“Software engineering is one of the fastest growing fields in the world today,” says Ben Amaba, worldwide executive for IBM Complex Systems. “What we’re seeing across all other disciplines is that software is becoming an invisible thread tying all disciplines together. Software is now embedded in almost all devices, mechanical devices all talk with each other, and developing products using software is faster and poses fewer risks than physical prototyping.”
Why Software Engineering is Important
Software engineering was recently dubbed the best job of 2011 by career site Career Cast, and magazines like Forbes and Fortune have also extolled the virtues and importance of the field. Heck, even toy company Mattel recently introduced Computer Engineer Barbie to help inspire young girls into the profession.
So why are these employees so valuable? Look no further than the often-cited Standish Group “Chaos” reports, which most recently (2009) found that only 32% of software projects are, in their terms, “successful.” The Standish report found that 44% of software projects were “challenged,” usually involving cost over-runs and late delivery, and a full 24% of projects failed. Since companies often can’t afford these costly delays or failures, engineers who operate by a set of standard development principles, such as those defined in the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK), can help keep costs down and products flowing out the door.
“Software engineers can also have higher innovation rates,” says Amaba, “because they aren’t tied to the physical world. Their only constraint is time. Other areas are more limited by materials and manpower. (Platt J, “carrers focus software engineering”, 29 may 2014).