Engineering 101: Why You’d Love Software Engineering

software_engineeringI love working in the field of software engineering and I want to share some points on why.

It’s Diverse

When you are working as a software engineer you can be working in any industry in the world with many different kinds of company cultures. In addition to the many, many software companies which exist, every industry employs IT departments, and in many of these companies there are many engineers who are dedicated to developing and maintaining in-house software solutions. As an engineer, you can decide to pursue a career among software companies, or you can decide to work in health care, financial markets, power companies, or really any industry as everyone needs and develops software. If you want, this can expose you to many different industries, or you can pick one and stick in it. This is almost completely unique to software engineering and for me is a fascinating benefit to this field.

It’s Flexible

In many cases, software engineering jobs offer great flexibility. Working from home is frequently an option for software engineers; Forbes lists software engineers as one of the top careers to allow you to work from home and still earn a good salary. Perhaps this is because software companies and IT departments tend to be willing to use technology over traditional models of doing things, but whatever the reason, this is a fantastic option to have instead of commuting every single day. Software companies are also often innovators in workplace patterns: you may have heard of a small list of companies offering unlimited PTO for employees, and initial lists are almost exclusively software companies or companies that heavily leverage their IT departments. Not every one of these innovations stick, but if you’re interested in diverse ways of working you’re likely to find that in a career as a software engineer.

It’s Challenging

Perhaps my favorite thing about software engineering is that it has infinite potential for complexity and elegance in engineering. If a physical machine were built to accomplish or represent the number of things accomplished by an operating system it would have to many moving parts to be practical; since software exists virtually and uses no moving parts, there are no restrictions in how far you can take it. The kinds and depths of complexity in software vary greatly depending on what you do in software—some are complicated because of the sheer amount of data involved, others because what it is doing is inherently complex, while others because of how they relate to what they are accomplishing, and others which may be less complicated. At any rate, when you start to look at processing Big Data sets and many other problems on the frontiers of computing one may observe that there are many things which are only possible in the virtual playground of software. Its certainly challenging enough to prevent boredom.

It’s Practical

Finally, it is a very practical career. Salary.com lists the average salary for a software engineer with 0-2 years of experience at just over $60k per year; glassdoor.com lists the average software engineer’s salary (all experience levels) at just over $90k annually. Varying websites may offer slightly vary estimates, but one can generally state that it is a career that will enable you to live a comfortable life. Additionally, software engineering jobs are available throughout the United States. While there are areas which have higher offering concentrations, you can live almost anywhere and work in software engineering even before you consider that many jobs allow you to work anywhere with an internet connection.

In Summary

Whether you’re evaluating a new career or your first career, give software engineering a look because it can be a wonderful field to work in.

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