Explore: Digital and tech

Software Engineer

info Issues viewing the video?

Stuart W

00:00:04 My name’s Stuart W. I work for IBM and I’m a Software Engineer. A software engineer encompasses quite a few different roles. Essentially what my role at the minute is either testing new software or development of new software. I’ve been working on a project that involves IBM MQ Series software and that was testing the graphical user interface of that, and I had to write a computer code that would programmatically test this new piece of software.

00:00:36 I quite enjoy it when some problem that’s been bugging us for two days is suddenly working and fixed and I can say, ‘yes I’ve managed to solve that problem’. I grew up in a little town called South Shields, which is in the northeast of England. My family have lived there all their life. I lived there pretty much all of my life. When I graduated and started work, I then moved down south and I’ve been living here about a year and a half now.

00:01:02 My Mum’s a Nurse and my Dad works for Asda in one of the warehouses. I decided to study maths, physics and IT at A level purely because I enjoyed doing it at GCSE, so I wanted to continue that learning process and continue doing subjects that I knew I enjoyed. At university, I studied software engineering. I wasn’t 100% sure that that’s where I wanted to end up, but for university I thought it would be quite a good career, quite interesting, quite a good three years of learning.

00:01:30 I really enjoyed it. I got to know some really good friends, friends who I still in touch with now and yeah, I got to do some experiences that if I didn’t go to university, I don’t think I would’ve experienced. The life skills I got at university were quite important ones, just doing my own laundry, doing my own washing, going to the shops, but also getting to know lots of different people. Essentially I’d grew, lived and went to school in the Northeast of England, so at university it was people from all over the country and all over Europe and all over the world.

00:02:03 So that was quite good getting to know different people from different countries. At university, I got a part time job which at the time was quite difficult because there was a lot of work involved at university as well as working for a company, but that taught me the kind of value of hard work and it’s helped a lot when I’ve moved away. I moved away for a job. I moved away with my girlfriend. It was just the two of us, and yes, learning how to manage deadlines, then how to manage all the money as well was very invaluable.

00:02:34 I’ve supported Liverpool since I was a young boy, mainly because my Dad did. Football and sport in general is a big thing in my life. To be honest I like to try more sports because I find that I get to know a lot more people and there’s, that’s a really good way to get to know people and learn other life skills as well.

00:02:51 My biggest passion in life is probably family. It’s the people that you go home to. Even if you’ve had a bad day nine to five, you go home and your wife or your Mum and Dad or your brother or your sister, your friends, they’re all there and they can put a smile back on your face. So no matter how bad things are, I always enjoy coming home to family and friends.

00:03:10 I don’t think at this moment in time I could say what my dream job is. I’ve certainly got one or two career paths that I’m interested in, such as technical sales or project management, that’s quite high on the agenda at the moment. But I don’t have one definitive career path and one definitive perfect job at the moment. I want to work very hard to get where I want to be, so that essentially I can retire nice and young and then enjoy the rest of my life, possibly in Spain in the nice hot weather.

Stuart W is a Software engineer with IBM. “I’ve been working on a project testing a graphical user interface and I had to write a computer code that would programmatically test this new piece of software… I decided to study maths, physics and IT at A level purely because I enjoyed doing it at GCSE.”

More information about Programmers and software development professionals

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

85%  male 
15%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Programmers and software development professionals design, develop, test, implement and maintain software systems in order to meet the specifications and business objectives of the information system; they also design and develop specialist software e.g. for computer games.
Entrants usually possess a degree or equivalent qualification, although entry with other academic qualifications and/or significant relevant experience is possible. There is a variety of vocational, professional and postgraduate qualifications available.
  • Examines existing software and determines requirements for new/modified systems in the light of business needs;
  • Undertakes feasibility study to design software solutions;
  • Writes and codes individual programs according to specifications;
  • Develops user interfaces;
  • Tests and corrects software programs;
  • Writes code for specialist programming for computer games, (for example, artificial intelligence, 3D engine development);
  • Implements and evaluates the software;
  • Plans and maintains database structures;
  • Writes operational documentation and provides subsequent support and training for users.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Computer programming, etc 120143
Legal & accounting 19929
Head offices, etc 15483
Financial services 13932
Retail trade 10969
Auxiliary  services 10841
Employment activities 10628
Publishing activities 10246
Real estate 6865
Telecommunications 6639
Employment status

From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way

Explore more videos by: