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How to Become a Report Developer

Are you great at handling vast quantities of data for all different types of subjects? Can you filter out and organize things in a clean and functional way so that others can better do their jobs? If you’re an analytical thinker driven by the idea of streamlining work and filtering useful information from the noise, you might love being a report developer.

Report developers use their expertise with data storage systems to create and implement streamlined methods of access and control for companies. These developers design systems that allow parties to access what they need, when they need it. 

Report developers’ work isn’t generally evident to most, but any job you have ever worked has had some kind of similar implementation to allow you to see job-relevant information, and prevent you from being flooded with other departments’ work. By processing and providing relevant data to relevant departments in the ways they need, these developers help provide and streamline the systems and clear the way for employees to perform their jobs.

Report developers combine excellent communication and people skills with strong analytical thinking. You need to set clear needs and expectations and form concrete goals and objectives with your colleagues, and then have the problem-solving and technical computing skills to design and implement storage methods and systems.

Sample job description

For the past 30 years, we’ve remained focused on our singular driving purpose: To provide unparalleled client experience by providing our services in an efficient, honest, and affordable manner. With this in mind, we’ve maintained our reputation as best-in-class service, and we want to keep it that way! We’re currently searching for a report developer with outstanding programming skills and a strong analytical mindset to help set our employees up for success. Your responsibilities will include creating, testing, documenting, and implementing new and existing systems for our projects in accordance with needs and specifications.

You’ll be heavily involved in the conception phase with our department heads to get a feel for the exact requirements and expectations. The ideal candidate will provide accurate and timely completion of projects with minimal supervision.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Developing and implementing software tasks in accordance with our standards and methodologies
  • Document, resolve, and future-proof helpdesk tickets
  • Discuss and make aware of persistent and highly problematic issues with management
  • Provide solutions in areas where policy and procedure are insufficient
  • Participate heavily in knowledge-sharing and department meetings
  • Monitor and notify of data breaches
  • Complete projects in a timely and efficient manner
  • Collaborate with departments, management, and peers to encourage and foster a highly cooperative environment
  • Provide technical mentoring to peers as necessary
  • Design and develop database systems
  • Develop and implement software applications with minimal supervision
  • Collaborate with data architects, team members, and project managers

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or related field
  • 3 years experience in a back-end developer position

Required skills and qualifications

  • 3 years SQL Server Stake experience
  • 3 years of relational database experience
  • 3 years of technical documentation
  • 3 years SQL optimization skills
  • Excellent teamwork skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • General understanding of hardware
  • Working knowledge of MS and Java productivity modules
  • Working knowledge of Windows OS and iOS
  • Excellent technical documentation skills

Preferred qualifications

  • 5+ years experience as a report developer
  • 5+ years in all programming and framework experience
  • Large scale, multi-site operations experience

Typical work environment

Report developers work in an office as part of a team. They will spend a significant amount of time seated at a desk in front of a computer. Report developers also spend a great deal of time meeting and collaborating with a wide range of others within a company. They will consult with project managers for updates and changes, meet with department liaisons to ensure accurate and realistic projects are created for maximum effect, and work with other developers to cooperate and share knowledge for maximum efficiency and minimal rework.

You can expect to spend many hours seated at a desk, and sometimes walking, in meetings, or traveling. Given the type of work required, this job can potentially be done remotely.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a report developer in an office setting are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. These developers typically produce project-centric work, this means that time management and large amounts of work at once can potentially change the standard hours worked. You may find yourself working late hours during crunch time, or resolve a critical security flaw as soon as possible to prevent data breaches.

Available certifications

As report developers work in a variety of industries, there are many institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • MS Certified – Data Analyst Associate. This certification demonstrates the holder’s ability to be a subject matter expert on scalable data models and clean data visualizations. After completion of the exam, the candidate will be able to prepare, visualize, analyze, and deploy deliverables and provide business value to companies.
  • IBM Certified Designer – Cognos Analytics Author V11. This certification demonstrates your ability to build advanced reporting systems and dashboards, as well as enhance and manage professional reporting systems. This will take your basic understanding of SQL and JavaScript and teach you how to visually present data using these and other languages.
  • CBIP. The Certified Business Intelligence Professional is intended for senior-level personnel in the IS and IT industry with a heavy focus on business analytics and data management. This certification will demonstrate you have an outstanding grasp on data planning and modeling, definitions, metadata, enterprise resource planning, and IT management systems. This certification should only be pursued after you’ve achieved at least 2-3 years in the position.

Career path

The journey to becoming a report developer begins by obtaining an education, preferably in the computer science, data, or engineering fields. While it isn’t strictly required, having a bachelor’s degree will make you a more competitive candidate.

Learn SQL, JavaScript, and any number of data-centric languages and frameworks. Become as intimately familiar with database concepts and how to design and implement scalable solutions. Obtaining these core components will be the single most important and valuable tool in your kit to succeed in a developer role. As you continue your career path, stay up-to-date on the changes and advancements made in these categories.

After you’ve learned the language and obtained an education, getting a position as a junior developer is an excellent first step in moving up the report developer ladder. You can begin to accrue job experience while learning more tools and tricks of the trade. 

As you move towards more senior positions, you can optionally seek out more advanced certifications to bolster your resume, and look for higher levels of responsibility and discretion.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1257

2020 Employment104,100
Projected Employment in 2030105,667
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 25% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift25,600 increase

Companies are always looking for ways to become leaner, more effective, and more cost-efficient. They’re willing to take the vast amount of data they produce and have technical experts create visualizations on how to do exactly that.

Report developers can create significant business value by providing insight and resolving previously unseen issues hidden in the noise, and companies will continue to need these skills well into the future.

For that reason, you’ll see a significant increase in this type of position as businesses continue to expand and maximize their investments, using these analytical experts to help them make the best decisions possible with the data provided.