Software engineering applies engineering principles and techniques to the design of large-scale, integrated software systems. The software engineer must be proficient in the theory and methods of computer science.
While software engineers have a broad background in computer hardware, they specialize in the design, maintenance and development of software systems and products. They are generally responsible for the development and management of large-scale projects where public safety and the maintenance and evolution of software systems are of paramount importance.
In addition to the administrative tasks inherent to the follow-up of any engineering project in the fields falling within his field of practice, the software engineer must be able to perform the following specific professional tasks :
- Analyze and be able to specify the needs and requirements for the development of a software product or a software system;
- Design software while ensuring first the public interest and then the interest of the client, based on specifications that meet the needs;
- Develops software products or systems based on software by following appropriate professional standards;
- Ensures through appropriate testing that software products meet stated specifications;
- If necessary, ensures software maintenance and certification.
The supervision of these activities must be done in a cost and resource planning context.
The following are the skills required by the software engineer:
1. Understanding of the fundamentals and basic principles of computer science.
Above all, it is necessary to train an engineer who will be able to perform in the industry over the next thirty years. With a solid theoretical foundation, this knowledge will enable the software engineer to adapt to the rapid changes in technology. Over time, the software engineer must become self-taught;
2. Ability to build self-discipline to act with maturity and experience.
It is also the ability of an individual to exercise effective “self-management”. The software engineer must practice the engineering profession with professionalism;
3. Mastery of a body of knowledge (versatility).
The software engineer must possess scientific, technical, economic, social and human knowledge. Knowledge of other engineering disciplines is an important asset, as they are required to solve complex problems in diverse and specialized application areas;
4. Understanding and mastery of standardized models and techniques.
The Software Engineer must understand and apply standardized models and techniques to analyze and identify problems related to the design, development, verification, validation and commissioning of software products;
5. Ability to solve often complex technological problems.
The software engineer must quickly become familiar with the application domain and perform the critical evaluation necessary to produce a solution that meets the customer’s needs. This emphasizes leadership, negotiation skills, and the ability to synthesize in order to clarify requirements;
6. Ability to work in a team, to plan and manage projects.
He must be able to work effectively individually and as part of a team to develop quality software products. This implies an ability to communicate easily and to meet deadlines. The software engineer must not only be able to work as part of a team, but must also have sufficient leadership to motivate and direct it;
7. Openness, creativity and critical thinking.
The software engineer must be able to find acceptable compromises to design feasible software, taking into account available resources, whether budgetary, time or human.