Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
software engineer

What does a software engineer do?

By . May 11, 2023

Looking for a new software engineer job? Or perhaps you’re considering starting a career in software? Software engineering is an essential aspect of modern technology and is a profession that's in high demand across the UK.

As an established IT recruitment agency with over 40 years of experience, Certes IT Talent & Contract is best placed to bring you the latest and greatest permanent and contract opportunities from across the software industry. But what does the role involve? Read on to find out more about a career as a software engineer and what skills you’ll need to succeed.

What is a software engineer?

From programming and coding to troubleshooting and future-proofing, the role of a software system engineer can vary from day to day. Typically, software engineers create and implement web and mobile applications. They also develop operating systems and other software solutions to meet the needs of the organisation, customers and employees. They often start by identifying pressure points within a business and design and build software to solve these issues.

Software engineers often work as part of a team and will collaborate with other team members within an organisation. They’ll work closely with designers, programmers and project managers to ensure solutions meet the needs of the company and users.

What does the role involve?


Firstly, the software engineer will determine the specific needs of a client or organisation to create a plan of action. This will help the specialist to identify which processes, users and employees will be affected by the new software. Once confirmed, the software engineer will share the plan with everyone who may be affected and will communicate any implementation details, how long it will take and who will need to be trained on using the new software. Ultimately, this will help the engineer to understand what kind of systems they may need to create or optimise in order to help the organisation meet the needs of their end-users.


After the initial briefing stage, the software engineer will move on to designing the new software system architecture. The first part of this stage is the process design (or process mapping) and is formed of a relationship map, a cross-functional process map and a flow chart. The aim of the process design is to ensure the new system is efficient, maintainable, and upgradeable. Once the process design has been finalised, it is time to move on to the solution design. This involves detailing each necessary component and outlining exactly how they will interact with each other and other programmes within the business to ultimately meet the needs of the users.


Once the design has been finalised, it’s time to build the software. To do so, the engineer will need to write a range of code for the system which can involve programming languages such as Java, Python or C++. It’s essential for any software engineer to be confident using a range of coding languages so they can develop, optimise and maintain the software going forward. The software engineer will need to ensure it’s clean, efficient and easy to maintain in the future.


Once the code has been written, the software engineer will then test the system to make sure it’s functional and that it meets the needs of the business. To do so, the engineer will run various tests including unit tests, integration tests, and acceptance tests. Throughout this testing stage, the software engineer will aim to identify and fix any bugs or snags in the software. They will also ensure the new software is safe, secure and adheres to any regulatory requirements.


After the engineer has completed the computer systems engineering and testing stage, it's time to implement the new system. The software engineer will need to make sure the new system is properly installed and configured and that it is working correctly without any bugs. It’s also important to successfully integrate the new software into the business with minimal disruption. This can involve migrating data from the old system to the new one and can save team members from having to copy data between systems manually, which can be time-consuming and a bit of a chore.

Maintenance and Updates

After the software system has been deployed, the software engineer will continue to maintain and update it as needed. This involves monitoring the system for bugs or issues and making updates to the software as necessary to ensure that it remains up-to-date and continues to meet the needs of the end-users.

What skills do you need to become a successful software engineer?

  • Proficiency in programming and coding languages such as Python, Java, C++ and Scala.
  • Object-oriented programming.
  • Database architecture.
  • Operating systems.
  • Cloud computing.
  • Design testing and debugging.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Project management.
  • Communication.
  • Time management.
  • Creativity.


Choosing a career as a software engineer will give you the opportunity to work in many different industries and fields, as nearly all businesses use software. Whether you enjoy finances, entertainment, sports, real estate, or some other industry, there is a good chance there are jobs for software engineers.

If you’re looking for a new role as a software engineer or software contractor, get in touch with our team of IT recruitment consultants or take a look at our range of software engineer jobs. We’d love to help you take your software career to the next level.



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