HOW TO START A NEW CAREER AS A SOFTWARE PROJECT MANAGER

HOW TO START A NEW CAREER AS A SOFTWARE PROJECT MANAGERA software project manager is someone who acts as the leader of a team made in charge of developing a particular software project, which is usually a large endeavor. He or she oversees all the aspects of the development of the software project, from the planning stages to the implementation stages. The software project manager makes sure that the project is worked on according to plan, schedule and budget. He or she also acts as a liaison between the team and the head honchos of the company that commissioned the software. Making sure that the project conforms to a certain level of quality is also the responsibility of the software project manager.

Typical Activities of the Software Project Manager

The usual tasks that a software project manager undertakes are:

1. Acts as liaison officer between the team and the company management for the project.

2. Drafts a working schedule for the planning, completion and implementation of the project, as well as the budget and materials needed

3. Writes reports and documentation concerning the project

4. Draws up a budget schedule and ensures that this schedule is met

5. Participates in the testing of the software and addresses quality issues

6. Participates in the training needed for end-users of the software

7. Keep abreast of industry trends

8. Provides technical support for the software developed when needed

Industry Prospects for the Software Project Manager

As consumers’ needs and demands for the software they are using become more and more complex, it is becoming necessary for the software project manager to be versatile. Not only should the software project manager know the technical side of the software project he or she is managing, but he or she should also have a good grasp of the business side of the deal. Being a software project manager is not an entry level position. Typically, the people who are called in to become software project managers come from software development. The more experienced a software project manager is, the more desirable he or she gets for the job. Project management certifications are also the norm now for software project managers.

In 2006, software project managers earned an average of $89,766 for the entire year, with bonuses amounting to around $7,222. Software project managers are highly compensated and very much in demand.

The Necessary Skills

Software project managers need to be a master of one or two programming languages, with an excellent grasp of how coding and the software development process works. In addition to the usual computer programming skills necessary, software project managers need have leadership, training and management skills. An analytical and critical mind is essential to the job, not to mention a wide experience in software development. The ability to work with people, to communicate with them in both verbal and written means, is a must. The knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet applications, basic Internet operations and documentation is also needed.

Finding the Job

The position of software project manager is not an entry level position. People get this job through promotion or through personal networking. There are, however, many headhunter websites that post company openings for this job.

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