Systems Software Developer  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotSoftware engineers analyze, design and develop software to operate different types of computers. They can work on computers in an office setting. They can create new web applications. Or they can design software to operate industrial machines.

Computers operate manufacturing plants, airplanes, automobiles, microwave ovens and even some toasters.

dotDifferent areas that use software include telecommunications, remote sensing, industrial machinery, medical and related machinery, instrumentation and robotics.

dotSoftware engineers must have the same problem-solving skills as other types of engineers. They must also understand computer terms and languages.

dotSoftware engineers can move into managerial positions or work in teams on larger projects. This requires supervising programmers, technicians and technologists.

Software engineers can work for a variety of companies that design or use computerized equipment. They might also work at universities. Or they could work on contract.

On average, software engineers work a 40-hour workweek. "But don't be surprised if some work longer than that," says Dawn Skwersky. She is a software engineer in Brookline, Massachusetts.

dotSoftware engineering doesn't have huge physical demands. Someone with physical challenges could do this job. "A large part of the job is typing programs," says Skwersky. "I don't see why someone in a wheelchair wouldn't be able to program."

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.

At a Glance

Design the code that keeps computer programs running

  • You need the same problem-solving skills as other types of engineers
  • On average, software engineers work a 40-hour workweek
  • Study computer science