Software Engineering is among the 10 fastest growing professions – and that will help you if you’re tech-savvy and creative. Here’s what you need to know to analyze your skills and determine if software engineering is right for you.
Presentation: what does a software engineer do?
Do you rely on a smartphone app to help you navigate or have you ever been glued to a computer game? All of these programs are created by software engineers. Software engineers design computer programs and systems that include applications and games.
Software engineers generally have flexible hours and can work remotely or in an office. They develop individual applications or complete systems for military, healthcare, aerospace and scientific organizations. Here’s a look at what a typical day looks like for a software engineer:
- Meet with colleagues and clients to discuss proposed software
- Determine user needs and software requirements
- Examine software application design specifications
- Code and test software
- Identify bugs and fix problems
- Maintain operating systems, mobile and web applications, networking systems, business applications, and connected hardware devices
Before the mid-1970s, software engineers were called computer scientists or computer programmers. Their job descriptions change depending on the technical landscape.
Do I need a diploma to work in this field?
Most computer jobs require a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, or a related field – some may require a master’s degree. Obtaining one of the following certifications is a plus:
- Cisco Network (CCNA, CCNP, CCIE)
- Project management
- Amazon Web Services
Employers may, in rare cases, hire a software engineer who has little or no academic experience. These self-taught people would need a large portfolio of work samples and many years of experience.
Types of software engineer jobs and titles
Computer jobs encompass a wide range of jobs and software engineer titles. Here are some examples of jobs and related descriptions.
Junior Software Engineer Jobs
Entry-level or junior software engineers work with senior engineers to develop, maintain, and test software applications and programs. They are assigned tasks such as coding, debugging, and documenting code. Junior software engineers hone their skills at this point and if you are successful you can move on to the next level. Trainees can be classified as entry-level software engineers.
Examples of job titles: junior software engineer, junior software engineer, junior engineer
Systems Developer jobs
A systems developer is a type of software developer. They focus on developing complex applications and programs to support back-end processes and systems used in organizations. System developers also write operating manuals and documentation, provide user training and support, discuss customer requirements, and collaborate with senior developers.
Examples of job titles: systems developer, systems engineer, software systems developer
Web Developer jobs
Examples of job titles: Web Developer, Web Developer, Web Designer
Senior Software Engineer jobs
Senior software engineers do more complex work. They oversee junior engineers and partner with systems developers to develop solutions. They play a more customer-oriented role. Junior engineers are usually behind the scenes. Senior engineers analyze software systems and programs and recommend upgrades.
Examples of job titles: senior software engineer, senior engineer, senior computer programmer
Application Developer Jobs
Application developers design and test software applications for businesses. They deploy and implement software upgrades and versions. These developers typically work with software engineers, systems analysts, web designers, project managers, data scientists and analysts, graphic designers, and web designers. They code, design, troubleshoot, train users, debug, and monitor security.
Examples of job titles: Application Developer, Software Application Developer, Senior Application Developer
Salary Ranges and Expectations for Software Engineer Jobs
Most computer jobs offer great pay. The median annual salary for a software engineer is $ 105,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for related fields include:
- Computer programmer – $ 84,000
- Computer Systems Analyst – $ 88,000
- Database administrator – $ 90,000
- Information Security Analyst – $ 98,000
- Computer Network Architect – $ 109,000
The more you specialize in this area, the more you will earn.
Projected growth rate of the software engineer field
Skilled software engineers see an employment growth rate of 17%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over 1.4 million software engineer jobs were available in 2018, so it’s a market of job seekers.
How to get a software engineer job
Once you have obtained your bachelor’s degree, what is the best way to find a job in software engineering? Here are some tips and strategies to start your job search:
- Get an internship. The internship is a great way to learn on the job and gain experience. Once you have completed your internship (you can do it during your studies), there is a good chance that you can be hired full time.
- Create a GitHub profile. GitHub is a hosting service for software developers. It’s a place where you can show off your best projects and it costs $ 25 per month.
- Work your way. Hone your skills and learn on the job by taking an entry-level position, such as an IT support technician or IT specialist. You can aim for a higher position once you have a projected growth rate of 21%, much higher than other occupations.
- Acquire professional certifications. Many product vendors, software companies, and organizations such as the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals offer certification programs. The more certifications you add to your resume, the more marketable you are to employers.
- Continue your studies. Consider an additional major to improve your skills or earn a master’s degree if you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
- Network. Search LinkedIn and Facebook for software engineer groups, find meetings and seminars, and join professional organizations to connect with your peers and find resources for training and job vacancies.
- Specialize. You will be more competitive if you specialize in a particular area or area of ââexpertise such as cybersecurity.
- Register with an employment agency. Agencies can help you find contract and full-time positions with large companies that do not have the time or resources to recruit candidates themselves.
- Develop your CV. Have your CV written by a professional – a professional will know what keywords employers are looking for and how best to showcase your talents.
- Offer consulting services. You can work as an IT consultant for individual clients or companies to bolster your credibility and experience while you search for a traditional job.
Top 8 Skills for Success in a Software Engineer Job
What skills are needed to be successful as a software engineer? Here are the top 8 we recommend.
1. Time management skills
Whether you’re freelancing or working in an office, you’ll have to juggle multiple projects at once, all with their own deadlines. A successful software engineer must prioritize and manage project milestones and deliverables for many projects at any given time.
2. Coding skills
3. Project management skills
The majority of your work as a software engineer will be project-based. You must be able to create and manage project plans. Be prepared to show off your project management skills to meet project goals and timelines.
4. Communication skills
Software engineers need to communicate effectively with their colleagues, business stakeholders, and decision makers. You may need to give presentations and reports detailing complex information that you will need to break down into layman’s terms.
5. Analytical skills
A big part of your job as a software engineer is to analyze an organization’s computer systems and applications and develop ways to improve them. Evaluate user requirements and customer needs to review specifications and troubleshooting. Strong analytical skills are required.
6. Problem solving skills
As a software engineer, you will come across issues and problems every day, which you will have to deal with and solve methodically. You may need to develop multiple solutions to a given problem, so be prepared to show off your problem-solving skills.
7. Research skills
One of your first tasks in any new job will be to thoroughly research a client’s software application needs and requirements. Strong research skills are therefore essential. The results of your research form the basis of the applications you develop, test and implement.
8. Programming skills
You will need to code and program software systems and applications efficiently, so your programming skills should be up to par. Be an expert coder, programmer, and debugger if software engineering is your chosen field.
Is Software Engineering Right For You?
Every industry needs software engineers, so job security is not an issue. The demand is high now for software engineers, so you can choose any industry you like. You can work remotely in many cases, so flexibility is another attractive aspect of the job. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, Delta Air Lines, Salesforce, and HubSpot are all looking for software engineers. You can choose a job that meets your needs and an added benefit – you can plan for your retirement.