What does a Software Engineer do?

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What is a Software Engineer?

Also known as: Computer Software Engineer, Software Development Engineer, Software Architect

A software engineer is someone who is engaged in computer software development, and applies engineering principles to software creation. They apply these engineering principles to every stage of the development process, from requirements analysis to the software process, and create customized systems for individual clients. Just as a civil engineer will make sure that a bridge has a solid foundation, a software engineer will also begin with a thorough study of requirements and work through the development process in a systematic way.

A Software Engineer is a specialized type of Engineer.

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What does a Software Engineer do?

A software engineer applies mathematical analysis and the principles of computer science in order to design and develop computer software. There are many types of software that a software engineer can develop, such as operating systems, computer games, middleware, business applications and network control systems. Changes in technology and new areas of specialization keeps this profession evolving at a rapid pace.

When working with a client, a software engineer will typically analyze the client's needs, then design, test, and develop the computer software in order to meet those needs. They are experts in computing systems, software structure, and recognizing the limitations of the existing hardware. The process is complicated and intricate, therefore the use of diagrams, flowcharts, and the creation of algorithms to tell the computer what to do are created. Converting these instructions into a computer language (coding or programming) is usually the responsibility of a computer programmer.

Software engineers can be divided into two categories:

Applications Engineers
- create or adapt applications for businesses and organizations by analyzing the end user's needs. They will design, build, install, and maintain these applications or programs.

Systems Engineers
- coordinate the creation, maintenance and growth of a business or organization's computer systems. They coordinate each department's needs, suggest technical direction, and set up any networks that link up computers with the company.

What is the workplace of a Software Engineer like?

Software engineers can work for government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses, either as employees or as contractors. They typically work in comfortable settings, but it is sometimes a stressful job that involves long hours and tight deadlines.

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