Software Development Manager Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Software Development Manager Do?

Software development managers lead teams in the design, development, implementation, optimization, maintenance, and troubleshooting of software programs and applications. They develop short- and long-term strategies for developing scalable software products and services, ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget while meeting quality standards and business objectives.

Successful software development managers have strong technical backgrounds and expertise in software development, combined with effective leadership skills. They are also responsible for communicating with executives and stakeholders, which requires the ability to explain complex technical solutions in simple terms effectively. Additionally, software development managers must be able to manage projects, requiring excellent organizational skills and abilities.

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National Average Salary

Software development manager salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Software Development Manager is:


Software Development Manager Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a software development manager. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

Example 1

[Your Company Name] is looking for a professional software development manager to join our ranks. As our software development manager, you will be responsible for ensuring that deadlines are met. You will also be responsible for designing and implementing the goals for the software development projects your team is in charge of. It will be your task to ensure that the software meets the proper standards and adheres to market research, design the software document and proper protocol, and maintain the software components. As a software development manager, it may fall on you to occasionally code aspects of the software, as well as instruct team members on how to implement the proper code into the program. You will oversee the entirety of each software project and all team members, which means that fantastic communication skills are required for this position.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Manage the development lifecycle of software products
  • Research new technologies to strengthen the organization 
  • Oversee, create and implement software products and applications
  • Plan, direct and coordinate the actions of the development team
  • Responsible for technology delivery
  • Provide technical leadership and guidance to the organization
  • Act as a liaison between the department and senior leadership 

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, systems engineering, or a related field. Employers typically prefer candidates with a master’s degree, but it isn’t a requirement.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Solid critical-thinking and decision-making skills
  • Proficient in finding creative solutions to complex problems
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate with and lead colleagues
  • Expertise in programming and debugging

Preferred qualifications

  • 5 years of hands-on software development experience
  • 2+ years of experience in managing, mentoring, and leading software engineering teams
  • Excellent software project management skills

Example 2

We are looking for a Software Development Manager to partner with world-class data scientists, mathematicians, economists, and operations research scientists to implement models, algorithms, and production systems to dramatically lower costs and create better customer experiences. These systems will create offline optimizations determining operations and will also provide runtime APIs used for operations.

There will be many opportunities to learn and grow in this role. In this role you will have the opportunity to learn from collaborate with and influence throughout the ABC Company Supply Chain.

We have a team culture that seeks diverse perspectives: we believe diversity in approaches, background and perspectives improve our chances of finding innovative high-impact solutions. We are supportive and deeply collaborative: most of these problems are near impossible to solve without engineering, data-science and business domain experts working closely together.

Key job responsibilities

  • Manage a team of high caliber Software Development Engineers building solutions for Transportation Planning and Optimization within the ABC Company seller ecosystem
  • Recruit, hire, mentor, and coach Software Development Engineers at different levels of experience
  • Manage and execute against project plans and deliver commitments within a professional, high paced engineering environment
  • Interface with our internal/external customers to understand requirements, set priorities, and communicate direction and progress
  • Own all operational metrics and support for your teams’ software
  • Drive improvements in software engineering practices

Basic qualifications

  • 7+ years of experience working directly within engineering teams
  • Experience partnering with product OR program management teams
  • 3+ years of people management experience, managing engineers
  • 3+ years of experience architecting and designing (architecture, design patterns, reliability, and scaling) of new and current systems

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in STEM or related field
  • Solid software development background including design patterns, data structures, and test driven development
  • Ability to handle multiple, competing priorities in a fast-paced environment, and navigate ambiguity
  • A deep understanding of the software development life-cycle, and a track record of shipping software on time
  • Experience designing software architectures for scalability, reliability, and performance
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • A passion for people management and mentorship

Example 3

The ABC Company team is seeking a highly experienced and passionate Software Development Manager to lead our back-end services development team for our Field Service Management platform to meet market demand and produce customers for life.

You are passionate about technology; you have worked as a developer who has moved into a management role. You are comfortable working alongside senior architects and project managers to lead your team in delivering scalable, secure, and quality products. You have years of experience managing multiple streams of activity simultaneously, you know how to break through roadblocks your team might hit, and you know how to provide accurate and timely updates to work activities.

From a technical perspective, you are experienced with PHP and .NET for creating a services-oriented backend that uses MySQL for storage. You have first-hand knowledge of building systems in the cloud, with bonus points for AWS. You are as comfortable trouble shooting issues as you are managing a standup call.

