If you are interested in software engineering, you likely are curious about what a career in the field looks like. This curiosity is a positive thing because you should know what you’re getting into before you get into software engineering. You might also have some misconceptions about this field, some of which may be far outside what software engineering is and what it entails. This article is for you if you are curious about software engineering, what is involved, and what a career in the field looks like.
Every Day is Different
A common reason why people get into software engineering is that they love solving problems and love seeing the solutions they develop used in various areas and ways. The day of a software engineer is different from the previous or next one because they are always doing something different. Most software engineers start their day by looking at what they have to work on that day. They have to ensure they are on track.
The smaller tasks they have to take care of as part of a larger project will change and provide different challenges. Software engineers also do much more than code. The research, talk to clients, plan the project, code it, and then test it. They also monitor all the code they write and the software they release to ensure everything keeps working as expected.
Some software developers also work with other developers through what is known as pair programming. This is where they work with other engineers to solve complex issues. In many cases, junior software engineers will work with senior software engineers so that they understand how the company or client wants their software to be built. Once they get the hang of it, pair programming can be relegated to being used only when there are very complex issues to solve.
Lastly, some days can be filled with meetings. These are often convened to discuss new product development or add new features to existing software. Software engineers have to also discuss how the project will be completed or software built. These meetings can also be about setting deadlines.
Lots of Career Advancement Options
One of the best things about software engineering is that there are so many career advancement options available. As you climb the ladder, you will be tasked with building and taking care of complex software systems. You might also go from working in a team to being the team leader, leading a team of developers, and being responsible for the completion of the projects your team is responsible for.
It is also relatively easy to move from one type of industry to another. All industries now need competent software engineers but there are not enough people with computer science degrees to fulfill this demand. Some industries will require that you have an advanced degree, especially if you will be working in those that require complex software solutions and that have massive software development scopes. To be a better fit, consider enrolling in the online master in a software engineering program from Baylor University that prepares you for these software engineering roles.
Because of the nature of this work, software engineers will often have numerous responsibilities. Do note these responsibilities can be shared between the engineer and other parties. Software engineers are tasked with understanding and analyzing user requirements. It would be impossible to create useful software solutions if the software engineer did not know what the client wants from them.
Second, they work with code. This includes writing ad testing, rewriting, and refining to ensure the code is performant. They also communicate with other developers on the team to see how things are going and to assess their code to ensure it is up to the required standards.
Software engineers also evaluate the systems and software that make hardware and software work. Along the same lines, they also ensure the integration of older and newer systems and software to ensure they work together harmoniously.
Software engineers are also writers. They write technical specifications for their projects and documentation to allow the user to know how to use the products they develop. For this, they will often work with other engineers and authors to ensure the material is not too dense while providing all the details it needs.
Lastly, software engineers are required to continuously update their skills, competencies, and knowledge as software engineers are always evolving. They do this through online training, earning certifications, in-house training as well as working with software engineers who are much more experienced.
Because of how important they are to businesses and other types of organizations and how well-trained they are, software engineers attract hefty pay packages. Most software engineers start at about $60,000 per year. Their salary increases as they become more experienced until they get to an average of $110,000 per year. However, numerous software engineers go beyond this and are paid up to $400,000.
Depending on how many jobs they work and if they have side businesses, software engineers can end up making much more than this. If you want to work in a field where you will be greatly compensated, software engineering could be for you.
A typical software engineer has a 9 to 5 job where they work about 40 hours a week. However, longer hours are very common for sensitive, pressing projects nearing their deadline. Additionally, software engineers can work longer hours if they need to test various software and systems. Remember they need to do this while no one is using these systems and software and that means they have to stay behind when everyone else goes home.
Some software engineers also provide on-call services. This is where they make themselves available at any hour of the day or night in case something goes wrong. For this, they often work in teams, but it is not unheard of for software engineers to get out of bed to deal with pressing issues.
Software engineering is a very exciting career if you are interested in software and programming. It is also very lucrative and offers standard working hours if you work for a standard company. Businesses and organizations are always looking for software engineers, meaning it is something you can pursue and be guaranteed a job afterward.