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Learn software development online

Learn about software development online from a variety of institutions to advance your education and career.

What is software development?

Software development involves creating, building, and maintaining applications, frameworks, and other projects. It's more than just having a great idea. It's knowing how to build an idea into a real-world application or framework, testing it, and fixing any bugs that pop up. To learn software development, professionals must commit to the art of problem solving. This skill can help those in the field test and adjust their product until it is viable and maintain it throughout its lifecycle.

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Three types of software

There are three main types of software:1

  • System software, which provides core functions such as operating systems. 

  • Programming software, which allows computer programmers to access tools such as text editors, debuggers, and more. 

  • Application software, which helps the user perform a specific task. For example, mobile applications for social media allow users to access their accounts and interact with others.  

Software development curriculum 

Taking software development online courses can help aspiring professionals learn basic programming languages. Programming languages are fundamental, so learners may want to pursue courses that teach the basics of Javascript, Python, SQL, and other frameworks. An understanding of the development of software, from inception to testing to maintenance, is also important, as is knowledge of how to create UX/UI for reliable user interfaces. Other relevant skills could include Agile and platform-specific knowledge (think Android or iOS).

Software engineering expands to object-oriented design and designing enterprise solutions. Learning design patterns to build platforms for data science can help open up multiple career paths. 

The software development life cycle is always changing, so a steady stream of software development online courses and certifications can keep job candidates’ skills relevant.

Discover software development jobs

Software development is a skill that translates to careers in a variety of fields. As long as there are web applications, there will be a need for end-to-end skills in computer engineering. Businesses and organizations are looking for developers who can build those applications and use principles like Agile software development and test-driven development to build the solution to their target customer's problems.

What do software developers do?

Software developers build and maintain web and software applications to solve problems and provide services. Software development jobs can include a variety of roles, including developers, quality assurance analysts, testers, and more.2

Basic programming languages like Java or Python help software engineers build projects ranging from small to enterprise solutions. Application development is a prerequisite for employment in a variety of fields. Job-specific duties vary by role, but generally, computer programmers are problem solvers and innovators for business applications. 

How to become a software developer

To work in software development, aspiring professionals may need to complete a bachelor’s degree program in computer science or a related field. For some positions, employers may require candidates to have a master’s degree in data science or a similar subject. Alternatively, a boot camp can provide in-depth instruction for beginners. Software development online courses may help individuals learn new skills, keep up with the latest tools and strategies, and brush up on prior knowledge developed throughout their careers.

In addition to learning technical skills, such as programming languages, software development often involves creativity, problem solving, attention to detail, and strong analytical skills.