Computer Software Engineers

“I was lucky to be involved and get to contribute to something that was important, which is empowering people with software.”

-          Bill Gates 


‘Software’ comprises a set of instructions that are carried out by the computer as per the user’s directions. The purpose of software is to instruct the machine what to do and what not to do. Almost all the programs including games, music applications, dictionaries and the user – interface itself we use on computers and phones are made up of software. Computer Software Engineers are professionals who design, develop, test, evaluate and maintain such software. They create the design and write software, update existing software and write operation manuals for the software they create. In case of custom made software, Computer Software Engineers train employees to use the software. Most of them specialize in either Application Software Engineering or Systems Software Engineering. Application Software Engineers are responsible for creating application based software that is meant to solve a particular purpose. All the programs that you install on your computers or phones are majorly application based software. Systems Software Engineers create software for the entire computer system. All other application based software run on system software such as Microsoft Vista, Macintosh etc.

Becoming a Computer Software Engineer is an extremely beneficial choice. The profession is highly in demand due to the boom in the IT sector. The growth of the internet has created a greater demand for new software which is being catered to by the Computer Software Engineers of the world. The future of this profession is very safe and one will get tremendous opportunities to grow and earn big salaries. They find jobs in companies related to Software, IT and Telecommunication. Some also work as self – employed professionals and offer consultancy services.

What do Computer Software Engineers do?

Computer Software Engineers conceptualize and create software by writing and designing the code for it using various computer languages and then test the software for any possible faults and defects. They investigate problems in previously made software and propose solutions to these problems. Many of them work on the visual design of the software as well as in formulating marketing strategies to ensure success.


One of the initial and most important steps that Computer Software Engineers take before working on a project is to clearly understand the objectives that the client wishes to achieve through the software. This is extremely important as accounting based software will work in different ways compared to entertainment based software. They are involved in taking vital decisions related to the software including setting its budget, choosing the language that will be used to write the code and setting realistic deadlines.

A very important task that Computer Software Engineers perform is writing the code for the software. The ‘code’ essentially refers to mathematical algorithms that define the working of the program. They are written in computer languages like C++ etc. The purpose of coding is to tell the software as to what tasks to perform and when to perform.

Once a Computer Software Engineer writes the whole program or software, it is essential to conduct tests so as to know in detail about the accuracy level of the coding and to check for any faults. Computer Software Engineers conduct automated tests to check for faults. Any detected faults are corrected by them. This process is also known as ‘debugging’. Software is also often modified as per the demands of the client at this stage.

Writing Operating manuals is also an important part of the jobs of Computer Software Engineers. These manuals are written by Computer Software Engineers to assist users in operating the software without any difficulty.

Conducting research is a vital task performed by all Computer Software Engineers. Their research primarily revolves around the needs of the users and satisfying those needs by creating or modifying existing software. They identify the demand for a particular type of software and then use their programming skills to create that software.

Computer Software Engineers are also involved in constantly staying updated about new and upcoming technologies, innovative software and other developments in the IT field. This is a very important part of their job as the world of software is very dynamic and is constantly changing at a very fast pace. They study about all the new and innovative methods in this field and use them to create and modify software.

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How to become a Computer Software Engineer?

Computer Software Engineers create technologies that not only satisfy the consumer expectations but exceed them as well. They work on very different types of software during the span of their career including varying software like Windows Vista, Final Cut Pro and Microsoft Word. Becoming a Computer Software Engineer requires excellent mathematical skills as well as dedication and sincerity.


To become a Computer Software Engineer, you will have to focus on your studies from very early on in your life. Subjects like Math, Science and Computer Science are very important at the school level. You will have to choose Science after your Class 10th and focus on Math, English, Physics and Computer Science.

It is essential to pursue a graduate degree in Computer Engineering or a related field in order to join this profession. But before you get admission into an Engineering college, you will have to qualify in its entrance exam. Most colleges conduct their own engineering entrance exams that are competitive and mandatory to qualify in.

Once you qualify in your entrance exams, you should pursue a graduate course in Computer Engineering or Software Engineering from a reputed engineering college. Such a course will teach you about the technical aspects of software and programming. You can also choose to pursue a Post Graduate course in the same or related field after your graduation so as to get better jobs and bigger salaries.

Software Engineering is a very technical field. Working as an Intern or Trainee in a company that is involved in creating software will not only help you learn about the technicalities of the industry but will also provide you with vital experience in areas like coding, marketing etc. You should try and work as an Intern as much as possible during your education period.

Proficiency in coding languages like C++ is essential if you want to get into the profession of Computer Software Engineering. You should study in detail about these languages and take up short term courses at institutes to master them as they will help you create efficient, innovative software in simpler ways.

Practice is very important in order to become a successful Computer Software Engineer. You will not completely learn about the process of creating software unless you try and create one yourself. It is important to try and use your knowledge of computer languages and create simple software and applications. This will help boost your confidence and improve your technical skills as well.

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The IITs are known for their undergraduate courses in Computer Science Engineering. They provide a B.Tech in Computer Science Engineering upon graduation. Apart from the IITs, there are the NITs, some renowned private colleges such as Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, and a range of other engineering colleges in every state that offer computer science engineering. All these institutes also offer post graduate courses in the same field.


What are the skills required to become a Computer Software Engineer?

Computer Software Engineers are required to have the ability to write programs using computer languages. They have excellent mathematical ability and exceptional Computer and IT skills. They pay attention to details and solve problems by making quick and efficient decisions. Computer Software Engineers are required to have the ability to think analytically and reason scientifically. They should be knowledgeable about the different types of software and hardware and should constantly stay updated about the various developments in the world of IT and computers. They need to have excellent communication and managerial skills and should be able to work in teams as well. Computer Software Engineers are also required to be dedicated, hard working and focused individuals.


Is this the right career for me?

Computer Software Engineers spend most of their lives sitting in front of computers creating programs and new software. They work for long hours and the job is tedious as it requires a lot of concentration and correction work. They have to constantly meet deadlines and work under enormous pressure. It is a technical career that requires constant research but is well paying and offers good growth opportunities at the same time.

People who are looking for a job that does not involve technical work and who are not comfortable in working for long hours on computers and dealing with mathematical algorithms, should not be a part of this career. But those who are fascinated by the world of computers and software, and who love Math and Science and are willing to deal with the monotony of an office job so as to create new and innovative software should join this profession.

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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.