Everything you need to know when looking for software developer jobs

Jobs within IT continue to be in high demand amidst a global shortage of professionals. The effects are even more extreme in industries where experts require security clearances on top of technical proficiency.

A particular position that most people have heard of, but not so many fully understand, is that of the software developer. This is a popular career choice that demands a high degree of technical skills, knowledge and experience. As such, it can be a difficult role for employers to fill.

However, if you have the capabilities to fulfil a software developer position, now is the perfect time to start your search for security cleared jobs.

What is a software developer?
A software developer is an expert in computer infrastructure and code. These experts utilise their proficiencies to create programs, systems and websites.

In this position, you could work for a business, as an independent contractor or even in a research and development role, creating new code and fostering prospects in the industry.


What does a software developer do?
The title is essentially an umbrella term, as the scope of a software developer’s work is large, encompassing several jobs. Some of these roles you could take up are in the following industries, to name just a few:

  • Computer systems design
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance and insurance
  • Software publishing
  • Engineering services
  • Management

The options are almost never-ending when it comes to software development. You can be a part of an extremely technical team that works on one particular piece of code or program, or you might operate within a group of developers creating a new product.

For example, some software developers work within the aerospace and defence sector, using software to facilitate almost everything that allows it to function. They use the latest technologies to drive weapons systems, intelligence systems, logistics and infrastructure. As cyber attacks become commonplace within the defence industry, software is a key determinant of the battlefield response.

What skills should a software developer have?
If you’re looking for security cleared software developer roles, you’ll stand out as a strong candidate by demonstrating some of the following skills:

  • Coding
  • Computer programming
  • Software testing
  • Software development
  • Object-oriented design (OOD)

Additionally, professionals in these roles are required to possess several key soft skills to flourish within the position. For example, software developers are usually part of teams, so the ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with peers is a highly desirable trait.

Moreover, it’s a career that demands impeccable attention to detail. Software developers have to be precise when coding or testing, even more so if they’re working on highly classified systems and information.

What is it like to be a software developer?
As a software developer, your day-to-day life can vary quite significantly. Often, you might be assigned coding tasks to work on, discussing in team meetings and understanding the situation of each member of your department.

Throughout the day, you’ll mainly work on your coding tasks, complete reviews and work with both testers and users. In a software development role, you will quickly come to find that most days will see you learn something new, so it’s best to put some time aside to speak with more senior figures to pick their brains about past experiences.


What are the career development opportunities for a software developer?
The journey from entry-level to the highest earning positions can take anywhere from months to many years, depending on several factors. However, like most careers, your demonstrated levels of technical proficiency, drive, communication and critical thinking will boost your chances.

If you’ve joined the profession in a junior position, you can expect to make the transition to a senior software developer, before finally rising to lead developer or technical architect. At each stage, you’ll take on more responsibility and start to oversee the design of complex systems.

From there, you’re poised to step into management, if that’s something that interests you. Alternatively, you could become a director, vice president or chief technology officer for your respective company.


Software engineer jobs in the United Kingdom
Whether you’re just starting as a software developer or you’re an industry veteran, it’s a career in demand. Your aptitudes, experiences and ability to gain security clearances will all play a part to make you stand out from the crowd and land a position with some of the UK’s most reputable organisations.


How do you become a software developer?
The state of the current UK job market is beneficial for those with security clearances. Many careers like software development, which previously demanded extensive academia, are now more focused on the right skills, as opposed to a degree.

As long as you’re proficient in at least one programming language, you’re in a position to start your job search. The market currently favours candidates, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still put in some extra effort to entice recruiters. Some of the ways you can stand out include building a portfolio to showcase your skills, getting involved with open-source projects and attending hackathons to highlight your talents.

Moreover, don’t be afraid to start in a junior role. This will give you the chance to learn all the required skills in detail while getting paid. You’ll have a higher chance of receiving a promotion when the time is right.


What is a software developer's salary?
Like the majority of careers, your salary as a software developer is influenced by multiple factors, including experience, location, your skills and the company you work for.

Salaries for entry-level developers range from £20,000 to £35,000 per annum, while mid-level roles can vary between £28,000 and £59,000. Senior software developers tend to receive compensation in the range of £30,000 to £68,000 with an average of £42,000.


Do you need a degree to be a software developer?
Although software development is highly technical, you might be surprised to know that you don’t necessarily need a university degree to get into the career.

In today’s red-hot technology sector, organisations are favouring a combination of skills, experience and willingness to learn. Results from StackOverflow’s 2020 Developers Survey revealed less than ten per cent of professional developers believe a university degree is “critically important” to career success.

Additionally, your security cleared status will put you a step ahead of other candidates for the wide variety of companies that require professionals to deal with classified systems and information.

How do you find software developer jobs?
The easiest way to look for software developer jobs is by using a specialised online job board. Employers look to these websites to deliver a consistent stream of promising candidates, so registering and applying for jobs through them can help you stand out. Simply uploading your CV to SecurityClearedJobs.co.uk will allow recruiters to contact you directly if your skills and experiences match what they’re looking for. 

Alternatively, visit one of our Security Cleared EXPOs to network with established organisations and professionals within the industry. You can get a better understanding of what they’re looking for and what you can expect from these positions.

To find the latest security cleared software developer jobs, take a look at our vacancies and find the next step in your career.