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Become A Software Systems Engineer

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Working As A Software Systems Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $90,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Systems Engineer Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Duties

Software developers typically do the following:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functionality of software, such as the level of security and performance needs. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it.

If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to the programmers.

Developers who supervise a software project from the planning stages through implementation sometimes are called information technology (IT) project managers. These workers monitor the project’s progress to ensure that it meets deadlines, standards, and cost targets. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

The following are examples of types of software developers:

Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the general public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

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How To Become A Software Systems Engineer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Education

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.

Advancement

Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.

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Software Systems Engineer jobs

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Software Systems Engineer Career Paths

Software Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Program Management Consultant Program Manager
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Interactive Developer Lead Developer Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Interactive Developer Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Management Consultant Product Manager
Product Manager, Mobile
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Subject Matter Expert Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Engineer Software Engineer
Senior Java Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Systems Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Senior Manager
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Software Engineering Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Software Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Knowledge Engineer 3.4 years
Firmware Engineer 3.3 years
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Software Leader 3.2 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
Systems Architect 3.2 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Software Designer 3.0 years
Software Developer 2.7 years
Software Analyst 2.6 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 3.5%
Programmer 3.2%
Engineer 2.2%
Internship 2.1%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.6%

Software Systems Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

78.9%

Female

17.5%

Unknown

3.6%
Ethnicity

White

70.0%

Asian

17.6%

Hispanic or Latino

8.2%

Unknown

3.2%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.8%

Chinese

10.3%

Korean

7.7%

Carrier

7.7%

German

5.1%

French

5.1%

Thai

5.1%

Italian

5.1%

Portuguese

2.6%

Gujarati

2.6%

Czech

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Slovak

2.6%

Hindi

2.6%

Mandarin

2.6%

Croatian

2.6%

Arabic

2.6%
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Software Systems Engineer Education

Schools

George Mason University

10.8%

George Washington University

10.3%

Johns Hopkins University

6.7%

Arizona State University

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

Regis University

5.2%

University of Maryland - University College

4.6%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

University of Houston

4.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.1%

West Virginia University

4.1%

University of Texas at Austin

4.1%

University of Alabama at Huntsville

4.1%

Northeastern University

4.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.6%

Southern Methodist University

3.6%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.6%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.6%

Colorado Technical University

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

28.1%

Electrical Engineering

16.3%

Computer Engineering

9.5%

Business

8.7%

Computer Information Systems

5.6%

Systems Engineering

3.9%

Information Technology

3.5%

Mathematics

2.9%

Management Information Systems

2.7%

Information Systems

2.5%

Engineering

2.3%

Project Management

2.1%

Management

1.9%

Physics

1.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%

Communication

1.4%

Mechanical Engineering

1.4%

Computer Applications

1.4%

Accounting

1.3%

Aerospace Engineering

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.4%

Masters

40.0%

Other

9.7%

Associate

4.2%

Doctorate

3.4%

Certificate

1.7%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Software Systems Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Systems Engineer Idexcel, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 28, 2018 $105,000
Software Systems Engineer III Idexcel, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 18, 2018 $105,000
Software Systems Engineer Idexcel, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 18, 2018 $105,000
Software Systems Engineer II Robustware Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 13, 2018 $100,194
Software Systems Engineer III Techstar Consulting Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 18, 2018 $100,194
Software Systems Engineer III Techstar Consulting Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 07, 2017 $92,019
Software Systems Engineer Idexcel, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 30, 2017 $90,000
Software Systems Engineer/Business Systems Analyst Idexcel, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 30, 2017 $90,000
Software Systems Engineer Idexcel, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 07, 2016 $88,000
It-Software Systems Engineer II Pinnacle Technical Resources, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 02, 2017 $83,480
It-Software Systems Engineer Pinnacle Technical Resources, Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 08, 2017 $83,480
Software Systems Engineer Lead It Corporation Ashburn, VA Sep 15, 2017 $70,803

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Top Skills for A Software Systems Engineer

Pl/SqlWindowsXPDatabaseWebServicesHardwareSoftwareDevelopmentArchitectureC/C++UnixLinuxXMLAPIHtmlSoftwareSystemsSystemsEngineeringC #SoftwareRequirementsGUITestCasesUserInterface

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Top Software Systems Engineer Skills

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Windows XP
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed PL/SQL stored procedures, packages and triggers.
  • Base Operating System was both Windows XP and Windows 7.
  • Transform Diverse Database Management Methodologies into a converged solution.
  • Involved in numerous projects developing web services for various business areas across the Enterprise.
  • Integrated new software and hardware developments into the various systems on board AEGIS Navy ships.

Top Software Systems Engineer Employers

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