at the heart of everything that systems software developers do, so it’s no surprise that you will need to work extensively with high-end computers and networks in this field. Other tools of the trade frequently include integrated circuit testing equipment, as well as a wide range of specific industry software. Some of the more common applications utilized:
- Component and object-oriented development software including ABC, C++, CAML, and CLOS
- Database management programs such as DDL, CA-IDMS, and DML
- Program-testing software including IBM Rational Purify-Plus
- Development environment programs like APL, ALGOL, and AWK
Education and Training for Software Developers, Systems Software
In most cases, you will need at least a Bachelor’s degree in order to be considered for this type of position. Because the work is largely based on knowledge, advance job training and direct work experience are not generally necessary to gain employment. It’s recommended that you focus on the following types of programs when pursing education to work in this field:
- Information science and studies
- Computer science and software technology
- Artificial intelligence
- Informatics and information technology
- Computer engineering and programming
Software Developers, Systems Software Salary
The expected salary for a systems software developer depends greatly on what particular state you live and work in, but the median wage stands at about $102,000 annually in the U.S. This pans out to around $63,300 per year if you are in the bottom 10% of all earners, or upwards of $154,000 for those who are among the upper 10%.
Software Developers, Systems Software Jobs by Geography
The highest concentration of systems software developers can be found in California, Texas, Massachusetts, and Virginia, although several other states are projected to experience significant growth in employment between 2012 and 2022. Colorado, Utah, and Louisiana are projected to add appreciable numbers of jobs in this field in that 10-year span. California and Massachusetts also top the median pay rates for software developers, followed by Washington, Maryland and New Hampshire.