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.
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.
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.
- 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.