Become a Computer Software Engineer

To help meet this demand, students seeking Computer Careers will need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or computer science. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this projected boom, you will need to pursue a Career in IT. You can either earn your degree from Online Computer Schools, or campus based Computer Training.

Computers and information technology is a part of our daily lives, and new technology is being developed at a fast pace. Computer Training is needed to help expand new computer software systems and to include new technologies and applications. The skills needed for Careers in IT change all of the time reflecting changes in technology and the growing needs of companies. Computer software engineers research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers and network distribution software. They work with medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, and scientific and general computing applications. Software engineers set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements

Computer engineers need the skills to create functional and technical design qualifications for software development. They must also have solid programming skills, and be familiar with data types, syntax and control structures. Along with the ability to correctly analyze information, software engineers also need to be able to fix multifaceted application glitches and be able to produce quality requirement specifications, design documents and test plans. Problem solving and working as a team are also necessary parts of working as a software engineer.

Now is the time to earn a Computer Degree in a computer-related discipline, as it is required for most software engineering positions. Growth in the technology field will be driven by the rapid growth in the technology sector. Demand for careers as a computer software engineer is expected to grow as computer applications continue to expand.

Software Engineering Practice

People who create computer software practice the art or craft or discipline that is software engineering. But what is software engineering “practice”? in a generic sense, practice is a collection of concepts, principles, methods, and tools that a software engineer calls upon on a daily basis. Practice allows managers to manage software projects and software engineers to build computer programs. Practice populates a software process model with the necessary technical and management how-to’s to get the job done. Practice transforms a haphazard unfocused approach into something that is more organized, more effective, and more likely to achieve success.

Core principles
The dictionary defines the word principle as “an important underlying law or assumption required in a system of thought” throughout this book we discuss principles at many different levels of abstraction. Some focus on software engineering as a whole, others consider a specific generic framework activity (e.g., customer communication), and still others focus on software engineering actions (e.g., architectural design) or technical tasks (e.g., write a usage scenario). Regardless of their level of focus, principles help us establish a mind set for solid software engineering practice. They are important for that reason.

First principle: the reason it all exists

A software system exists for one reason: to provide value to its users. All decisions should be made with this in mind. Before specifying a system requirement, before nothing a piece of system functionality, before determining the hardware platforms or development processes, ask yourself questions such as: does this add real value to the system? If the answer is no, don’t do it. All other principles support this one.

Why a Career As a Software Engineer is Not Sound

I believe the value (or pay) of a person in the market is defined by the following factors:
1) innate qualities
2) knowledge & experience
3) people skills & network

Innate qualities are born with, including appearance, intelligence, personality, etc. And educational background, academic performance, etc, are closely related with one’s innate qualities. But since it’s almost impossible to improve this aspect, it’s useless to say too much about it.

Knowledge & experience, people skills & network are the two aspects that differentiates people’s value (pay). However, a career in IT excels in neither fields on the long term.

The following are my reasons. Now and then, I will refer to the three factors mentioned above.

1 IT is a fast-changing industry by its nature, so in most domains of technology, knowledge is hard to accumulate steadily. A 20-year software engineer is likely the same as a 10-year software engineer in terms of knowledge (but inferior in terms of energy level).

1.1 Some might argue that a good software accumulates a set of knowledge (such as desgin patterns, algorithms, debugging experience) that survives the fast-changing industry, but the fact is that these account only for a very small portion of knowledge required for real projects.

1.2 Also, some might argue that there are domains of technology that changes slower, such as system-level programming (compiler, OS). This is true, and one might be lucky enough to accumulate a huge amount of expertise. But the risk of such a career is still high. Since one is very deep into one technology, once the technology is out-of-date the penalty is severe. This is the nature of technology, it will be out-of-date sooner than many other things such as people skills & network.

1.3 Well, going deep in one technology is risky, then what about going wide in many technologies as a generalist engineer? But rarely are there any projects need such kind of people instead of experts of each individual domain of technology.

2 In addition to the fast-changing nature of the IT industry, limited personal influence also contributes to the low ceiling of the career. A good engineer cannot directly make other people on the team better software engineers, while a good manager can directly make the whole team, divsion, or even the company succeed. With many other careers such as sales, surgeons, traders, the vital difference is that sales, surgeons, traders play a greater role as an individual, while a software project requires a team of 30 to 3000 people.

2.1 Moreover, sales, surgeons, traders also deal with people, that makes them potential people managers in future, while software engineers deal with technology which hardly leads them to people management roles. In fact, most senior managers in IT are not previous software engineers. The point is that software engineers accumulate little in terms of people skills & network.

