2 Replies - 2231 Views - Last Post: 14 March 2013 - 07:36 PM

#1 JB24   User is offline

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Questions for a Software Engineer

Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

Hi I am a Computer Science major and considering a Software Engineering concentration for my degree. I wanted to get some insight on what it is like to be a Software Engineer after college.

1. What is a typical workday like?
2. What are some beneficial skills to have that are sometimes overlooked?
3. Can you describe the workplace environment, is it informal, formal or a mix of both?
4. How important is documentation in your workplace?
5. Are skills and experience easily transferred between jobs in different companies?
6. What are some advantages/disadvantages of working as a Software Engineer?
7. Any other advice you would like to give me and others seeking to become a Software Engineer?

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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Questions for a Software Engineer

Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

You may want to peruse the pinned thread regarding the 'q&a with the experts'.

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#3 BobRodes   User is offline

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Re: Questions for a Software Engineer

Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:36 PM

1. It varies a great deal from shop to shop.
2. Requirements gathering. Most software projects fail because of neglect of this essential.
3. It depends on where you work, very much so. If you work for Raytheon, it's much more formal than if you work for a small website development company.
4. Very important. Too little doc is very bad. Too much doc is very bad.
5. Generally yes, if you have a wide range of skills. A person who understands how to write software and is expert in, say, Delphi and doesn't know C# at all will write a better piece of code in C# than a person with 2 years experience in C# who is capable of writing 2500 lines of code without the word "for" in them.
6. Advantages: interesting work, interesting and stimulating people, sense of accomplishment, better-than-average pay. Disadvantages: boring work, high rate of project failure due to mismanagement, intellectual elitism, arrogance, etc.
7. Get familiar with WHY a piece of software is being written. Understand the business drivers for writing software. Be able to talk to stakeholders and subject matter experts as well as engineers. (Project managers usually have this responsibility, and most of them either lack technical understanding or business analysis ability. Familiarize yourself with the Chinese and Indian cultures, especially as they relate to software development. There is a huge untapped market for managing overseas projects, and you could charge a whole lot of money if you get a reputation for successful delivery of overseas projects.

Finally, google "alistair cockburn people first order" and read the first two links. The first is an interesting article on his experiences with software development methodologies, and the second is a more academic paper (very readable nonetheless) on the subject.

This post has been edited by BobRodes: 14 March 2013 - 07:39 PM

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