As Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) becomes the centre of focus, digital transformation is inevitable across all sectors and industries. Therefore, professionals in the information technology sector will play significant roles in integrating technology into all areas. Out of the top tech jobs, software engineers and developers are one of the most highly sought after by firms to deliver value and solutions to users.
Software engineering is the process of analysing user requirements to design, create, and test applications that provide solutions to meet those needs.
In the 1960s, software engineering was known as its own type of engineering. However, the development of software engineering was seen as a struggle as it was a challenge to keep up with the hardware that caused many problems, including budget concerns, exceeding deadlines, and requirement of large-scale debugging and maintenance. Therefore, in 1968, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held the first Software Engineering conference to address these issues by establishing guidelines and best practices.
Software engineers work in a team to design, develop, maintain, improve, test, and implement computer programs through software engineering principles. Because they are tasked to oversee projects on a larger scale, software engineers do not have much room for creativity as they are more focused on providing logical solutions to solve problems faced by users.
Software development is the process of creating, designing, testing, deploying, and maintaining software that carries out specific tasks.
The history of software development began in 1984 when computer scientist Tom Kilburn wrote the world’s first piece of software – the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, also known as “Baby.” It was programmed to perform mathematical calculations based on machine code instructions. It took 52 minutes to accurately compute the greatest divisor of 2 to the power of 18.
Software developers are masterminds who write code from scratch and develop new programmes to meet users’ needs. Software developers typically work alone, even though they may interact with colleagues and professionals from other departments. A software developer mainly focuses on a single area in coding a program.
Talented professionals are essential for digital transformation. Thus, software engineers/developers are offered handsome payment in exchange for their expertise in satisfying ever-changing user requirements while providing logical solutions.
The software field is broad and encompasses various roles in building computer programs and systems. This allows software engineers/developers to work in areas and industries that interest them the most. For example, some would focus on building computer information systems, while others spend their days creating webpages or strengthening an organisation’s network security.
With an ever-evolving ecosystem, new technologies emerge constantly. To adapt to this, software engineers/developers must stay updated with the latest programming languages, technologies, and industry trends.
Still unsure if you should study software engineering/development? Here are a few things to help you discover if software engineering/development is the right course for you:
Though the amount of mathematics involved depends on the type of software, it is still greatly needed in programming. Hence, being good in Mathematics will put you in a favourable position to enjoy the course of study.
Writing, analysing, and maintaining codes involve complicated procedures and details. Thus, you need to be able to pay close attention to detail.
The ability to analyse problems quickly, brainstorm critically, and present creative solutions after evaluating multiple scenarios are greatly valued. By being able to think critically under pressure, you will be at a great advantage when pursuing your studies in software engineering/development.
Software architects make important architectural decisions and attempt to implement technical principles such as coding standards, platforms, and tools. When object-oriented programming (OOP) started gaining popularity, it allowed more complex applications to be built. With such integration and an increase in system oversight, the concept of software architects began to take hold.
After outlining the purpose and specifications of the program, software designers are responsible for identifying design problems and providing software solutions. They conduct research, analysis, and development to create applications with user-friendly frameworks.
Software test engineers test software applications to ensure they function well. Besides that, they detect bugs in software programs and identify issues concerning the products’ performance or interface.
Besides creating and maintaining websites, web developers also oversee the site’s performance and capacity. Depending on the job, they may focus on front-end development, back-end development, or even both. Front-end development includes web designing and content creation, while back-end development includes writing code to make the site work.
What does a computer programmer do?
Computer programmers write codes that allow software applications and programs to function well. They also improve existing codes and test programs for faulty lines of codes.
Database administrators store and organise data, such as personal and financial information, using software programs. They make sure that data is accessible to users and is protected from illegal access. They are also in charge of ensuring that data analysts can easily access the database for information they need, and that the system is performing well.
According to PayScale, the average base salary of software engineers in Malaysia is RM48,291 per year. An entry-level software engineer earns an average of RM36,487. It is considered one of the highest starting salaries compared to other professions.
According to PayScale, the average base salary of software developers in Malaysia is RM44,967 per year. An entry-level software developer earns an average of RM34,882.
To pursue a career in software engineering, a bachelor’s degree in software engineering is preferred compared to one in software development. Meanwhile, a degree in software development is considered a specialisation in information technology and computer programming.
To pursue a degree in software engineering or software development, you will need to meet the minimum requirements below:
In addition to that, local students must achieve at least a Pass in English at the SPM level. International students must pass Band 5.0 in The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), score a minimum of 42 marks (IBT) or 410 marks (PBT) in TOEFL, attain a minimum of 154 marks in Cambridge English CAE & CPE (154), or a minimum of 47 points in PTE Academic. Additional English modules are offered at UOW Malaysia KDU if you do not meet the English language requirements.
Upon completing your Malaysian Certificate of Education, or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), you can enrol into a pre-university (STPM, A-Level, UEC etc.) program. As another option, you may take up UOW Malaysia KDU’S Foundation Studies, which will allow you to gain a direct entry into Year 1 of UOW Australia’s Degree Programs or pursue a Bachelor of Computer Science, Software Engineering, or Information Systems locally. On the other hand, you may pursue a Diploma in Information Technology and enter the second year of degree upon completion.
If you are interested in research, you may choose to continue your studies with a Master in Computer Science. A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is needed if you want to obtain an academic position in higher education and participate in research and development programs.
Kindly note that different institutions will have varying entry requirements that you will need to fulfil.
As technology advances, there is tremendous demand for software engineers and developers across industries. The ability to create high-quality software with good design, security, and maintenance is highly-valued by companies from the banking and finance sector to the healthcare industry. So, yes, such excellent job prospects suggest that software engineering and software development are excellent careers to pursue in Malaysia.
UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College, Batu Kawan, offers a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons) program specially designed to help equip students with in-depth knowledge and technical skills required for the software industry. Besides, our curriculum covers a wide range of theoretical knowledge in specialisation field areas and practical application of problem-solving techniques using different programming languages.
In collaboration with the IBM Innovation Centre for Education (ICE) and Teknoturf, we plan to launch a series of professional certification programs. Students can pursue a Diploma in Internet of Things or a Diploma in Business Analytics as their professional certification program. In partial fulfilment of the computing bachelor’s degree, students must complete 4 IBM modules to be eligible for an additional professional award from the IBM Innovation Centre.
In a nutshell, IT professionals play active roles as Malaysia approaches digital transformation amid IR 4.0. On top of that, youths are expected to spearhead the digital economy for years to come. With that, software engineering and software development are both exciting and highly-rewarding careers for individuals passionate to be part of this revolution.
Should you have any queries about our program, get in touch with us for assistance or to find out more!