For someone confused about their direction in life and for someone uncertain about their economic future, a quick look around might suffice to clarify that direction. We live in a world dominated by electronics. Cell phones, digital cameras, laptops, tablets, and personal computers play a major part in nearly everyone’s life. The delivery of information and how we conduct our work and business are all managed by these devices. Furthermore, that information must be managed and operated through the programs and applications that run these devices and their respective operating systems. With large computer companies providing new products and services to more people every day, someone must be at the helm of overseeing the development of that software. Someone must also operate within the inner workings of most businesses to oversee their computer systems and develop new applications as business needs change, as well as fixing problems that arise. This demanding field is called software engineering, and with the explosion and growth of the tech field, it is expected to be one of the largest sectors of job growth for the foreseeable future.
Software engineering and software development have been used interchangeably in the last few years, but software engineering is a more recent term that was created to address specific concerns within the tech industry. It was apparent to many people within the field that software development covered a more generic approach to the field, and did not fully address software engineering’s application as a field within computer science. Although software engineers do in fact develop software and have coding skills, their specific role is much more dynamic.
Specifically software engineering is a systematic approach to maintaining and designing computer software. It addresses the function and operation of software within the architecture of the operating system and uses the principles of engineering to consider the relationship between the two. Their primary focus is to analyze the needs of the user and develop the computer software designed to meet those needs. This might be for the development of software designed for medical billing procedures or it might be for the development of software designed to run on the latest tablet. The field is quite open. An important part of the process and the skills that a software engineer must possess is good troubleshooting skills, since they must test the software they develop for problems and come up with solutions. A software engineer does not develop the hardware like the circuits for printers and laptops. Instead, they focus on the software and the operating systems that make the hardware work in the first place.
Software engineers can be employed be nearly any agency, whether it is a large company, a small business, a government branch, or a nonprofit organization. They can be employed as contractors or regular employees, or they can be employed as independent contractors. In either case, it is a field that pays a considerable sum of money. The demand for software engineers looks to remain high as consumers continue to purchase new electronics.