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9 Types of Developers (Which One Will You Be?)

When starting your journey as a software developer, there are many paths you can take. Should you focus on the frontend or the backend? Should you become a mobile developer? Or maybe someone who develops video games?

These questions can be impossible to answer when you’re learning how to code, but there is some guidance you can take. Below, we’re looking at nine of the most popular types of coders and what their career outlooks could be.

What is a Developer?

A developer is somebody whose career involves programming or working on computer programs. Generally, developers are individuals who work on these systems using a variety of programming languages, often creating software and applications.

Because these types of projects are so large, there are numerous types of specialized developers who work on different aspects of a computer program –  the front end, the back end, or a specific type of platform (including web, mobile, and video games).

How Many Types of Developers are There?

The three main types of developers are front-end developers, back-end developers, and full-stack developers. However, there are also more specialized programming and development roles, like the ones we mentioned above, which means we can break down the number of developers into even more categories.

In this article, we’ve identified and broken down 9 different types of developers that have different specializations. We also talk about what their average salary is, and the kinds of technical skills you can expect to use in each type of role – particularly the specific programming languages you’ll need to know! 

9 Types of Developers Explained

1. Front-End Developer

A front-end developer focuses on the “front”-facing portions of websites and web applications, which is what users will see and interact with. This can include things such as buttons on the page, interactable objects, scrolling, and text color. Front-end developers often work with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to ensure the app or site is working as intended. They also make sure the site is easy to read and navigate.

To get started, check out this HTML coding guide for beginners.

Average Front-End Developer Salary

  • $119,224

Front-End Developer Skills

  • CSS and HTML
  • JavaScript
  • UI/UX Design

2. Back End Developer

In contrast to front-end developers, back-end developers focus on the server side. They make sure that the website or application works as intended, keeps running with little to no downtime, has no bugs or glitches, and follows through on intended actions. They work with databases, back-end logic, APIs, and more.

Average Back-End Developer Salary

  • $104,408

Back End Developer Skills

  • Python, Java, and PHP
  • CSS and HTML
  • Knowledge of popular frameworks

3. Full Stack Developer

Full-stack developers are more flexible and can work the front and back ends of websites and applications. They often work in a variety of niches and have many skills that allow them to seamlessly transition from one area of the website or app to another. They might do graphic design work, ensure a build is structurally sound, and/or write code to support the development of a project.

Average Full Stack Developer Salary

  • $106,148

Full Stack Developer Skills

  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • NodeJS, Django, C++
  • MySQL

4. Mobile Developer

Mobile developers specialize in mobile app or web development, focusing on building for Android, iOS, and Windows platforms for Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The functionality of mobile websites and applications differs from that of computers and requires a different set of programming languages and UX/UI design knowledge.

Average Mobile Developer Salary

  • $113,929

Mobile Developer Skills

  • Java and Objective-C
  • UI Design
  • Agile Methodologies

5. Web Developer

Just as a mobile developer has to understand different nuances of mobile platforms, so do web developers. Web developers often specialize in building websites using JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and more. Web developers need technical skills, but also creative and visual skills to ensure the website looks good and functions properly, with intuitive interactions.

Average Web Developer Salary

  • $67,787

Web Developer Skills

  • UX/UI Design
  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Visual Design

6. Software Developer

A software developer focuses on creating computer applications that allow users to perform certain tasks. Software development can range from a simple calculator app to a large-scale eCommerce application that sees millions of users interacting with it each week.

Average Software Developer Salary

  • $110,140

Software Developer Skills

  • Python
  • C++
  • Java

7. Game Developer

Game developers work specifically on video games, which take programming languages and computer programs to create visually appealing and interactive projects. They can work on video games for console, PC, and mobile platforms, and can work on anything from missions to levels to characters, and more.

Average Game Developer Salary

  • $73,219

Game Developer Skills

  • UX/UI Design
  • C# and C++
  • Creativity and problem-solving

8. DevOps Developer

DevOps is a combination of software development and IT. DevOps engineers work to unify and automate processes that are crucial for applications to run properly. DevOps developers help to ensure that an organization can keep delivering apps and services without interruption, and in increasing volume.

