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What Do Software Engineers Actually Do?


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Hey guys,

I am currently a freshman CS major and am having difficulty understanding how what I’m learning (things like data structures and algorithms) apply to what would be expected of me when I get a SWE internship or job.

I can’t imagine that the job is just doing leet code style problems. I’m scared that once I get a SWE position, I won’t be able to do anything because I don’t know how to apply these skills.

I think it would really help if you guys could provide some examples of what software engineers do on a day to day basis and how the conceptual things learned in college are used to build applications.

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I am an engineer and applied mathematician who just happens to write software. I've written a lot of it since 1974—about three million lines of assembler, FORTRAN, and C. I have always written software to get some particular job done. If the subject matter didn't fall into one of my areas of expertise, I worked with someone who knew the important details. Examples of this cooperation include: geohydrologists, meteorologists, and biologists. I can't imagine writing software with no particular foundation. I have never sat through a single class in computer programming. Instead, I made a wager: If I could solve a problem, I'd get an A and the instructor would never see me again. I invite you to check out my website for many more examples http://dudleybenton.altervista.org/ I have accomplished a lot of things and had a lot of fun working with some great people!

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