What is a Software Engineer?
The term of a software engineer can be easily confused with the term used to describe the work and daily attributes of a programmer. In fact the two disciplines, are very vast and at the same time they have to be perceived and acknowledged in a very different meaning.
A software engineer is one of the professionals or specialists who already has a license to practice in the field of engineering and have all the necessary training in the discipline of applied engineering. This involving all the steps for creating software.
The whole base of this discipline involves the principles of a few steps that are required in this field. The steps are such as designing, developing, running various tests and evaluating software and systems upon which the computers are being made.
Job Description of a Software Engineer
To become a good software engineer, you’ll have to gain and develop certain skills that will make sure the difference between you and a regular professional hired to do his job in this field. These skills can be seen mainly when some operational issues are encountered in the applications or to the computer programs.
The key skills that every software engineer will have to gain can be developed during the years of education and training. All these skills are also related to your character and your social behavior. Some individuals might already possess them, and they might already apply them to certain aspects and domains and when the time comes during training they will increase them. While others will develop and apply the learned skills, they will also gain more work experience in the field.
The first part has to deal with being good to work in a team, being opened and having the ability to communicate easily with the team members. Other skills that are required for this job will be developing an analytical and numerical thinking, and having a constant awareness on the commercial side.
The job description of a software engineer can sound something more like a professional that is responsible for the whole life cycle of a new software product or in other cases of a modified software product. The duties that are to be fulfilled will vary from researching and up to designing, implementing, supporting and training.
Working as a software engineer can bring not only a good salary but extra benefits can easily be added. Your daily tasks in this field will include parts in which you’ll investigate the current applications, write new software and operate manuals. You will also produce specifications, train all the users, agree on proposals, handle feedback and support as well as test the produce to ensure a satisfactory result and a good operation.
All this work and other various responsibilities can bring in your way pressure and from time to time a huge amount of stress due to the deadlines that must be respected and completed. You might be expected to take some extra hours just to complete the work.
Depending on the company or the industry that hired you, the work of these professionals mainly includes everything that is linked with the computer systems and the best way to maintain them. We are talking about anything, up to the maintenance of all the computer applications that can be found in a house, for instance being able to implement current or new applications for clients in their houses.
How to Become a Software Engineer?
If your dream involves in any way becoming a software engineer here are some steps that will guide and that will show you what it is to be known about the path to becoming one of these professionals. You should understand that all starts while you are in high school, and it is linked a lot with your aptitudes and some of the school subjects.
Math is very important when we talk about Computer Science or Engineering programs, without math you won’t go that far. Try to advance even from high school to the college level in math. Try subjects that will help you later on such as calculus, geometry, algebra even graphing or trigonometry.
For an entry position at one of the large companies or in the industry, you’ll truly need a four-year degree in the field and an internship. There are certain degrees that will help you do what you want to do and that will take you where you want. For instance, if you like to design games and want to enter in this industry as one of the game programmers or if you’ll want to work for huge companies such as Microsoft, Google, Intel or IBM then you’ll definitely need a Computer Science degree.
If your dream would be to work for non-technical corporations that have business applications included then the best way to go by would be to gain a degree in Management Information Systems. Going to college is not enough since many of them can’t keep up with the fast and very modern technology, you’ll have to do some research on your own and see what is new and buzzing. Buy additional technical books and teach yourself from them in order to become good and improve as the time goes by.
Give yourself options and opportunities to grow and practice your skills and knowledge, search for internships that will meet your requirements and enroll in them. No one will hire a freshman that has completed the studies without any projects. If you can try meeting software engineers and work under their guidance to some new projects, this will help you obtain experience and see how is to work as one.
Keep in mind though that there is a difference between software engineers and programmers. It all starts with the basics that every software engineers knows how to program but not every programmer is actually a software engineer. The relevant difference that can be seen is the fact that all that is done in every project is a group effort, where members of the same team have different roles and responsibilities.
Engineers are focused on developing software that meets certain specifications designed and created by the companies in which they are working for the clients. The projects that can be encountered in engineering have timelines and deadlines, release dates and a lot of interaction between the individuals that are responsible for many of the components. With other words, engineers are those who design tools that are used then by programmers.
Work Environment and Schedule
Being a software engineer will involve the typical schedule that can be found in a week, the one involving 40 hours of work per every week. The services that you offer involve your presence on a daily basis in that setting, this besides when you are working for a company from your home.
