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Software Engineer Job Scope: What Does A Software Engineer Do?

Software engineers are architects of the digital world, creating software solutions that power applications, games, and network systems. Their everyday tasks include developing the code, running tests, and maintaining software throughout its lifecycle.

Written by
Kai Yuan Neo
Last updated
August 18, 2023
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Software Engineer Job Scope: What Does A Software Engineer Do?

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The broad software engineering field is a dynamic and multifaceted field that uses engineering principles and programming languages. Software engineers play a pivotal role in the creations that power our digital world, such as software products, computer games, network control systems, as well as web and mobile applications.

This includes coding, debugging, and ensuring that the software meets the specified performance, security, and user experience criteria. Many software engineers are involved in various stages of the software development lifecycle, from initial ideation to maintaining software built by their team. 

What Does a Software Engineer Do? 

The role of a software engineer revolves around transforming concepts and requirements into functional software. 

There are primarily two types of software engineers, namely applications software developers and systems software developers. Both roles have overlapping skill sets but focus on different things, such as developing new software programs or maintaining complex systems. 

However, there are even more specific roles with their technical expertise.

What Software Engineers Do in a Day

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Due to the many roles and responsibilities, software engineers work in a team. All of the possible roles in software engineering are just as important as each other to fulfill the needs of a software’s lifecycle.

Software Engineer Tasks

  • Develop a software 

Software engineers are responsible for developing the code for applications, and systems, or developing software solutions. This involves choosing the right programming languages, frameworks, and tools to kickstart a software system. 

  • Run tests

Software engineers design and implement test cases to ensure the software functions as intended in the network systems to identify and rectify any bugs or errors.

  • Software maintenance

After the initial development, software engineers maintain the software built by updating it to accommodate changing requirements, fix bugs, and enhance software performance.

  • Collaborate with stakeholders or client

Software engineers work closely with clients, product managers, and other stakeholders to understand requirements, provide updates, and incorporate feedback into the development process.

Software Engineer Roles

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There are different roles involved in development teams, which depend on each engineer’s hard skills, soft skills, and programming language specialty. As software engineers progress in their careers, they gravitate towards specialisation by honing their expertise in specific domains.

Full Stack Software Engineer 

Full-stack software engineers are skilled in both front-end and back-end development. They are proficient in a wide range of technologies, allowing them to work on all aspects of a software application. 

Skills that are associated with full-stack software engineering include an understanding of both front-end and back-end programming languages. Our coding bootcamp equips aspiring developers with comprehensive skills to foster the foundation needed to embark on a career as a full-stack software engineer. 

Front-End Software Engineer

Front-end software engineers focus on the user experience of a software application. They work with coding languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript to create visually appealing and responsive user interfaces.

As the primary role of the front-end engineer is to develop visually appealing and interactive interfaces that enhance the user experience, they need to have an in-depth understanding of Javascript, including modern ES6+ features. Front-end software engineers must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies to deliver modern user-friendly interfaces.

Backend Software Engineer

Backend software engineers handle the server side of a software application. They are responsible for managing databases, and server logic, and ensuring that the application's backend functions seamlessly.

The backend technology is the foundation of applications and software systems to ensure data structures, integrity, security, and optimal performance. The important languages for server-side programming include Java, Python, and Node.js. Backend software engineers are also required to have a deep understanding of database management systems and best practices for data and network security. 

QA Software Engineer

Quality Assurance (QA) software engineers spend their time software testing in the operating systems. They design and execute test cases to identify and rectify any defects to make sure the final product meets the standards.

QA software engineers need to be familiar with various testing types, such as security testing, performance testing, and unit testing, while creating test documentation and automation. 

DevOps Software Engineer

DevOps engineers bridge the gap between development and operations. These software engineers focus on automating and streamlining the software development and deployment processes. As such, the DevOps engineers are the key to operations efficiency.

They play a key role from code development to production deployment and are required to have proficiency in programming and scripting languages to automate tasks. They possess various technical skills including implementation of continuous integration and deployment, and Infrastructure as Code, with tools like Terraform or CloudFormation.

Applications Software Developer

An applications software developer specialises in creating specific types of software, such as mobile apps, desktop, and web applications, or enterprise solutions. They apply their programming skills to address particular needs within a given domain.

Software developers are responsible for all aspects of development and thus are required to possess technical expertise in one or more languages like Java, C# and C++, or Swift and Koblin, used for iOS and Android developments respectively. They build software solutions that meet user needs, are scalable, and adhere to best practices in software development. 

Job Prospects for Software Engineering

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There exists a strong industry demand for skilled software engineers as technology continues to advance. The job prospects for software engineers are promising, with opportunities in various industries such as healthcare, finance, entertainment, and e-commerce.

Continuous learning and staying updated with the latest computer science technologies are crucial for an enduring career in software engineering. The software engineering field offers not only competitive salaries but also the satisfaction of contributing to innovative solutions that shape the digital landscape. The software engineering career path can lead them to numerous roles such as network systems engineers, systems developer jobs, senior software engineers, and software architecture, though some may opt to be senior systems architects. 

The specific skills in demand include expertise in programming languages (such as Java, Python, JavaScript), cloud computing (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud), mobile app development, cybersecurity, and data science. You can become a software engineer and be equipped with the necessary computer science knowledge and software engineering skills by enrolling in our coding bootcamp

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