I had lunch with a woman today who worked for a pharmaceutical software engineering company in Richmond. I wonder, what exactly does a software engineer do? Like the name hints at, a software engineer is a person who either designs an original piece of software or finds ways to improve upon an existing piece of software. Software engineers typically combine computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis skills. What kind of software do they develop, though? Typically, they engineer software for operating systems and network distribution. Something cool I found out is that there are three main types of software engineers: computer applications software engineers, computer systems software engineers, and systems software engineers. Computer applications software engineers look at users’ needs and construct software (mainly apps) based upon that. This sounds like it’s heavily based in usability testing, something I have some experience with. Computer systems software engineers work closely with an individual company to create a computer system tailor-fitted for the company’s needs and wants. Lastly, systems software engineers work with broader computer systems, designing and improving computer systems. I’m mostly interested in computer systems software engineers, because this past summer when the SCC transitioned to SharePoint, people came in to discuss the wants and needs of the SCC. I got a firsthand look with watching professionals tailor-fit a software’s capabilities for the company’s needs.