Because you are required to be onsite, and you’ll get great salaries and benefits, there is that possibility to be called for emergency situations. When you are called for any emergency, it involves the fact that you’ll work beyond the usual standard of 40 hours per week.
As part of the position that you’ve earned inside of a company, your role will be to step out from the work behind your desk and see what it’s new in the world of software engineer. This will simply imply an update on the latest and the most encountered industry news, the latest software applications and the way that the software engineering and software programming is technological advancing.
All this will include from time to time an outside training and perspective that will revolutionize your thinking and will give you a hint of what’s new and accessible. A weekly amount of research on the subject is expected and considered to be a part of the daily job, this excluding the 40 hours work per week.
The general function that most of the software engineers are dealing with is behind a desk all day long, without any exception at all. In many other roles, you’ll be put in situations when you’ll have to have an opened communication with other staff members, or with other parties that need clarification and some explication. These people need to hear from you how some programs are working that will affect your daily responsibilities and on some part your job. In this case time, management is very important as well as your ability to explain in a simple way the program that other need.
It is a fact that due to an excessive based work behind a desk and in front of a computer people are dealing with a lot of unhealthy body issues. The most commonly encountered problems are such as carpal tunnel, eye diseases, and back pains and other. The best advice if the company that you are working for doesn’t have programs included to reduce this unhealthy way of life will be to start doing simple exercises. Other things you could do are yoga, walks and what will definitely help you are small walks from time to time.
Taking small breaks will allow your brain to gain more oxygen, and you’ll start being detached from the atmosphere of work. This will be allowing you to see a lot clearly the solutions that were there all the time but you’ve couldn’t figure them out earlier.
Let’s not forget that the typical employers in this career for any software engineer are to be found in the settings of software companies, IT consultancies and Electronics as well as the telecommunications companies. A software engineer can also be hired by other organizations that are using computer systems. You can also be motivated by the option of being a self-employed. In this case, some years of relevant experience will help a lot especially if you want to run your own business.
Pros and Cons of Being a Software Engineer
The pros in this field are linked especially with the salaries. A software engineer salary with relevant years of experience can go up a lot, and there are plenty of opportunities for advancement. There is a certain job stability since the software industry is continuous growing and developing in that area. The number of demanding is increasing.
Making life easier is a great reward that can be seen many times when someone enjoys what you’ve designed and the fact that it eased a lot his or her work. The con that can appear if you might name it like that is the fact that your self-education is never ended. You always have to improve and see want is new in this industry what people are searching for. You have to challenge yourself and teach yourself complex and new things that are required more often.
Another con that is to be found is linked with the daily responsibilities of being a software engineer and the deadlines. With all this can be added a huge amount of stress and pressure and long extra hours in which you’ll have to fulfill all your work. If you don’t have time to improve and be self-educated on this path maybe this is not at all what you should search for.
Software Engineer job growth
Working as a software engineer means that you’ll get plenty of opportunities where to choose from, including as early reminded very good income. You are truly a live asset for many organizations and companies mainly due to the modern economy that is built around software technology.
In the US, according to the BLS or else known as the Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment growth is predicted at 22% in this field or even higher. There are plenty of jobs in this career since the society nowadays functions mainly in the era of new technology and more and more software engineers are needed.
Software Engineer Salary
A software engineer salary many times is influenced by certain factors such as the type of employer, the area and the years of experience not to mention the education that one has gained in this field. The common salary for a software engineer is evaluated at about $94,010 per year.
According to the type of employer, if you are working as a software engineer at Google, for instance, your salary is estimated to reach at about an average of $138,010 per year. At the same time, Amazon will pay a software engineer with an income that reaches about $103,010 per year. Apple will offer a salary estimated to reach an average of about $116,010 per year.
Finding the right location for your work as a software engineer can bring you a lot of advantages. For instance, if you are in San Francisco then you should know that there are many companies that pay a higher income for having these professionals. For instance, the estimated income in this city for one working in the software engineering is estimated at $116,010 per year while being in Seattle your salary is estimated at $104,010 per year.
Other cities that have a higher income point can be found in New York, Washington, and other. The lowest salary that is to be gained working as a software engineer is to be found in Minneapolis with an average earning reaching only at $80,010 per year.
