What is a Software Engineer?

Individuals who are interested in the fields of computer science and/or technology may be interested in pursuing a career as a software engineer. In order to determine whether this might be the right vocational sector for you to work within, it is a good idea to attain as much basic information about this position as possible.

Software Engineers-The Basics

A software engineer develops various applications that enable users to accomplish tasks on their personal computers and electronic devices. Often, software engineers are employed by software publishers or computer systems design firms. Generally, software engineers attain a bachelor’s degree in computer science. However, individuals who wish to become software engineers may also be able to attain jobs after earning degrees in information technology or similar fields.

Software Engineer Job Duties

Software engineers typically perform many job duties. Some of them include:

•Determining the feasibility of software operations through problem definition, evaluating analysis, and solution development
•Documenting and demonstrating solutions through the development of flowcharts, documentation, diagrams, layouts, code comments, charts, etc.
•Preparing and installing solutions by designing system standards
•Improving operations by completing systems analysis work and recommending changes in inefficient procedures and policies
•Obtaining and licensing software after obtaining the pertinent data from vendors
•Recommending purchases
•Testing and subsequently approving products
•Updating job knowledge through the study of contemporary development tools, computing equipment, programming techniques
•Participating in opportunities for on-going education such as continuing education credits (CECs) and reading professional publications
•Maintaining personal networks
•Providing pertinent data through the collection, analysis, and summarizing of service and development issues
Designing software solutions by conferring with users


A software engineer needs to posses a variety of skills  in order to perform their jobs with expedience and excellence. Some of those skills include general programming skills, analyzing information, software debugging, software design, software testing, software documentation, teamwork, problem solving, software development process, software development fundamentals and software requirements.

Job Outlook

Employment for software engineers is expected to increase at a rate of 22% between the years of 2012 and 2022. This is a great deal faster than the national average for all vocations. The primary reason for the projected growth in the software engineering sector is attributed to the increased demand for computer software.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software engineers can expect to earn about $93,350 per year. However, it is important to note that several factors can increase or decrease an employee’s annual pay. Some of those factors include job location, years of experience, level of expertise, and any areas of specialization you may possess.

The field of software engineering is an interesting and dynamic sector that offers opportunities for job advancement and competitive pay. By carefully considering a software engineer’s job duties and necessary skills as well as the profession’s job outlook and potential salary, you can decide whether this vocation will help you accomplish your personal and professional objectives.

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