Computer Software Engineer

Computer software engineers apply the principles and techniques of computer programming, engineering, and mathematical analysis to the design, development, testing and evaluation of the software and systems that enable computers to perform their many applications. This is basically an Electronics Engineering qualification with more software subjects and less engineering subjects.

Computer software engineers design and develop many types of software including software for operating systems, network distribution systems and compilers, and which convert programs for faster processing. Software engineers program computers using various programs, for instance, Assembler, C++ or Java. The major part of their work is, however, developing algorithms and analysing and solving programming problems.

Software engineers are also required to solve technical problems that arise and should therefore have a good knowledge of hardware components, for instance, microprocessors, embedded controllers, personal computers, routers and transmitters. They should also have the skills to develop the necessary software in order to implement a complete system operating on a variety of platforms, such as Windows, Windows NT and UNIX. Because computer systems and technology are rapidly evolving, the tasks performed by a computer software engineer have become more complex and specialised. Some examples of areas of specialisation include:

Computer applications: the design, implementation and modification of general computer applications software or specialised utility programs. Software engineers develop both packaged systems and systems software, or create customised applications.
Computer systems: the construction and maintenance of a company’s computer systems, and planning for future growth. This may include the setting up of Intranets, or telecommunications networks that link computers within organisations.

Project management: the management and delivery of a project in consultation with other members of a team. A core team may comprise engineering, marketing, manufacturing and design people who work together until the product is released.

Software engineers normally work in an office environment. Their job requires a fair amount of interaction with customers and co-workers and may require spending time away from the office in order to consult with clients at their premises. However, as technology advances, software engineers are increasingly able to communicate via e-mail, and by using the Internet, to connect to a customer’s computer remotely in order to identify and correct developing problems.


  • companies that supply and service computers

  • government departments

  • provincial administrations

  • computer bureaus

  • such companies as: Spoornet, Telkom, Denel

  • universities and universities of technology

  • any company or business using computer systems and networks

  • self-employment, a registered engineer with the necessary experience and initiative, as consultant

Getting Started

  • develop your mathematical, communication and computer skills

  • arrange to take an aptitude test, to determine whether you have the necessary ability for this type of work

  • speak to people in this field of work

  • try to obtain vacation work in this field


Academic City College, Accra, Accra Institute of Technology (Ait), Accra Polytechnic, Adventist University of Central Africa, Ashesi University, Belgium Campus, Bindura University of Science Education, Bishop Stuart Universities, Boston City Campus and Business College, Botho University, Botswana Accountancy College, Busitema University, Catholic University College of Ghana, Catholic University of Rwanda, Cavendish University, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Christian Service University College, Chuka University, CTI Education Group, CTU, Damelin, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, DMI-St.Eugene University, Egerton University, Embu University College, Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies, Garden City University College, Ghana Christian University College, Ghana Technology University College, Gideon Roberts University, Gretsa University, Harare Institute of Technology, Institute of Applied Sciences, Institute of Development Management, Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre, International Training College - Lingua (ITCL), International University of East Africa, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Tanzania), KAAF University College, Kabarak University, Kaimosi Friends University College, Kampala Institute of Vocational Training and Business Studies, Karatina University, Kayiwa International University, KCA University, Kenya Highlands Evangelical University, Kibabii University, Kigali Independent University, Kirinyaga University College, Kiriri Women's University of Science and Technology, Knutsford University College, Koforidua Polytechnic, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kyambogo University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Lira University, Machakos University College, Makerere University, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Marian University College, Maseno University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Meritorious Biz Tech College, Meru University of Science and Technology, Monash South Africa, Muhabura Integrated Polytechnic College, Multimedia University of Kenya, Mulungushi University, Murang'a University College, Mzumbe University, Namibia University of Science and Technology, National University of Lesotho, National University of Science & Technology, Ndejje University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Nkumba University, North-West University, Nsaka University, Oval International Computer Education, Pearson Institute of Higher Education, Pentecost University College, Presbyterian University of East Africa, Regional Maritime University, Rhodes University, Riara University, Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology, Rongo University College, Rusangu University, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Sol Plaatjies University, South Eastern Kenya University, St Paul's University, Stefano Moshi Memorial University College, Strathmore University, Swaziland College of Technology, Sylvia University, Technical University of Kenya, Technical University of Mombasa, Texila American University, The Copperbelt University, Tom Mboya University College, Tumba College of Technology (North Campus), Uganda Technology and Management University, Umma University, Université des Mascareignes, University for Development Studies, University of Botswana, University of Cape Coast, University of Cape Town, University of Dar Es Salaam, University of Eldoret, University of Ghana, University of Gitwe, University of Iringa, University of Johannesburg, University of Kabianga, University of Kigali, University of Kisubi, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Lusaka, University of Malawi (The Polytechnic), University of Mauritius, University of Mines & Technology Tarkwa, University of Mpumalanga, University of Nairobi, University of Namibia, University of Pretoria, University of Rwanda, University of Sacred Heart, University of Stellenbosch, University of Swaziland, University of Technology Mauritius, University of the Free State, University of Zambia, Valley View University, Victoria University, Web-Info-Net Institute of Technology, Zambia Catholic University, Zenith University College, Zimbabwe Open University

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