Purpose of the Report
This report seeks to impart information to the company’s CEO, Ms. Geraldine Schliermacher, and other consultants in the company regarding software engineering career, its educational requirements, relevance concerning market requirements, placement opportunities, and other aspects that might be of interest to both the aforementioned parties or any other party that might be interested in pursuing this field as their career choice (Finkelstein, Kramer & Goedicke, 2009).
Definition of Software Engineering
Software Engineering is a field in engineering that requires the practitioner to apply the principles of engineering in the design and development of software products. Essentially, these principles are applied during various stages in the production of software products. A software engineer, therefore, is an individual who has undergone all the necessary training requirements and has been duly certified to practice their trade as software engineers. Also, software engineers have to be registered with the relevant bodies (Nuseibeh & Finkelstein, 2007).
For one to qualify as a software engineer, they must attain undergraduate certification in any of the major information technology-related courses that include computer science, information systems analysis, or information technology. Traditionally, most of the practitioners were only certified in the three aforementioned courses. However, new developments in the education curriculum have seen an introduction of software engineering as an independent course and currently, there are quite a good number of practitioners who have been certified in their undergraduate degree programs (Finkelstein et.al, 2003).
Software engineering is one of the most marketable careers. This is attributable to the fact that the pace with which the world is embracing technology is still very high. Furthermore, most organizations have at least some form of Computer or Information Technology department within their organizational structure. This increased uptake in technology means that many organizations require efficient technological solutions in the form of software and other resources to achieve their organizational objectives. Consequently, many software companies whose business models are based on the provision of these solutions have come up in many parts of the world (Runeson et.al., 2012).
Software engineering essentially involves problem-solving whereby the engineers find ways of solving their clients’ problems through the use of appropriate software applications. A career in such a field, therefore, requires individuals with competent inter-personal skills because the software engineers will spend most of their time interacting with the client in an attempt to enhance their understanding of the problem to be solved. There is a need for proficient communication skills, creativity, self-drive, and innovation. These ensure that an individual remains competitive and his ideas are sufficiently marketable.
Software development companies are potential employment places for software engineers. Employees are involved in the authentic development of innumerable software products. Besides, they can be employed by any other organization to provide in-house troubleshooting services within their IT departments (Nuseibeh, Kramer & Finkelstein, 2006). This scenario makes software engineers some of the most marketable professionals in the market. Almost every organization, whether small, medium, or large scale, employs the use of computers in carrying out their functions and, therefore, they will require the services of a software engineer from time to time (Beck & Andres, 2004).
Software engineering is a career that involves the application of various computing and information technology skills in providing software solutions for various organizational and institutional needs. Software engineering is a relatively new field, and it was developed from other computer science and information technology fields.
However, unlike traditional Information Technology-related fields that are general in their approach of addressing various computing-related issues, software engineering is unique in that it seeks to address a specific aspect in computing as well as the systematic design and development of software solutions. This, therefore, implies that software engineers are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that software solutions meet the standard industry requirements in terms of quality and the development methodology used in developing software solutions.
Educational Program Information
There are various educational programs that an individual wishing to join this career might take, and they include computer science, information technology, and information and communication technology. For an individual to be certified as a software engineer, they must have undergone the relevant training and majored in any of the aforementioned degree programs.
The specific course work for a person to be certified as a software engineer involves various training aimed at equipping an individual with the relevant skills in program planning, program design, program analysis, program coding, and program implementation. Essentially, a software engineer can be regarded as an advanced programmer because unlike the programmer who is mainly concerned with the coding and implementation of the software solution, the software engineer is involved in all aspects relating to the program development (Runeson et al, 2012).
When it comes to internship opportunities, software engineers can find internship opportunities in any organization that has a medium or large information technology department. Here, they can be trained and assist in the provision of in-house software solutions. Besides, they can be attached to companies involved in the commercial provision of software solutions where they can be trained and experience some of the first-hand challenges involved in designing and developing software solutions.
Upon graduation, there are various employment opportunities for software engineers. It is worth noting that these job opportunities are also directly related to the internship opportunities available to them. Most software engineers usually end up being employed by big and medium-sized corporations to provide troubleshooting services such as software debugging and other software maintenance-related services.
