Software engineering is one of the most lucrative occupations to be in or enter at this current time. The question you may have though is what does a software engineer do? Well, the simple answer to this is that a software engineer solves problems. Let’s expand on that. What problems exactly? Well, software ones. If you are just starting out as a software engineer you won’t get all the big clients and requests as you are more likely to be writing a small amount of code for a bigger project within the company you are working for. Or you could be dealing with an individual problem- maybe a computer game with a stalling point where the game crashes and won’t move on past. This has been discovered in Beta testing say, and you have been asked to re-code this particular part of the game to stop this happening.
You could be dealing with embedded software that is coding within a mobile phone or a video viewing engine. If it has gone wrong somewhere you will need to find out why and how to fix it. You could be writing application software something like a programme to run on a person’s laptop or desktop computer. Unfortunately, there is also the chance if you are just starting with the company you will be asked to deal with documentation. This is likely to be the road you will start on, but try not to think of it as a boring step as that would not really look too well with your bosses and could stifle quick promotion chances.
Once you have progressed up the ladder a bit, you will find you are given more responsibility and more challenges to deal with. Mainly this will involve getting down to the nitty-gritty of making the software. Getting from the client what it is they wish the software to do and analyzing if it is possible in the format they are asking for. If it isn’t, the next step is to advise the client it can’t be done the way they want but suggest possible alternatives. At this step it would be adventurous to have some examples to use when meeting the client. These can be in the form of drawings, although once you have agreed an avenue to adopt, you will need to design the layout fully and then write the program for the software. It would then be advisable to run a Beta Test. This can be done either internally within your company if large enough, or with the client’s permission a larger external beta test. There are plenty of online gamers who are willing to beta test games and similar for you.
There are actually different phases to being a software engineer. For example in a large software house you will find that different engineers complete different tasks. Some will only write code, some will test the software and some are there for quality control. If you are entering a software house you can expect to progress to one of these phases and it should eventually match in with your experience.