What Is a Software Engineer?

How many times today did you open a web browser? Create a document or presentation on your computer? Check your email? If you used any of these applications, you’re using a product developed by a software engineer.  

Software engineers (or software developers) create two types of software applications and operating systems. They work on a wide range of projects, from applications like Chrome, Windows, macOS, and Mozilla Firefox, to system engineering that allows computers to operate. Ready to explore more? Let’s discuss the software engineering career path.  

Two Types of Software Engineers 

Software engineers fall into one of two categories: system developers or application developers. Systems developers build computer systems and networks. They collaborate with senior system engineers, development teams, architects, and data science professionals to ensure that different software programs communicate on one platform. They update computer systems with new technologies and maintain documentation of these systems. 

Application engineers or developers design software that completes specific tasks for users. These software applications can manage email, create presentations, design documents, and visual graphics, allow you to surf the internet, or play audio or video on your computer. Software engineers write the code or computer language for these applications and release updates to improve the application. 

Why pursue a career path as a software engineer? 

The need for software engineers continues to grow across industries as technology evolves. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of software engineers will grow 22% from 2020 to 2030—much faster than other careers. Because of the demand, software engineers can find more employment opportunities and competitive pay and benefits.  

Skill Sets for Software Engineers 

Software engineers use their problem-solving skills to write codes that operate or work with computers. Many high schools now offer classes addressing some or many skills needed to become a software engineer. While colleges offer degree programs for software engineering, you can also find online certification courses that can fast-track you to a career quickly. Here are a few skills software engineers need:

  • Coding languages like Python, Java, C, C++, or Scala 
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Database architecture 
  • Agile and Scrum project management 
  • Operating systems 
  • Cloud computing 
  • Version control 
  • Design testing and debugging 

Grow a Career with Software Engineering Skills 

If you enjoy working with computer systems and creating new ways to interact with those systems, software engineering can be an exciting and challenging career path. The need for software engineers continues to grow with the development of new applications. To learn more about the career path and connect with other people interested in IT, explore our Tallo Community groups and knowledge sharing. 

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