what is a developer?

As a developer, you build or create software programs and applications to run various devices. For instance, you develop the software used to control systems in a company. You also create the operating systems for various devices on the market. Developers are well-versed in programming languages and are proficient in structuring or developing code for programs and software.

Depending on the software or applications you develop, you can become a software developer, application developer, web developer or mobile developer. Although the primary role of a developer is to write code, you gather requirements for developing the software program, enabling it to run on computers or mobile phones.

The roles you perform as a developer depend on your company. In a large company, you delegate computer instruction writing and coding to computer programmers and other junior developers. However, when you work in a small start-up, your role starts with conceptualising a software or mobile application and writing the code. The programs you develop also depend on the industry you work in. For instance, you develop programs for manufacturing, mining and construction consultancy firms, helping them to automate routines and run business operations more efficiently.

As a developer, you steer the software development process throughout the project cycle. That means you learn user requirements and devise plans to meet those needs. You delegate tasks to the team and verify that the program or computer system works. Having exceptional technical skills and coding ability helps you understand computer programs and test their functionality.

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average developer salary

The typical salary of a developer in Australia is $120,000 per year. In entry-level positions, developers receive a remuneration package of $110,000 yearly. As your experience improves, your earnings increase to over $130,000 annually. The earnings depend on experience and area of specialisation.

how to increase your salary as a developer

As a developer, your earnings depend on your expertise. When you have exceptional mastery of programming languages, you are likely to earn more than developers with minimal coding skills. Your area of specialisation may also influence your earnings. For instance, you can specialise in software, mobile apps, or game development to improve your earning potential.

Working in metro areas also improves your earning prospects. Most innovation hubs and technology firms are based in metro areas, and due to the high demand for developers, companies pay higher remuneration to developers. Working in small cities attracts lower salaries due to the reduced demand for developers.

The company's size also influences your remuneration package. When you work for a large company, you are likely to earn more due to the complexity of the projects. Smaller start-ups have limited funding and may pay lower developer salaries.

Want to know what you will earn as a developer? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.


types of developers

Developers have numerous areas of specialisation. For instance, you can focus on developing mobile applications, websites or software. As a mobile developer, your job is to create software for phones. Your role revolves around building apps for Android and iOS phones. You continuously improve applications and check for bugs.

As a software developer, you develop computer programs and create operating systems. You help your employer identify issues or challenges in new programs and work to resolve the issues. When you work as a web developer, you design and create websites. You ensure websites run smoothly by checking code for bugs. The role requires knowledge of HTML and programming languages like Javascript to develop the front and back ends of a website. DevOps developers come up with software development strategies to test and deploy technologies. The role requires a full understanding of the software development life cycle.

A photo of a woman using her laptop checking the timesheet portal
A photo of a woman using her laptop checking the timesheet portal

working as a developer

Are you excited about working in information technology (IT)? Discover the duties, responsibilities and work environments of developers.


education and skills

It is possible to land a job as a developer without any academic qualifications. If you have the necessary coding skills and knowledge in the required programming languages, you can work as a developer. However, most employers prefer candidates with qualifications in computer science. Consider pursuing a bachelor of computer science or a bachelor of information technology. If you have a bachelor’s degree, advance your skills with a postgraduate degree, such as a master of computer science.

Alternatively, find vocational education training qualifications, like a diploma in IT, to learn the necessary skills. Improve your coding skills and learn more programming languages through boot camps that prepare you for IT-related jobs.

developer skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a developer include:

  • problem-solving skills: as a developer, you create programs and applications that may experience technical issues. You require problem-solving skills to identify bugs and other issues in the code. Your skills also help you resolve problems and fix any technical issues.
  • detail-oriented skills: as a developer, you work on various parts of software systems or computer applications. If you are not keen, you will likely miss the fine details. When you are attentive to details, you can identify every detail and prevent errors that could damage the entire system.
  • analytical skills: as a developer, your job involves gathering and analysing information before creating applications that solve users' problems. Your analytical skills help you design computer programs that match users' needs.
  • communication skills: as a developer, you work with a team of programmers and other IT professionals. You require great communication skills to provide clear instructions. You also explain to clients how the software solves their customers’ problems.

FAQs about working as a developer

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a developer.

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