Now that federal agencies are facing a penny-pinching Congress, they’re jumping on the open source bandwagon. This is good news for software engineers who are looking for new market opportunities.

In fact, if you want to make software for the government, you should learn more about open source projects. And before you wonder if working for the government is worth it let us clarify your involvement with it and what does a software engineer do. 

What Does a Software Engineer Do 

If you’re a software developer you’re a creative person. You may develop computer applications or develop underlying systems that run many devices or control networks. In fact, you’re in one of the fastest growing demanding job fields right now. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of software engineers is projected to grow 24 percent until 2026. 

Your responsibilities will be highly influenced by the type of government agency you work for. For instance, as a software engineer for the CIA, you will focus on the cyber arena and specialize in design, development, integration, and deployment of the latest systems to support cyber operations and other activities. 

This means that you’ll have enough creative and innovative leverage. At the same time, you’ll be able to use your technical skills to help develop, support and execute the Agency’s intelligence missions. A starting salary for a software engineer in Washington DC is between $67,968 and $148,967. 

The duties that software developers usually have include: 

  • offer recommended software upgrades for customer’s existing programs and systems 
  • design each piece of an application or system and plan how the pieces will work together 
  • create models and diagrams that show programmers the software code needed for an application or system and plan how the pieces will work together 
  • create models and diagram (such as flowcharts) that show programmers the software code needed for an application 
  • ensure that the program continues to function normally through software maintenance and upgrades 

In case you’re wondering, you can succeed in the governmental sector and express your skill sets as much as possible. If you’re more interested in systems development, then feel free to explore job openings for a systems software developer. 

Another opportunity includes supervising and managing software projects. These positions are sometimes called information technology (IT) managers. 

Open Source is Booming 

Now that the government is interested in open source projects, your options for playing with big data are vast. Projects work around NoSQL, Apache Spark, and Hadoop; database tools; and embedded software.

If you want to quit your day job and start your own software business, the open source development model allows to get your code out faster. The trend of open source software use in the federal government is a trend expected to continue developing.  

So working for government agencies before getting to the finish line in Silicon Valley territory is highly advisable. 

Let’s Talk Numbers 

Glassdoor.com indicates that federal government IT manager makes between $95,000 and $173,00 annually. Although it is slightly below similar positions in the private sector, it is not a notable difference. Moreover, working for a federal agency oftentimes means you can have job stability and less stress. 

Want to dive into government contracting? Not sure if you’d want to set off down the freelancer or independent contractor path? Click here to learn more.

What Are The Benefits? 

In this article, you have learned about the possible responsibilities that may be required of you as a government employee. It is clear that you may have preferences that align with one job function and not the other.

But understanding what does a software engineer do will be a determining factor for your plans. We encourage you to continue exploring job descriptions and learning what benefits you. 

If you want to keep to stay up to date with promising governmental employment opportunities, we at CodeIntelx would like to help. Contact us today!  

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