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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

Salary Range
€23k - €100k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Create and maintains software applications; designs and builds computer programmes that help organisations and equipment to work effectively.


  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


  • Programming Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

In Summary - Software Developer / Architect

Career Sectors

Software Developer / Architects typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Internet of Things
Computers & ICT
Big Data
Computers & ICT
Software & Programming
Computers & ICT

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The Work - Software Developer / Architect

Software developers research, design and develop software for a variety of computer applications. Developers set operational specifications and formulate software requirements.

The term software developer is often used interchangeably with the term software engineer but there are differences in these occupations. A software engineer is engaged in software development, not all software developers however are engineers.

As a developer, work can involve designing computer controls for industrial and manufacturing machinery, building administrative and financial databases, and developing software for electrical equipment.

Developers write programmes to process and manage incoming information and deal with the internal operations of the computer such as designing diagnostic programmes to identify faults, or controlling the way a computer runs several applications simultaneously.

Software developers work closely with senior programmers and business analysts to create technical plans to meet the needs of the client. Developers write programmes from scratch but also amend existing programmes to meet the needs of a project. It is important in this area of work to understand how databases integrate with a range of web based technologies.

Software Architects are also software developers who can hold higher project management positions in the lifecycle of software development.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Modify existing software to correct errors, allow it to adapt to new hardware, or to improve its performance.
  • Develop and direct software system testing and validation procedures, programming, and documentation.
  • Confer with systems analysts, engineers, programmers and others to design system and to obtain information on project limitations and capabilities, performance requirements and interfaces.
  • Analyze user needs and software requirements to determine feasibility of design within time and cost constraints.
  • Design, develop and modify software systems, using scientific analysis and mathematical models to predict and measure outcome and consequences of design.
  • Store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.
  • Consult with customers about software system design and maintenance.
  • Supervise the work of programmers, technologists and technicians and other engineering and scientific personnel.
  • Coordinate software system installation and monitor equipment functioning to ensure specifications are met.
  • Obtain and evaluate information on factors such as reporting formats required, costs, and security needs to determine hardware configuration.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interests - Software Developer / Architect

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.


Software developer need to have:

  • A creative approach to problem-solving
  • Excellent communication and customer care skills
  • The ability to work with people at all levels, including non-technical staff
  • Good project management skills
  • The ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Good teamwork skills
  • An appreciation of the client's business needs
  • An understanding of confidentiality and data protection issues

Entry Requirements - Software Developer / Architect

Apprenticeship Route

The official entry route for a Software Developer / Architect is through undertaking an apprenticeship.

Click here to find information on the ICT Software Developer apprenticeship

Software Developers typically have a degree in Software Development or Computer Programming. Other relevant disciplines include Computer Science, IT, Computing and Software Engineering.

Relevant degree courses are available from most Institutes of Technology and a range of private colleges. While entry is open to non-graduates, preference will more than likely be given to those with relevant degrees or training.

Apprenticeship Route

The new FIT ICT Associate Professional is an apprenticeship style “learning by doing” format of ICT skills development which has been endorsed by the industry and government. This is a two-year programme during which candidates who are competent tech enthusiasts attain a Level 6 ICT and Professional Development Award. More.

Conversion courses are also available for non-IT graduates. A range of industry relevant taught postgraduate programs are on offer across colleges that offer similar programmes at undergraduate level.

Last Updated: April, 2016

Pay & Salary - Software Developer / Architect

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €60k - €120k

PHP: 25 - 75
Java: 30 - 95
Python: 25 - 100
Ruby / Ruby on Rails: 30 - 72
.NET/C#: 30 - 95
Scala: 25 - 100
Oracle/SQL: 35 - 85
Sharepoint: 35 - 90
Andriod/iOs Mobile Apps: 23 - 90
Front End Developer: 30- 70

Data Source(s):
Brightwater / CPL / Abrivia

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Software Developer / Architect

As with programmers, the labour market indicators examined point to an occupation in high demand with strong employment growth and evidence that employers are having difficulties filling vacancies.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Software Developer / Architect

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