The role of a software engineer is one of the most important in the world of business as it involves integrating the capacity of technology to ensure it meets the needs of consumers and businesses. It is a job that requires a tremendous level of skill and requires analytical and problem-solving ability on a regular basis.
It is a relatively generic term as many employees in the field specialise in a particular field. For example, you could work on anything from a web application to databases.
Interested in a career as a software engineer? You can find out all you need to know in this job description. If you’re an expert in computing and enjoy a challenge, keep reading to see if a career as a software engineer is a good option.
As a software engineer, you’ll be involved in most projects from the very beginning.
Typical duties include:
- Discovering the objectives of the proposed software solution
- Identifying what needs to be developed before choosing the right programming language for the job and finding development frameworks capable of speeding things up
- Begin coding the software system
- Conduct automated unit testing to improve the efficiency of the process
- Perform additional testing including functional, acceptance and extra integration testing
- Development and administration of databases
- Writing and understanding detailed SQL queries from within the code you are creating
- Detecting and fixing any bugs you find
What Is Life As a Software Engineer Like?
In the world of flexible working, few software engineers work standard weekday hours. Late hours and weekend work is par for the course as you’re the person people call upon when they encounter a computer problem. If you work flexible hours, you’re expected to stay until the job is done.
If you arrive early in the morning, you get the benefit of leaving early in the afternoon while late arriving colleagues must work until later in the evening. A typical day involves catching up on email which is usually about bug reports, comments about your code, queries about other code and questions from team members. Much of the morning is spent coding, and it is normal to attend several meetings during the day.
If you enjoy coding and software engineering in general, it is a dream job as long as you learn to collaborate and communicate with your co-workers. The salary and associated perks are excellent, and the flexibility you’ll enjoy should help relieve stress. On the downside, you’ll be the first port of call when family members have issues with their computers so get used to it!
What Type of Organisations Can I Work For?
You could be employed by practically any organisation that uses a computer system. If you have enough experience and a large list of contacts, freelance work is an option. Otherwise, the most common types of firms to hire software engineers are IT Consultancies, Electronics, Telecommunications, IT and Software Companies.
What Qualifications Do I Need?
A Bachelor’s Degree is necessary to proceed as a software engineer.
Here are the best topics to cover:
- Software Engineering (Obviously)
- Electronic Engineering
- Computer Science
However, you have a chance of landing a job with any undergraduate degree if you can display proficiency in the field and complete a postgraduate course in a subject related to software engineering. It is advisable to gain work experience with an IT company or digital firm to give you essential practical knowledge and an insight into the life of a software engineer.
What Skills Do I Need To Succeed?
Successful software engineers typically display the following traits:
- Excellent team building techniques
- Outstanding technical expertise
- The capacity to relate to clients and colleagues
- Numerical and analytical ability
- The ability to work to someone else’s design
- Good commercial awareness
- Superior listening and communication skills
As a junior employee, you’ll receive on the job training from senior engineers in your firm. Depending on the size of your organisation, you could attend in-house training sessions. It is a good idea to join a professional body such as CompTIA or the Chartered Institute for IT as membership offers a wide range of benefits.
Prepare to learn as the industry is always changing and evolving constantly. After several years in a junior role, you’ll step up to a senior position and perhaps lead a team. A number of software engineers expand their knowledge and elect to specialise in a particular area. Alternatively, you could switch roles within IT and work as a technical project manager or systems analyst.
The annual salary for an entry level software engineer ranges from £22,000-£30,000. In a senior role, this wage increases to £35,000-£70,000 a year while freelance contractors can earn up to £450 depending on experience. The median annual salary for a senior software engineer is £47,500 although contract workers earn considerably more.
If you liked the information in this Software Engineer job description from qualifications to career progression, then this could be the ideal job for you!