Should I Become a Certified Application Developer?
Application developers, also known as software developers, create software programs for specific tasks. They also produce computer systems that keep devices and networks working properly. Application developers are experts in computer programming, and they design and test new products. Additional duties include building system interfaces and creating database programs.
Career opportunities are available with all types of organizations and government agencies to ensure that their computer programs are working efficiently. Most application developers work in a comfortable office environment, although this is the type of work that can be done remotely, so some of them work from home. Additionally, overtime is not unusual in order to meet client deadlines.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field(s)||Computer science, software engineering or related field|
|Certification||Microsoft or comparable certification|
|Experience||Most employers seek candidates with a minimum of two years' experience in programming|
|Key Skills||Develop multi-tier architectures, understand software requirements and specifications; develop software and database management programs; Windows operating systems, Windows SQL server database, Java, C/C++, Oracle|
|Salary||$99,530 (Mean Annual Salary for Applications Software Developers as of May 2014)|
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Certified application developers are generally expected to have at least a bachelor's degree. Prospective application developers commonly major in computer science, mathematics or software engineering. A bachelor's degree program in computer science can teach students about programming languages, operating systems and database structures, among other topics.
- Gain initial experience. Many companies offer internships for students in the field of computer science. Also, professional organizations, such as the Association for Computing Machinery, can be good resources for students seeking information about volunteer opportunities.
Step 2: Accumulate Work Experience
Securing an application developer position often requires previous experience. Employers often prefer applicants with at least two years of programming experience, including background in coding, modeling, database management and systems analysis. Some employers also seek candidates with a work history in installation and/or troubleshooting.
Step 3: Become Certified
Certification can show employers that an application developer is competent in certain job-related skills. For more general certifications, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society (IEEE) offers the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) and Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) designations. Both credentials require passing an exam and completing postsecondary education; the CSDP credential has the additional requirement of four years of relevant work experience or an advanced degree plus two years of relevant work experience.
Additionally, many software companies offer specific certifications for their software products. For example, Microsoft offers the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certification for those who specialize in Windows-based, Web or enterprise-level applications and pass a series of directed examinations.