Software Engineer

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What does a software engineer do?

It’s no secret to anyone that IT professions are in high demand in today’s world. Employers are willing to offer competitive salaries for such positions as software engineer, coder, tester, and many others. Usually, the salaries in the IT industry are several times higher than for the positions in other fields. But what exactly does a software engineer do? Let’s figure out in this post all of the key factors that you need to keep in mind when studying or applying for this position.

What is software engineering?

The term “software engineering” was first used in 1968 at a NATO conference to describe the skills required to find solutions to the then-happening software crisis. Since then, the term had been transformed into a definition of a broad field, implying the creation of qualitative and flexible software for the resolution of multiple tasks. Software development is strongly correlated to the disciplines of computer science, project management, and systems engineering. The specialist in this position is responsible for the designing, developing, producing, and testing of various IT products. When we are talking about a software engineer, we mean a person whose main task is not coding but the creation of a quality and well-working application from scratch. The specialist must have a passion for what he or she does to be capable of creating quality and versatile final products. You cannot become an expert if you learn and apply for such jobs only for the money.

What is a software engineer salary?

We have already said that this profession is highly demanded and quite well paid. In 2006, Money Magazine and named it the best profession in terms of salary in the United States. And 15 years later, the situation is still the same! Based on the data from Payscale, the average yearly salary of a software engineer in the U.S. is around $87,000. An entry-level specialist with 0-1 year of experience can count on around $63,000 yearly salary with subsequent increases.

In Canada, the average yearly salary for the position is around C$76,000, which equals around $63,000. The entry-level specialist can be offered C$55,000 a year which equals around $45,000.

In India, the average offered salary is ₹554,811, which is around $7600 a year. The entry-level specialist with 0-1 year of experience would be able to get around ₹345,000 or $4,700 a year. A mid-level specialist with more than 5 years of experience can count on ₹874,000 or $12,000 a year. And a senior-level expert can be offered around ₹1,400,000 or $19,000 yearly.

The highest-paid software engineers work for the largest world IT companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. According to Payscale, a software engineer at Microsoft is paid from $91,000 to $141,000 yearly with an average of $117,000. The average yearly pay for the senior position is $146,000 a year. Google offers the position from $83,000 to $159,000 a year with an average of $120,000. A senior software engineer can count for around $154,000. Amazon offers an average software engineer salary of around $117,000. A senior position that requires at least 10 years of experience is paid around $147,000 yearly.

In India, the same companies offer the following salaries for mid-level positions:

  • Microsoft – ₹1,477,770 a year.
  • Google – average salary ₹1,467,182 a year.
  • Amazon - ₹1,440,745 a year.

As you can see, these top companies offer around $20,000 a year in India for skilled software engineers, which is quite good considering the industry average. However, it could be challenging to get this position. You need to have certain skills and a number of years of experience to successfully apply for such a job.

What is the difference:  Software Developer vs Software Engineer vs Programmer

Based on the name of the software engineer position, you may think that it is the same as a coder or developer. However, although these professions have intersection points in terms of certain skills and understanding of processes, a software engineer is a much more responsible and multidiscipline speciality that requires a much broader horizon, skills, experience, and knowledge. In short, all software engineers can code, but not all coders and developers can design the concepts of software. Simple software and apps very much differ from the ones designed by engineers.

The simplest definition of a programming process says that it is the creation of an ordered sequence of actions for a computer to obtain some specific output when certain parameters are input. While the process of software engineering implies the designing, coding, testing, and support of the software, aimed to solve the tasks of multiple users. Here we talk about reliable and safe solutions which will stand the test of time and solve even some possibly unknown to date tasks beyond the obvious ones.

As for the difference between engineer and developer, we have already listed the tasks of the first profession, and now let’s define what the second one does. A developer is an expert programmer who builds applications that run across various types of computers, smartphones, etc. Besides, if needed, an engineer creates the tools to create a program while a developer uses already existing tools. Generally, we can say that a software developer does almost the same things as an engineer but on a much smaller scale.

Necessary software engineer skills

You may think that such a profession requires mainly technical knowledge. Although it is partially true because to be a good professional a person must be an expert in several programming languages,  have deep knowledge of different operating systems, and so on, it is far from all of the required skills. Here we list the most necessary ones:

  • Analytical thinking: If you have always been good at math then you’ve got it.
  • Solution-oriented thinking: act purposefully and always remember what you want to achieve with your work.
  • Communication skills: since project teamwork is crucial in this profession, good interpersonal skills are essential.
  • Team spirit: this feature is mentioned in the most interesting job offers because, as we have already mentioned, you will have to work with a team to successfully complete the projects and launch your products into the world.
  • Good English skills: the majority of documentation, educational materials, and so on, which you will need in your work, are in English. So a good understanding of the language is a must.
  • Deep knowledge of software, which means knowledge of operating systems, web and cloud technologies, database architecture, and programming languages. It is advisable to know and understand the basics of C ++, C # or Java, Javascript, Python, HTML, and CSS.

Role of software engineer and requirements for the position

We have already discussed the tasks of this position in general. Now let’s review the actual requirements for this role in detail:

  • Work with different teams, directing the development of the product with the technical guidelines developed by you.
  • Create a detailed plan that will help you and your team create a product, that meets the needs of a client.
  • Create a guideline manual for future application users.
  • Participate in meetings with clients, coders, marketing team, and others.
  • Collect and analyze data on product development and service issues for the improvement of user experience.
  • Continuously work on product improvement based on the analytic and statistic data and reports.
  • Prepare the product for licensing and get it licensed.
  • Creating tools and policies of work for the improvement of internal productivity.
Responsibilities of Software Engineer
Development of software in accordance with the terms of reference, perform testing and debugging
Selection of the best-suited programming languages
Improvement of previously made software solutions
Implementation of control over the process of software deployment and use, technical support
Creation of technical documentation and instructions for using software that meet the established requirements
Development and implementation of systems aimed at automatic software testing
Salary of Software Engineer
junior 550000-950000
middle 950000-1550000
senior 1550000-3000000