Software engineering is a popular profession to enter, but what do software engineers do?

When choosing a career path, it makes sense to choose one that is not just interesting to you, but also profitable and in a stable industry as well.

But, again, what do software engineers do? Let’s take a closer look at their role.

That’s why, in this digital age, so many people are choosing to enter fields with jobs that involve computers and software. One position that is both lucrative and filled with potential career prospects is that of the software engineer.

Want To Be A Software Engineer?

To understand what software engineers do, it’s important to first understand the position itself and what it entails. A software engineer writes software that essentially dictates instructions to a computer on what functions it should perform.

Coding is a major part of a software engineer’s job. The functions a software engineer can give a computer include guiding users through a product flow, coding graphical interfaces, and directing how a computer operates in the background. It is a fairly broad job description, with lots of room for growth as a career option.

A software engineer’s resume objective should include language regarding their ability to code. It should match what software engineers do.

Software engineer’s responsibilities they may list on a resume include working with a scrum team with other positions such as a designer or even a product manager.

Software Engineering Is Not Engineering

While it’s important to understand what software engineers do, it’s also important to understand what they do not do.

Software engineering is not engineering in the usual sense of the term. It involves programming and coding more so than actual engineering. Some examples of functions a software engineer performs include:

  • Analyzing an assigned user groups’ needs, then designing software to fulfill those requirements.
  • Examine existing computer systems and make recommendations on upgrades.
  • Develop the various parts of an application then devising a plan for how they’ll operate together.
  • Come up with diagrams to visually express to programmers what code is needed for a specific application.
  • Observe a program during testing phases to ensure it keeps running normally.
  • Record every component of an application as a reference point for potential future maintenance.
  • Work with other software engineers to create optimized software.

No two days in a software engineer’s week will probably ever be the same – it’s an exciting career with a lot of potential variation in day-to-day responsibilities. Let’s take a look at how much a software engineer can earn.

Software Engineering Salary

software engineers

A software engineer’s salary can vary, though reportedly they can fall between $90,000 and $225,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2018 median pay for a software engineer was around $105,000.

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Of course, a software engineer’s compensation levels will shift according to their place in the software engineer hierarchy.

A senior manager software engineering salary will be much higher than someone at the entry-level. Many different areas of software engineering exist and each area varies in responsibilities.

A software engineer’s salary will depend on many other factors as well: the software engineer’s location, level of experience, as well as the specific company or client they’re working for.

There are multiple career options for a software engineer, with multiple career path titles. Some of those vary from other career paths you may have heard of in the field of computers.

For example, let’s examine the difference between software engineering and computer science.

Difference Between Software Engineering And Computer Science

While there are similarities between the two, when it comes to computer science vs. software engineering there are significant distinctions as well.

Computer science is the study of computers – that includes both hardware and software. Those in computer science study how the hardware and software work to process data through algorithmic and theoretical functions.

Mathematics plays a major role in computer science. Elements of probability and statistics are both a big part of computer science. It also uses the scientific method to conduct tests with hypotheses during the experimentation stages of testing computer architectures.

Again, there are areas in which the two overlap – for example, much like computer science, software engineering requires math. But software engineers work deals with the design, development, and testing of software.

Computer science refers to any type of system or tool that runs the computer – including both hardware and software. Its scope is larger than software engineering.

A software engineers’ skills resume will include elements of coding and software design. Software engineering is its own distinct path that offers tremendous potential for those with the right qualifications.

Software Engineer Career Path

Determining what software engineers do means also understanding the types of careers available to them.

A software engineer career path has a lot of room for growth, potential, and opportunity.

For anyone who enjoys coding or working with software in general, software engineering has many exciting and distinctive career options. It can involve working with others who are in the same field fulfilling different roles, including computer programmers, computer scientists, and others.

It also has a potentially lucrative salary attached to it, particularly for those who can advance to the higher levels of the profession. Software engineering managers for tech companies like Google or Facebook can net seriously high incomes.

The other advantage of software engineering is that your ability to perform the job depends solely on how well you can do the various functions of the job. Once you’ve been appropriately trained, your prospects are limitless.


The key to becoming a qualified software engineer is through proper training. After you possess the skill set and knowledge base to begin working in the field effectively, your job prospects open up exponentially.

By opting to use the best and most convenient training courses for your personal needs, you’ll be able to break into the industry.

Programs powered by Woz U offer comprehensive training for emerging software engineers. Woz U powered partner programs give you the skills you need to solve the problems faced by the gatekeepers of the tech industry.

Let Woz U partners help you transform yourself into a new you and pursue your passion for change today!