Software Engineer

In this career guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about software engineering as a career, from roles and responsibilities, to work environment and roadmap to becoming a Software Engineer.

Who's a Computer Software Engineer?

Ever booked a cab through an app? It’s the job of a software engineer to create the programming that helps you find a cab, book it, and watch it arrive at your doorstep.

Software engineering is one of the fastest growing industries in today’s world. As a computer software engineer, you would be a part of the latest innovations in computers, technology, artificial intelligence, data science, robotics, virtual and augmented reality and so on. You would either create new programs or make existing ones better. You would combine the principles of engineering, math and computer science to build and maintain software applications, systems and networks.

Are you passionate about Software Engineering? Want to pursue it as a future career option? Explore a day in the life of a Computer Software Engineer- Mr. Ajay Navgale

What would you do?

Analysing the needs of clients or users.

As a computer software engineer, you would figure out what your client wants from you, which kind of software or product they are about to develop, how will it benefit the end user, and what makes it different from competitor products. You will then tell the client how you plan to develop it, how much time it will take, and how much will it cost.

Example: Say your client wants you to create a food delivery app. You will try and understand how it will be different from popular ones like Zomato and Swiggy, what kind of users is your client planning to sell the app to, and how you can create an app that makes their food delivering experience easier.

Recommending and making changes to existing software.

You must have noticed how your apps and operating systems often get updated in order to become faster or better. As a computer software engineer, you’ll be the one who creates these upgrades for existing software applications or systems to make them better, faster or more interesting to the user.

Example: Say a popular messaging application reached out to you for an upgrade. You would probably add features that make messaging fun and easy for the end-user (camera filters, shareability, etc.).

Designing different parts of software.

Depending on the type of project you are working on, you may work with a team of engineers to build one part of the software or only the software component of the system you are working on.

Example: Say someone is setting up a charity fund. You would probably work with a team of coders and developers to create the app or functioning of the website, while another team takes care of setting up the office, building the necessary hardware required to set up the online functioning of the fund, etc.

Performing routine checks and maintenance on software.

This involves testing the software you have created from time to time, making sure that it is error-free and resolving any issues that your users might face.

Example: Ever had your social media apps hang or crash due to a bug? A computer software engineer tests those apps regularly to ensure that such issues don’t come up, or even if they do, are resolved quickly.

Training other software engineers and team members.

This would involve explaining to other team members how your creating works, explaining capabilities and limitations to project managers, preparing reports, flowcharts, diagrams that explain how the software works, etc. As you grow in your career and get to the level of a senior manager or team leader, you would also supervise and assign work to other software engineers, programmers, designers and technicians, and oversee the entire project.

Example: Say you’re leading the development of a new home delivery app. You would work on the design of the software, create flowcharts and diagrams on how you want it to function, explain those to your team of software engineers and ensure that they are creating the application as per your vision.

Take the Mentoria career assessment test, to find out how well-suited you are as a Computer Software Engineer.

Where would you work?


Almost every organisation in every industry needs a computer software engineer. You get to decide which industry you’re more comfortable working with, or choose to work for a software firm that caters to different industries. You could work at a startup or a multinational corporate, depending on the kind of job they offer you.

Control Room

You will work with high-tech equipment and robust systems that are only accessible through control rooms. These control rooms will most probably be at your organisation's main office or its IT centre. 


You may have to travel from time to time for conferences and workshops. These conferences will help keep you up-to-date on the latest innovations in the field. Apart from travelling for workshops, conferences or client meetings, this is mostly a desk job that doesn’t involve frequent travelling.

How do you get there?

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

STEP 1: Class XI-XII/Junior College

To become a software engineer, you will have to have a background in Science and Mathematics. So, choosing science as your stream in junior college is the only option. Be sure to take Computer Science/IT as your elective subject.

STEP 2: Entrance Exams

A BSc or BTech degree will help you become a computer software engineer. You will have to clear an entrance exam to enrol for a BTech course. Depending on the college you want to go to, there are several exams you should prepare for. The main ones include IIT JEE, MH-CET, and AIEEE; for NITs, IITs, and other government colleges. Several private colleges have their own entrance exams as well.

STEP 3: Graduation

Once you clear the entrance exams, you will study for either three/four years to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Technology (BSc or BTech) or BSc in Computer Science/IT/Computer Application/Software Engineering.

STEP 4: Internship

Try to get an internship during your summer holidays. This is an excellent way to understand how the industry works and to network with potential employers. You could intern with a start-up, which would be a fun experience and give you more hands-on experience. You could get into programming or software development; here you would work on coding and improving backend functions.

STEP 5: Land a Job

After you complete your education and/or internship, you can join any IT organisation as a junior software engineer. Initially, you would be tasked with debugging, testing, and code documentation and learning the company’s code base. Since you are choosing a highly technical career, learning should be your priority. Your experience will make you stand out from the crowd.

STEP 6: Postgraduate Degree

As you grow in your career, you could get a postgraduate degree. You can pursue a Diploma in Computer Science and Engineering (DCPE) or a full-time postgraduate programme in Masters of Engineering (ME/M.Tech) in Computer Engineering.

What skills would you need?

Technical Skills

Technical Skills

As a marketer, you will work on different platforms to communicate with people. If you don’t understand how they work, you won’t be able to come up with the best strategy. You will also use various kinds of software like Google Adwords, MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, etc., during your promotions. You need to know how they work, and how to use them to your advantage.

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Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail

Working with eggs and embryos is a very tedious task. Every little detail matters when you are observing them. If you are good at giving attention to detail, then your job at the laboratory will be made much easier.

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Communication Skills

Communication Skills

Communication and interpersonal skills are very important while dealing with patients. You will have to guide certain people about a procedure or treatment. You may need to provide them with some serious information about their fertility and treatment progress. Hence these issues would need to be handled sensitively.

