Is It Stressful Being a Software Engineer?

Becoming a software engineer is a lucrative position. For those professionals who know how to do their jobs well, there are endless possibilities for great careers that other fields may not have available. But as you search to see whether software engineering is the right choice for you, it is normal to wonder about the stress level of this job. 

Being a software engineer is a low stress career. While deadlines, difficult clients, and complex software can be stressful at times, most of the time the work is rewarding. Software engineers have a chance to work on unique projects while controlling many aspects of the project from start to finish. 

In this article, we will take a look at some of the different aspects of being a software engineer, including what the job entails, who a software engineer will work with, the different positions available in this field and what projects they will be responsible for, and more to help us see whether this is a stressful job or not. 

What Does a Software Engineer Do?

First we need to look at what a software engineer does. There are many jobs out there, but knowing what this job entails, and the job responsibilities that go with it, can help us understand whether this job is stressful or not. 

To start, software engineering is part of the computer sciences. The job includes many skills and asks the professional to spend time on developing and building applications and computer systems software. 

Computer systems software may include a few different parts, including programs that keep the system going. Your operating system is one thing that a software engineer may use. On the other hand, any applications software will include programs that the user will focus on, like database programs and web browsers. 

What Should a Software Engineer Know?

To enjoy this kind of work, a professional will need a number of skills to make things easier. They know at least one programming language well, though most know several. They will understand how to develop new software and improve older software. And they can handle computer operating systems with ease. 

During all of this, the engineer must know how to take some of the basic principles of engineering and then apply them to software creation.

While a software engineer may choose to work with one company and handle all their computer needs, some will work freelance and handle many clients over the year. When they apply some of their engineering principles, they are able to help each client create a new system that meets their needs. 

Who Does a Software Engineer Get to Work With?

A software engineer has the opportunity to work with many different people through their career. They may spend time working with other engineers to create a new system for a client. Sometimes they work alongside other data analysts to understand some of the data points that need to show up in a system. 

Other professionals may come into the mix as well, depending on the type of project the engineer needs to handle. For example, if the engineer needs to work on security, they may work along with some IT professionals to get the work done. 

What Kinds of Systems Can a Software Engineer Work On?

The type of system the software engineer will create depends on the job title they have. There are a number of job positions available for this work, depending on the type of project, the pay, and the experience of the individual engineer. A few open positions that require a software engineer, and the projects they work on include:

  1. Front-End Engineer: This is a professional who will spend their time developing a user interface. This would be all the aesthetics and the layouts that customers see when they visit a new platform or website. They can fix any bugs that show up in the system and handle things so the platform works with more than one browser. 
  2. Full Stack Engineer: This professional can handle the front-end on some projects, as well as the back-end. They will take on the responsibility of creating a web application that is ready to go and can function well. 
  3. Back-End Engineer: This professional will handle all the behind the scenes items. The consumer or end-client may not see these processes, but they are necessary for helping the platform work. For example, they will work with email systems, data systems, and caches. 
  4. Tester: This is a professional who will take the time to write out software that will validate whether the application meets all the quality standards. For example, they may do automated tests. 
  5. Security Engineer: All software needs certain security features to keep customer information safe. The security engineer will create systems and methods to help test how well the system works. They want to find the broken parts and anything wrong before a hacker can. 
  6. DevOps Engineer: These professionals will spend time building, deploying, and integrating many parts of the system, including the servers and database systems. 

Is the Job Stressful?

While there are times and situations that may be stressful as a software engineer, the job itself is not that bad. Every position has some level of stress so you won’t be able to avoid stress at all in this job. But most software engineers enjoy their job and the ability it gives them to pick the work they like, work on a variety of projects, and earn a decent amount of money. 

Most software engineers will agree that while their jobs can be challenging, it is really rewarding. There are times when a project will be down to the deadline. There will be times when you need to work with new people or on a new idea you aren’t used to. And the coursework to become a software engineer is challenging as well. 

Despite all of this, the software engineering career is a relatively low-stress level job. The engineer has a lot of freedom and recognition in their field because good engineers are hard to find. They often get a lot of control over the projects as well, which help to bring down the stress levels. 

Reasons to Become a Software Engineer

Even though there are many different fields in computer science, software engineering is one of the best. Some of the reasons to consider a career as a software engineer include:

  • Ability to work with different people: A software engineer can work with many new people on each project. Sometimes they work with new clients and other times they get to work with other professionals, making each day interesting. 
  • Many job opportunities: There are always many opportunities available. From different projects to new clients, the prospects are numerous for a good software engineer. 
  • Good pay: This is a lucrative job career for many professionals. For those who just start out, it is normal to make $90,000 a year or more. As you gain more experience, it is not uncommon to make more than $130,000 a year. 
  • Easy mobility and ability to move: If there is something about your job you don’t like, this is an easy career to make a change. Many software engineers change jobs frequently to find something better.


While there are times the software engineering career can be stressful, it is also a very rewarding career and many who choose this profession agree they would never change a thing. This career has a lot of room for growth and new projects all the time and allows the individual to work on something that is functional, unique, and works for each individual client. 

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