3 The IT industry is also infamous for its locations. Since the nature of the career requires little interaction with customers, software engineers often have to work in remote locations with lower rent or undeveloped districts with lower pay. The suburban sci-tech parks in China and the outsourcing trend in the U.S. are respective evidence of such claim.

4 Software engineers are not very much respected. The reason could be comprehensive. I personally believe that it is closely related with the low pay growth.

Software Engineering Higher Education Options

Gaining an education in software engineering can be done by enrolling in an accredited school or college. Students who wish to enter the field of computer education can do so by obtaining a degree. Higher education allows students to complete the degree program needed to gain the skills and knowledge needed to enter into a career. Students can train for an associate’s, bachelors, masters, and doctorates level degree. There are numerous things that one should know before enrolling in an accredited software engineering program.

  1. Software engineers are trained to carry out a variety of tasks including modifying, implementing, testing, and designing computers and computer related software. This includes business applications, computer games, operating systems, and much more. The field of software engineering allows students to work as applications engineers, systems engineers, and other professionals. Applications engineers are construct and maintain general applications for businesses and organizations. Systems engineers are trained to coordinate the maintenance and construction of computer systems.
  2. Students will be able to pursue a number of careers with an accredited degree. The ability to train to become computer programmers, systems and applications engineers, and more is available. The type of career will depend on the level of degree obtained. Students can earn an associates degree in as little as two years. A bachelor’s degree program will take around four years to complete. Students who wish to pursue a masters or doctorates degree can expect to spend an additional two to four years on study.
  3. Coursework will vary by school or college and level of degree desired and obtained by each student. Students can expect to study a variety of course subjects related to the field of computer engineering. Curriculum may cover subjects such as programming, program development, troubleshooting, computer networks, information technology, and much more. Accredited educational training programs allow students to receive a higher education by teaching a number of courses related to each individual’s desired career.
  4. With a number of computer engineering specialists and professionals in the workforce students need to gain all the skills and knowledge possible in order to find employment. The number of openings is expected to increase for occupations and careers in this field. The type of career and degree desired will also help decide how much income the students can make. According to the Bureau of labor Statistics professionals in this field can make between $50,000 and $135,000 annually based on their level of degree and experience.
  5. Continuing education courses are available for those looking to improve their skills in their career. Accredited higher education programs allow students to earn certificates in specific areas of the field in order to enhance knowledge.

Students can gain the training they need to succeed by enrolling in an accredited school or college. Agencies like the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology ( www.abet.org ) is approved to fully accredit programs that meet certain criteria. With an accredited training program students will gain the education they deserve. Students can research programs and start the path to a new career by requesting more information.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

All About Software Engineering And Development

Software engineering, known as SE, is the development, design, maintenance and documentation of software by applying practices and various technologies from fields such as computer science, engineering, application domains, project management, digital asset management and interface design.

The conception, development and verification of a software system is what software engineering is all about. It is necessary to identify, define, realize and verify the resultant software’s required characteristics. Necessary testing is required for attributes such as reliability, functionality, testability, maintainability, ease of use, availability and portability. In software engineering, software can be verified to meet these requirements by having design and technical specifications prepared and implemented correctly. The characteristics of the software development process are also important in software engineering. Development itself, development duration and risks in software development are examples of such characteristics.

A computer uses software as part of its system that allows the hardware to operate properly. Software can be system software or application software. System software includes the main operating system and a variety of other utilities that enable the computer and its applications to run. Application software includes the computer programs and relevant documentation responsible for end-user data processing tasks. This kind of software is developed for such tasks as word processing, payroll, inventory and production control.

Software Development

A series of processes undertaken systematically to improve a business through using computerized information systems is what is known as software development. There are two major components to software development, which are systems analysis and design.

Systems analysis is the specification of what exactly the system is required to do, or the main objective. Design is about how to make the system do what is required of it. For system analysis, it is required to study the current system by certain procedures in order to gather and interpret data and facts, identify any problems and use this data to improve the system currently in use. System design refers to the process of developing a new system, concentrating heavily on the technical specifications and other specifications that make the system operations.

Software Development Life Cycle

Software Development Life Cycle, or SDLC, is a sequence of events done by designers, analysts and users to develop and execute an information system. There are a number of stages to this practice, which can overlap. The stages are Preliminary investigation (which is feasibility study), Determination of system requirements (which is analysis), Design of system, Development of software, System testing, System Implementation and System Maintenance in that order.