Software Engineers are IT specialists capable of designing and deploying various types of software for different purposes.
Software Engineers or Software Developers are specialists in computing and able to develop, design and deliver software, programmes and applications for a range of purposes and often to order. Sometimes Software Engineers or Developers work with external clients to turn their software needs into reality, or work in teams within a company to help produce a software product to sell. As specialists too, Software Engineers can assist with the training and support for the users of the software or programme.
Software Engineers may work on specific types of programmes or applications for a variety of technologies ranging from full computer programmes to apps on mobile phones. They also assist with the rigorous work that is put in around the development of these types of software. This means research, design, testing and presenting a final product.
For graduates considering Software Engineering as a career, it is highly recommended that graduates are technically talented and have a solid understanding of not just certain types of programming languages but the science behind them. Strong analytical and problem solving skills are also an advantage to help with the issues Software Engineers overcome on a daily basis. Communication skills are important too, for when they are dealing with clients and working with members of a Software Engineering team.
Software engineering salaries
The average starting salary for a graduate Software Engineer is £29,924. This is an incredibly high salary for graduates to begin their careers on and will only increase as they become more specialised and experienced.
This high salary may also be influenced by the relatively low volume of appropriately skilled graduates. There is often a scarcity of proficient graduate Software Engineers resulting in very competitive salaries.
The daily duties of a software engineer
The daily duties of a Software Engineer tend to vary due to the variety of the work they undertake. Software Engineers tend to specialise in particular areas of software development and the duties they undertake will vary because of this. Also, much of the work they undertake is project based and will see them work through a cycle of researching and fleshing out ideas for a project, developing them, testing them and implementing the finished product.
However, Software Engineers attend to a range of duties and here are a few of them:
- Assessing a client's needs - Often Software Engineers develop new programmes or applications to measure. So an important duty is meeting with clients to discuss what their needs are and what they would like. Graduate Software Engineers will be required to moderate client's expectations and work to budgets and time scales.
- Developing - The key part of a Software Engineers duties is actually developing the product and writing the software itself. This is meticulous work but can be rewarding and allow the software engineer the freedom to create great work. It could be that the work undertaken is extremely varied and will allow Software Engineers to develop a broad range of skills and understandings.
- Reviewing current software - Software Engineers might also play a part in developing an old system and making improvements. This involves working to update and rework programmes to keep up to date with new features and developments that might become necessary for the client's needs.
- Testing - Testing and bug fixing is a very important part of the Software Engineer's job. This means ensuring that the software works to the requirements and needs of the client and will not throw up errors. There are various types of testing, including stress testing, performance testing and scalability testing.
- Teaching clients - When Software Engineers or Developers have produced a complicated product designed for a specific business function, for example, they are required to teach the users how to use the software effectively. This can be difficult when working with people who might not have the same level of computer science understanding. Graduates need great communication skills to be effective at this.
Becoming a Software Engineer is a fantastic career opportunity for graduates, with the career paths and salaries there for the taking. Graduates do need, however, a strong understanding of computer science and how to practically build and implement conceptual ideas.