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How do you make it to the top ranks?

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Trainee/Associate Software Engineer

Your work would involve performing simple programming jobs under the supervision of a software developer or lead programmer. You will be taught how to use different programming softwares, languages and you’ll learn the process of working in a professional environment.

Software Engineer

You will be involved in the design and development of various computer software. A senior software engineer or team lead would assign the work to you.

Senior Software Engineer

At this level, you would need a thorough knowledge of web coding and markup languages. Your work would majorly involve writing code, overseeing design and maintaining the website.

Team Lead

You would be in charge of one or more software projects. You would oversee and assign work to software engineers. You would also oversee the tools and techniques used to develop the software.

Senior Team Lead

You would lead a team of software engineers for the creation of high-quality software within the agreed timelines. You would also mentor senior and junior software engineers.

Project Manager

As a project manager, you would ensure the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to meet project requirements. You would also have to check on how the project is progressing.

Senior Project Manager

You would be entrusted with the responsibility of accomplishing the objectives of one or more projects. You would work closely with the development team and the business stakeholders. You would be an essential link between the clients and the team.

Vice President

At this level, you would manage client accounts, business and assist in the growth and development of the staff and overall firm. Your work would involve expanding and securing new businesses, managing a project portfolio that meets or exceeds projections, and participating in the internal management of the company.

Chief Technology Officer

As the Chief Technology Officer or CTO, you would lead the engineering department of the company. Your job would involve developing strategies to increase revenue and planning the company’s technological roadmap.

Thinking of a career as a Computer Software Engineer? Take the Mentoria assessment test & talk to our career counsellors to get personalized step-by-step guidance for your future career path.

Pursuing your career locally VS abroad

The digital revolution in India has led to the growth of startups and software applications as well. Many well-known companies and startups are looking for qualified engineers and often hire freshers. If you pursue engineering in India, you will have plenty of job opportunities and the chance to build a good network. Many colleges in India offer job placements and internship opportunities at reputed IT companies across the country. You can opt for a Diploma, Bachelor’s, Masters or PG Diploma course in the field of Computer Software Engineering. These courses generally go on for three to four years. The top engineering colleges you could aim to get through would be IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur, Delhi Technology University, and others. The average fee for pursuing computer software engineering in India is INR 50,000 to INR 10,00,000, depending on the college and course you choose.

An overseas degree in computer software engineering will definitely boost your career and help you land a dream job for some of the world’s leading tech companies. If you are heading abroad to pursue your masters in software engineering with an Indian degree, you can always look for a part-time job alongside your course. Many well-known institutions offer computer software engineering scholarships that could help you finance your education abroad. If you are looking to pursue a masters course in software engineering outside the country, consider applying to US or Canada. Heading abroad to study computer software engineering would be an appropriate choice if you are looking to upgrade your skills and gain an in-depth knowledge of various technical languages and design trends. The average fee for studying software engineering overseas is INR 15,00,000 – INR 25,00,000 per year. This would depend on the course and university you choose.

How much would you get paid?

The exact number will depend on your skills, qualifications, work experience, and the organisation you’re working for. However, we can give you an idea of what software engineers generally make.

What are Computer Software Engineer's career options?

Front-end Developer

A front-end developer creates websites and applications using web-based technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. As a front-end developer, you would convert data into a graphic interface (the design that you see on a website or app) to make user interaction easy. It is important for a front-end developer to be familiar with markup languages, testing, debugging and using various control systems. The work of a front-end developer requires a thorough understanding of human-machine interaction and design principles.

Back-end Developer

A back-end developer specialises in the designing, implementation and functioning of a system or software. As a back-end developer, you would develop the structure or “back-end” of the website and create sections or components that can be indirectly accessed by the user through the website or app. It is necessary for a back-end developer to be acquainted with various programming languages such as Java, C, C++, Ruby, Perl, Python, Scala, Go, etc.

Full-stack Developer

A full-stack developer looks after the main website as well as the structure or back-end. This is the most popular specialisation in today’s time as companies prefer hiring individuals who can handle both types of work. It is necessary for a full-stack developer to be familiar with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, design principles, understand how various data structures and the web application architecture works, and how to create databases. As a full-stack developer, you should also know how to create and use APIs (Application Program Interface).


Game Developer

Game developers, specifically known as video game developers or video game designers, specialise in creating video games. Right from designing the concept of the game to coding and programming it, game developers do it all. As a game develop, you would be responsible for designing engaging and interactive games. You should be familiar with programming languages such as C++, visual basic, java and MEL.

Data Scientist

A data scientist can analyse and interpret complex digital data to help a business improve its operations. As a data scientist, your job would include the use of advanced analytics technologies to gather and analyse data on the basis of different patterns, trends and relationships. You would work closely with business stakeholders to identify and analyse customer behaviour.

DevOps Engineer

DevOps is a software development strategy that bridges the gap between developers and the IT staff. As a DevOps engineer, you would look after the deployment and network operations of a website (the launch, upgrades and general functioning of a website).

You should be able to code and script, and be comfortable with frequent code testing and deployment activities. You should also be an excellent sysadmin who builds, manages and troubleshoots the website servers on a regular basis.

Application Developer

An application developer is involved in the job of developing applications for desktops and mobile devices. As an application developer, your primary job involves translating software requirements into a workable programming code. You would also look into designing, testing, and implementing programming languages and development tools.


Quality Assurance Engineer

A QA or Quality Assurance engineer is responsible for testing software before its launch. Your job as a QA engineer involves finding and reporting bugs during testing. It is important for you to pay close attention to all details of the software and debug the arising issues. You would work closely with software developers to find and resolve bugs.

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