Introduction to Software Engineering for beginners

mr. sci. Admir Mujkic
6 min readDec 5, 2022

A component of software engineering is programming. The process of adding instructions to a machine, such as a computer or mobile device, is also sometimes referred to as coding. The device is responsible for deciphering these logical instructions, which are expressed in a specific programming language.

These are only a few of the numerous pseudonyms used to refer to this kind of software. These collections of instructions are also known as programs, computer programs, and applications.

The work environment of a software engineer

Anything that can be written as code in terms of giving instructions is considered a program. Below are some examples of programs that can be run on different devices.

Anything written in code can be a program

Even though it is possible to create a program without writing any code, the logic that the device will use to interpret the program is almost certainly written in code. When the program runs the code it contains, instructions are put into action. Because the program for displaying it is currently running on the device you are using to read this module, it is visible on your screen.

Programming languages

Languages for computer programming serve primarily to make the development of code that can be translated into machine language. Communication between humans and computers is facilitated by programming languages. Signals such as binary number system 1 or 0 are the only binary characters supported by the devices. (at least for now)

However, today, for the vast majority of programmers, communicating exclusively via binary is not an effective method. Imagine having to write code like 1001010101001111010010101001010. That means nothing to anyone and is not easy to maintain, because the software development process is quite an expensive process to maintain afterwards.

Low-level languages usually require fewer steps than high-level languages to be interpreted by the device as written code. However, what makes high-level languages popular is their readability and support. For example, Microsoft C# is considered a high-level language. The code in the following box illustrates the difference between a high-level language, such as C#, and a low-level assembly language.

Software to calculate the sum of two constants numbers

The preceding code illustrates the total sum of two numbers. Now, here is the corresponding assembly language code:

Assembly code generated from C# code

I guess it’s hard to believe, but each of these examples will issue the same set of instructions to the given device.

Components of the program

Learning how existing programs operate and the kinds of information they require is an essential first step in developing your own. Each instruction in a program is called a “command” and together they form the larger whole of the program. A terminating statement is a character or line space at the conclusion that signifies the end of the instruction. When it comes to terminating a program, the methods can vary depending on the language or technology used to create it.

5 basic elements of programming.

Tools for software development

One of the most important elements in software development is the choice of your tools what you going to use it for coding. However, it mostly depends on the programming language you use, but today, more or less, they are all at the same level of quality. When choosing a tool, it is important to pay attention to the speed of code development, i.e. that the tool does not hold you back and gives you the opportunity to use as many shortcuts as possible in order to raise your productivity to the maximum.

Having a tool that can do this not only helps you speed up the development of certain functionality, but it can also help you format your code and debug it in most cases, before submitting your code for testing.

Advantages and disadvantages of being a Software Engineer

As with any profession, being a software engeener is not without its drawbacks. While I’ve had the good fortune to work with a wide variety of engineers, technologies, and clients throughout the course of my career, I’ll do my best to outline the pros and cons of this line of work from my own perspective.

Advantages

This position is in high demand. The need for software engineers is growing as more and more businesses throughout the world adopt cutting-edge technologies. There is a growing need for software engineers in many fields, including:

  • Finance
  • Health care
  • Business and IT services
  • Government

This, however, is both a benefit and a disadvantage. Because everything that does not grow organically might swiftly fall and cause you to lose your job. Of course, you can always find a new job, but the process of adjusting to a new work environment, technology, and so on can be difficult for most individuals.

Additionally, some jobs in software engineering can be done remotely. From home or any other preferred workspace, you can work alone or as a team. To conduct your daily chores, you might only need a computer and an Internet connection. You may control your own pace throughout the day thanks to this flexibility. If you struggle to meet deadlines, need to complete anything on time, or depend on your team to be there for you, I firmly believe this benefit is useless.

You can also benefit from a well-paying profession. Due to the laws of economics supply and demand, software engineers typically earn above-average wages, giving them the potential for a somewhat greater compensation than in contrast to the other sectors.

Disadvantages

Since software engineering is a demanding job, some engeers work very long hours. This is sometimes undersable, while this may be necessary to meet deadlines and complete tasks, it can be minimized with good time management skills in very extreme cases.

Essentially, everything comes down to the 80/20 rule. According to Pereto’s 80/20 rule, 20% of causes for 80% of all outcomes. It is used to identify the elements that contribute most to success and then concentrate efforts on them to enhance outcomes. I firmly believe that practically every industry uses this concept.

Pereto principle a.k.a. 80/20

The job market for software engineers is incredibly competitive, so you should be aware of this if you want to have a successful career. You should keep working to advance your software engineering abilities to address this issue even after you land the job. It is a good idea to make some research on the company in order to understand their requirements and to personalize your application. For instance, the main technological stack, the organizational culture, earlier projects, etc.

Software engineering projects usually come with specific timelines. This may mean that you may have to work hard to meet deadlines. Time management skills can help you allocate your time between important duties. You can take a look at the blog Start with the most important things in the task-matrix section on how to improve time management, it might be useful for you.

Since technology in the field of software engineering is constantly evolving, engineers in this area frequently try to keep up with the most latest innovations. Your work processes or tools may occasionally change and as a software engineer you may need to stay on top of improvements and the most recent engineering methodologies in the industry. In a field that moves quickly, knowing when to take a break is key to success.

Software engineering is a field that uses a lot of mental energy.

Conclusion

Whether you want to start coding as a hobby, a new career or just to improve your current role, the first thing you will need to do is decide which programming language you want to start with, however, I advise you to understand the basics of engineering, then everything will be easier. Here are some books and materials that have helped me throughout my career.

Good luck!

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mr. sci. Admir Mujkic

Admir combined engineering expertise with business acumen to make a positive impact & share knowledge. Dedicated to educating the next generation of leaders.