Software Engineer

The Software Engineer Job Description: What You Need to Know

*This blog post was last updated on November 11, 2021.

With over 245,500 new jobs projected to be added to the tech sector in 2021, software engineers are increasingly in demand. For those looking to get their first or next job in the world of software engineering, it’s important to be as prepared as possible for interviews, and that starts by fully understanding the software engineer job description. 

Software engineering roles offer an average salary of over $115,000, which is more than double the national average. This makes this field highly desirable to those looking to work in the IT or tech industries. 

However, this market can be highly competitive, so those looking to secure a role in software engineering will need both the education and experience to stand out from other candidates.

Here’s everything you need to know about the software engineer job description. 

What is Software Engineering?

Software engineers focus on applying the principles of engineering to software development. 

Their role includes analyzing and modifying existing software as well as designing, constructing and testing end-user applications that meet user needs — all through software programming languages. The role also focuses on the complex and large software systems that make up the core systems for an organization.

There are many roles under the umbrella of software engineering, but the two main ones are Applications Software Developer and Systems Software Developer. Software engineers also tend to specialize in specific areas including databases, cloud, or operating systems such as iOS and Android

Job Requirements

The software engineer job description starts with background requirements. Someone looking to get into this role will need a bachelor’s degree in software, math, or science. Applicants would also be expected to have broad experience with computer systems and applications such as C++ or Java

Depending on the specific scope of the role, the skills required will vary, but employers will look for candidates who can offer strategic problem solving, strong analytical skills, collaboration, adaptability, a willingness to learn, innovation, and communication. 

Roles and Responsibilities

While you can expect the software engineer job description to be unique to each individual organization, there are common requirements that will be expected no matter where you work. 

These responsibilities can be separated into different categories, including: 


  • Software development, modeling, simulation, testing, and quality assurance.
  • Object-oriented design.


  • Analysis of user requirements, software, and code.
  • Completing systems risk and reliability analysis.
  • Object-oriented analysis.


  • Monitoring systems performance. 
  • Perform maintenance and software integrations for existing systems. 
  • Maintain or exceed compliance with industry standards. 


  • Application development for the full lifecycle of software. 
  • Identify and assess new technologies prior to implementation. 

Planning and Project Management

  • Developing and executing project plans.
  • Creating technical specifications.

Be Ready for a Software Engineer Role With All the Right Skills

As software engineers continue to be a great demand, those looking to land the role they want will need to ensure their skills are as up-to-date as possible. 

The tech industry evolves quickly and keeping up on the latest industry trends and tools is one of the best ways to keep your skills fresh.

Looking to round out your skills to ensure you meet all the needed requirements of the software engineer job description? 

The Udacity Software Development Process course gives you the foundation that every software engineer needs to successfully find innovative solutions, perform effective risk assessments, and develop software. 

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