Careers in Software Development


Looking for an entry level job or internship in software development? Here's an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have entry level and internship opportunities that will interest you.

See companies with software development careers or search the latest software development jobs and internships.

One of the things I enjoy doing most every morning is nursing a warm hot chocolate while checking my e-mail to see if anything exciting has arrived overnight. This daily ritual is possible thanks to the tireless effort of software developers (and my barista). Software is how we interact with computers, and programmers are the magic makers who write the software. While we mostly think of software in relation to computers, software developers write the code that runs our video games, cars, airplanes, cell phones, televisions, and nearly every moderately advanced piece of electronics that we interact with.

Software Development Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Software Developer Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Software Developer
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Software Developer
  4. Best Locations for Software Development
  5. Pro/Con: Being a Software Developer
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career in Software Development
  7. Software Development Resources
  8. Careers Related to Software Development
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Software Development

What a Software Developer Does

A programmer develops code (software instructions) for hardware. In doing so, they solve problems, or create new ideas by writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining the detailed instructions that computers need to work. Commonly coders also design the graphical user interface, which helps users navigate through the software. For the background on how this amazingly complex group of jobs evolved, check out this geeky infographic of its history.

Popular Languages

Here are some of the software languages that are worth knowing. If you master any one of these, you will open yourself up to numerous entry level job or internship opportunities.

A Typical Day for a Programmer

While the work for an individual software developer may look pretty similar from day to day, daily activities vary widely from developer to developer. Some work from home, others work in cubes. Some have a stand up desk, and others work in an open office setting. The common theme is that most programmers spend a large part of their days in front of a glowing screen (usually a big one). Hours can range from 9 to 5 to total time flexibility. The work can vary widely too. Some developer spend most of their days building new code to create new functionality, while others may spend their days identifying and fixing bugs. Programmers also obviously spend time communicating with project managers, product developers, and others in the company who help determine the direction the software takes.

Salary and Career Progression for a Coder

How comfortable is this comfortable living you’ve heard about? What does the programmer gig pay? A lot. Software engineers are in extremely high demand, and the market just keeps getting hotter. While many salary sites report pay ranges from $29,000-$83,000 with a median expected salary of $54,000 per year for an entry level hacker, it’s not unheard for top grads to get offers in the low to mid six figures.

There’s plenty of room for growth in Software Development, as many engineers eventually move into management at some point. Even a non-manager software developer can see a salary well into low six-figures. Additionally, many developers end up starting their own companies or becoming early employees at startups, and because the demand for them is so high, bigger companies often end up acqi-hiring the companies at a going rate of $1 million per engineer (in cash and stock). That usually requires some sort of vesting schedule, but it can pay off big for a developer who takes a little risk.

Other Names for Software Developers

Best Locations for Software Developers

I believe Homer Simpson once said, “The Internet? Is that thing still around?” My guess is, you know the answer- YES! and because of that, job opportunities for developers are widespread. Being in the right place makes a difference too. Hot spots for software developers are currently:

Pro/Con: Being a Hacker


What You Need to Know for a Career in Software Development

One of the cool things about programming is that while you need an education, it can be one that you develop on your own. If you prove you know a language, you’ll be hard pressed to find a company that will turn you away. So the most important thing is to have a working knowledge of a group of programming languages that matches up with what the market is looking for. Check out this infographic on the evolution of programming languages, to get better versed. In addition you’ll probably need to be able to work with database systems like Orcale and Sybase. Many programmers are able to develop these skills by toying around with things at a young age, so you have no excuse. Codecademy and W3Schools are great places to start, but the best resources really depend on what language you’re trying to learn. If you’d rather a traditional educational program, typically companies will look for B.S. degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, or Mathematics. So suit up with one of those!

Software Development Resources

If software development still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Top books for hackers.

Key Folks to Follow on Twitter

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Careers Related to Software Development

Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Software Development

Backcountry Logo - Backcountry is a Park City, UT based company that gets “get people who get outside” and is all “about gear, grit, and connecting people to their passions.”

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Job TitleLocation
Assistant BuyerPark City, UT
Copywriter - BikePark City, UT
Logistics AnalystMemphis, TN
Email Marketing CoordinatorPark City, UT
Gearhead -- BikeWest Valley City, UT
See all 23 job postings

Kanjoya Logo

Kanjoya - Kanjoya is a San Francisco, CA based company that transforms “emotional insights into remarkable customer experiences” by analyzing unstructured data in real time.

