What exactly is software engineering?


What is software engineering? Software engineering applies the principles of computer science, mathematics, and engineering to develop, test, and maintain software.

Industry professionals test and upgrade software and computer systems. Software developers also code new programs. They can also monitor systems and troubleshoot end user issues.

What is software engineering?

Software engineering involves the development, deployment, testing and maintenance of software. Each program must correspond to the accessibility and technical requirements of the customer.

Software engineering involves the principles, tools, and techniques used to develop professional software. Applications go through a development and evolution process guided by software engineers.

The stages of software development include, among others, the creation, implementation and deployment of concepts. The evolution includes updating and maintenance of the software.

What do software engineers do?

Software engineers can perform the following tasks and responsibilities.

  • Writing code

  • Program design

  • Software systems maintenance

  • Supervise computer programmers

  • Evaluate and test software

  • Increase software speed and scalability

  • Consulting with clients on the design or development of projects

  • Collaborate with colleagues

Industry experts are skilled in programming and coding, design and architecture, and information analysis.

Engineers apply analytical thinking and problem solving to develop applications and software.

Software engineers can seek employment in many industries: automotive manufacturing, aeronautics, healthcare, nonprofit, government, etc. They collaborate with data scientists, data scientists, managers and other professionals in the software team.

Software engineer skills

Software engineers need strong skills in programming languages, architectures, and platforms.

To be successful on the job, workers need advanced knowledge of database management system software, object-oriented development software, and web platform development software. They should also understand the database user interface, queries, and development environment software.

Industry professionals should be trained in software development, testing and maintenance. In this role, software engineers must apply their background in computer science and information analysis.

Difficult skills

  • Operating systems

  • Software development

  • Data structure and algorithms

  • Software testing and debugging

  • Computer programming and coding

Social abilities

  • Team work

  • Multitasking

  • Attention to detail

  • Talents for problem solving

  • Effective communication

Types of software engineers

The two main subtypes of software engineers are developers of system software and application software.

Both developers apply their theoretical and programming knowledge to develop software and manage network control systems.

Systems software developer

System software developers’ understanding of operating system level software, network distribution software, and compilers helps them develop solutions for businesses.

Developers are proficient in programming, coding, data structures, and algorithms. In this role, developers update existing software, improve interfaces and increase performance.

Experts in the field create software systems, use mathematical models, and apply scientific analysis to evaluate design results.

Application software developer

Application software developers create computer and mobile applications by assessing user needs, creating software solutions, and verifying performance.

Developers perform routine updates and modify programs for consumers. Industry professionals are proficient in coding languages, source control, data structures, and algorithms.

In this role, application software developers also debug code, deploy source code for new applications, and evaluate applications.

How to become a software engineer?

There are several ways to become a software engineer. As a first step, you may want to enroll in a coding certificate program or bootcamp to learn programming and technical skills.

Students can pursue a four-year software engineering degree – a prerequisite for many entry-level and mid-level roles.

Professionals may want to earn a master’s degree in software engineering for career advancement. With a graduate degree, working professionals can seek administrative and managerial positions.

Explore your options by following the links above.


Gordon K. Morehouse