There is no question that the best software engineers are highly in demand and can be a huge benefit to companies. But why, exactly?
In addition to simply making things run smoothly, software engineers can benefit companies in a number of ways, and seeking out the very best software engineers can greatly benefit a business.
In this article, we look at the financial advantages that software engineers can bring to companies in terms of improving operational efficiency, ensuring best-in-class customer management, ensuring the highest level of network security, and even boosting innovation.
In addition, we also examine what software engineers need to offer in their work, and the types of skills required to enjoy a successful career in this field.
More than just maintenance
Software engineers are responsible for designing, developing, testing, and maintaining software applications. Though they can work on almost any kind of software, many software engineers operate in the areas of network security, data analytics, business operations, app development, and business analytics.
It is probably still true that when a director of a company is looking to hire a software engineer, their first thought is often not related to profits. Typically, they will have a specific technical problem they would like to solve, or they will be looking at building a more efficient operating system. That is not to say, however, that software engineers cannot help a company improve their profit margin.
Better, faster, more efficient
First of all, genuinely improving operational efficiency—not just ensuring that things don’t go wrong, but ensuring things are optimally improved—is one of the best ways to impact the bottom line of a company in a positive way. If, for example, a software engineer is able to identify a specific process, such as order reporting or an aspect of customer relationship management that can be automated, they should be able to greatly improve the speed of operations and ultimately save the company significant time and money.
Similarly, implementing more easily scalable solutions, such as cloud-based systems and reduced code bases, can help achieve significant cost reductions if a business begins to really expand and take off. The differences in cost between having to reprogram and redesign an entire system and simply having to adapt and augment it to match additional growth should never be underestimated.
A greater understanding
By working to enhance and improve data analysis, software engineers can also help companies take important leaps forward and, in many cases, resolve long-term areas of concern. When analytics are able to identify inefficient areas of the business—such as lagging delivery times or inefficient use of staff resources—and pinpoint workable solutions, this can lead to significant savings for the company.
Similarly, the best data analytics systems and processes can also help improve customer experience. A more sophisticated understanding of customer behavior, in terms of why they do what they do, what they like, and what might put them off dealing with the company, will make a big difference when it comes to customer retention. Indeed, implementing simple changes such as sending email reminders at the statistically most opportune time or streamlining the user interface can significantly improve the customer experience.
Seeking the best, avoiding the worst
Naturally, software engineers can also help in the field of security. It is true that here profit motive may not be immediately obvious, with the main emphasis on risk mitigation. At the same time, security breaches can be incredibly costly, both financially and in terms of reputation. Conversely, a business that is able to develop a reputation as a secure, reliable company will be far more attractive to customers, investors, and business partners.
Enhanced software and the right IT management can also help to ensure and promote continuous innovation. After all, to improve any business, it is essential to monitor, evaluate, and react to any relevant data or information as accurately and quickly as possible. For any company interested in attaining market leadership, gathering, analyzing, and acting on key data is of vital importance, while implementing the right software environment is far more than a ‘nice to have’—it is absolutely essential.
A thriving profession
Given all these advantages, it should be no surprise to learn that the software engineering job outlook continues to be extremely positive. Happily, over the past decade or so there has also been a significant improvement in the general understanding of the importance of software engineers. Today, they are sought out by the most forward-thinking companies all over the globe for their ability to bring not only technical competence but also real change to business processes. Specialized programs such as Baylor University’s online Master’s in Computer Science prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this sector and can be completed in just over one and half years if a student has a computer science background.
Naturally, the best software engineers not only look to develop the right credentials and background knowledge but also focus on accumulating a wealth of experience in their chosen field.
Finding the right path
It is clear that a first-class software engineer is a valuable asset for any company. Not only can software engineering be used to improve the processes of any given business, but it is also of vital importance in building a greater understanding of both the company itself and the behavior of clients, customers, and business partners, as well as a critical factor in network security.
The Bottom Line
The best software engineers have the right combination of technical ability, business sense, and analytical thinking, as well as the flexibility to learn about and exploit any new fields, such as AI, that might emerge. As in any profession, determination, innovative thinking, and the ability to work well as part of a team are also essential. The good news is that software engineering as a profession has grown to become not only one of the most in-demand jobs in the world but also one of the most important.