How to become a Software Engineer

What is a Software Engineer?

Software engineers are computer science professionals who use knowledge of engineering principles and programming languages to build computer systems software and applications software. They have extensive knowledge of programming languages, software development, and computer operating systems, and they apply engineering principles to software creation.

As a software engineer, you’ll work in a constantly evolving environment, due to technological advances and the strategic direction of the organisation you work for.

How to become a Software Engineer?

To become a software engineer, you could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in either computer science, information technology, software development, financial technology, or software engineering for business.

You could do a college course, which may lead onto more advanced qualifications or a higher apprenticeship, or help you to get a trainee position with a company. Courses include Level in Computing, Level 3 Certificate in Programming, T level in Digital Production, Design and Development, or Higher National Certificate in Computing

You could also build up your skills and knowledge using free online learning resources for programming languages, project management and software development methods.

Software Engineer Duties:

Software Engineer duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Write and test code, refining and rewriting it as necessary and communicate with any programmers involved in the project
  • Develop information systems by designing, developing, and installing software solutions
  • Accomplishes engineering and organization mission by completing related results as needed
  • Improving system quality by identifying issues and common patterns, and developing standard operating procedures
  • Investigating and using new technologies where relevant
  • Documents and demonstrates solutions by developing documentation, flowcharts, layouts, diagrams, charts, code comments and clear code
  • Liaising with colleagues to implement technical designs
  • Consistently improve maintainability and stability of the codebase.

Software Engineer Skills:

To be an effective Software Engineer, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Knowledge of at least one programming language
  • Technical competency
  • Problem solving
  • Software development fundamentals
  • Outstanding all-round communication skills and ability to work collaboratively
  • Creativity to develop software from ideas

How to find a Software Engineer job:

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the Software Engineer jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for Software Engineer jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Software Engineer Job Titles

When you search for Software Engineer jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for Software Engineer jobs include;

  • Software Development Engineer
  • Development Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Junior Software Engineer

What does a Software Engineer do?

The day-to-day tasks of a Software Engineer include;

  • Discuss requirements with the client and the development team
  • Follow the software development lifecycle
  • Take part in technical design and progress meetings
  • Providing written knowledge transfer material
  • Test software and diagnose and fix problems
  • Keep accurate records of the development process, changes and results
  • Carry out trials and quality checks before release
  • Maintain and support systems once they’re up and running