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Job TitleLocation
Engineering InternshipSan Francisco, CA
Customer Success ManagerSan Francisco, CA
Director of SalesSan Francisco, CA
Community and Team Ops LeadSan Francisco, CA
Software Engineer - Experience ProjectSan Francisco, CA
See all 9 job postings

WPromote Logo

WPromote - WPromote is an El Segundo, CA based company that calls itself “the country’s leading Online Marketing firm." They help clients with SEO, PPC, and Social Media.

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OneIMS Logo

OneIMS - OneIMS is a Skokie, IL based company that offers “everything from services like branding and web design to online marketing strategies like SEO and PPC.”

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Noom Logo

Noom - Noom is an NYC based company that makes healthy living easy by using "cutting-edge technology to accurately monitor your progress and provide expert advice and analysis."

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Spatial Logo

Spatial - Spatial is a Broomfield, CO based company that is “the leading provider of 3D components for technical application development across a broad range of industries.”

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ZenPayroll Logo

ZenPayroll - ZenPayroll is a San Francisco, CA based company that has created “the easiest way to pay your employees.”

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Job TitleLocation
Account ExecutiveSan Francisco, CA
Intern (Engineering)San Francisco, CA
Assistant to the CEOSan Francisco, CA
Recruiting CoordinatorSan Francisco, CA
Product ManagerSan Francisco, CA
See all 20 job postings Logo
No current job openings.

Innerspin Logo

Innerspin - Innerspin is a Los Angeles, CA based agency that “is focused on growing global brands through effective brand building and digital capabilities.”

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ProQuest Logo

ProQuest - ProQuest is an Ann Arbor, MI based company that “is committed to empowering researchers and librarians around the world.”

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HDMZ - HDMZ is a Chicago, IL and San Francisco, CA based healthcare and life science marketing agency that was founded in 1936.

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Job TitleLocation
SEM ManagerSan Francisco, CA
Front-End Web DeveloperSan Francisco, CA
See all 2 job postings

Course Hero Logo

Course Hero - Course Hero is a Redwood City, CA based company that “provides a suite of digital educational resources that help you learn as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

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AlphaSights Logo

AlphaSights - AlphaSights is a New York, NY based company that provides “today’s investors, deal-makers and corporate strategists with access to the knowledge they need to succeed.”

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Job TitleLocation
Entry Level AnalystNew York, NY
AssociateNew York, NY
AnalystNew York, NY
Web designerNew York, NY
Oilfield Service RigGreeley, CO
See all 5 job postings

TuneIn Logo

TuneIn - TuneIn is a Palo Alto, CA based company that “enables people to discover, follow, and listen to what’s most important to them — from sports, to news, to music, to talk.”

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Mason Zimbler Logo

Mason Zimbler - Mason Zimbler is an Austin, TX based “integrated agency rooted in the digital space” that combines “a love of creative” with a “desire for results.”

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WeSpire Logo

WeSpire - WeSpire is a Boston, MA based company that provides “technology-based engagement programs to inspire employees for measurable impact.”

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Luminate Logo

Luminate - A lot of companies have put ads alongside images, but Luminate is a Mountain View, CA based company that is putting them in the actual images.

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Square Root Logo

Square Root - Square Root is an Austin, TX based company that has developed “a single platform to improve operations and performance throughout franchise networks.”

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Job TitleLocation
Need LanscaperVirginia Beach, VA
Need landscapingVirginia Beach, VA
Need a LandscaperHanover Park, IL
DevOps EngineerSan Francisco, CA
Inside Sales / Motor Control SpecialistBurbank, CA
See all 201 job postings

71lbs Logo

71lbs - 71lbs is a Fort Lauderdale, FL based startup “with a ‘set-and-forget’ system that allows our customers to easily and automatically collect late-shipment refunds."

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Job TitleLocation
Attendant, TerminalCincinnati, OH
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Zepp Labs Logo

Zepp Labs - Zepp Labs is a Los Gatos, CA based company that “empowers athletes and coaches with meaningful performance information to help them immediately improve their game.”

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Stitcher Logo

Stitcher - Stitcher is a San Francisco, CA based company that lets you access “over 20,000+ radio shows and podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, Android or PC–anytime, anywhere.”

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SmartBear Logo

SmartBear - SmartBear is based in Beverly, MA, and they make “tools to help you manage the quality of your desktop, web, mobile, and api-based applications."

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