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IT - Software Developer

Program Requirements: 

Join the rapidly changing field of computer programming. Computer software developers design software programs, create new computer systems and improve existing processes. Gateway will prepare you for a career as a software developer by providing you with training in leading-edge technology, highly marketable job skills and the knowledge of the IBM i operating system running on IBM Power Systems–used in 90 percent of Fortune 100 companies.

Gateway Technical College’s Software Developer associate degree program is geared directly to IBM’s Power System servers. Using the industries latest tools and state-of-the-art software, students learn to develop applications efficiently on this widely used midrange platform. Gateway is an active member of the IBM Power Systems Academic Initiative, which allows the college, instructors and students access to IBM’s latest hardware and software; including IBM Rational Development tools.

Gateway Technical College is also a member of the Microsoft DreamSpark Program, formerly known as the Microsoft Academic Alliance.  This program provides students with the opportunity to learn highly in-demand Microsoft technology.

What does a software developer do?

Graduates may find careers as computer programmers, database administrators and computer operators. Computer software developers design software programs, create new computer systems and improve existing processes for large and small businesses.

Learning by doing

Program courses include hands-on assignments and team projects using a variety of software found in the field. Software includes IBM i OS 7.1 with student administration partitions, Zend Server and CNX’s Valence. Computer systems include a Power520 system with two CPU’s, 18 GB of memory and six hosted (virtual) IBM i OS, AIX and Linux partitions.

Students are encouraged to join a student organization to broaden their learning experience. The Gateway Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) organization is located on the Kenosha, Elkhorn and Racine campuses. AITP provides students with networking opportunities through events and activities including competing at the local, state and national levels.

Students can also join Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Association (WMCPA). Members participate in monthly meetings and an annual spring conference. The association provides networking opportunities with potential employers as well as additional professional education.

Job and salary outlook

Gateway instructors link program students with working professionals in the field through professional groups such as the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professionals Association. As students interact with industry professionals at meetings and conferences, they network and learn the landscape of the career field, giving them a step up as they enter the job market.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median salaries can range from $39,280/year to $73,490/year. This is due to the variety of career offerings available. Employment is expected to grow between 12 to 31 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Certification and Licensing

Graduates are encouraged to continue to keep their programming skills up-to-date as their salary level can increase with the amount of experience they have. Students also have the option to take an IBM i System Administration class. This class prepares students to take IBM’s Academic Associate: IBMi & Administration certification exam. Certification makes students more marketable when seeking employment. Gateway is one of the few colleges in the United States that offers this class.

Taking Your Degree Further

Students gain expertise in multiple platforms and technologies including IBM Enterprise servers, Web development, mobile device applications and Microsoft .NET.  The program classes stress the unique thought processes required to be successful in this dynamic profession.  There are additional Advanced Technology Certificates that cover Mobile Applications Development (Android, Mac iOS and Windows platforms), Zend, Java and Windows web technologies, and Game Programming. 

In the Game Programming ATC, students develop the skills needed to program two and three dimensional games.  In the Mobile Applications Development ATC, students use hands-on programming exercises to gain experience with the design interfaces, languages, and operating systems that are used in developing mobile applications.

In the IBM Enterprise Programming and Administration ATC students develop the skills necessary to maintain and administer web servers on IBM i Power System computers. Students also use the Zend family of web development tools including PHP and MySQL.  This ATC also teaches advanced Java topics, and advanced MS Visual Basic. While these courses are taught using the Power Systems platform, these skills readily transfer to other platforms.



James Buck

Allen Pearson

Saad Yousuf

Program Administration

Ray Koukari, Dean

Manoj Babu, Associate Dean