The Process Of Obtaining An MS In Software Development

Articles | Master's in Software Development

Software development, together with data analytics and cyber security, is entering an era of unprecedented growth. Students enrolled in a Software Development Masters of Science program are poised to enter a lucrative career field at the height of its demand.

Companies everywhere are going to be hiring throngs of new software developers with extensive training and experience in the development field. So what should students expect to see during their training in an accredited Master’s of Software Development program?

Programming And Data Structures

Software development students will first be introduced to the concept of object-oriented programming. Objects each contain a specific type of data that will be useful to a number of applications or functions.

Programmer Brian Engard uses the example of a credit card payment rate calculator program in his 2017 article, “A Beginner’s Guide To Object Oriented Programming Concepts” on To determine optimal monthly payments, the application needs to access certain figures such as the customer’s expendable income, the amount owed, and the credit card’s APR. Each of these items is an object.

“Without objects, every time you need your program to perform [an action], you’d have to reproduce all of the code associated with performing that action,” explains Engard. “Not only is this time-consuming, it’s also error-prone and creates code that’s difficult to read and debug. Duplicate code also creates an issue when you need to make changes to that code: You have to change that code everywhere it appears in your application.”

Students will next tackle data structures, without which object-oriented programming would be a very slow process. Programmers introduce data structures to better streamline their applications’ processes.

“A data structure should be seen as a logical concept that must address two fundamental concerns,” according to “Introduction To Basic Data Structures And Algorithms” by “First, how the data will be stored, and second, what operations will be performed on it?”

Algorithms run hand in hand with data structures. Programmers create algorithms to handle problems through a step-by-step series of methods, functions, or routines. Students need a solid foundation in the use of objects, data structures, and algorithms before they can move on to more complex programming topics.

Web Applications And Java Coding

Because most software development these days will have something to do with the Internet, students are introduced to web applications early in their training.

Server-side, or back-end, web development is typically done either in Java, PHP, Python, or Ruby programming languages. These languages are used to program the databases that are used to serve the front-end programs (the part that average users interact with on their devices).

Choosing the right language for each job is an important step in the web development process. “Factors like the type of database you use, the server platform, server software, your budget, and the client-side [front-end] functionality you want are important considerations in choosing the right language for your web project,” claims SEO consultant Yoshitaka Shiotsu in his blog post, “Web Development 101: Top Web Development Languages In 2014.”

Java will be a crucial part of every student’s training in back-end development. From there, students will need to learn about in-demand Java technologies and using them to build full-stack Java applications (Java programs that cover every layer, both front-end and back-end, of an application).

Full Stack Design And Agile

The front-end of an application is the part that runs on the user’s device rather than on a remote server somewhere. As an analogy, back-end development is a lot like electricity grids, cable and telephone lines, and sewer systems, and front-end development resembles a house where one interacts with all of the back-end technology.

JavaScript (JS) is used perhaps more than any other language to add functionality to websites and web applications. “On the most basic level, JS lets you add a lot of interactive elements to your website,” web design expert Cameron Chapman says in her article, “Exactly What You Need To Know To Be A Front End Developer,” on “Use it to create things like maps that update in real time, interactive films, and online games.”

A software developer who can write functional, useful JS applications will be prepared to begin Agile analysis and design. An Agile environment is one in which a team collaborates and cooperates on a project. User involvement is taken into consideration at this point through beta tests. Development is done in incremental releases rather than all at once. And the phrase “test early and often” is extremely important.

Advanced Topics

One of the more advanced disciplines students need to be proficient in software development is database management.

“A database management task is any task that protects the organization’s data, prevents legal and compliance risk, and keeps data-driven applications performing at their best,” according to’s “What is Database Management” page. “This includes performance monitoring and tuning, storage and capacity planning, backup and recovery, data archiving, data partitioning, replication, masking, and retirement.”

Other advanced subjects include DevOps, such as design and implementation, testing, and quality assurance, and cutting-edge topics such as mobile application development, machine learning, and secure coding.

Maryville University’s Master of Science Degree in Software Development
Maryville University’s online MS in Software Development delivers a top-ranked, competitive education in development for computer programs, web applications, and cutting-edge technologies. Data structures, web applications, object-oriented coding, agile systems analysis, and advanced topics are thoroughly addressed through the online post-graduate program.

Contact Maryville University to learn more about software development and other online programs.


Digital Ad Spending To Surpass TV Next Year –
A Beginner’s Guide To Object Oriented Programming Concepts –
Introduction To Basic Data Structures And Algorithms –
Web Development 101: Top Web Development Languages In 2014 –
Exactly What You Need To Know To Be A Front End Developer –
What is Database Management –