Software Engineer Job Description: What You Need to Know
Need help writing a job description for one of the most important roles in the tech industry? You’ve come to the right place.
It seems like every company is hiring software engineers these days. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of software developers will grow by 22% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
With such high demand, companies need to make a good first impression. Your software engineer job description has to be up to par if you want to attract the best candidates.
We have some tips for writing an accurate and appealing job post that will help you stand out from the competition. We’ve also compiled examples of what other organizations are doing in their postings.
First, let’s start with the basics.
Tell me the responsibility of a software engineer
If you’re a recruiter or hiring manager, you may not be familiar with all the day-to-day duties of a software engineer.
Software engineers are responsible for developing, testing, and maintaining software. This can include everything from writing code to debugging programs to designing interfaces. They may also be responsible for troubleshooting problems and providing support to users.
Here’s how Betterteam breaks down common software engineer duties:
Research, design, and write new programs
New software programs are key to the success of any business. A good software engineer begins by understanding the needs of the user, creating project plans, and then writing code that meets or exceeds expectations.
Once a new program is written, it needs to be tested and debugged. This is where a developer’s expertise in computer systems and coding come into play. They are responsible for finding and solving errors in the code to make sure that the program works as intended.
Develop existing programs
In addition to writing new software, engineers often make improvements to existing systems and programs. They’re always adding new features, fixing bugs, and updating programs to keep up with changes in technology or user requirements.
Monitoring and evaluating system performance is another important part of the software development life cycle. Engineers may need to make changes or updates to programs based on the results of their evaluations. Additionally, they can provide support to users by answering questions, troubleshooting problems, and providing training.
Tell me the role of software engineer
You can’t write a compelling software engineer description without understanding the role your company is hiring for.
There are three main types of software engineers: application, system, and web. Within these software engineering roles are specialized positions and levels of seniority. (For example: senior software engineer, data scientists, etc.)
Application software engineers
These software engineers focus on developing programs that solve specific problems for users. They may work on mobile apps, business applications, or computer games.
Systems software engineers
Systems software engineers develop the low-level software systems that make devices and software applications run. This can include operating systems, drivers, and middleware.
Web software engineers
Tip: Check out the roles we test to get a feel for the level of experience and expertise your company is looking for in a software engineer.
Tell me the key skills of a software engineer
Now that you know what a software developer does, let’s explore the skills that are important for the position.
Every software engineer job description should list the technical skills required for the role. These are specific, teachable abilities that are required to do a job and can be learned through education, training, or experience. For example:
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science
- Knowledge of programming languages (like Java, Python, C++)
- Database management (like MySQL, MongoDB, Hadoop)
- Systems analysis
- Computer software testing
- User experience (UX) design
- Data structures
- Any other technical specifications required for the role
Soft skills are less about what a software engineer knows and more about what they can do, like executing project plans and creating innovative solutions. These also include interpersonal skills that are important for working with other engineers in a team environment. For example:
- Problem solving
- Attention to detail
- Business intelligence
- Strong analytical skills
- Organized approach to software solutions
- Leadership ability
Tell me the average salary of a software engineer
Your software engineering job description should always include salary information. Why? Because candidates (rightfully) want to know how much they’ll be paid. It can also help you attract more qualified applicants.
The average salary for a software engineer in the United States is around $116,000. However, this number can vary greatly depending on the level of experience and expertise an engineer has. (Ex: an entry-level developer can expect to make $75,000, while a senior software engineer can make $140,000+).
Other important things to consider:
Software engineers typically work full-time hours, but there are some positions that may only require part-time or contract work. Be sure to list the expected time commitment in your job description.
In addition to salary, your company should also offer a benefits package that meets the needs of your software engineering team. This can include health insurance, dental insurance, and 401k matching.
Your compensation package should be in line with industry standards. Use tools like AngelList or Glassdoor to research what other orgs in your area are offering for similar positions.
Tell me the typical job description of a software engineer
So far we’ve covered software engineer responsibilities, roles, skills, and salary. It’s time to put all of that information together and craft a job description that gets candidates excited.
Software engineer job description examples
- Toptal has a software engineer job description template that you can use as a starting point for your own role. Be sure to tailor it to fit your specific needs and the qualifications of the position you are trying to fill.
- Medium’s article How to Spot Toxic Software Jobs From Their Descriptions is an excellent resource for what not to do when writing a job post.
- Finally, for a more general overview on what to include in a job ad, check out these 10 examples of job description copy from HubSpot.
Of course, the job description is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hiring software engineers. Next comes the hard part: triaging applications, conducting assessments, and interviewing candidates.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out these helpful resources for recruiting:
- A Complete Software Hiring Process Checklist
- The Ultimate Remote Tech Stack
- Where to Find Remote Software Engineers
At Woven, we believe that the most important step in the hiring process is the technical interview.
Software developers are notoriously difficult to assess, but we’ve found that the best way to do it is with an asynchronous work simulation that goes beyond code.
Our platform allows you to evaluate a candidate’s technical skills as well as their problem solving ability, communication skill, and cultural fit. It’s the best way to ensure that they check all the boxes in your job description.
Hiring software engineers can feel challenging, but getting the right person in the right seat is worth it. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to attracting qualified candidates for your open position. Or, if you’d prefer to outsource the task, start a free trial with Woven today. We know how to get the most candidates to your posting — and we’ll even do it for you if you ask nicely.