With the ever-increasing importance and dependence on technology in our lives, software development managers are very important people. They oversee the development of the software, web applications and web services we use in computer programmes and operating systems which can cover everything from games, to websites, streaming services to loyalty apps. In addition to having strong technical skills, software development managers are also involved in people management, overseeing teams of software developers and providing team management including managing staff, overseeing budgets and reporting to senior management, often an IT director.
What kind of Skills or Qualifications do Software Development Managers Need?
Software development managers often have a degree in computer science, software engineering, IT, maths, business information systems or software development and have honed their development skills as well as business and leadership skills as they progress.
All software development managers will have a coding background – some will have come from backend, frontend, fullstack or DevOps. The specifics don’t tend to matter as long as there is a broad understanding of different technical areas and a general passion for building the best products.
Soft skills for Software Development Managers Include:
• Problem solving
• Project management
• Strategic planning
• Multitasking abilities
• Leadership and staff supervision
• Business acumen
• Collaboration and business partnering
Industries that need Software Development Managers:
• Research and development
• Business/IT services
Career Progression for Software Development Managers:
A common career progression for a software developer starting out would be to do a software developer apprenticeship or graduate scheme following University and then gain experience to progress through the following levels: trainee software developer, junior software developer jobs, software developer and senior software developer before finally becoming a Software Development Manager.
Tips for Advancing Towards a Software Development Manager Job:
In a junior position within software developing the focus will be on updating and maintaining systems and software, as you gain more experience you will move into more project management-oriented roles.
The following tips will help you face those challenges with more confidence:
Work on your communication skills: both written and verbal communication skills will help you become a more confident spokesperson for your achievements and skills in client-facing meetings
Try and be familiar with as many coding languages as possible: this will make it easier to manage a wider variety of projects effectively. As you progress into management, consider how sound software development fits within the wider business and commercial goals of the business, employing business partnering, stakeholder management and interdepartmental collaboration.
Salary Expectations for Software Developers and Managers:
Salaries for software development managers depend on industry sector and the size of teams being led. They start around £50,000 and rise to £100,000 or more for the more niche the technology or the size of projects or teams that are being managed.
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