What is a Junior Software Developer?

A junior software developer is an entry-level computer professional. They will most likely be unfamiliar with the business domain and the applied fundamentals of the target language. On the other hand, experienced developers are independently productive and know when to reach out for help from senior developers who design solutions and architectural visions.

Job Overview

Under the supervision of a team lead or supervisor, a junior software developer will create software solutions to meet client requirements. The participate in the design of architectural components, software features and test implementation plans. They are often tasked with the continual documentation needs of the product through the development lifecycle. As junior software developers, they should be willing to adapt to new languages, platforms and methodologies to meet the projects’ needs.

Their initial duties will include reviewing code, writing documentation and performing test procedures. As they gain more experience, they may be responsible for production software components such as system design, graphics development object oriented programming. Junior software developers will be expected to create applications written in C#, C+, PHP, Java, Perl and JavaScript. They use this knowledge to provide development support through fixing bugs and providing minor enhancements for existing products.

Academic Qualifications

Employers will expect junior software developers to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology and computer engineering. Degrees in software development or computer engineering are two of the most popular academic options for software developers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For example, a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program will prepare graduates to design software solutions that are essential to today’s world. They will learn how to develop software for operating systems, program microprocessors and wireless networks.

These programs will include classes on software architecture, data structures and operating systems for smart devices and desktop computers. They will study programming with object oriented methods, such as Unix and C+, as well as hardware engineering methods, such as circuit analysis and digital design. These degree programs include advanced mathematics classes in statistics, probability and differential equations. They also include classes on communication and project management.

Expected Skills

Junior software developers must know what motivates them and which tactics work better than others. This self-awareness will help them tackle complex projects with limited knowledge. They also need to be highly flexible and versatile because new employees in small companies will receive a broad set of responsibilities. These include non-development tasks such as setting up networks, databases and web servers.

From a technical standpoint, junior software developers must have experience in the basic testing and debugging of programs. The goal isn’t to specifically know what to do in each environment, but rather to have a broad knowledge base of alternative tests and their associated pros and cons. They should also be familiar with standard problem solving strategies and conceptual debugging models. Finally, strong communication skills are needed to translate technical information for non-technical audiences.

Related Resource: Java Developer

In closing, junior software developers are entry-level programmers who participate in team code reviews, product planning meetings and debugging processes.