Software developers typically do the following:
- Analyze users’ needs, then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
- Recommend software upgrades for customers' existing programs and systems
- Design each piece of the application or system and plan how the pieces will work together
- Create flowcharts and other models that instruct programmers how to write the software’s code
- Ensure that the software continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
- Document every aspect of the application or system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
- Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software
Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They begin by understanding how the customer plans to use the software. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it. If the program does not work as expected or people find it to difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.
Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to programmers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition