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What does a software engineer do?

Team StoryWeavers|March 2, 2020|

Before we begin, here’s a quick question for you. How many devices can you name that you use every day?

You might start with… 

  • Computer
  • Video gaming console 
  • Refrigerator
  • Television
  • Mobile phone

And the list goes on! Did you know all these devices were created with the help of software engineers?  

Wondering how?  

Let’s understand the role of a software engineer.

What does a software engineer do?

Software engineers are ones who combine their knowledge of maths and computer science to develop, design, code, and test programs designed to run on a device. These programs might be designed to help us communicate, travel, or  learn new things.

Software engineering is a promising career choice. If you love computers and are interested in coding, a career in software engineering may be a good choice.

So, let’s dive deep, and understand what it takes to be a software engineer. 

What skills do you require to become a Software Engineer?

As a software engineer, you’ll have a lot on your plate. Having these skills will help you be more efficient. 

Problem-solving and logical thinking: Software problems can occur from even the smallest of errors. Hence, you must possess strong problem-solving and logical thinking skills.

Analytical thinking: You should be able to analyze complex technical information.

Numerical skills: You need to be strong with numbers. So, put in extra effort in mathematics. 

Innovative thinker: Develop an ability to look into a situation and come up with out of the box solutions. 

Career Scope of Software Engineering

Software engineers have a wide scope when it comes to jobs. Here are some key areas where software engineers are employed. 

Everything you see on a website, the apps you use on different devices and the placement of various icons on your mobile phone – all this is possible with the help of a front-end developer. They work closely with graphic designers and copywriters to make the user interfaces of any device easy to use. For example, the images and text colour on this article will appear the same on all devices, thanks to the front-end developers. In order to be a front-end developer, you need to be strong in computer languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

For every website, there is a back end server, an application, and a database, which makes the website run fast. A back-end developer stores all the data and ensures that the front-end runs smoothly and effortlessly. In short, a back-end developer maintains the technology that powers the components to run. You need to be strong in languages like PHP, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, and others in order to become a back-end developer.  

As software engineers, a lot of interesting opportunities open up in the field of gaming. You can write codes for major game developing companies and work closely with game developers and designers. You can read more about game developers here.

As an embedded system developer, you’ll get to create codes for electronic appliances that require embedded software, like a refrigerator, microwave, printer, oven, and toaster. For this role, you need to have an excellent understanding of computer languages such as Java, XML, Perl, Python, C/C++ Shell Scripting, and others. 

You can also opt for a career opportunity in the field of Data Science. There’s a tremendous amount of innovation in data science has taken place over the years, where computer languages like Python to capture data. You can read more about a career as a Data Scientist here.

What do you need to study to become a software engineer?

  • The first step is to opt for science with a PCM (Physics, Chemistry, and Maths) combination in your 11th and 12th.  
  • The next step is to write an entrance exam to get into a college. Here is the list of major entrance exam conducted by various colleges:
    • CUSAT CAT (Cochin University of Science and Technology Common Admission Test)
    • JEE Mains and Advanced
    • Manipal Entrance Test
    • BITSAT (Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test)
  • Then earn a graduate degree in BCA (Bachelor in Computer Application). Many students also opt for B.Sc/BE/BTech/B.InfTech for their graduation. 
  • With an engineering degree, you can become an associate software engineer, but you need to spend enough time learning various computer languages. You can do that by taking up an internship during your graduation. 
  • You can also get a diploma in software engineering before you start working as a software engineer or a software developer. 
  • You can specialize at a postgraduate level by completing an MCA (Masters in Computer Application) course, MSc in software engineering or any other relevant course. In order to do that, you need to take an entrance test. Here is a list of major entrance tests for post-graduation in software engineering:
    • GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)
    • VITEEE (Vellore Institute of Technology Engineering Entrance)
    • BITSAT 

Where to study?

Apart from the top engineering institutes like IITs and NITs, here is a list of other engineering colleges in India:

  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad
  • SRM Engineering College, Kanchipuram
  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
  • Delhi Technological University, New Delhi
  • Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), Bhubaneswar
  • Amity University, Noida
  • RV College of Engineering, Bangalore

Pro-Tip

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About the Author


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Tanaya Goswami

Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at storyweavers@byjus.com if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!

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