Software Developer

A software developer is a person concerned with facets of the software development process, including the research, design, programming, and testing of computer software. Other job titles which are often used with similar meanings are programmer, software analyst, and software engineer. According to developer Eric Sink, the differences between system design, software development, and programming are more apparent. Already in the current market place there can be found a segregation between programmers and developers, being that one who implements is not the same as the one who designs the class structure or hierarchy. Even more so that developers become systems architects, those who design the multi-leveled architecture or component interactions of a large software system. (see also Debate over who is a software engineer). In a large company, there may be employees whose sole responsibility consists of only one of the phases above. In smaller development environments, a few people or even a single individual might handle the complete process.

A software developer must have a relevant BTEC or HND in any field such as computer science, information technology, engineering, programming, or any other IT related post graduate studies. An ideal software developer is a self-motivated professional carrying a dynamic hands-on experience on key languages of programming such as C++, Javascript, VB, Oracle, UML, Linux, Python, UNIX, XML, HTTP, Smalltalk, Other software testing tools etc.

The key skills required are:

  • Debugging & Problem solving approach
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of tools and technology
  • Unmatched interpersonal skills
  • Ability to thrive under pressure for long work hours
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Pressure handling skills

Layla Shaikley SM ’13 began her master’s in architecture at MIT with a hunger to redevelop nations recovering from conflict. When she decided that data and logistics contributed more immediately to development than architecture did, ­Shaikley switched to the Media Lab to work with Professor Sandy ­Pentland, and became a cofounder of Wise Systems, which develops routing software that helps companies deliver goods and services.

But Shaikley is perhaps better known for a viral video, “Muslim Hipsters: #mipsterz,” that she and friends created to combat the media stereotypes of Muslim women. It reached hundreds of thousands of viewers and received vigorous positive and negative feedback.

The video “is a really refreshing, jovial view of an underrepresented identity: young American Muslim women with alternative interests in the arts and culture,” Shaikley says. “The narrow media image is so far from the real fabric of Muslim-­American life that we all need to add our pieces to the quilt to create a more accurate image.”

Shaikley’s parents moved from Iraq to California in the 1970s, and she and her five siblings enjoyed a “quintessentially all-­American childhood,” she says. “I grew up on a skateboard, and I love to surf and snowboard.” She feels deeply grateful to her parents, who “always put our needs first,” she adds. “When we visited relatives in Iraq, we observed what life is like when people don’t have the privilege of a free society. Those experiences really shaped my understanding of the world and also my sense of responsibility to give back.”

Shaikley says the sum of her diverse life experiences has helped her as a professional with Wise Systems and as a voice for underrepresented Muslim women.