Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary
Job Description for Software Development Engineer (SDE)
Software development engineers (SDE) work in a range of industries to apply the principles and techniques of computer engineering, information analysis, and computer science to design, build, and develop their employers’ computer systems and software. Experienced computer software engineers may work independently as consultants to various organizations, and may either build computer systems and software from scratch or customize existing systems and software which were purchased from vendors. They must make all software modifications as requested by their clients or employers and test all software to ensure that it works properly.Read More...
A bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field is generally required for this position, and many employers prefer candidates who have prior experience as software development engineers; a master's degree may also be preferred. Software development engineers must have strong communications skills, document all work, and be familiar with programming languages such as Java and C++. They may liaise between users and computer software vendors and must communicate facts and data to users in non-technical terms.
Software development engineers must be able to work independently with little to no supervision as well as in a team environment, and multitasking and close attention to detail are essential in this position. They may need to attend relevant training classes, workshops, or conferences to keep their skills up-to-date and read relevant journals to keep up with new technology.
Software Development Engineer (SDE) Tasks
- Write, modify, and debug software for server applications.
- Write code to create multi-threaded, networked server applications.
- Use source debuggers, program dumps, and performance monitoring tools.
- Test and document software for server applications.
- Write, modify, and debug software for client applications.
Common Career Paths for Software Development Engineer (SDE)
Software Development Engineers may not see large compensation differences if they transition into an upper-level role such as Software Development Manager. Software Development Managers on average make about as much as Software Development Engineers do. It is not uncommon for a Software Development Engineer to continue on to become a Senior Software Development Engineer or a Senior Software Engineer.
Software Developer Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Development Engineer (SDE)
Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Expedia, Inc., Dell, Inc., and Intel Corporation are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Software Development Engineers. Pay for Software Development Engineers is best at Microsoft Corp, which offers a median salary of $123K. However, the highest reported salaries don't seem to be much higher than the lowest ones; the pay range here runs from $100K to $149K. Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries at Amazon.com Inc (+$121K), Groupon, Inc. (+$115K), and Yahoo! Inc. (+$109K).
Dell, Inc. seems to offer the smallest paychecks with a median salary of only $78K. The pay range is quite narrow, too; compensation generally sits between $65K and $125K. Intel Corporation, Expedia, Inc. and Zillow, Inc. are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $96K, $102K, and $106K.
Popular Skills for Software Development Engineer (SDE)
Survey results imply that Software Development Engineers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Algorithm Development, Java, C programming Language, and Linux are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 7 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like C# Programming Language, .NET, and SQL. Most people experienced in .NET also know C++.
Pay by Experience Level for Software Development Engineer (SDE)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Even the relatively untried can take home bulky six-figure salaries; employees who have worked for fewer than five years report earning $103K on average. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $124K in this role. Survey participants with more than two decades under their belts actually report earning less than people with less experience; the former take home only $94K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
For Software Development Engineers, busy Cupertino offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 31 percent above the national average. Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Palo Alto (+25 percent), Irvine (+12 percent), Redmond (+11 percent), and Sunnyvale (+11 percent). Software Development Engineers in Austin earn salaries far below the national average by 36 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Employers in Atlanta and Dallas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (26 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).