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What does a
Software Engineer do?

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Other common names for this position: Software Developer, Application Architect, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Designer, Computer Applications Engineer, Computer Software Engineer, Computer Telecommunications Software Specialist, Embedded Software Engineer, Simulation Software Design Engineer, Software Architect, Software Design Engineer, Software Designer, Software Design Supervisor, Software Design Verification Engineer, Software Systems Designer, Software Systems Integration Engineer, Software Technical Architect, Software Testing Engineer, Systems Applications Engineer, Systems Architect, Telecommunications Software Engineer, Telecommunications Software Specialist


Software Engineers are specialists in charge of researching, designing, evaluating, integrating, and maintaining software applications, technical environments, operating systems, embedded software, information warehouses, and telecommunications software. They are employed in Information Technology (IT) consulting firms, information technology research and development firms, and information technology units throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.[1]

Software Engineering is the process of producing an effective piece of software that offers functionality by following a set of requirements, so the main goal of a Software Engineer is to design and develop this software and to ensure that it meets the necessary requirements. Most Software Engineers tend to specialize in a certain area, such as web development or database architecture.

Primary Responsibilities

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Software Engineers are required to complete.

  • Researching, evaluating, and synthesizing technical information to design, develop, and test computer-based systems:
  • Collecting and documenting users’ requirements and developing logical and physical specifications;
  • developing data, process, and network models to optimize architecture and to evaluate the performance and reliability of designs;
  • planning, designing, and coordinating the development, installation, integration, and operation of computer-based systems;
  • choosing the most appropriate programming language and identifying the development frameworks that can be exploited in order to speed up the whole process;
  • taking into consideration cross-platform integration;
  • writing a well-designed, testable, and efficient code for the software system;
  • conducting automated unit testing through test-driven development (TDD), which involves testing and programming at the same time, making the process much more efficient and less time-consuming;
  • conducting both functional testing, to ensure everything works properly, and user acceptance testing (UAT), to make sure the product fulfills the requirements of the end user; and
  • performing further integration testing to make sure that the new or updated product integrates correctly with other systems.
  • Supervising and contributing during all the phases of the project:
  • Leading, coordinating, and supervising teams of information systems professionals during the development of software and integrated information systems, process control software, and other embedded software control systems.
  • Assessing, testing, troubleshooting, documenting, upgrading, and developing maintenance procedures for operating systems, communication environments, and applications software:
  • Documenting every aspect and detail of the application or system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades.
  • Developing and administering databases in order to search and store massive amounts of information while developing software.
  • Supporting continuous improvements by investigating alternatives and technologies.
  • Detecting and fixing bugs in the software they developed after it has been properly implemented.

Daily Tasks

  • Analyzing customers’ needs, then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs.
  • Designing each piece of the application or system and plan how the pieces are going to work together.
  • Coding for the software system being developed.
  • Making sure the software continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing.
  • Recommending software upgrades for existing programs and systems.
  • Collaborating with other engineers and IT professionals to create optimum software.

The average Software Engineer salary is $97,678 per year or $50 per hour. This is around 3 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $68,000 while most experienced workers make up to $137,000. These results are based on 408 salaries extracted from job descriptions.

Gross Salary106,741.17 $
CPP- 2,479.95 $
EI- 930.60 $
Federal Tax- 18,665.22 $
Provincial Tax- 10,184.60 $
Total Tax- 32,260.37 $
Net Pay*74,480.80 $
In Ontario, Canada, if you make 106,741.17 $ a year, you will be taxed 32,260.37 $. That means that your take home pay will be 74,480.80 $ per year, or 6,206.73 $ per month. Your average tax rate is 30.22% and your marginal tax rate is 43.41%.
* Deductions are calculated based on the tables of Ontario, Canada income tax.
Job Offers
There are currently 10912 available job offers for the Software Engineer position on Below is a list of available jobs, based on Canada's most populated metropolitan areas.
Education is key ! Over [number] graduates attended one or more of these schools prior to becoming a Software Engineer. These Schools usually offer specialized courses and programs that impart the necessary knowledge and skills required by most employers.
Top 5 Schools in Canada
to become Software Engineer
  • 1
    Montreal, Quebec
  • 2
    Montreal, Quebec
Required Skills and Qualifications
  • Outstanding computer skills:
  • Understanding computer capabilities and languages in order to create effective software.
  • Exceptional creativity to come up with new software.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills:
  • Communicating clearly, both verbally and in writing, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with coworkers and clients, as well as giving out clear instructions while working on a project;
  • being able to read and write programming code; and
  • being able to work cohesively as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills:
  • Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner using critical thinking and good judgment; and
  • analyzing the users’ needs in order to develop software that can meet those needs.
  • Organizational and time management skills and great attention to detail:
  • Being able to work independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced environment;
  • handling various projects with aggressive deadlines; and
  • being able to prioritize tasks and responsibilities accordingly.

In order to enter this field, the candidate will need an undergraduate degree in Software or Computer Engineering, Applied Sciences, Computer Science, Information Technology, Physics, or Mathematics. However, Software Engineering is a career that requires applicants to have a specific skill set, such as being able to program computers and having experience with computer systems.

All candidates applying for a job as a Software Engineer must be proficient in computer science, data structures and algorithms, mobile apps, and databases, as well as being registered professionals in their corresponding province. Only licensed Engineers can practice this career in Canada. The provincial and territorial Engineering regulatory bodies are the constituent associations of Engineers Canada and are the ones in charge of regulating the profession and licensing professional Engineers in Canada.

Some Software Engineers branch out and work in a different area of the IT industry, such as systems analysis, technical project management, or IT consultancy. Others become independent contractors and work as freelancers for different clients. However, Software Engineers are not limited to the aforementioned positions. There is a wide range of job opportunities out there for this type of Engineer. They have very flexible skills that are a definite asset for a great number of industries. Software Engineers are often hired by networking and web firms, as well as high-tech businesses, global companies, government agencies, medical institutions, manufacturing firms, and the military.

Software Engineers typically work five days a week from nine-to-five, although extra evening and weekend work may be required from time to time to meet project deadlines.