Best digital tools and technologies for software engineers

A girl coding on her laptop and a computer

Among all IT careers, software engineering ranks as the most prestigious, delivering the best career prospects, salaries, and job satisfaction. Unlike programmers or developers, software engineers enjoy a broad scope of software design responsibilities. While they sometimes write code, test, and deploy it, they mostly take charge of planning and designing software systems.

Software engineers assess the quality of emerging software systems and recommend a course of action, such as rewriting code or even starting from scratch. The release pipeline and schedule of new software applications likely also stem from the project’s software engineer.

This article examines the daily work of a software engineer, focusing on the best everyday digital tools and technologies available to today’s software engineers.

The work of a software engineer

Software engineers create computer operating or network systems, mobile apps, robots, or web applications. Whereas building software systems falls within the responsibilities of software developers, the code creation for applications and software lies within software engineers’ task list.

Day-to-day, software engineers divide their time between coding, revising code written by programmers, collaborating with data scientists, UI and UX designers, and other team members, and building client-specific prototypes. 

Apart from a software engineer’s core duties, including designing systems, maintaining and troubleshooting their functionality and taking care of industry compliance, liaising with clients, and managing teams, also belong on the daily task list.

A software engineer’s work is broad and challenging, requiring technical savvy and excellent people skills. Job prospects are excellent, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting a 25%-rise in available software engineering positions in the decade from 2021-2031. This translates into almost 170k new annual job vacancies for software professionals.

The everyday tools and technologies of a software engineer

A software engineer’s responsibilities fall into many different categories. Consequently, the tools they use cater to each task, meaning software engineering tools of the following categories come into play:
  • Project management tools
  • Program analysis tools
  • Software testing tools
  • Automated testing tools
  • Software design tools
  • Coding tools
  • Debuggers
  • Version control systems
All the tools help software engineers streamline their work, facilitate collaboration, and help tackle software problems. Let’s look at each group and examine the frontrunners.

Project management tools

Project management tools provide a collaborative platform for software engineers and their teams to share files, communicate, and collaborate. Trello, Asana, Jira, Basecamp, Redmine, and Wrike are the frontrunners. Trello and Asana work best for small companies, whereas Jira and Wrike can handle large groups and projects, with Wrike charging monthly subscriptions for teams with more than 15 members.

ProofHub is another popular project management tool delivering a seamless collaborative environment. A cloud-based system, LeanKit, facilitates fast communication and provides backlog management tools and custom board templates.

Program analysis tools

Software engineers use program analysis tools when analyzing the features of a newly developed system. Static program analysis tools test dormant systems, while dynamic program analysis tools observe freshly developed systems in operation.

Software testing tools

Software testing tools come into play when software engineers and their teams need to manage requirements, test, and execute cases, and track metrics and errors. The most commonly used software testing tools are PractiTest, Spiraltest, Test-Rail, Testmo, Testpad, TestRail, and Zephyr Scale.

Automated testing tools

Automated testing tools perform different operations simultaneously, including error recording, test execution, planning, build creation, and test analysis. These testing tools examine the completeness, solidity, and functioning of new software systems. ACCEL Q, AppliTools, Avo Assure, Kobiton, LambdaTest, QTP, Selenium, and Testim are the most popular automated software testing tools.

Software design tools

Software engineers mostly use BricsCad, CATIA, MATLAB, MechDesigner, PTC Creo, Rhino, SolidEdge, and ZW3D for design purposes.

Coding tools

Adobe Dreamweaver, Ant, Eclipse, and Junit rank among the top coding tools, each delivering a different focus. With Dreamweaver, software engineers can create and publish HTML, CSS, JavaScript- supported applications. Integrated development environment (IDE) Eclipse allows them to edit text and access additional functionalities.

Most software engineers use Ant to assemble, build, run, and test Java applications, but you can also use it to create C or C++, or other non-Java programs. Code Climate, CodeEnvy, and Crimson Editor are also popular open-source coding tools.


Errors occur during the coding process, which can cause applications to malfunction. Debuggers help to track the errors, allowing software engineers to fix them and get the application back up and running smoothly. Today’s software engineers use Fusion Reactor, GDB, Ghidra, Interactive Disassembler, Lightrun, PurifyPlus, Sentry, and Valgrind.

Version control systems

Version control systems allow software engineers to monitor and document software development. These tools manage and track code versions over time via a web-based hosting platform. On sites such as Git and GitHub, software engineers can upload and store all code versions for multiple projects.

On GitHub, software professionals can discuss, improve, and share projects, meaning it doubles up as a popular collaborative and project management platform. The site boasts a worldwide community of software engineers and developers.

With the rise of cloud computing and a proliferation of engineering tools to work with, software development has become increasingly complex. In response, development professionals are turning to platform engineering. And what is platform engineering? It's the practice of building a single, proprietary software development tool, an Internal Development Platform (IDP), to give a company’s engineering team everything they need to deploy applications.

Software engineer career path

Software engineering is a lucrative career option for anyone interested in IT. You earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science and progress or opt for self-paced certificate courses in software engineering. If you plan on pursuing the best-paid jobs, enrolling in programs like Baylor University’s software engineering masters is a good choice. You can then vie for a position with the world’s software engineering leaders.

Final thoughts

Software engineers can work in many different industries, and many go on to specialize in a specific area, such as writing algorithms, determining system requirements, or designing entire interfaces.

In the U.S., the average salary of a software engineer exceeds $110k. After ten or more years of work experience, this figure rises to almost $150k. Most companies also reward software engineers with annual bonuses and other corporate benefits.

The variety of tools and technologies software engineers use daily illustrates the profession's complexity and task diversity. While on the surface, software engineering may appear steeped in math and code, it requires creativity and flair, with software engineers responsible for designing and producing creative IT solutions daily.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post