How do I Become a Security Software Developer?
Security Software Developer Job Overview
A security software developer is a master of programming- an individual who understands how to not only design and develop the software but also integrates security throughout ever stage of the software’s development- kind of like a good parent. Additionally, security software developers ensure that the entire organization’s network is embedded with security components essential for business operations by creating tools like malware detectors, spyware, intrusion detection and more. And like a security ninja, if a security software developer detects any flaws, the developer pounces on identity flaws and “takes care” before any malicious behavior becomes too unruly.
Security Software Developer Duties
- Create security software and integrate security during the course of design and developmental stages of software.
- Examine software for potential cyber security vulnerabilities.
- Engage in security analysis, defenses and countermeasures to ensure that software is robust and reliable
- Manage a team of security software developers
- Design and build prototype solutions for software security
- Develop a software security strategies for government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses
- Consult with members of the cyber security team on programming practices
- Design forensic tools like email analysis tools, disk and data capture tools, file viewers, and more
Describe the structure/configuration of the software system to team mates
- Engage with the full lifecycle development of software systems
- Build feasible prototype solutions
- Test your work for software vulnerabilities
- Document the life cycle of your software
Recommended: Software Developer Certifications
One way to gain the advantage is through certification. As you’ll see below in our career pathway section, there is more than one way to land a job. For some it will be through education, and others years of experience. Most will have some combination of the two. But to hit the ground running, a certification or two can’t hurt!
Here are our Top 5!
- GSSP-JAVA: GIAC Secure Software Programmer
- CSSLP: Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional
- CES: Certified Encryption Specialist
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- CompTIA Security+
Security Software Developer Career Pathway
Based on your starting point (whether you’re already active in cyber security, a service member, IT specialist, or a student) there are a few paths to entering the field of security software development. We’ve listed some different levels at which you can engage in security jobs below. These levels will depend on the typical number of years of experience associated with career stages (entry, middle, senior) as well as how specialized your education is. For an in-depth look at how job experience in cyber security and education levels compare and contrast, check out our guide on how to prepare for a career in cyber security.
As this is a mid-senior level position, one way to enter into this position is through education. Most security software developers will have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or cyber security. Another way to get in is to work you way up through various cyber security positions such as a network administrator, security administrator, junior developer, or security specialist.
A note on the positions below: Some job titles are tiered within that position- a position labeled “mid-level” for example, may have a range between mid to advanced.
- Entry level:Junior Developer
- Mid-Level Level: Information Security Engineer, Information Technology Specialist, Security Software Developer
- Senior Level: Security Software Developer, Cyber Security Test Engineer
Security Software Developer Technical Skills
- Knowledge of Unix/Linux, Windows, OSX operating systems
- IP Security
- Cloud computing
- Algorithms and data structures like arrays or vector, stacks,queues,hashes
- Stacks like MEAN
- Whitebox testing
- Blackbox testing
- Unit Testing
Security Software Developer Soft Skills
- Oral and Written Communication
- Out-of-Box thinker
- Team Leadership
- Good Listener
- Big Picture-thinker
- Interpersonal Skills
Job Outlook and Salary
This is a high demand field, particularly for developers in cyber security. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer positions are projected to grow by 17% by 2024, which is a much faster rate than most fields. The median salary of a security software developer is $102,280, though can range from $69,000 – $120,000+
Security Software Developer Resources
- For information how to utilize the G.I Bill Head to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
- For the ins and outs of software development, programming, and more we love John Sommez’s blog Simple Programmer
- Ready to look for a job as a security software developer try Indeed.com
- Get certified as a software programmer here GIAC Certifications