Salary of a Software Engineer in 2015
The salary of a software engineer in 2015 is quoted to be one of the best that is to be found. The salaries in this profession are very high, and the chances for advancement are everywhere. The salaries are known to vary also according to the experience and the education that you are gaining since there has to be on a continuous basis, the location and the position that you’ve applied for.
According to the positions that you’ve applied for and based on who you are working for, the estimated average wage is around $95,010 per year. If you’ve found work as an application software engineer, then you can expect to a salary that reaches about $88,010 per year. If you are working as a Java Software Engineer, your salary will be estimated at an average of about $96,010 per year.
Finding a job in a position such as a Web UI Software Engineer will get you to an average annual earning estimated at $110,010 per year. If you’ll like to work for Apple, and you’ve found work on a position such as of an iOS Software Engineer, then you can expect at an earning reaching at about $108,010 per year.
Software Engineer Salary in 2016
The year 2016, in the US, leads a software engineer to an average median established income that gets around $79,358 per year. The income for these professionals starts at $55,239 per year and can climb up to $116,705 per year, according to the salary data information provided by PayScale. The bonuses that are usually granted in this career can climb up to $14,791 per year while the profit sharing is comprised between $506 and up to $14,932. The commission that is granted in this field reaches at $14,742, this leading in the end with all these benefits added to a salary that ranges from $54,846 per year and up to $122,652 per year.
The vast majority of people working as software engineers are males rather than females. The factors that usually affect and influence this career field are linked with the geographical location, type of profession, years of experience in the field, industry and other few as well. When it comes to the years of experience factor, the incomes vary. For instance, an entry-level software engineer with up to five years in the field can expect to earn around $74,010 per year while one professional who has between 5 and 10 years of experience in the field can expect to take home around $87,010 per year.
As you can see in this field, the income grows gradually with more years of experience in the field. An experienced software engineer with 10 and up to 20 years of practice can expect to earn an income that is established at around $100,005 per year while a veteran in this field will win around $108,010 per year.
The national average income for the year 2-16, in the US, for a software engineer is estimated at around $80,841 per year. The geographical location factor contributes a lot when it comes to the salaries of these professionals because the incomes vary based on each state, from one region to another. The main factors that affect this demographic factor are the particular cost of living and the living expenses that can be encounter in one area or another.
A software engineer, who works and lives in Mountain View, California can expect at an average median income that gets around $110,258 per year while one that is located in San Francisco, California will gain a median income that is estimated at around $103,072 per year. On the other side, a worst location for an individual working as software engineer can be found in Portland where the average median income is estimated at around $77,418 per year.
Software Engineer Salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
- In Canada, the expected median annual salary for a software engineer is estimated at C$79,998 per year. The average payment that can be found in this field is estimated to reach about C$66,386 per year. The salary has lower and higher points, and it can be comprised between C$48,631 and C$89,010 per year with a bonus that can reach up to C$9,684 per year. You can also add the profit sharing that can be estimated between C$493.18 and C$12,315 per year. This will lead eventually to a total estimated salary that is comprised between C$48,498 and up to C$93,898 per year.
- In Australia, the average salary for one of these professionals is estimated to be around AU$71,173 per year. The salary in this career is estimated to be comprised between AU$49,894 and AU$97,932 per year. To all this, you can add a yearly bonus that is estimated to reach at about AU$10,068 per year and a profit sharing that usually can go up to AU$4,968 per year. The total amount of payment, after all, the granted benefits can be estimated to be comprised between AU$49,997 and AU$102,010 per year.
- The average income for a software engineer in UK is estimated to reach about £32,986 per year. The salary like in any other country has higher and lower points being estimated at a comprised average between £22,843 and £50,324 per year. The bonus that is added will reach at about £6,323 per year with a profit sharing that is estimated between £300.68 and £6,129 per year. All this will lead to a total income that is comprised between £23,265 and £53,746 per year.
Conclusion on Software Engineer Salary
The salary for this career is really good! You can easily advance to much higher positions with some steps forward in training and education.
He difference in this field is made many times according to the work experience that you’ve earned over the years. The salary is influenced by a series of factors that make every salary to vary from city to city and from state to state.
- First Published Date: 18 May, 2015
- Last Updated Date: 4 November, 2016