Summary Report for:
15-1133.00 - Software Developers, Systems Software
Research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. May design embedded systems software. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
Sample of reported job titles: Developer, Infrastructure Engineer, Network Engineer, Publishing Systems Analyst, Senior Software Engineer, Software Architect, Software Developer, Software Engineer, Systems Coordinator, Systems Engineer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Modify existing software to correct errors, to adapt it to new hardware, or to upgrade interfaces and improve performance.
- Develop or direct software system testing or validation procedures.
- Direct software programming and development of documentation.
- Consult with customers or other departments on project status, proposals, or technical issues, such as software system design or maintenance.
- Analyze information to determine, recommend, and plan installation of a new system or modification of an existing system.
- Consult with engineering staff to evaluate interface between hardware and software, develop specifications and performance requirements, or resolve customer problems.
- Design or develop software systems, using scientific analysis and mathematical models to predict and measure outcome and consequences of design.
- Prepare reports or correspondence concerning project specifications, activities, or status.
- Confer with data processing or project managers to obtain information on limitations or capabilities for data processing projects.
- Store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.
- Coordinate installation of software system.
- Monitor functioning of equipment to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.
- Supervise and assign work to programmers, designers, technologists, technicians, or other engineering or scientific personnel.
- Advise customer about or perform maintenance of software system.
- Train users to use new or modified equipment.
- Specify power supply requirements and configuration.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Central processing unit CPU processors — Graphics processing unit GPU; Multi-core central processing unit CPU
- Computer servers — Application servers
- Desktop computers
- High end computer servers — Directory servers
- Integrated circuit testers — In circuit emulators ICE; Logic analyzers
- Mainframe computers
- Notebook computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
Technology used in this occupation:
- Administration software — Software distribution management software
- Analytical or scientific software — Dynamic modeling software; SAS software; Simulation program with integrated circuit emphasis SPICE; The MathWorks Simulink (see all 5 examples)
- Application server software — BEA WebLogic Server; Oracle Application Server
- Backup or archival software — Backup and archival software
- Computer aided design CAD software — Computer assisted software engineering CASE software
- Configuration management software — Automated installation software; IBM Rational ClearCase; Patch management software; Visible Razor (see all 5 examples)
- Content workflow software — Emerald Software Group Emerald Green Office
- Data base management system software — Computer Associates integrated data management system CA-IDMS; Distributed database management software; Microsoft SQL Server; MySQL software (see all 11 examples)
- Data base reporting software — Hyperion software; Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer; SAP Business Intelligence; SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports (see all 7 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — IBM DB2; IEA Software Emerald; Microsoft Access; Structured query language SQL
- Development environment software — C; Embedded systems development software; IBM Rational Rose XDE Developer D93; Microsoft Visual Basic (see all 45 examples)
- Device drivers or system software — Microsoft DirectX
- Document management software — Document management system software
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise application integration software — Enterprise application integration EAI software; Extensible markup language XML; IBM WebSphere; SAP Netweaver
- File versioning software — Version control software
- Filesystem software — File server software
- Graphical user interface development software — Graphical user interface GUI design software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Open Graphics Library OpenGL
- Industrial control software — Process Control System Software
- Network operation system software — IBM z/OS operating systems; Novell network software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; Document Object Model DOM Scripting; Python; Simple API for XML SAX (see all 22 examples)
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows; UNIX; VxWorks software; Win CE (see all 17 examples)
- Platform interconnectivity software — Migration software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Program testing software — Defect tracking software; Fault testing software; IBM Rational PurifyPlus; Unit testing software (see all 21 examples)
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Requirements analysis and system architecture software — IBM Rational Requisite Pro; Requirements management software; Unified modeling language UML
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Storage networking software — Storage area network SAN software
- Transaction security and virus protection software — Encryption software
- Transaction server software — Customer information control system CICS software; IBM Middleware; Microsoft Internet Information Service IIS; Object Management Group Object Request Broker (see all 6 examples)
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Detailed Work Activities
- Manage information technology projects or system activities.
- Develop testing routines or procedures.
- Monitor computer system performance to ensure proper operation.
- Modify software programs to improve performance.
- Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.
- Assign duties or work schedules to employees.
- Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
- Communicate project information to others.
- Apply mathematical principles or statistical approaches to solve problems in scientific or applied fields.
- Design software applications.
- Supervise information technology personnel.
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Analyze project data to determine specifications or requirements.
- Assess database performance.
- Prepare data for analysis.
- Coordinate software or hardware installation.
- Teach others to use computer equipment or hardware.
- Provide recommendations to others about computer hardware.
- Identify information technology project resource requirements.
- Electronic Mail — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 85% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 71% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Telephone — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 49% responded “Some freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 45% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
- Level of Competition — 65% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 30% responded “Moderate results.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: ICR
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$49.46 hourly, $102,880 annual|
|Employment (2012)||405,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Faster than average (15% to 21%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||134,700|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Software Developers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) , 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, New York, NY 10121-0701. Phone: (800) 342-6626.
- Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) , 1815 S. Meyers Rd., Suite 300, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-5228. Phone: (630) 678-8300. Fax: (630) 268-1384.
- IEEE Computer Society , 1730 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036-1992. Phone: (202) 371-0101. Fax: (202) 728-9614.
- Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) , 2350 E. Devon Ave., Suite 115, Des Plaines, IL 60018-4610. Phone: (847) 299-4227. Fax: (847) 299-4280.
- National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) , Bellevue Community College, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, N258, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Phone: (425) 564-4229. Fax: (425) 564-6193.