What Does a Software Engineer Do? A Day in the Life

With a projected 24 percent growth by 2026, the software engineering field boasts impressive job prospects. If you’re interested in coding, software engineering is an industry you should consider, but what do software engineers really do?

A day in the life of a software engineer is ever-changing. While there are definite trends across the profession, the truth is that software engineers can work just about anywhere. From design companies, to finance, to manufacturing, software engineers are needed across the board, and that’s exactly what makes this career path so hot.

No matter where you’re working, there are a few software engineering tasks that are a given. One of them is designing code in some capacity. Another is testing projects and analyzing code for your specific industry. Above all, software engineers working for a company will enjoy being part of a team. There’s always something to be gained by putting heads together, which is something HackReactor at Galvanize prioritizes in our coding bootcamp.

A day in the life of a software engineer

Given the fact that there is no “average day” for a software engineer, we put together what a single day on the job might entail.


For the most part, software engineers have very flexible schedules. Part of the glory of working with computers is being able to work remotely and also to work at any hour of the day. Based on whether you’re a morning person or night person, you’ll arrive at the office and transition into work. This time could be spent coding or meeting with co-workers and clients.

Important to software engineering is staying up-to-date on industry trends. It’s a good idea to read coding blogs and chat with coworkers so you don’t get left behind.


Another perk of flexible hours means deciding how you lunch. Whether you stay at your desk or venture out into the world, a mid-day break can be a great opportunity to chat with coworkers and get coding inspiration. After you break, you can jump back into work. Coding is so immersive that the hours seem to fly by!


Nighttime is often when the longer hours kick in. Depending on the nature of your work and company, you may need to stay at the office later than other professionals. That said, your evening end time is typically dependent on your morning start time. As long as you’re putting in the hours and staying focused during the day, you can wrap up work at a reasonable hour.  Or, if you prefer night time working, you can get down to business!

Want to learn more about the coding industry? Check out our blog. For more information on our coding bootcamp, visit the our coding school website.

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