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How to Build a Career in Software Development

Businesses rely heavily on software to operate effectively. As a result, software development remains an expanding industry with endless opportunities.

Every computing task requires a software. From an operating system through to individual programs and drivers, technology simply would not exist in its current form without software.


Here is what you need to know about a career in software development.


What is Software Development?

Software development relates to the process behind designing and developing computer software. While the techniques needed to design and build software remain similar, the actionable tasks can differ based on the required use of the software.


Computer Screen with lines of coding


There are numerous classifications regarding the types of software. Depending on who you speak to, the number will change. However, the majority agree there are two main types of software:

  • System Software – Windows, macOS, Android, iOS etc.
  • Application Software – Word, Excel, Photoshop, Adobe etc.

Other classifications can include:

  • Programming software – Software used for writing programs.
  • Driver Software – Software used for running plug-in devices such as a printer.
  • Utility Software – Software that runs in the background, such as anti-virus software.
  • Cloud Software – Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive.


The Continual Evolution of Software Development

The broader software development industry is constantly growing. For example, in the 40 years to 2021, over 500 million apps were developed. The same number of apps will be created in the five years from 2021 to 2026.


Over the four decades, technological advancements have changed the way we work from computers to smartphones and from different industries. Of the numerous advances, as software has evolved, the ability for cloud-based computing has increased. For many businesses, the move from traditional “desktop software” to cloud-based solutions, has allowed services to be streamlined and businesses to operate more effectively.

Picture of person typing coding on computer


Software Development and Industry

As new forms of technology continue to emerge, the need to develop new software remains present. While almost every industry requires software, the requirements of the software may differ. As the technology used by businesses has increased, the number of jobs in software development within every industry has grown.


In Artificial Intelligence, software developers not only work on coding but testing and optimisation to ensure the reliability, flexibility, and scalability of AI products. For software development, AI remains one of the most diverse industries using software development


Alongside AI, the growth of smartphones has changed the development of software. While software used for smartphones is similar to computing software, new programming languages have been developed. New simple programming languages have been created for app development. From the first smartphone in 1992, IBM’s Simon, the evolution of software has made it possible to do almost every computing task from the palm of your hand.


For Governments, there is a significant focus on software used for defence. With an increase in cyber-attacks, there is a need for governments to invest in security-based software. While governments need to protect data, the software created for governments can also help defend various industries, including the healthcare industry.


hand with shield covered in protective coating


In the healthcare industry, computers perform various tasks, from record-keeping to operating robots for surgery. In recent times, as more research takes place, health providers can use software to develop appropriate treatment plans, provide information to patients and enhance healthcare facilities.


In the coming years, driverless cars will go from concept to reality. While some vehicles have driverless capabilities, the technology remains underdeveloped in this area. Fully autonomous cars are unlikely soon as the current software can only provide specific solutions. At this stage, existing software can only assist a driver and not take over completely.


For education, software development has allowed for greater personalisation in learning. Software developed specifically for education allows for a more diverse range of content in a course. For example, video content has assisted with increasing student achievement by 82%, and video conferencing software allows for a school to be in one city and students in another.


From industry to industry, applications of software differ. For example, AI-powered software developed for the business environment may not meet the needs of the healthcare industry.


Career Prospects

Software development remains a growing industry, with an estimated 50,000 new jobs in Australia by 2025, with 38% being in Sydney. In 2022, there will be significant demand for software developers as businesses place focus on improving customer experience.


Careers in software development are available in almost every industry. In 2021, businesses will spend an estimated $517 billion on enterprise software (Slack, Salesforce, HubSpot etc.).


From company to company, the responsibility of those working in Software Development will vary. The most common responsibilities include:

  • Writing programming code
  • Design and Develop Software solutions
  • Prepare and run software tests and document results.
  • Maintenance of existing software
  • Provide technical advice and recommendations


circular flow chart outline the process of software development

Given our reliance on software, there are numerous opportunities to progress your career in software development. There is potential for a transition from a career in software development to a variety of other fields, including

  • Software Engineer
  • Project Management
  • Full-Stack Developer
  • Video Game Developer
  • Artificial Intelligence


The Future of Software Development

With the continual technological advancements, accurately predicting where software development will be in 20 years is impossible.


As uses for artificial intelligence continue to grow, the need to develop new innovative software packages will become more significant. For AI technologies, the focus will be on developing proactive software. Additionally, this also means that ‘User Experience’ will remain a crucial focus for businesses, and some companies will focus on developing smaller apps over the traditional software packages previously seen.


As new technologies emerge, the need for software will change. As software provides businesses with the ability to operate effectively and efficiently, software development will remain an essential career within the broader IT industry.


To begin a career in Software Development, SISTC offers a Bachelor of Information Technology with the option of majoring in two fields: Digital Enterprise (DEN) and Business Information Systems (BIS).


To find out more about the courses offered at SISTC, visit our course information page.