“But what do you do, exactly?” — Software Engineers

Adriana A. Torres
3 min readMay 11, 2021

Software engineers develop systems and software for businesses. These products range from business applications and games to network control systems and operating systems. Designing, developing, and testing a system or application according to the users’ specifications is the main job of software engineers. That is, they plan, build and provide maintenance for everything that runs on a web platform. These professionals also need to ensure that everything works as expected.

Also called a web developer or programmer, they write software programs. They usually divide their areas of expertise into two areas: front-end and back-end.

front-end — Front-end software engineers take care of everything you can actually see on a website. Their main concern is the experience that the user has when accessing an application. They are the ones who design and develop the pages with which the user will later interact. They usually have experience with JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and so on[…]

back-end — These professionals are responsible for the server that hosts the website, ensuring that the data sent to the browser is correct and persists. They must follow good data security practices. They usually have experience with SQL, Python, Ruby, and so on […]

What does it take to be a developer?
One of the most interesting aspects of a web developer career is that it is not necessary to have a specific degree. Although many professionals have taken a course in Systems Analysis, Computer Science, or the likes, there are also those who have migrated from another field through fast-paced courses such as bootcamps and even those who have taught themselves how to code.

The key to getting into this field is to obtain theoretical and practical knowledge about programming — but one thing that is important to keep in mind is that no matter how short or long the course is, aspiring software engineers can expect to never stop learning throughout the rest of their careers in the field. Some developers choose the stability of employment but even an employer that provides that stability will one day update its systems, so studying is a constant in the life of a programmer. It is necessary to read, research, investigate, doubt… the more you learn, the more you will realize that there is still a lot more to learn.

What is the difference between a programmer and a web designer?
The professions of web designer and web developer are commonly confused by those who do not know the processes intrinsic to each of them. The big difference here is that the web designer is solely responsible for the visual part of the website. Essentially, the web designer does not interfere with the codes of the site as the programmer does.

Nowadays, however, it is common to find professionals who have the necessary knowledge to do both. However, the designer has a broader knowledge of visual identity and color theory, for example, and developers need to understand the code behind the page and make sure everything works correctly.