Whether you’re listening to music, joining a video conference, or booking a flight, using software has become part of the daily routine. It’s so common in fact, it’s now hard to imagine a world without apps.

Software engineers are responsible for building the apps we use every day. It’s a highly-skilled job that requires in-depth knowledge of coding, development tools, and engineering principles. If you have a technical mindset and love solving problems, software engineering is an excellent career choice.

We’ll take a look at all the skills you’ll need to get started in the field. But first, let’s look at the role in more detail.

What Does a Software Engineer Do?

A software engineer uses engineering principles to plan, design, develop, test, and maintain computer software and mobile applications. The role requires extensive knowledge of programming languages but is more than just computer programming.

Software engineers need to first capture user requirements, define the system specifications, and come up with design ideas to meet the requirements. They must then write the software and test it for errors. Once the software is developed, the responsibility doesn’t end there. Software engineers must provide ongoing support, maintenance, and software updates based on client feedback.

The recent boom in mobile tech has made software engineers in-demand professionals. Companies regard skilled software engineers as extremely valuable employees and reward them with excellent compensation packages and job perks.

Here are some common software engineering responsibilities:

Software Engineering Hard Skills

Here are some technical skills required for the role:

If you’re planning a future in software engineering, you must have a command over at least one or two of these languages. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and is used in specific situations.

For example, C++ provides fast execution times and low resource usage. It’s great for building software that needs to be optimized for speed like 3D video games.

JavaScript is a scripting language that requires a web browser to run. It’s device-independent so the same program can run across different platforms. This makes it perfect for web applications.

You should also be good at writing SQL queries. MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, and Redis are some popular database systems. You don’t need to be good at all of these, mastering one will do the job.

Visual Studio or Code::Blocks are considered good IDEs for C, C++, and C# programmers. PyCharm, Spyder, or Jupyter notebooks are popular amongst those who use Python. Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ IDEA are recommended for Java developers.

Text editors can also be used to write code. Notepad++, Sublime, VIM, and Atom are some of the widely used editors. You should learn keyboard shortcuts too, in order to save time and work efficiently.

Software Engineering Soft Skills

It’s rare to work in isolation as a software engineer. You’ll therefore need strong social and interpersonal skills to help you be an effective team member. Here are some essential soft skills needed for the role:

How to Learn Software Engineering Skills

Whether you’re starting from scratch or refreshing existing knowledge, there are many different ways you can learn fundamental software engineering skills. Here are some tips on how to get started in this field:

The Fast Track to A Career in Software Engineering

Software development is an incredibly satisfying role that involves a range of different skills. You’ll need technical programming know-how to develop software, but also great social skills for meeting clients and sharing ideas with your team.

If you have a passion for programming and love problem-solving, enroll in our software engineering bootcamp to fast-track your career goals.

We also offer courses in other tech fields including UX/UI design, data science, and data analytics, so you can take your future in any direction.

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