Insights into Software Engineer as Profession

  1. Software jobs expect lot of patience and is suitable for those who can think for hours together.
  2. The pay in software industry is proportional to the experience and technology domain.
  3. If you aren’t used to working hard, initially you will feel a lot of pressure, but you will consequently adapt to it.
  4. The respect in the society and cheers for your work keeps on motivating you.
  5. This profession provides a comfortable lifestyle as the pay is good with great working conditions.
  6. To do well in software industry, in addition to hard-work, one needs to have great problem-solving skills.
  7. As this profession requires team work, it is imperative that you foster good relationships with colleagues.

Profile Details

Name – P. Prakash

Profession – Manager in Accenture

Age – 41

Gender – Male

City – Hyderabad

Industry – Software & Technology

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in Paloncha which is a small town in Telangana state. I have two elder sisters. We are a happy family leading a simple and joyful life.

My father worked as AE (Assistant Engineer) in Kothagudem Thermal Power Station. He had a good salary and he took good care of us. My mother is a home-maker.

Who had the most influence on you and how?

My father has had immense influence on me. He was respected for his high moral values and that inspired me too.

Please give us a summary of your career.

I didn’t exactly excel in my educational career as I was an average student. I managed to complete MCA and then tried few business ventures, but soon realized that they weren’t as easy as I had initially assumed.

So, I flew to Singapore to stay with my elder sister. There, I found my interest in computer programming and underwent few courses. These courses boosted my interest level and confidence.

After the successful completion of those short-term courses, I moved to Hyderabad, where I learnt that these courses are not sufficient for a successful job career. Some of my friends, who worked in the same field, suggested that I travel to Kolkata to get trained in some special courses.

I went to Kolkata and did those special courses and returned to join few small companies. There, I learnt a lot more than in I would have learnt in big companies; simply because in a small company there are few employees, who have to do much broader range of work. Later on, I received an opportunity to work for Accenture, where I’ve settled down as manager.

Which institutes are best for the education/training of software engineering?

I’d recommend that every student should try to be good in studies, as that builds the foundation. Good education also matters a lot, since when you come from institutions like IITs or NITs, you can achieve success much faster than what would take you quite some time. I also recommend IIIT Hyderabad for those opting for CSE branch.

What are the costs associated with the education/training of software engineering?

The short-term courses cost you more than graduate degree in same course. The average undergraduate programme costs in the range of 5-20 Lakhs, depending on the standards of the institution.

I’d suggest you get a proper degree from a good university.

How does one enter in this profession?

Anybody with proper technological skills and programming skills can enter this profession. B. Tech degree is preferred, however one can enter with degree or diploma in any stream, provided one is great at programming. B.Tech graduates generally get better starting salaries. However, after few years of work experience, salary is simply a factor of how good you are at what you do.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?

Average income progression of a Software Engineer

Starting Out – 4–8 Lakhs per annum

5 years of experience – 8–15 Lakhs per annum

10 years of experience – 15–25 Lakhs per annum

15 years of experience – 25–40 Lakhs per annum

20+ years of experience – 40+ Lakhs per annum

These are average figures and they vary as per the skillset of the individual.

Describe your work? What do you typically do on a normal work day?

I usually work for 5 days a week. The main objective is to complete work on time. This requires spending long hours at work, but I have no problem with it. The weekends are generally off, but I have work on some weekends because I have to meet certain deadlines.

When the work load is less, we work for an average of 8–10 hours per day. But, when workload increases, we work for 12–14 hours a day. The pay gets justified if we put all our effort to complete the project successfully. In the software industry, it’s all about team-work and one-man army cannot make a project successful.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?

The biggest positive of this job is that I am always surrounded by good and experienced colleagues. They bring positive energy, which makes the whole work environment comfortable.

Even if one gets less salary in the initial years, don’t lose confidence, because salaries increase rapidly in later years and they can go to any level.

Some of the other positives are:

1. There’s hardly any physical strain when compared to job profiles in other industries.

2. The more work you get done in the stipulated time period, the better wages you make.

3. Most offices don’t follow strict office timings. Therefore, you can handle urgent personal work during work-hours. And several offices also allow you few days/hours to work from home.

4. This job is all about superior knowledge and awareness. The better you are, easier will be your life.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering software engineering as career?

The challenges primarily arise in the initial years of the career. If you aren’t used to working hard, then to finish allocated work in stipulated time will be a challenge. You will feel tired and may be on the verge to lose your cool. Slowly, you will learn to patiently sit in front of the computer for hours together.

Some of the other challenges in this career are:

1. The mental stress increases with increase in work. Very tight deadlines increase the stress levels further.

2. Basic Knowledge about some programming languages is not sufficient. You have to dig yourself deep into the subject. Frequently updating your skillset with the current trends is of utmost importance, else you will become outdated.

3. When deadline is near, and work is far from over, then one has to work even during free time. This causes an unhealthy lifestyle leaving less time for family and personal leisure.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

The person who loves to do software programming will be happy choosing this career. This job meant for those who love solving new problems and applying their creativity. This job is for those, who have the patience to sit in front of a computer screen for long periods without getting easily distracted.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I’d like to teach the courses I pursued. Teaching would give me immense pleasure and lot of satisfaction indeed.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to you?

I’d advise them to build a strong profile right from beginning of their under-graduation. Generate an interest in your subjects and aim to master them. Don’t be disheartened if you fail. Keep trying till you succeed and hence the results will be magnificent.

Contributing Writer - Myneni Pranav Deep