Average DevOps Developer Salary

  • $105,017

DevOps Developer Skills

  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Node.js

9. Security Software Developer

A security software developer works directly with software development teams. They create new technologies and update programs to ensure that security systems are up-to-date and that no breaches can occur within new code and applications. Cybersecurity is a good career because these professionals are integral to any organization.

Average Security Software Developer Salary

  • $119,610

Security Software Developer Skills

  • Java, JavaScript
  • Python
  • SQL and PHP

What are the Levels of Developers?

Level 1: Trainee Developer

Software trainees are at the beginning stages of learning code and how to implement it. It takes time to learn a new language, and the same rings true for a coding language. While some programming languages can be easily transferred to learn new ones, not all are made equal.

Whether you’re entirely new to coding or already have a few languages under your belt, every programmer begins as a trainee developer. If you’re just beginning your journey, check out Coding Dojo’s free Intro to Python course!

Level 2: Junior Developer

A junior developer will have more understanding and responsibilities than a trainee. They have a basic level of software development knowledge or understanding of code and can work on a development team.

Junior developers often help to write and maintain code, and a junior may have anywhere from 1-3 years of software development experience.

Level 3: Mid-Level Developer

A mid-level developer is more experienced, often having worked on a range of projects and perhaps with multiple coding languages. Mid-level developers can be relied on to work with little to no supervision, and often have 3-5 years of experience as a programmer.

Mid-level developers are generally expected to have proficiency in at least one language, along with a framework or tool.

Level 4: Senior Developer

A senior developer is quite experienced with writing code. They may fall under the umbrella of a software engineer and should be able to perform a range of programming duties including web development or writing code.

Senior developers are likely to oversee projects as team leads, and often manage junior developers, offering guidance and acting as a point of contact for developers who run into issues. It can take up to 10 years for one to be considered a senior developer, although many developers with 5+ years under their belt can be considered such.

Level 5: Leader

A lead developer or lead programmer oversees the software development of a team. They offer technical guidance and mentorship to developers and programmers of all experience levels. Lead developers are put in charge of projects, ensuring that any bugs, incorrect code, or snags are found and dealt with.

How to Become a Software Developer Without a Degree

Take a Free Software Development Course

The first step in becoming a software developer is to learn how to code. Coding Dojo offers a free Intro to Web Development workshop that will take you through the basics of coding – you don’t need to know anything before going into this 3-hour workshop! It will teach you the fundamentals, and give you the knowledge and confidence to move on to more advanced programming courses.

Depending on what kind of career you’re interested in, it’s important to learn at least one or two programming languages that will be the basis of your work. From there, you can partake in coding projects and build out your GitHub profile.

Learn a Programming Language

Common entry-level programming languages include:

  • Java
  • Python
  • JavaScript

Enroll in a Software Development Bootcamp

While there are many different types of developers, everybody needs to begin with the basics! Coding Dojo offers an accelerated software development bootcamp that will teach you the fundamentals (and move on to the more advanced stuff) in a short amount of time.

Coding bootcamps are a great way to push yourself and prepare yourself to begin a new career within a matter of months. If you put in the work, you’ll land a new gig in no time – and we’ll help.

Practice Your Skills with Coding Projects

As you learn how to code, the most important thing to do is to apply your newfound skills and knowledge to real-world applications! That means developing an app, program, or game, or solving a problem.

Sound difficult? It doesn’t need to be! Check out these 10 coding projects for beginners that are beginner-friendly and will allow you to test your skills and build something for your portfolio.

Apply for a Software Development Internship

Once you’ve got some coding projects under your belt and have a better understanding of programming languages, you can try applying for software development internships! Learning on the job and being trained by more senior software developers can give you a huge boost to your learning, and help advance you faster in your career.

Become a Software Developer with Coding Dojo

Coding Dojo is dedicated to helping students change or advance their careers by offering coding bootcamps in the STEM field. We rely heavily on technology and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. There are more software developers than ever, but many job vacancies still exist in these fields.
Becoming a software developer can provide you with job security, a challenging (and rewarding) career, and plenty of opportunities for career advancement. With Coding Dojo’s bootcamp, you can change your career within a few months.