These are vital services whose need is increasingly being appreciated in most organizations and, therefore, most organizations are opting for qualified software professionals to handle these tasks. In addition to that, just like with internship opportunities, most software engineers are also able to find employment in organizations that are directly involved in the development of software programs. While undertaking their day-to-day work-related duties, various responsibilities are associated with software engineers.
Some of these duties and responsibilities include ensuring that all software within the organization is genuine, regular updating of the software used within the organization, providing in-house software maintenance and troubleshooting services, and ensuring that proper guidelines are followed during planning and designing of software requirements (Finkelstein et al, 2003).
People who work in software development organizations are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the development, designing, and testing software programs for various clients who purchase such software from them. This is in addition to their aforementioned duties and responsibilities. When it comes to career advancement, most professionals who end up picking this career option can choose to progress for postgraduate studies in various Information Technology- related fields such as masters or doctorate programs that are directly related to software engineering. An important aspect when it comes to any career choice is remuneration.
The annual salary for most software engineers in the country ranges from $150,000 to $200,000. Of course, the figures might be higher or lower than this depending on the exact conditions for each individual. Similar to several other fields, a person can advance in many software engineering-related courses. A software engineer can advance through their careers, and depending on an individual’s education level, work experience, and leadership skills, a software engineer can rise and become a departmental head, operational manager, or even senior manager in an organization that is either directly or indirectly involved in the provision of software solutions (Nuseibeh & Finkelstein, 2007).
Software engineering mostly involves designing and developing software solutions that are based on user specifications. For this reason, most software engineers are required to maintain constant communication with their clients to enhance their understanding of their requirements. This, therefore, implies that software engineers are supposed to be eloquent and fluent communicators.
This is a skill that comes in handy when assisting the clients to formulate their requirements. In addition to that, software engineering usually tends to attract individuals who are self-driven and analytic. This is attributable to the fact that most of the work involves personal initiatives that are, usually, informed by an analytic look of the user requirements to ensure that these requirements are met (Finkelstein, Kramer & Goedicke, 2009).
Competition is an important factor to consider in the field of software engineering. As earlier mentioned, the software engineering career is not only limited to a single degree program. On the contrary, people with various Information Technology-related qualifications can qualify to become software engineers. In addition to that, just like in any technological field, software engineers are required to be updated in all the latest industry trends, and only those who manage to keep abreast with these latest trends and developments within the industry can end up becoming successful in their careers (Nuseibeh, Kramer & Finkelstein, 2006).
It is worth pointing out that technology is evolving daily. Therefore, there is a need for software engineers to be creative in creating their designs. Innovation is also a key ingredient in this ever-changing field. Keeping abreast of novel discoveries in technology is essential in ensuring that clients enjoy the latest developments and the organization is healthy in its competition with other organizations. Innovation and creativity attract many clients to an organization.
Having discussed the issues that surround software engineering, there is a need to provide a resource for people wishing to pursue the course. It is imperative to conduct thorough research before joining an institution to ensure that one pursues the course of choice. This makes it easier to study for the course.
Beck, K., & Andres, C. (2004). Extreme programming explained: embrace change. New York: Addison-Wesley Professional.
Finkelstein, A. C., Gabbay, D., Hunter, A., Kramer, J., & Nuseibeh, B. (2003). Inconsistency handling in multiperspective specifications. Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, 20(8), 569-578.
Finkelstein, A., Kramer, J., & Goedicke, M. (2009). Viewpoint oriented software development. London: University of London, Imperial College of Science and Technology, Department of Computing.
Nuseibeh, B., & Finkelstein, A. (2007). Viewpoints: A vehicle for method and tool integration. New York: International Workshop.
Nuseibeh, B., Kramer, J., & Finkelstein, A. (2006). A framework for expressing the relationships between multiple views in requirements specification. Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, 20(10), 760-773.
Runeson, P., Host, M., Rainer, A., & Regnell, B. (2012). Case study research in software engineering: Guidelines and examples. New York: Wiley.