What do software engineers do?

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What do software engineers do

Software engineering jobs carry a whole lot of hype around it. The intriguing part is people always wonder what these techies actually do that they get highly paid and are hooked to their laptops 24*7. Regardless of the toil, a software engineer goes through, it is certainly a well-paying career profile that has a bright future. Now that the world’s existence is going to rely mostly on technologies, a software engineer job is certainly going to offer great opportunities. More so because remote work is now the new norm of working and if you will have to take up a job and don’t want to shift to any other place, it could be a rewarding career opportunity.
So, people who have this dangling idea of whether they should choose this career path or not, let’s give you an insight into what your future profile will look like.

What is a Software Engineer?

software engineer is an individual that applies programming languages and engineering principles to design software solutions, work on network control systems and create computer games. They also build desktop and web applications, operating systems, network systems, etc. According to the job outlook, the number of software engineers will outgrow by 22% by the year 2025. Well, there are two types of software engineers – system software developers and applications software developers.

1. Application software developers

Application developers design, develop, install as well as maintain applications for businesses by figuring out the requirements of end-users.

2. System software developers

System software developers create, maintain, and grow your business and coordinate the needs of the technical department and set the network. They coordinate needs and set up networks to link computers.

What is the average salary of Software Engineers?

Software engineers have varied skill sets according to the technology they have pursued. From development to testing and maintenance, software engineers use various technologies and tools that help them build the solutions. How proficient they are in applying those skills and the experience they carry determine the average salary of the engineer as per their location and region.

Salary of fresher engineers

The average salary of software engineers varies from $77,000 to $101,790. Professionals that are highly experienced get paid according to their job roles and certifications. As you climb up the hierarchy ladder, the average salary increases according to the relevant skills and regional salary. If we look at the stats of the United States annual software engineer’s salary, the initial compensation starts from $47,060. This amount is way higher than the average salary in locations like India, where the software developer’s salary is 588,000 per year. Here is a list of average salaries of software engineers in various countries in the world:

LocationAverage salary of software developers
India$39, 400
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What is a typical software engineer job description?

Here is a template of the job responsibilities of a software engineer from Monster.com:

  • Develops information systems by designing, developing, and installing software solutions.
  • Determines operational feasibility by evaluating analysis, problem definition, requirements, solution development, and proposed solutions.
  • Develops software solutions by studying information needs, conferring with users, and studying systems flow, data usage, and work processes.
  • Investigates problem areas.
  • Follows the software development lifecycle.
  • Documents and demonstrates solutions by developing documentation, flowcharts, layouts, diagrams, charts, code comments, and clear code.
  • Prepares and installs solutions by determining and designing system specifications, standards, and programming.
  • Improves operations by conducting systems analysis and recommending changes in policies and procedures.
  • Obtains and licenses software by obtaining required information from vendors, recommending purchases, and testing and approving products.
  • Protects operations by keeping information confidential.
  • Provides information by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing development and service issues.
  • Accomplishes engineering and organization mission by completing related results as needed.

What qualifications and skills do entry-level software engineers need?

The basic qualifications that a fresher software engineer needs are:

  • Programming Languages
  • Software designing
  • Software debugging
  • Documentation of software
  • Software testing
  • Software development principles
  • Development process
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Source control
  • Integrated development environment
  • Networking basics
  • Cross-platform software
  • Encryption and cryptography
  • MS excel

A candidate who is applying for a software development job also needs to have these basic software development qualifications to enter the software industry:

  • Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or related technical vertical
  • 4 to 5+ years of software development experience
  • Expertise in Java, SQL, PHP, or C++, and object-oriented design skills
  • Experience in building application architecture as well as design patterns
  • Experience in architecture definition, conceptualization, product design detailing, scoping, planning, implementation, testing, documentation, delivery, and maintenance
  • Knowledge of complete software development lifecycle and professional software engineering.
  • Knowledge of coding standards, code reviews, source control management, build processes, testing, and operations.
  • Experience in the development of distributed/scalable systems and high-volume transaction applications.
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Why is software engineering important?

Software engineering is essential because it helps conceptualize the development process for big projects. Since it is predicted that the technology is growing exponentially, software engineering will be imperative to building robust technological solutions.
Today, the software is required in every industry and as it is becoming a part of every aspect of our lives, software development will be aggressively needed to satiate the demands. Apart from that, software engineering utilizes the skill to organize and structure a codebase which makes the application easy to maintain. The software development life cycle also provides structure to the development of a viable business software solution. Another important aspect that makes software engineering absolutely a priority is it ensures code quality which prevents future issues.

