Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked John Oliver from Hewlett-Packard to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

John Oliver

Engineer - Development

Hewlett-Packard

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  John Oliver
Your education should be in mostly the areas of science and engineering. You should have an interest in solving problems. Design skills would be of benefit. You should have your own initiative and have the confidence to present information and results in front of a technical or management team on a regular basis. You need to communicate with a wide range of people both within the Irish site and world-wide to get the job done. You need to be willing to ask questions and be in charge of your own development.
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Realist?
Realist 
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Engineer - Software

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€35k > 65 
Software Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€35 - 65 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Brightwater

Last Updated: June, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Particular Skillsets required:

Programming languages - Java; JavaScript; C#; C++; C+++; Visual Basic; .Net; SQL data base; Perl; Ruby; Python; Objective-C; Objective–Orientated Programming (OOP).

Knowledge of operating platforms - Windows; UNIX / Linux processing environment.

Web Development - Understanding of Web 2.0 development technologies; XML; Microsoft ASP.Net (web application framework to build sites. applications and services). Personal Homepage Tools (PHP); Microsoft Sharepoint family of software products; HTML skills.

Cloud Computing - as a different commercial business model. Project management; Network skills; Data centre experience with operating systems; Microsoft Windows Azure; CITRIX; IBM Tivoli; Skills in products such as VMware and hyper-V.

9%
Occupational Category

Programmers & software developers

Also included in this category:

Analyst-programmers; database developers; programmers; software engineers

Number Employed:

17,300

Part time workers: 4%
Aged over 55: 1%
Male / Female: 78 %/ 21%
Non-Nationals: 27%
With Third Level: 95%
More information...
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At a Glance... header image

Develops, creates, and modifies general computer applications software or specialised utility programs.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 1

Karl Stanley
Software Engineer  
After his Leaving Cert, Karl went to Trinity College Dublin to do a degree in Mathematics. He then went on to compete a M.Sc in Computer Science and currently works as a Software engineer with ticket-text.com.
Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

Computer software engineers traditionally work on the most complex types of software, including operating systems, while analyst/applications programmers work on software used to carry out business activities, such as managing a payroll. However, these career titles are becoming increasingly used to describe both types of work.  
 
Software engineers are involved in all stages in the development of a software product. They apply software technology to meet a defined need or solve a particular problem. This could involve analysing an existing system, designing a new system or investigating new technologies.  
 
Software engineers tend to work for: IT firms or consultancies; major IT users, organisations that harness, create or use IT, such as banks, retailers, manufacturers, telecommunications companies, the armed forces the public sector and voluntary organisations.  
 
At the start of a project, software engineers have to develop their knowledge of the client's business and their particular needs and problems.  
 
You will also be working closely with other staff/project managers, systems analysts and sales and marketing professionals.  
 
Next, they work with their clients to agree on important issues such as the hardware and software they need, costs and deadlines, as well as setting out a specification of what the finished software product should be.  
 
Software engineers (usually working in a team on larger programs) will then begin to write the program or programs. They will then test the program for bugs (faults), correcting any problems that they find.  
 
Software engineers may train their clients to use the new program or system. They are also likely to train other people who need to know how to support and maintain the system, for example, computer service technicians and support services engineers.  
 
Computer software engineers may write instructions or manuals to go with the software they have developed. 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

bullet

Design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures.

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Test system modifications to prepare for implementation.

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Develop testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability.

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Document software defects, using a bug tracking system, and report defects to software developers.

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Identify, analyze, and document problems with program function, output, online screen, or content.

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Monitor bug resolution efforts and track successes.

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Create or maintain databases of known test defects.

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Plan test schedules or strategies in accordance with project scope or delivery dates.

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Participate in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems.

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Review software documentation to ensure technical accuracy, compliance, or completeness, or to mitigate risks.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Systems Evaluation:   Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

bullet

Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

bullet

Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Operations Analysis:   Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

bullet

Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Programming:   Writing computer programs for various purposes.

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Troubleshooting:   Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported Work Activities in this occupation.

bullet

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

bullet

Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

bullet

Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

bullet

Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

bullet

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

bullet

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

bullet

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

Attention to detail and commitment to seeing projects through from start to finish are vital qualities. You must enjoy solving problems and have a logical, analytical and methodical approach to your work.  
 
A high aptitude for computers is also required. Computer software engineers need a high level of technical expertise. You must be willing to keep up-to-date with advances in technology, both in hardware and software.  
 
Computer software engineers also need excellent interpersonal skills to work in teams and to communicate well with clients. You will usually need good written skills to present proposals and reports to clients and to write instructions and manuals for the programs. Strong communication skills are also needed to train clients in how to use new programs.  
 
You must have a good understanding of the nature of your client's business activities and their information technology needs.  
 
As well as working in teams, software engineers must be able to work independently. Software engineers often work to deadlines, so you must be well organised and able to work well under pressure.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..   Software Engineer - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..   Software engineer - from:  GradIreland

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 665 1300
  Email: info@engineers.ie
  Url www.engineersireland.ie
   

bullet

Organisation: Irish Computer Society
  Address: 87-89 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 644 7820
  Email: info@ics.ie
  Url www.ics.ie
   

bullet

Organisation: Irish Software Association
  Address: Confederation House, 84/86 Lower Baggot St. Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 605 1500
  Email: isa@ibec.ie
  Url www.software.ie
   

bullet

Organisation: ICT Ireland
  Address: Confederation House, 84/86, Lower Baggot St., Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 605 1500
  Email: ictireland@ibec.ie
  Url www.ictireland.ie
   

bullet

Organisation: Smart Futures
  Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 607 3171
  Email: info@science.ie
  Url www.smartfutures.ie
   


Job Search


Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following career interests...

Investigative  Realist  Administrative 

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Computers & Software
Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Space Science and Technology

Course suggestions from Qualifax - the National Learners Database
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If you are interested in this occupation, then the following CAO / HETAC courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
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