How To Write a Software Developer Job Description [examples, templates & tips] (2024)

“Software Developer” is one of the most sought-after professions in the tech realm. If you want to write a software developer job description, read on.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s in this post:

  • What is a software developer? [plus the different types]
  • 1 Software developer job description example [from Charles Schwab]
  • 1 Software developer job description template [plus links to a few more!]
  • 4 “Nice to Knows” for writing your own job description of a software developer

Let’s get started!

What is a software developer?

First, let’s discuss what software developers are. Software developers create computer programs (like apps), networks, and systems that power other programs and monitor software programs. There are generally two types of software developers:

  • Application software developers (they develop programs)
  • System software developers (they create networks)

Software developers are usually expected to know these programming languages:

  • Python
  • Java
  • C#
  • SQL
  • HTML
  • & other languages they need in their specific field

They usually work with other developers to produce the software. They have different day-to-day responsibilities like creating efficient algorithms, integrating third-party programs into systems, and writing efficient algorithms, to name a few.

Classification of software developers

Software developers are categorized into their tech stack (what kind of work they do) and level of seniority. In terms of the tech stack, they are classified as:

  • Front-end developer. They code the user interface of the software program.
  • Back-end developer. They code the infrastructure the user interface is put on top.
  • Full stack developers. They do front-end and/or back-end development.
  • Mobile app developers. They specialize in mobile app development.

They’re also classified further by seniority:

  • Lead (or Head)
  • Senior
  • Mid-level
  • Junior

Software developer salary and compensation

In 2020, the median salary for software developers was $110,140, and it’s been rising since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the latest average from Indeed:

“The average salary for a software engineer is $127,567 per year in the United States and $5,000 cash bonus per year.36.4k salaries reported, updated at August 4, 2022.”

Note: Salary and compensation are essential to include in your software developer job descriptions, even if it’s just a range. This will make your JDs stand out from other companies offering similar roles.

Software developer job description example — Charles Schwab

To inspire you to get started writing your own software developer description, here is a sample from Charles Schwab.

This is an excellent example because it includes a salary range (so applicants know what to expect), it uses “you” language (to make it conversational), and it has a DEI statement at the end (to help attract diverse talent).

How To Write a Software Developer Job Description [examples, templates & tips] (1)

Software developer job description template

Templates are great, especially if you write hundreds of JDs a month. Here’s a template from Toptal you can copy/paste and then edit for your own needs:

Company Introduction

{{Write a short and catchy paragraph about your company. Make sure to provide information about the company’s culture, perks, and benefits. Mention office hours, remote working possibilities, and everything else that you think makes your company interesting.}}

Job Description

We are looking for a software engineer/developer to join our cutting-edge development team as it grows. We want someone who is comfortable asking “why?” The ideal candidate is a divergent thinker who understands industry best practices and has experience with multiple coding languages. They are a team player possessing strong analytical as well as technical skills, and are able to communicate the logic behind technical decisions to non-tech stakeholders. They must be comfortable working in an agile environment and have the ability to “take the wheel” when necessary.

Responsibilities

  • Create innovative, scalable, fault-tolerant software solutions for our clients and customer base
  • Work closely with project managers, UX designers, other developers, systems analysts, graphic artists, and sales and marketing professionals
  • Write and test code to ensure compatibility and stability: refine and rewrite as necessary
  • Create clear technical specifications
  • Expand existing software to meet the changing needs of our key demographicsAnalyze user requirements
  • {{ Add any other relevant responsibilities here }}

Skills and Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering or Information Technology
  • 7+ years’ software development or programming experience
  • A thorough understanding of computer architecture, operating systems, and data structures
  • Extensive experience with Java, Python, C++, and other programming languages
  • {{ If web development is required at all: }} An in-depth understanding of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript
  • Experience working with {{ Linux/Unix, Perl }} and/or shell scripts
  • Experience working with {{ Windows, PowerShell, HyperV }}
  • The ability to analyze complex technical information
  • Comfortability designing and implementing database structures to solve real-world problems effectively
  • An awareness of current issues affecting the industry and its technologies
  • Familiarity with UI toolkits and frameworks
  • A meticulous and organized approach to work
  • A logical, analytical, and creative approach to problem-solving
  • A thorough, detail-oriented work style
  • {{ Make sure to mention any other frameworks, libraries, or other technologies relevant to your project }}
  • {{ List any education level or certification you may require }}

How to make this developer description template even better

This template has helpful information about skills, responsibilities, and qualifications. But, Ongig recommends putting the “About Us” at the end of the JD and focusing on the candidates first.

Also, add a salary range (some states like New York and California require it) at the start of your JD, followed by a list of perks or benefits, and your company’s diversity statement at the end to show your support of DEI.

