How to be a Software Engineer

How to be a software engineer?

A software engineer is a technical professional who is involved in the design, development, testing, debugging and maintenance of software-driven systems, applications and tools. Since the inception of the world’s first Computer Science degree course in Imperial College, London, the field has continued to become one of the hottest academic courses of choice until today.

A software engineer might also carry slight differences in the job title, such as software developer, computer programmer, system developers and so on, despite carrying very similar duties. Some companies just prefer to designate their employees with different titles.

While the title clearly carries the “engineering” word, someone works in this job might not actually graduated from the engineering background. Rather, qualifications in information technology (IT) or related areas are usually more preferred. It is estimated that out of the total population of the world’s software engineers, roughly half of them earned academic qualification in information system, computer science or information technology.

So, what does it take to be a software programmer? What kind of skills, orientation and academic papers you need to have?

1. Academic papers in Computer Science (or related fields)

Someone with a degree in Computer Science or related fields (e.g., Information Systems Engineering, Computer Engineering, etc.) will be preferred to take up this job. Under the degree course, essential subjects will be covered that include basic computing skills, programming, laboratory, technology advancements, logic, maths and others. A person who supplements his or her degree with further studies can put him in a better position to land a job.

2. Love programming

Without doubt, a software engineer job requires programming. Plenty of it. Your everyday life resolves pretty much around programming. C++, Java, HTML, XHTML, XML, PHP, Visual Basic and so on are some of the highly sought after programming languages. Also, with the incessant growth of the tabloid market and especially the iOS market, its associated programming languages (Objective C) and its software development tool (XCode) will see people in these areas in high demand.

3. Master logics, and if possible, math

Going further down, logics are essential keys to programming (in further extent, they are also highly applicable in most engineering fields). They say mastery in this area will create one damn good programmer. Some also believe that mathematics (math) will help the life of a software engineer. Is that true? Some doubt it, especially those who inclined to believe in the importance of design patterns, software tools, interface, methodologies and so on.

Recently, in a survey, software engineer has been named as the best job in the US. The job pays decent salary, offers good flexibility and does not require much of physical prowess. Does not seem to be a bad field to pursue at all. However, it is worth to keep in mind that not everyone is cut out to be a software engineer.

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