Career Paths

3 Key Roles & Responsibilities of a Software Engineer in Start-Ups

min read
Vera Chan

What is the difference between a software engineer in a large multinational company and in a start-up? In this blog, we will take a look at the role of a software engineer and what their duties entail. What kind of skills would you need to be a software engineer when looking for jobs? All of this is covered below — keep on reading.


What is a Software Engineer?

There is a growing demand for this role in both large and small organisations. Why is that? Software engineers focus on building digital products. They use programs, computer systems, and programming languages to create user-focused applications. As a software engineer, you can be confused with both developers and programmers. How do you differentiate between the two?


A software engineer liaises with different teams. They do not just sit in front of a computer all day hours on end. Sure, they do get computer time, but they also have to talk to different people. This is so that they can make sure they use the best processes to create the best outcome of a product. This can include discussing with UX/UI designers, project coordinators, and data scientists.


When it comes to sitting at the computer or dealing with one, this can involve reviewing codes. Yes, a software engineer will make sure codes are written correctly so that they function in the right way.


A software engineer has to properly identify a client's needs and make them a reality. They are the ones that make prototypes and run tests to see if the software has any bugs. This is before it is released for official use to customers, also known as end-users. It is all about using programming languages to solve business problems with code.


3 Key Roles & Responsibilities


1. Familiarise with the Basics

Knowing computer science is the foundation to becoming a software engineer. This includes UX/UI design, programming, architecture, and web development. As part of programming languages, you will need to learn how to read and write code. You will also need to know how to debug software through editing code.


2. Multitask

At times you will be analysing information and executing software testing. There is also reviewing quality assurance and organising project management. In a start-up, there is no usually enough funding to hire multiple specialists for every area. Everyone involved in a project will participate and contribute. In this instance, interpersonal skills are important, and being articulate is key.


3. Problem Solve

As a software engineer, you will envision processes and outcomes. Having strong analytical skills is important for this. Through understanding data and reasoning, you may have to debug large sets of code. Or you may have to deal with troubleshooting issues regarding software.


Everyday Duties of a Software Engineer

  • Design, develop and analyse tests
  • Maintain and upgrade existing code
  • Simulate software modelling
  • Review and edit code from your peers
  • Communicate with colleagues to create the software from conception
  • Debug software applications in different programming languages
  • Evaluate system risks and software reliability
  • Software testing and QA


As with all start-ups, there is faster career growth without the proverbial glass ceiling. There is more opportunity to develop and learn faster by juggling multiple hats. It is most likely that your job description will go above and beyond. You will pick up on knowledge faster by doing.


All-in-all a software engineer works on computer systems as a whole. There are different names that can refer to the same role, but in the end, they help develop software. This software will perform various activities that users can use. Best practices will be used to program, test, and record software as part of development operations.


Interested in getting started to become a software engineer? Start with coding courses and develop your skills to become a professional.

Recommendations for You

科技行業有好多種⋯邊款先啱我? Which Tech Career Is Right for Me?
“Put user needs first and co-create with real world companies”