Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Mosaic and venture capitalist, wrote an article last year that made a prediction. He stated that “software is eating all the world.” This prediction has been proven to be correct through the years.
The ever-improving technology is gradually making us more dependent on it in all aspects of our lives, including entertainment, research, business, and study. Everything revolves around software applications.
Software engineers are the creative brain behind web and mobile apps. To be more competent in creating useful apps for smart phones, they must first understand what software engineering is.
What is Software Engineering?
Software engineering is the process of creating, developing, and testing software applications that use programming languages to allow machines to perform different tasks. Software engineers instruct computers line-by-line how to function according their needs and desires.
Computers and people don’t speak the exact same languages. In fact, the programming language of today isn’t a direct comparison to Binary, the official language of a computer. Software developers are here to help. Software developers use coding languages and interpreters in order to make software usable for humans. This could be helping people have fun, improve on old technology, or inventing new things.
Coding: Self-Sufficiency is Essential
Software engineers must have experience in coding features and problem solving skills, whether they are working individually or as part of a team. Software engineering is not an easy job. There are many codes to write and many problems to solve. Being reliable and productive is essential. You must also be accountable for your actions.
An engineer who is self-sufficient and skilled can understand logic, write more efficient code, debug the system for loopholes and solve problems with less supervision. Engineers’ reputations are enhanced when they can be self-sufficient and no longer require micromanagement.
Don’t be micromanaged by your supervisor or coworker. This makes you a liability and not an asset to the team. My mother taught me the same thing. She said, “Always be an Asset to the People Around You; an Asset, not a Liability, a Blessing, not a Trial.”
Software engineering is all about being able solve problems yourself. The feeling of accomplishment you will feel when you complete your task will be unmatched.
What makes a good software engineer?
1. Full-Stack Development Expert
Full-stack developers are those who have the knowledge, experience, and comfort working in both the front-end or back-end components required to run an application. These include User Interface frameworks and Programming Languages, MVC Frameworks, SQL Queries and APIs, Operating System and Application Server, Database, and so on. Full-stack developers are flexible and self-motivated. They can also learn new technologies and languages much faster than others, making them an asset to any team.
2. Passionate and driven
Software engineers who enjoy solving complex algorithms and problems are the majority of those who have succeeded. You will soon forget that you are actually working and instead feel like you are having fun. Enjoy learning and coding, otherwise it will be too stressful.
3. Methodical
Software development projects should aim to create a secure, efficient, and scalable application. This includes database design, flowcharts and back-end code. The developer must spend time understanding the problem, devise solutions, and then implement the best solution. Most bugs or issues in code are caused by poorly-planned code logic and database design.
4. Writes clean, well-structured code
Steve Jobs once stated, “To sleep well at night, you must have the aesthetic, the quality.”
You should strive to deliver code in a way that is as short as possible. Use functions often, avoid repetitive code, and make codes as reuseable as possible. For faster debugging and future feature improvements, you can add comments to complex codes/features.
5. Fast Debugging
Understanding the code is key to understanding the causes and solutions. This is why step 3 is so important. Learn to read and review your codes, error logs, and code-related issues.