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Software engineers are the professionals responsible for planning, designing and developing software solutions. The majority of software engineers specialize in a specific technology or area, such as database architecture, operating systems or web development. As a software engineer, you may be working on anything from common web applications and content management systems (CMSs) to databases and various operating systems. 
Software and computer engineering is the creative and inventive application of engineering prowess to the design and development of software and hardware computer systems. It plays a vital role in all the aspects of modern life, from communications and entertainment to transport and healthcare. Computerized cars, MP3 players, and mobile phones are some examples of developments which were made possible by the work of software and computer engineers.  
Software engineers tend to collaborate in development groups instead of working alone to handle large and complex projects. 

Job Specification, Salary, Outlook
Software Engineers are responsible for completing a project from start to finish and delivering the project to the client on time. They gather client requirements, define the functionality of the system, and write code in different languages such as Java, .NET, Ruby on Rails, C++ or other programming languages. Software engineers should be familiar with SDLC (software development life cycle) from system analysis to development and testing. The role and responsibility of software engineers is to build fully performing, innovative and high-quality software that complies with technical design and coding standards.
So how much do software engineers earn? It depends on a number of factors, but the average salary for software engineers in the United States is $107,686 per annum, with a range of $80,508 - $154,934. Factors that affect the level of salary include job location, technical skills, on-the-job experience, and academic background. In the UK, an average salary of £45,564 per year can be expected, with a range of £34,229 - £71,147.  

Job Description
Software engineers play a vital role in the project lifecycle. At the outset, they gather the requirements of the entire process as well as find out the objectives of the software to be developed. The scope of the software follows, which involves the need identification, means of development and the timeline for completion.
Software engineers choose the most suitable programming language for the project and identify appropriate development frameworks. They also need to plan about cross-platform integration and ensure it properly works across various platforms.

Typical Responsibilities: 

  • Analyzing the needs of the software users and designing, developing and maintaining computer applications software
  • Testing the software product to ensure that it functions properly
  • Writing operating manuals
  • Solving maintenance issues
  • Designing and providing the design specifications for building software applications
  • Executing full SDLC (software development life cycle)
  • Developing layouts, flow charts and documentation to identify solution requirements 
  • Writing well-designed, error-free and testable code
  • Integrating various software components into a functional software system
  • Developing quality assurance procedures and software verification plans 
  • Troubleshooting as required, debugging and upgrading existing systems
  • Complying with industry standards and project plans 
  • Evaluating user feedback and deploy programs accordingly 

Key Skills & Qualifications      
A high level of attention to detail and strong analytical skills are key to success in software engineering. Software engineers should also have the ability to work under pressure, and an objective, data-led approach is important.
A degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or related fields is required for a software engineer. Most employers favor candidates with a bachelor's degree in a related field in addition to adequate experience with computer applications and systems. Larger organizations or companies with proprietary or unique development platforms usually provide training for new engineers.

Required job skills:

  • Proven work experience as a Software Developer or Software Engineer  
  • Ability to develop software in Java, C++, Ruby on Rails or other programming languages
  • Experience in designing interactive and functional applications
  • Solid knowledge of ORM technologies, relational databases and SQL 
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of HTML5, CSS3 and popular CMSs
  • Proficiency in software engineering tools and experience with test-driven development
  • Ability to document specifications and requirements 
  • A well-organized and methodical approach to work 
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • The ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines

Job Trends  
At present, about one third of IT jobs are in programming or development, and job opportunities exist across almost all industries. With experience, you can be promoted to a senior software engineer or become a project manager. It’s also possible to move into a related field of technology, like business systems analysis, IT architecture and systems design. A consultant or freelance career is an available option in this career sector, which offers additional working flexibility.