A software engineer is an expert in computer code, computational infrastructure, and using these two elements to create the programs, systems, and websites that we all use every day. They can work for companies, be independent contractors, or work in research-based roles developing new code and teaching promising software engineers.
What does a software engineer do?
A software engineer can have a large number of roles, due to the ever increasing number of places where computer programs are used. They may have one of the following jobs:
- Website design
- Development of e-commerce system
- Optimization of cloud computing infrastructures
- Game developer
- Infographic development
- Maintenance and improvement of computer code
- Business application design
- Cyber ââsecurity defenses
- IOS / Android application development
The options are truly endless when considering software engineer jobs. They can work in highly technical teams dedicated to very specific code and programming, or they can work in multidisciplinary teams, using their software prowess to help solve problems and develop new products.
While most engineers have a rudimentary working knowledge of code, software engineers have mastered at least one programming language. They have the same technical and problem-solving skills as other engineers, but they use computer code as their primary tool.
Some software engineers work for big ecommerce brands, design their online storefronts, and strive to improve processes and speed for customers. They can program emerging technologies, like chatbots, to improve the customer experience. Or, they may specialize in debugging, maintaining, and fixing technical issues on the backend of a website.
Some software engineers specialize in the development of video games, while others are responsible for the design and maintenance of specialized software. For example, software engineers design:
- Simulation software for other types of engineers, such as mechanical engineers
- Project planning and collaboration software to enable remote working
- Messaging programs, networks and systems to fuel our communication
- Accounting software and online banking
- Artificial intelligence at the service of autonomous vehicles
How do you become a software engineer?
There are many avenues for working in software engineering. The first, and more traditional, is to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or software engineering. By following an ABET-accredited college engineering program, students can then apply for their professional engineer designation after graduating and completing the required years of experience in the field.
Software engineering, however, is a very fast-paced, flexible, and creative profession. Many professionals find their way into software engineering through coding boot camps, two-year certificate programs, on-the-job training or even by studying other types of engineering and deciding more. late to specialize in software. Those who studied computer science in college often make the transition to software development or engineering work as well.
Of course, to be a licensed professional engineer, formal training is a requirement. But to work with software engineers and to solve problems, code and design software, many companies are open to different professional horizons. The best way to work in software engineering in a chosen organization is to check their hiring standards and research the required training.
What skills do you need to become a software engineer?
In addition to having coding and computer engineering skills, a software engineer should be an excellent communicator, both in their code and when working with others who are less proficient in programming. In their code files, software engineers should carefully leave comments to explain to others how the program works, making it easy to add or correct at a later date. Also, software engineers are very technical people, and learning how to explain what they do to their teammates who are less familiar with programming is a huge plus.
What is the average salary of a software engineer?
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, software developers (including software engineers) earned a median salary of $ 110,104. In 2019, nearly 1.5 million people were employed in software development and engineering. This number is expected to increase dramatically over the next decade.
What is the typical career path of a software engineer?
Because software engineering is a growing and rapidly changing profession, the typical career path can be of several things. But if an engineer wants to get licensed and get their professional engineer certification, there are a few things they will need to learn:
- ABET-accredited engineering diploma
- Four years of work experience for a professional engineer
- Pass the engineering fundamentals exam
- Pass the professional engineer exam