As a manager, you have experience working with distributed teams in multiple time zones, with a mix of contractors and FTEs, you’re experienced in tracking work activities using Jira and either Kanban or SCRUM agile methodologies.


  • Manage the day-to-day activities of a distributed development team focusing on backend services development
  • Work with the product team to ensure the team has accurate and understood requirements
  • Work with project management to ensure project status is accurate and issues are raised up quickly
  • Work with the architecture team and front-end development team to design solutions and create common roadmaps
  • Work with key stakeholders, prospects, and customers to identify and prioritize product features and functionality
  • Participate in all grooming and priority setting sessions with stakeholders


  • 8+ years of hands-on software development
  • 3+ years building and managing high performance software development teams
  • Experience in cloud hosted SAAS (Software as a Service) industry
  • Experience with Agile methodologies (Kanban or SCRUM) as a development manager
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience using Jira for Agile project management
  • Builds trust easily and effortlessly to assume a leadership role
  • Creative thinker and problem solver
  • You are self-motivated and a driven contributor who gets things done
  • You are well organized and detail-oriented
  • You love working with others
  • You are not afraid to make decisions
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred

Highly desired background

  • PHP and/or .NET services development experience
  • You have worked at a startup or small company (<50 employees)
  • Deep understanding of Home Service Industry or Field Service Management applications
  • Intimate knowledge of the inner workings of service-based businesses

Example 4

As a leader in our IT group, you will play a key role in our global business by leading the development team with focus on growth priorities and existing systems. You will serve as a technical leader, able to discuss data structures, new technologies, and new methods of achieving system goals. You will also provide servant leadership to your team, removing roadblocks, coaching and mentoring as needed, facilitating collaboration with internal customers, and helping your team to succeed.


  • Be the technical and people leader for software developers of various experience levels
  • Attract, hire, and maintain a team of talented developers
  • Use your technical expertise to contribute towards building best-in-class products
  • Take projects or significant features from concept to implementation
  • Collaborate with IT and business management to establish priorities for the team’s plan and manage team performance
  • Guide technical documentation of project requirements, developer processes, and end-user documentation
  • Support an excellent customer experience by being proactive in assessing escalations, and working with the team to respond appropriately
  • Follow and promote ABC company core values

Minimum qualifications & experience

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or related field
  • 6+ years of experience designing and building scalable enterprise software
  • 2+ years of managing teams within a development organization
  • Experience with Microsoft technology including VB or C# .NET, MS SQL, SSRS, TFS/DevOps
  • Ability to balance multiple priorities and communicate across organizational boundaries
  • Ability to build strong relationships with diverse teams within an organization
  • Strong leadership, communication and organizational skills

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Project Management Professional (PMP). Becoming a certified Project Management Professional will allow a software development manager to demonstrate their expertise and foundation of project management. This certification covers both the basics and more advanced techniques of project management, which includes those which are required by a software development manager.
  • Software Engineering Master Certification (SEMC). A Software Development Manager can benefit massively from having a Software Engineering Master Certification due to the nature of their position and the close intertwinement between software development management and software engineering.

How to Hire a Software Development Manager

There are a number of important initial considerations when hiring a software development manager:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
  • Duration: Are you hiring for a project or an ongoing need?
  • Urgency: How soon does the opening need to be filled? What happens while it remains open?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff. 
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Advertise your opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

We recommend CareerBuilder for software development manager openings:


CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

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3. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Interview Questions

  • Describe your experience leading and managing software development teams.
  • Define your experience executing software development strategies.
  • Where have you led teams, and how many direct reports did you have?
  • What is your experience with Agile and Waterfall methodologies? Which do you prefer, and why?
  • Have you overseen software development projects from concept to launch?
  • Have you previously managed budgets and schedules while ensuring quality standards are met? Provide examples if so.
  • What’s your approach to effectively communicating and collaborating with cross-functional teams and stakeholders during a project?
  • Which tools and technologies have you used for software development?
  • If your software development team has any disagreements, how should you resolve them?
  • What coding languages are you proficient in?
  • As a software development manager, what would you say your most important skills are?
  • Describe your experience in software testing and quality assurance, including developing and implementing test plans.
  • How do you keep up with new technologies and best practices in software development?
  • What is your process for prioritizing and managing, managing multiple software development projects simultaneously?
  • How would you communicate a quality, timeline, or budget concern during a project?

Need help hiring a Software Development Manager?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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