Careers In The Software Industry

The fast growing Software and IT industry that consists of hugely successful companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Infosys offers innumerable employment opportunities for individuals who are well learned in the field of Computers and Technology. Even though the maximum numbers of employment opportunities are available in the technical field of this industry, it also offers excellent opportunities for individuals who are good at management and marketing. However, it is to be kept in mind that almost any individual working in this industry needs to be technically proficient so as to understand the Software Development Process and the nuances of customer needs and demands.

Most people will start off in the roles of Software Developers or Software Testers. These are the two roles that also offer the maximum amount of employment opportunities. Developers are involved in programming the software by writing the code. Testers are involved in ensuring that the Software is error – free by testing this code thoroughly. Depending upon your interest, aptitude and qualifications, you might move on to become a Software Architect or take up managerial roles in this industry. The very best of Computer Engineers and Software Engineers become Software Architects who design the framework of the software. Professionals, who are good with the technical aspects and also want to work with their managerial skills, move on to become Project Managers and look after the overall Software Development process. People who are more comfortable in the marketing side of this industry move on to become Delivery Managers and handle client interactions. For individuals who have the rare combination of technical proficiency and marketing excellence, the role of Product Managers is ideal as they look after the sales and marketing aspects of Software products.

To know more about what is it like to work in the IT Industry, click here.

Software Developers

Software Developers are professionals who are primarily involved in transforming the design into complete functioning software that is capable of carrying out tasks when instructed. They play very important roles in the design, installation, testing and maintenance of software. The primary job of Software Developers is to write the ‘code’. This code is made up of mathematical algorithms in computer languages like C++. The main purpose of this code is to communicate with the computer hardware and give instructions. They are involved in developing software from scratch and are also involved in modifying existing software in order to update them. Software Developers are also known as ‘Programmers’.

Primarily, there are two types of Software Developers. The first kinds are involved in the development of systems software like Microsoft Vista/XP etc. These systems software are mostly operating systems and form the base on which other programs run. The other kinds of Software Developers are involved in developing application software that includes almost all programs that run on the operating system. They are created to solve a particular purpose. Software Developers are responsible for programming the software to execute tasks using computer languages. They are also involved in the testing and rectification of errors in the coding process. They constantly aim to make the programming of the software more efficient and concentrate on the intricacies of the software as well as the big picture. It is a highly technical job and this role requires a lot of mathematical acumen along with the ability to concentrate on details.



Software Testers

As the name suggests, Software Testers are responsible for ensuring that the created software is free from all sorts of possible errors by conducting various types of tests. These errors are spotted by Software Testers after working closely with Software Architects and Project Managers. They understand the basic purpose of the program and then use it regularly and cite any problems that arise. Software Testers are also involved in conducting various tests on these software including Stress Tests, Performance Tests and International Tests. It is vital for Software Testers to understand the coding process and then use that knowledge to test the program. After conducting their tests, Software Testers write reports based on their analysis and observations.

The basic purpose of Software Testers is to ensure that the software is free from all forms of ‘bugs’. These bugs are basically errors and flaws in the software and Testers use their analysis to spot these bugs and possibly even suggest solutions regarding these flaws. It is safe to say that the quality of a Software Tester plays a major role in determining the quality of the Software. The better the Tester, more are the chances that the software will be free of bugs and perform efficiently. They have to conduct tests on a variety of programs that might range from Operating Systems like Windows XP or Application based programs like Microsoft Excel. Some Testers are also involved in conducting tests on video games for various platforms including PCs, Play station, X Box etc. To succeed in this role, you will require excellent analytical skills and the ability to pay attention to details apart from knowledge in the field of Computer Science.

Software Architects

As the name suggests, Software Architects are involved in creating an architectural framework for the software. It is a technical job and the main task is to decide the Software Design. Software Design essentially includes details regarding the goals, concept, framework and implementation of the software. The design forms the base because of which the software can be effectively used to solve problems. Software Architects are responsible for understanding the requirements of the client and designing the software as per those requirements. They are involved in monitoring research activities, reviewing the coding process and supervising the tests that are conducted in order to spot defects. Software Architects understand the wants and needs of the ultimate users of the software. They play major roles in deciding the technology that is to be used during the creation of the software and also find ways to minimize the risk involved during this process.


