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Software engineer

Software engineer
A software engineer is responsible for the complete life cycle of a new/modified software product, from research and design to implementation, training and support.

Alternative job titles for this role

  • Computer engineer
  • Software engineer
  • Application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design engineer
  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Microprocessor designer and application engineer
  • Microelectronics engineer

Introduction

Computer and software engineering is the inventive and creative application of engineering expertise to the design and development of hardware and software computer systems. These systems play a major role in every aspect of our lives from entertainment and communications to healthcare and transport. Mobile phones, MP3 players and computerised cars are all developments which were realised by the ingenuity of computer and software engineers.

What the job involves

  • Analyse software user needs and designing, constructing and maintaining computer applications software
  • Design networks
  • Produce specifications
  • Cost new or modified systems
  • Agree proposals
  • Write new software and operating manuals
  • Solve software-writing problems and maintenance issues
  • Test the product to ensure that it operates satisfactorily
  • Handle support and feedback
  • Design and provide the computer system design specifications for the building of computer software applications
  • Design, configure, implement and install complete computer systems

How your career can develop

Computer and Software engineering is experiencing significant growth both in Ireland and abroad. The need for well-qualified professional computer and software engineers, technologists and technicians is greater now than ever before.

Why software engineering matters

Software engineering is undergoing massive growth as a sector. Irish company Fenergo was set up by Irish software engineer Marc Murphy, who hopes to see the company grow revenues by €20 million a year until 2018.

Skills

  • Excellent technical and problem-solving skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Motivation
  • Creativity and a willingness to learn
  • Good maths skills
  • Keen interest in technology

Typical employers

IT consultancies

Software firms

Electronics developers

Microchip developers

Communications networks

Any organisation that uses computer systems

Self-employment is possible for individuals with several years' relevant experience

Typical salary

Graduate/Starting €28,000

Senior/Potential €75,000+ for software development manager

Typical qualifications

A degree in computing, software engineering, physics, mathematics or electronics is necessary for most entry positions. For graduates with non-computing degrees, full-time, part-time and distance learning postgraduate IT conversion courses are available at a wide range of institutions. The Irish Computer Society offers training and skills qualifications.