The first modern digital computers were introduced in the early 1940s and then after some years, ‘hardware’ and ‘software’, the two different branches of computer science came into existence to deal with the complexity of computing. Programming languages were introduced in the 1950s, for instance, Fortran, ALGOL and Cobol were released to deal with scientific, algorithmic and business problems respectively. The first computer software engineer job description must have appeared somewhere in late 1950s!
A few years back, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 760,840 software engineers were holding jobs in the U.S. and there were also 1.4 million software practitioners employed in the U.S. in all other engineering disciplines. The Money Magazine announced ‘software engineering’ as the best job in the United States in 2006. It is considered as one of the highest paying jobs. Software engineering is still considered as relatively new field of study. Software development is often taught as part of a computer science curriculum and as a result most software engineers hold computer science degrees. Common people know the terms ‘software engineering’ or IT jobs, but there are various fields involved in software engineering or information technology (IT), for instance, software design engineer, software quality assurance engineer, software support engineer, etc. Let us take a look at software engineer job description.
Computer Software Engineer
The IEEE Computer Society’s Software Engineering Body of Knowledge defines ‘software engineering’ as “the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software, and the study of these approaches; that is, the application of engineering to software”. Software engineers are required to design, implement and modify software and they have to assure the quality, lower the cost, ease maintainability and build software quickly. Thus there are various branches involved. Read more on career opportunities. Let us first take a look at the software test engineer job description.
Software Test Engineer
If you want to work as a software engineer in the testing discipline, you will be required to write code, design tests and above all, find software bugs. You are expected to optimize the performance of large-scale real-time services. Each position may expect different ‘qualifications and experience’, depending upon the nature of work. Generally, the candidate is expected to hold a 4 year degree in computer science or the equivalent and he/she should have 5 years of software development or testing experience. Applicants should also possess various technical skills like programming in C++ or C# or server operating systems or IIS or Apache or TCP/IP networking or multi-threaded programming or testing multi-tiered client/server systems or programming or debugging assembly language or familiarity with technologies such as Winsock, SOAP, and AJAX or a background in engineering statistics or storage systems etc. Read more on software testing.
It is just impossible to enlist all fields and skills required for them, as there are innumerable types and applications. Junior software engineer job description may involve less years of experience while senior software engineer job description may involve more years of experience and more technical skills. Moreover, senior software engineer job descriptions may also include other skills and abilities like being self motivated, well spoken, having positive attitude, excellent communication skills, etc. A software test engineer is also a part of software quality assurance. Read more on software engineer salary.
Software Quality Assurance Engineer
Software quality assurance job description usually involves the same skills as mentioned above. The requirement of skills varies according to the nature of work. A software quality assurance engineer evaluates and tests new or modified software programs and software development procedures used to verify those programs. He checks whether everything is functioning according to user requirements or not and conforms the same to establishment guidelines. He efficiently writes, revises and verifies quality standards and test procedures for the designed program and evaluates the product to attain the desired quality. He also checks the economical quality of software. Read more on salary ranges for jobs.
Software Design Engineer
Job description of software engineers in the testing and quality assurance field is different from the job description of software design engineer. A design engineer’s duties involve:
- Modify existing software to adapt it to new hardware and improve the performance.
- Design and develop software systems.
- Analyze information, determine, recommend and plan installation of a new system or modification of an existing system.
- Develop software system testing and validation procedures.
- Plan software programming and development of documentation.
- Consult with customers, other departments on project status, proposals and technical issues.
- Advise customers about the performance and maintenance of software system.
- Coordinate installation of software system.
- Store, retrieve and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.
The list does not end here. The nature of work and the technical skills required vary according to the requirements of the job. This description is just a guideline to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by software engineer within this position. The actual duties, responsibilities and qualifications may vary based on assignment. Read more on software development.
Software Support Engineer
A college degree in computer science is required for being a software support engineer. Various technical skills like understanding of Networking and SQL database are required depending upon the nature of the job. On-site training of software products may be provided by the company. Installation of STI software products, assist in documentation of STI of software products, provide telephone, e-mail, live chat support of software products to the customers, assist in testing new releases, providing world class customer service, troubleshooting complex problems are some of the duties of software support engineer.
On internet, young graduates are always found looking for an attractive software engineer job description. Fields like software engineering have completely changed the economy of the world. Young generation is attracted towards this field because of good salaries and the job satisfaction they derive.