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Job description: what does a software engineer do?
Software engineers are software architects and not programmers. Instead, they develop software concepts and ensure the further development of programs to improve software production. You get to the bottom of problems and perfect existing applications. Their main task is conceptual design. You will design software systems and analyze the practical processes that a program has to map.
The individual activities of software engineers are extremely exciting and varied. Your work usually begins with a requirements analysis. To do this, they examine new or changed requirements in a company and transfer these requirements to the software environment. They check the requirements for their feasibility and analyze their complexity and their effects on existing or planned systems. They then create alternative solutions and verify their feasibility. You choose the best possible option and finally start implementing it. To do this, they select all the necessary technical and human resources, determine the software architecture and define the essential interfaces and database systems. Then they prepare all standards, guidelines, methods, techniques, and tools for software development. Next, they create data models and model program functions, while they usually leave the programming of the software to specialized developers. Finally, they define the product and software versions and take care of the documentation of software codes, data models, and the analyses carried out.
In addition, software engineers take on tasks in quality assurance and maintenance. They examine existing software concerning existing security risks, malfunctions, and the general potential for improvement. If necessary, they initiate the measures needed to optimize the programs. They also carry out risk analyzes in software systems, implement new programs, define and agree on service levels and even work in third-level support. There they mainly analyze program malfunctions and monitor so-called escalation procedures.
Software engineers typically work for software manufacturers in the field of software development. Jobs with well-known game developers are trendy. In addition, software developers are employed in the IT departments of large corporations and organizations that manage and optimize their software environment themselves. They can also find attractive jobs in the consulting industry. At consulting firms, software engineers have excellent career prospects as IT consultants. Their locations are offices and meeting rooms. They can also be found in their customers’ production halls, recording processes directly on site.
Software engineer responsibilities and requirements
Anyone striving for a career as a software engineer should complete an IT-heavy degree focusing on software engineering. Possible courses of study are software engineering, software systems engineering, computer engineering, or production informatics. However, subjects such as computer engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering open the doors to a career as a software engineer. In addition, a good grade point average is essential for courses with restricted admission. In some cases, the universities also conduct an admission test.
As a rule, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for employment as a software engineer. Candidates with a master’s degree, however, have better career prospects. The course imparts both technical and social skills. It is divided into basic and main studies. The former imparts basic knowledge in mathematics, computer science, project management, business administration, and software engineering. In the main course, there is usually a specialization. Possible areas of focus are, for example, system engineering, IT management, or games engineering.
In addition to professional qualifications, personal and social skills are also fundamental when applying as a software engineer. Suitable applicants should be able to think analytically and abstractly and have a lifelong willingness to learn. The development in the IT industry is extremely rapid. New technologies are constantly coming onto the market, with innovations also constantly changing the working environment of software developers. You work mainly in projects and teams. Therefore, working in a team, resilience, and basic knowledge of project management is essential in this profession. Software engineers often work under time pressure. You have to meet deadlines and work overtime to do so. In the consulting industry, a willingness to travel is also required. In addition, there are strong communication skills and a talent for the organization. Software engineers work independently, reliably, and with a focus on results and customers. You are strong in presentations and can also explain software components to laypeople. Business basics are also taken for granted for a job in software development.