Software Architects are technically proficient professionals who are responsible for establishing policies and procedures for other team members. They are also involved in devising strategies and standards that the software will follow. Essentially, the overall design and structural framework of the software is the responsibility of Software Architects and they create operational strategies for the software so as to make it safe, manageable and efficient. They are involved in concentrating on the bigger picture and think on the basis of what the final software should be like. It is important for Software Architects to keep a track of the current and future trends in Software systems and application development. They are required to be good communicators, logical thinkers and effective team leaders. It is a role that is usually only given to experienced professionals who have are technically sound. To get into this profession, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering. A Post Graduate degree in relevant fields will help you progress faster towards this role.


Project Managers

Project Managers are professionals in the software industry who are responsible for the entire project of software development or modification. It is their job to ensure that the project is completed on time and within the allocated budget. They also have to make sure that the goals of the client have been met. They coordinate the activities of all the professionals involved in the development of the software. Project Managers are involved with the software from the inception of its design to the completion of the project. They recruit professionals as per requirements and assign duties to each one of them. Their job includes developing plans as to how to go about the whole project and deciding goals and budgets. They are also involved in setting deadline so as to ensure that the project is completed on time.

Project Managers are also involved in analyzing the progress and performance of the project as well as the employees. They develop plans to minimize risk and ensure that all standards and procedures are followed as per the software design. Many Project Managers are also involved in assisting the technical teams with the design and development of the software. It is a part of their job to guide and motivate technical teams to perform better. They are usually technical professionals who have exceptional communication and social skills. You would require managerial skills to succeed in this profession along with a degree in Computer Science Engineering. A post graduation in management will be very beneficial and will help you get preference for this role above other candidates.


Delivery Managers

Delivery Managers are primarily responsible for interaction with clients and overseeing the overall development of the product. They are involved in dealing with clients and understanding their objectives and then ensuring that those objectives are met by the final product. Many times, Delivery Managers are involved in working with Project Managers to ensure that the budget is strictly adhered to. One of their main aims is to ensure that the final program is created as per the schedule and the budget. It is a marketing based role in the Software Industry and prioritizes client satisfaction. They focus on client needs and are responsible for convincing clients to work with their Software Development firm. Their job also involves building successful relations with clients and convincing the clients to hold further business transactions with the Software Development firm by establishing a feeling of trust and mutual respect.

Delivery Managers are the ones who hold initial meetings with the client and are the face of the Software Development firm. They persuade the client to give the contract to their Software Development firm and regularly communicate with the client to give updates about the progress of the project. Delivery Managers play major roles in convincing the client about the quality of development firm and ensuring the client that their objectives regarding the software will be met on time. They use the knowledge they gather from their meetings with the client to give instructions to Project Managers or others involved in the Software Development process regarding the opinions, ideas and objectives of the client. Their job also involves looking after future requirements regarding the development process and keeping the client informed about these requirements. This role requires technically proficient professionals who also have knowledge and skills in the field of marketing. A Computer Science degree along with an M.B.A in Marketing is the ideal educational qualification for this job.


Product Managers

Product Management is another Managerial role in the Software Industry. Product Managers are the people responsible for looking after the sales and marketing of all types of software. Their work involves identifying opportunities for potential products, overseeing the launch and marketing of products and ensuring that earlier products are changed and updated so as to meet current market needs. Product Managers constantly research the market to study trends and also keep a close watch on the activities of competitors so as to not fall behind. They look after the business aspect of the Software Industry and are vital for the development process of any type of software as this is a very dynamic and unstable industry that is constantly going through changes. Their work involves studying the market and knowing what products to launch, how to launch and what products to discontinue.

Product Managers are also involved in developing relations with clients and try to portray an honest and efficient image of the Software Development firm. They play major roles in designing the marketing strategy of the product and ensure that their product connects with the audience. Even though they are primarily needed for their knowledge in the field of marketing and management, they are also required to have sufficient technical knowledge in the field of Software so as to understand the development process and customer mindset accurately. Even though you can join this role without a Computer Science degree, it is not advisable as you will find it much easier to understand how to market and sell software if you understand the development process. A degree in Computer Science Engineering and a Post Graduation in Management/Marketing are good educational qualifications for this role. You can become successful in this profession by developing excellent communication skills and sharpening your research and analysis skills.

To know about the Top 7 Roles for Engineers, click here.


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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.