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A Career in Software Development

Everything from social media apps to self-driving cars is a result of software development. The computer science professionals doing this work are engineers in their own right, bringing digital experiences to life. So, what is software engineering? It is the creation of websites, apps, games, robots, and computer software. If your student is a problem-solving pro or gifted gamer, then a career in software development might be the right choice.

What does a software developer do?


  • Create unique code to bring designs and functions to life
  • Develop and test software based on the project requirements
  • Gather and evaluate user feedback
  • Monitor and improve performance and user experience on a regular basis
  • Create technical documentation for future reference

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Day in the Life

  • Meet with software development team to determine progress and daily action items
  • Perform coding and development tasks as identified in the morning meeting
  • Collaborate with other team members to solve problems and align on project needs
  • Create change requests when updating software 
  • Create a design document to record the problem and proposed solution
  • Deploy projects to production
  • Test live projects and address bugs based on feedback

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Where they work

  • Computer systems design firms
  • Electronic product manufacturing companies
  • Software publishing companies
  • In-house or freelance for any industry

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Software Developer Salary and Market Projections

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How long can it take to become a software developer?

Four years to achieve a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering

Required Education

Bachelor’s degree1

Required Career Qualifications

Detail-oriented, able to multitask, and proficient in major programming languages like Python and JavaScript

Additional Requirements

While not always required, many software developer jobs do ask for certifications like those from Microsoft, Amazon Software Services, and Oracle

How does Stride Career Prep help prepare your student for becoming a software developer?​ They will:

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Build a foundation of computer literacy knowledge before diving into the fine details.

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Become familiar with programming languages like PythonJavaHTML, and CSS3.

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Learn how to become a software developer with a course called Programming Logic and Design, where they’ll be introduced to object-oriented concepts, UML diagrams, and databases.

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Prepare for top industry certification exams such as those involving PythonJAVAC++HTML5, and CSS3.

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Gain experience in developing programs and applications.

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Are you an adult interested in a career change?

In addition to Stride Career Prep for K–12 students, Stride also offers learning options for adults who are looking for a career change or upgrade.

Learn About Adult Career Development Options >

Learn more about course offerings in the IT career field.

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Graphic Designer

Learn more>

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Web Developer

Learn more>

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Hear How Stride Career Prep Can Work for Your Teen

Think this might be a good fit for your student? Want to learn more about the program from current participants? Email your questions and hear what Stride Career Prep students have to say.


1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S.Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Website last modified date: Wednesday, September 1, 2020.
*Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.
**Stride Career Prep is a program for grades 9–12. At some schools, career exploration is offered in middle school.