Day in the Life
Software engineers usually work in offices or laboratories in comfortable
surroundings. They usually work about 40 hours a week -- the same as
many other professional or office workers do. As they strive to improve
software for users, many computer software engineers interact with
customers and coworkers. Computer software engineers who are employed by
software vendors and consulting firms, for example, spend much of their
time away from their offices, frequently traveling overnight to meet
with customers. They call on customers in businesses ranging from
manufacturing plants to financial institutions. As networks expand,
software engineers may be able to use modems, laptops, e-mail, and the
Internet to provide more technical support and other services from their
main office, connecting to a customer's computer remotely to identify
and correct developing problems.
Almost all jobs in engineering require some sort of interaction with
coworkers. Computer software engineers often work as part of a team that
designs new hardware, software, and systems. A core team may comprise
engineering, marketing, manufacturing, and design people, who work
together until the product is released. Whether they are working in a team situation, or just asking
for advice, most engineers have to have the ability to communicate and
work with other people.
Engineers should be creative, inquisitive,
analytical, and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of
a team and to communicate well, both orally and in writing.
Communication abilities are important because engineers often interact
with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering.
and presentation skills are also vital so engineers can share their
research and experiences with colleagues through topical meetings,
professional associations, and various publications.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.