And here are a few other software developer description templates might find helpful:

Bonus! 4 tips for writing a software engineer job description

Here are some things to consider when writing your own software developer job description:

1. Be sure it’s bias-free

To ensure your JDs reach as many talented software developers as possible, ensure it’s inclusive. You may want to use software like Ongig’s Text Analyzer to check your JDs for racial bias, gender bias, or other biases so you’re not excluding people from underrepresented groups.

2. Use catchy, conversational language

When you write a JD, make sure to write it in a way that appeals to candidates. For example, if you’re looking for a Senior Linux Developer, you can write something like: Our progressive and friendly team is looking for a Linux Developer to support our mission to change the world. This type of wording is more enticing to job seekers than X Company is looking for a Linux Developer.

3. Be conscious of the length of your JD

Research shows the ideal title length of a job description is between 500-600 words.Try to keep your sentences short and remove any complex language (e.g., in accordance with, in order to, etc.).

4. Use specific, short job titles

You want job seekers to find your JDs when they search online, and the best way to do that is to be specific in your job titles. If you’re looking for a software developer, be clear on what kind. And, try not to add too much “fluff” to your title. “Back-end Software Developer” will perform better than “Software Development Engineer, Onboarding and Account Management.”

Note: The Top 50 Software Job Titles [Ranked by What Candidates Search For] ranks “Software Developer” as the #3 most-searched developer job title.

Why I wrote this:

Ongig is on a mission to help you create effective and inclusive job descriptions for all types of roles. The tips and examples above will help you get started writing your own software developer description, so you attract the best (and most diverse) tech talent for your team.

Shout-outs:

  1. 15 Science-backed Tips for Writing Job Descriptions (by The Undercover Recruiter)
  2. Software Developers- the 21st century most in-demand profession (by John Adam)
  3. 10 Tips for Crafting Highly Effective Software Developer Job Descriptions (by Anna Dziuba)
  4. Feature Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash
  5. Software Engineer salary in United States (by Indeed)

by Joanne Derecho in Job Descriptions

As an expert and enthusiast, I have extensive knowledge and expertise in various topics, including software development. I can provide information and insights on different concepts related to software development, such as the role of software developers, different types of software developers, programming languages commonly used by software developers, and job descriptions for software developers.

What is a software developer?

Software developers are professionals who create computer programs, networks, and systems that power other programs and monitor software programs. They play a crucial role in developing and maintaining software applications. There are generally two types of software developers:

  1. Application software developers: They develop programs that serve specific purposes, such as mobile apps, web applications, or desktop software.
  2. System software developers: They create the underlying infrastructure and frameworks that support the functioning of application software.

Types of software developers based on tech stack and seniority

Software developers can be classified based on their tech stack and level of seniority:

  1. Front-end developers: They specialize in coding the user interface of software programs, focusing on the visual and interactive elements that users interact with.
  2. Back-end developers: They focus on coding the infrastructure that supports the user interface, such as databases, servers, and APIs.
  3. Full-stack developers: They have expertise in both front-end and back-end development, allowing them to work on all aspects of software development.
  4. Mobile app developers: They specialize in developing mobile applications for platforms like iOS and Android.

In terms of seniority, software developers can be categorized as:

  • Junior developers: Entry-level developers who are still gaining experience and skills.
  • Mid-level developers: Developers with a few years of experience who can handle more complex tasks and projects.
  • Senior developers: Experienced developers who have a deep understanding of software development principles and can lead projects.
  • Lead or Head developers: Developers who have extensive experience and expertise, often responsible for managing teams and making high-level technical decisions.

Programming languages commonly used by software developers

Software developers are usually expected to have knowledge of various programming languages. Some commonly used programming languages in the field of software development include:

  • Python
  • Java
  • C#
  • SQL
  • HTML
  • And other languages specific to their field or project requirements.

Developers often work with multiple programming languages depending on the nature of the project and the technologies involved.

Software developer job description

A software developer job description typically includes information about the responsibilities, skills, and qualifications required for the role. It may also mention the salary range and other relevant details. Here is an example of a software developer job description from Charles Schwab:

Job Title: Software Developer

Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with other developers to produce efficient algorithms and high-quality software.
  • Integrate third-party programs into existing systems.
  • Write clear and efficient code.
  • Create technical specifications.
  • Analyze user requirements and propose solutions.
  • Stay updated with industry trends and technologies.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering or Information Technology.
  • 7+ years of software development or programming experience.
  • Strong understanding of computer architecture, operating systems, and data structures.
  • Extensive experience with Java, Python, C++, and other programming languages.
  • Familiarity with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.
  • Experience with Linux/Unix, Perl, and/or shell scripts.
  • Ability to analyze complex technical information.
  • Meticulous and organized approach to work.
  • Logical, analytical, and creative problem-solving skills.

Please note that this is just an example, and actual job descriptions may vary depending on the specific requirements of the company and the role.

I hope this information helps! If you have any more questions about software development or any other topic, feel free to ask.

How To Write a Software Developer Job Description [examples, templates & tips] (2024)

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