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Systems developers maintain, audit and improve organisational support systems by working on the internal operations of computers, using existing systems or incorporating new technologies to meet particular needs, often as advised by a systems analyst or architect. They test both hard and software systems, and diagnose and resolve system faults.
The role also covers writing diagnostic programs and designing and writing code for operating systems and software to ensure efficiency. When required, they make recommendations for future developments. Depending on the type of organisation, developers can become either systems or applications specialists.
The work undertaken by systems developers is generally of a highly complex and technical nature, and involves the application of computer science and mathematics in an environment which is constantly evolving due to technological advances and the strategic direction of their organisation.
Job titles and descriptions in IT are not standardised. Systems developers may be called systems programmers, engineers, or web developers. Alternatively, the programming language they use may become part of their title, such as Java or C# developer. The work of a systems developer can also form part of a software engineer or multimedia programmer's role.
Depending on the organisation, a systems developer may have a more defined role and work within a group of IT specialists, which can include systems analysts and systems designers, or they may work solely on testing systems. Nevertheless, as systems developers often manage the support systems required by an organisation to effectively run, the role can also require an employee to communicate effectively and translate the needs of different teams into systems developments.
Tasks vary according to the type of organisation and size of employer but may typically involve:
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