Qualities that make a great software engineer

To be a software engineer and a really great one, there are some inherent qualities and some acquired ones that complement a software developer’s ways of working. Since they have to deal with challenges that involve a lot of logical thinking, a candidate going for software development must have that kind of thought process. Here are some qualities that an ideal software engineer must possess in order to have a successful software development career.

1. Problem-solving attitude

A good software engineer must have problem-solving skills because software engineers usually come across myriad programming challenges while developing a solution. The multiple facets of designing, programming, and user interface bring up functional challenges which could be solved if the developer has the right tools and algorithms. More than that, having a can-do attitude to solve any operational challenges could bring value to the organization.

2. Pick the correct tools

The knowledge and selection of a premium tool over inferior ones improve the overall performance of the development process. One doesn’t have to spend hours finding out issues with the code. Therefore, making the correct choice of tools for debugging and development can save a lot of time, and a sought-after engineer knows that very well.

3. Optimization for successful delivery

Developers are required to optimize the applications they are creating in order to make it easily navigable and less time-consuming while uploading. To steer the efforts in that direction, a software engineer must be able to consider things like response optimization, user experience, SEO, accessibility, etc. To make the solution seamless a great developer keeps all these challenges in mind and works effectively to avoid maximum optimization issues.

4. Clean code

It is the one thing that makes a well-versed developer stand out of the crowd. Clean code means the code that a developer writes must be understandable, crisp, self-explanatory and simple to maintain. Writing a code that is complex becomes extremely difficult to manage and maintain if others have to use it.

5. Self evaluation

Checking your own code and testing it time and again to discover the possible issues and improve user experience accounts for a well-thought-out process by a good software developer. Testing and retesting your code leads to lesser issues in the future and positively impacts the unnecessary time consumed in the entire software development life cycle.

What do software engineers love or hate about their jobs?

We conducted multiple surveys across our business verticals and polls on various platforms and as per our findings, most of the developers had mixed feelings about what they do. There are a couple of benefits that they get while staying in such a lucrative and futuristic job profile but the downsides are too.

  • Designing and implementation
  • Learning exposure to technologies
  • High demand for software engineers
  • Remote work options
  • Lucrative job with high salary and perks
  • Increase in problem-solving efficiency

Well, these are the advantages that a software engineering job profile offers but there are also downsides that we can certainly not neglect.

  • Debugging the code is a big turnover
  • Bad documentation
  • Non-developers don’t really understand your work
  • No noticeable results in a day’s work
  • Constant code rejection causes frustration
  • Long working hours that require constant seating

Software engineers are hard-working people with constant troubleshooting that require a deep level of programming knowledge. Today billion-dollar industries are built on technology and software development is fundamental to all the operations. As the world is constantly steering towards modernizing every aspect of life through technology, the demand for applications and their creators is growing incessantly. Till the world is dependable on technology, the requirement for software engineers will never die so if you are choosing this career path it is certainly going to pay tremendously in the near future.

Faqs on software engineers

  1. What is the starting salary of a software engineer in India?

The average salary range of a software engineer in India varies according to the experience:
0-3 Yrs : $10k to $15k USD / Yr
3-6 Yrs : $15k to $20k USD / Yr
6+ Yrs : $20k+ USD / Yr

As the years of experience increases and the professional is well-versed in a particular technology like Ruby, Javascript, Laravel, Svlete, etc, the salary of the candidate goes up accordingly.

  1. How long does it take to become a software engineer?

It generally takes about 4 years to become a software engineer after pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science. The basic level of certifications that would be required at the entry level include :

  • AWS Certification
  • Java Certification
  • Professional Scrum Developer

Apart from that, bootcamp also offers courses that can improve the profile.

  1. Is it hard to be a software engineer?

No. It is not at all hard to become a software engineer if you have learnt the basics of web development and have worked on a couple of projects. It is essential to have the knowledge of programming languages for entry level and further specialization which may increase your chances of getting a lucrative engineering job.

  1. Can anyone be a software engineer?

Yes, literally anyone can become a software engineer if the person has an analytical thought process and knows coding. If you think you are interested in designing, coding and implementing technological solutions, you are made for the job.

  1. What is the work of a software engineer?

Software engineers create, design, test and deploy software solutions applying programming principles using a particular programming language. They design mobile and web applications, cloud platforms, etc.

  1. Why is Software Engineering a desirable career?

Software engineering is the most desirable career because of the high demand and lucrative pay cheque. It is also a satisfying job for people that are analytical and love to create applications.

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Meenakshi Kalyani

Meenakshi is a writer at OpenXcell. Her writing is a reflection of the deep knowledge that she has of the silicon world. Corroborated by intriguing facts and innovative ideas, her articles present every aspect of constant technological evolution. When she is not penning, you will find her painting, traveling, or introspecting her emotions to craft a piece on @sutured_emotions.


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