Systems Software Developer

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers working well. These operating systems could be part of personal computers, customized systems for an organization, telephones, cars, or other electronic products.

Systems Software Developer

Average Hourly Earnings



Bachelor's Degree


  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Change existing software to correct errors, fit it to new hardware, or upgrade interfaces and improve performance
  • Design or develop the system and plan how its pieces will work together
  • Maintain and test the software to make sure it continues to function normally
  • Discuss project status, proposals, or technical issues with customers or other departments
  • Document every part of the system for use as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Consult with engineering staff to evaluate hardware and software interface, develop specifications, or solve customer problems
  • Prepare reports or correspondence about project specifications, activities, or status

Work Environment

They usually work as part of a team since software development is a collaborative process. They spend much of their workday sitting in comfortable indoor settings, sometimes telecommuting from home. Software developers communicate with others on a regular basis, most frequently by email but also by phone and in face-to-face discussions. Accuracy is very important in this kind of work. Long hours are common.

Key Traits

Investigative. Asking good questions and listening are important skills in addition to noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it. They must think about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem, and how changes in the future will affect the system.

Valuable Certifications

  • Software Engineering
  • C++ (Programming Language)
  • C (Programming Language)
  • Systems Engineering
  • Linux
  • Debugging
  • Firmware
  • Operating Systems
  • Embedded Software
  • Python (Programming Language)