Anyone, and I really mean anyone with a few basic character traits can be a software developer, but before the characteristics, requirements and desired qualification of a software developer profile are laid out an important difference needs to be clarified.

A lot of people use the terms “software developer” and “software programmer” synonymously, but there is a huge difference between the two.

A software developer is someone who is responsible for understanding the functional requirements of a client, converting them into facts, which can be understood and converted to working codes, managing the project over its life cycle, testing the program to find errors and checking if its functionality is as per the requirement document, delivering the application to the client, installing the application at the client’s end and training the client or the users on the working of the application. They are often assisted by senior programmers throughout the software project life cycle.

A programmer just writes programs which are software codes where as a developer is involved in various other stages of the project life cycle like product definition, requirement analysis, gap analysis, feasibility analysis, testing, implementation, maintenance. An important part of a developer’s job is coordination between production and the team members.

A person need not be a technical expert in computer programming to excel as a software developer.

A software developer’s profile involves varied tasks which are more function oriented. A software developer should have the knowledge of the various software development life cycles so that they can implement them effectively.

A software developer should be a team player. He should be able to work efficiently in a team and should also have team management skills to organize and drive the team to work towards achieving a common goal and delivering a quality product.

A few personal characteristics that a software developer should have are – they should be organized but accommodating, have strong interpersonal skills, have high tolerance power, have good communication skills, be thorough and precise in his work and should be able to pay attention to detail.

Minimum qualification required to become a software developer is a graduate degree. It is beneficial for people who are involved throughout the life of the project in more complicated and decision making tasks to have a degree in computer science so as to better understand the complexities of the work in hand.

A post graduate degree ensures promotions to higher levels of profiles like management and business development.

There are various online courses which help a person understand the intricacies of what the job expectation are and acquire sufficient knowledge to become a software developer. Along with the courses a lot of books and eBooks are available on the subject to help anyone interested to know about software development and how to become a software developer without proper formal training. It is not difficult to learn anything or get a dream profile; one must just be dedicated and should work with a focus on achieving the goal.